Corsair HS1 USB Gaming Headset ReviewnVidia_Freak - October 20, 2010
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Configuring the drivers for the HS1 can be time consuming if you're unsure of what does what. Here's a brief walkthrough.
This is the main tab of the HS1 driver. Here's where the most time will be spent as this is where channel selection and Dolby Headphone configuration takes place. From the top drop down menu, the amount of channels coming from the source is selected. The '?' button to the right gives a hint as to what mode to use if necessary. Under 'DSP Mode' are the control buttons for Dolby Headphone processing. From top to bottom: Dolby ProLogic IIx; 7.1 Virtual Speaker Shifter; and Dolby Headphone. Dolby Headphone must be enabled to use either of the others and ProLogic IIx is only available in stereo mode. Dolby Headphone by itself will add channel delays and reverb in an attempt to create a larger speaker like presentation. Dolby ProLogic IIx makes an attempt to upmix stereo sound to 7.1 surround sound. However, it only seems to tweak the delay and reverb to make the sound stage slightly wider. Take note that if ProLogic IIx is enabled, there is a channel imbalance in 'Music' mode that is not present in 'Movie' mode with no other discernible differences. 7.1 Virtual Speaker Shifter is available in all modes and is used to fiddle around with relative speaker intensity and location, though moving the rear channels around does not change the sound.
The 'Mixer' tab is straightforward enough. Manual volume sliders for both the headphones and microphone are present. Though the volume for the headphones can be controlled via the inline pod, only in the 'Mixer' tab can the microphone volume be adjusted. This does not adjust the sensitivity of the microphone, it only adjusts the volume at which the microphone will transmit. Under the microphone slider there is also a selectable button to hear your own voice through the headphones as you speak.
The 'Effect' tab is the second busiest tab and should be left alone unless purpose demands it. Here an equalizer is present that comes with twelve presets, none of which are worthwhile. The various buttons and drop down menus alter the amount of echo, reverb and channel delay. These can be used with or without Dolby Headphone.
The 'Karaoke...' tab features adjustments to how sound picked up through the microphone is processed. The drop down menu offers 'Voice Effects' and 'Echo'. 'Voice Effect's has four buttons that vary the pitch of sound that are supposed to sound similar to, from left to right, a monster, a cartoon character, a man and a woman. The bottom portion contains two sliders pertaining to Karaoke: 'Key Shifting' and 'Voice Cancellation'. 'Key Shifting' will alter the pitch of the source audio to better match the user's voice and 'Voice Cancellation' allows the song's lyrics to be lowered in music. Take note that this is simply an equalizer in disguise that targets the midrange frequencies and will affect the rest of the sound.
Finally, the 'Information' tab shows specific information about the HS1, such as the audio engine used by the HS1 (Xear3D), driver versions and a button to look at Dolby plug-in information. Onward to the testing.