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Corsair H1500 review: Corsair's headset is bright both in color and sound

Hayden Dingman | Dec. 16, 2014
First things first: You're probably either ambivalent toward the new logo that came with Corsair's rebrand to Corsair Gaming, or you absolutely loathe it and think it looks like a fancy neckbeard or perhaps something more appropriate for a [ahem] lower back tattoo. Regardless, it's not going to affect its score in this budget headset roundup, and you'll have to make that decision on your own.

Corsair lets you tweak the EQ profile in its software, but here I ran into other troubles. More than any other headset in this roundup, I noticed that the H1500's drivers start to distort at moderately high volumes. Past a certain threshold I could distinctly hear rattling noises whenever the bass kicked in. And yeah, it was loud, but not so much that it was unlistenable. Another consideration: The H1500 had the most sound leakage by far of any headset I tested here, so be careful if you're planning to use this in the bedroom or anything along those lines.

The H1500's big push is the inclusion of 7.1 Surround. Now, no headphone is going to give you real "surround," but I do have to say that Corsair comes close here. Is it a huge improvement over simple stereo headsets? Not especially. At this price point, however, the additional situational awareness gained by 7.1 Surround isn't a bad thing to have, if you can put up with the bright sound profile and a slight (slight) hollowness to what would be the center channel in a true 7.1 setup.

As far as the mic goes, Corsair is middle-of-the-road. The H1500 features a boom mic that flips up out of the way when you're not using it. The microphone picks up decent sound quality, but it's a bit too quiet. If you think the solution resides in moving the mic closer to your face, well, the boom itself is only semi-flexible. Trying to force the mic closer to your mouth is like trying to mold a baseball mitt into shape — you just keep pushing and pushing and hoping that by degrees you're making a difference. It's still a much better microphone than you'll find on some of the other headsets in this roundup.

Bottom line

The H1500 is a decent start to Corsair's gaming rebrand, but I expected better. This is a middle-of-the-road headset. It simply doesn't compete with some of the others at this price point, in large part because of a scooped-mids audio profile and a mediocre microphone.

 

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