Often when it comes to peripherals, user reviews are very important, which is why we always perform real world user testing with our peripherals. I have been using the Corsair Gaming H1500 headset as my main pair of headphones for gaming and general media consumption for a little while now, so I’ve gotten to know it fairly well.
Lets start off with software. EQ and virtual surround settings are controlled via the ‘Corsair Gaming Headset Control Panel‘. It’s a simple design, containing just one window.
On the left you will find control levels and a microphone check button while on the right are the EQ settings along with your virtual surround selection, allowing users to pick between 2.0, 5.1 and 7.1 audio.
The different EQ presets and surround settings can greatly affect your listening experience. There are nine different EQ profiles in total, although you can customize each of them as much as you want. There are two separate gaming profiles for MMO and FPS titles, there’s a profile specifically for movies and then there is even a reference EQ for those like to listen to tracks the way the artist intended.
I didn’t really care for the ‘default’ setting so I played around with a few of the EQ profiles to find which one worked for me best. Personally, I preferred ‘Audiophile 2’ over the others although, FPS gaming, Reference EQ and Movie Mod-X are also good options – providing clear high frequencies and decent enough bass response for most.
For virtual surround settings you can choose between stereo, 5.1 and 7.1. For FPS games, using the 7.1 option will help you pin-point enemy positions slightly better, the software definitely does a good job of re-creating a surround environment. However, not everybody likes these software solutions so your mileage may vary – you always have the option to turn it off.
Corsair’s software is good, it is all contained neatly inside one window and everything is responsive.
Now let’s talk a little bit about comfort as I feel this is where the H1500 really shines. The padding on the headband and the memory foam inside the ear cups provide a supreme amount of comfort, I find it hard to imagine that anyone would get tired of wearing these.
The only downside is that the headset can slip off the head fairly easily at times. It isn’t going to stay on the head if you look down to check a phone on your desk every few minutes. However, I feel that overall comfort may have taken a hit if Corsair tightened up the clamping pressure so it’s a fair trade-off.
We have established that the software is up to scratch and the headset is a joy to wear for the most part but none of that really matters if the sound and microphone quality isn’t there.
Fortunately, the Corsair Gaming H1500 sounds great, although it takes some tweaking. For a start, you absolutely have to download the software utility because failing to do so will result in pretty poor sound quality.
Once that is out of the way we would recommend playing around with the EQ settings, the default profile is okay but it comes across a bit flat. For me, the Audiophile 2 profile provided clearer overall audio and a slightly stronger bass response.
The FPS profile will enhance footsteps, that coupled with 7.1 surround for enhanced positional audio and you should find yourself with the advantage in competitive shooting matches. I found this particularly useful for Counter Strike.
I always say that sound quality is just half the battle with headsets though as a bad microphone can be pretty damaging to the overall experience. Corsair has provided an average quality microphone, it cancels out background noise pretty well and it can capture vocals fairly clearly.
Sadly, I found that in order to come across loud enough over Skype and TeamSpeak, I would have to boost the microphone sensitivity by around 10dB, which can increase feedback during calls. This can get a little annoying to listen to after a while, but overall, it is fairly easy to ignore in most situations and won’t always be noticeable.
The 50mm drivers found in this headset provide plenty of volume, when watching movies or videos I would usually keep my system volume below 20 percent and in some cases I would have to dial it down even further to under 10 percent. This isn’t really a negative or a positive, if you like things to be fairly loud then the option is there. The same goes for those who like to listen to sound at a more sensible level.