One thing I've noticed these past few years is that gaming headsets are getting more attractive. You'll still see plenty of black and red with the occasional green, and unnecessary grills or fins on the cups, but overall headsets are sleeker and more stylish. That's probably because a lot more people with widely differing tastes are getting into gaming gear. Now Corsair is introducing a pair of wireless headsets, the Virtuoso RGB Wireless and Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE that look great, feel super comfortable and oh yeah, offer solid audio too.
Let's get this out of the way first: These are RF headsets, not Bluetooth. So you're still going to have to plug in a transmitter dongle. And it's a USB-A plug, so you can't plug it directly into your phone. These are definitely PC and home console headsets, though they still come with 3.5mm and USB-C connectors if you don't mind going wired. (The latter is also used for charging, of course.) At least the transmitter looks classy, with an indicator light to let you know when it's connected.
Both the SE and its slightly less expensive counterpart have soft padded headbands and faux leather ear cups. After wearing them all day at work I experienced no discomfort or overheating; the headbands didn't even pull on my hair when I took them off (this is a common problem with long tresses). The regular Virtuoso comes in a ceramic-like matte white or carbon black, while the SE is gunmetal with matte black accents.
These are 7.1 headsets with 50mm neodymium drivers and a frequency range of 20 to 40,000Hz; I spent the past week on a '90s kick and various songs from the White Stripes, Nine Inch Nails and Soundgarden all sounded great, as well as my steady diet of YouTube history and gaming videos. Piano playing stuck out as particularly immersive; the kind of surround sound that gets you turn around to check to see if it's coming from someone else's computer (or a real piano). It wasn't quite the Cloud Orbit S I tested a few weeks ago, but it was still one of the better audio experiences I've had this year.
The main differences between the two are the mic and the side lighting. The SE includes a 9.5mm mic, but in most scenarios your teammates are unlikely to notice the difference. However, while both mics are described as broadcast quality, the SE will do a better job of picking up the low end during streams.
The side lighting is... interesting. Both models have the logo on the side with LED lighting but the SE uses "micro-perforation" which allows it to change color and do other customizations; it looks like a tiny screen, albeit one shaped like a tiny ship. It's cool in concept and fun to stare at, but ultimately underwhelming given how tiny it is.
The headsets overall aren't underwhelming; they're very nice peripherals that you simply want to touch because they look so nice. The price however, might give you pause: The SE is $210, while the regular Virtuoso is $30 less at $180. The SE and its cheaper sibling go on sale today.