Corsair Vengeance 1300 Analog Gaming Headset Review

Indybird - 2011-11-23 00:01:52 in Speakers/Headphones
Category: Speakers/Headphones
Reviewed by: Indybird   
Reviewed on: January 1, 2012
Price: $79.99

Introduction:

Headsets and gaming have been seen as a single entity since the advent of online gaming. Since then a lot of effort has gone into specializing headsets for gaming; retractable and bendable microphones, padded earpieces, headbands for comfort during long gaming sessions and, of course, more advanced sound technologies to give gamers a competitive edge. Headsets nowadays have mainly gone in two directions: the analog headset that is compatible with all gaming platforms that offer amplification flexibility and the digital headsets exclusive to PC owners which are less tunable but easier to set up and typically full of extra features. Surround sound headsets are the buzzword of the headset market as of late, but they can rarely replace a surround sound speaker system for accuracy.

Most gamers end up looking for a relatively simple analog headset that is well built, has good general purpose sound, and is particularly comfortable. The headset we have here today is the Corsair Vengeance 1300 and it aims to beat the competition in these very categories. With promises of clearer, fuller sound via the "massive" 50mm drivers, superior comfort via deep memory foam earpads, and more immersive gaming thanks to the noise canceling qualities of the closed-back design the Vengeance has.  It is made out to be a very desirable headset.

 

Closer Look:

The Corsair Vengeance 1300 comes in an attractive yellow and black themed box. The front isn't much in the way of description, but that is perhaps not needed due to the headset's simple nature. Instead, it provides a large clear picture of the headset its self. Around the back we get a detailed description of the headset's features in six different languages. On the side of the box you'll find a window with a clear view of the actual headset inside. The left side of the box provides the technical specs of the Vengeance 1300, again in six different languages.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For once, you won't find anything other than the headset itself inside the box. The headset is supported in a cardboard shell that also has a compartment for the wiring.

 

Now let's take a closer look at the headset.

Closer Look:

The headset itself is quite attractive. The complimentary matte and glossy high-quality plastic coupled with the leather ear cups and headband gives the Corsair Vengeance 1300 the appearance of a high-end pair of headphones. Each ear rotates 90o to sit flat on a surface when not in use. The Corsair logo is tastefully stamped on the headband over either ear. The microphone is non-flexible and also made of the high-quality plastic. It folds up out of the way and sits inline with the headband when not in use. The wiring coming off the headset is durable premium woven fabric wire. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The inline controls are about 3 feet down the cable from the headphones. The controls are simple but entirely adequate, which consist of a volume control and microphone mute. There are two standard connectors at the end of the wire; 3.5mm headphone and microphone.

 

 

Let's take a look at the technical specifications and see how it performs.

Specifications:

 

Model
Vengeance 1300
Channels
Stereo
Driver
50mm
Impedance
32 Ohms @ 1kHz
Ear Coupling
Circumaural
Ear Cushions
Synthetic Leather
Frequency Response
20Hz – 20,000Hz
Mic Pick-up Pattern
Uni-directional
Mic Frequency Response
100Hz – 10,000Hz
Mic Impedance
2.2k Ohms
Mic Sensitivity
-41 dB (±3dB)

 

Features:

 

All information courtesy of Corsair available at http://www.corsair.com/pc-computer-audio/gaming-headsets/vengeance-1300-analog-gaming-headset.html

Testing:

 

To test the Vengeance 1300 I’m going to be primarily gaming since that is it's target purpose, but I'll also be throwing in a little bit of music as it is marketed as a multi-purpose headset.

Testing Setup:

 

Gaming:

To test the gaming qualities of the Vengeance 1300 I tried out fast paced shooter action in Battlefield 3 and some immersive environments in Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. Battlefield 3 faired decently. The stereo image was quite clear and even allowed me to distinguish angles of gunshots and footsteps, if only a little bit. Explosions and other deeper sounds were quite lacking, however the highs and mids were very clear. Skyrim was a similar story, while moving through corridors and vast open plains the ambient sounds were up front and clearly audible. Sword and magic combat also faired well with the headset's range of audio.

Music:

To test the music listening qualities of the Vengeance 1300 I used my standard genre's of music: classical, 70's rock and modern electronic. Starting off with Camille Saint-Saëns’ 'Samson and Delila' I was neither impressed or disappointed; the strings and higher brass were slightly clear, but there is a sharp cutoff in the reproduction of the lower instruments such as the timpani and the double bass. For the 70's rock I listened to "Us and Them" by Pink Floyd. The vocals were very clear, and quite impressive. Background instruments were generally well rendered, but much like with Samson and Delila the definition of the bass was noticably lacking. Lastly I listened to "Propane Nightmares" by Pendulum to fit the modern electronic category. Synthesizers and vocals were rendered very well in addition to the snare and cymbals of the beat, but as noted before, the lack of bass was most prevalent here.

On a side note, I noticed that while listening to all three selections, the headset could not be turned up quite as loud as I would've preferred. Some of the more subtle sections of Samson and Delila were nearly inaudible.

Microphone Quality:

To test the microphone quality I performed a Skype call with some friends and recorded myself using Windows sound recorder.  I was told by my friends that my voice was overall clear and full; they had no trouble hearing me clearly. While listening to the vocal recording of myself I could affirm their testaments; my voice was very clear and well defined.

Comfort:

During the course of the testing the headphones were nearly physically unnoticeable due to their comfort. The headband kept the relatively low weight of the headset completely off my ears, and the soft leather ear cups never irritated the side of my head.

Conclusion:

The Corsair Vengeance 1300 proved to be an above-average headset after nearly a week of use. The first thing you notice is that these headsets do not feel cheap. Although they're not going to be able to withstand any kind of heavy abuse, it should last many years of day to day movement and LAN parties. The headset looks great too; the subtle accents and mixed matte and glossy black plastic give it the $200+ premium headset appearance. 

The overall audio quality was decent, but in all uses I found the Vengeance 1300 seriously lacking any bass; suprising considering the notably large drivers in each ear. Some equalizers that work in Windows helps bring a little bass back, but it's never quite proportional. Despite lacking bass, the performance of the mids and highs were quite good; vocals in music and games were particularly clear. Since weapons, car engines, and vocals in games are all centered around these frequencies, gaming performance was, in turn, very good. Despite these good highs and mids I couldn't really recommend doing a lot of music listening as the bass cutoff is very noticeable.

The measures taken to make the headset comfortable were definitely not in vain; the synthetic leather on the headband and ear cups were so comfortable and effective that I barely noticed them on my head after long gaming sessions. During these long sessions I found the inline volume and microphone controls to be more than adequate for frequent use; they are more than easy enough to control without looking at the remote.

If it wasn't for the severe lack of bass, then these headphones would be at the top of my list for their price range. While the comfort and build quality are definitely there, the audio performance averages out to just decent. The clarity of the range of sound that the Vengeance 1300 is capable of producing is without a question very good; if gaming is your only concern then this $80 headset just might fit your bill.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: