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Corsair's new wireless gaming headsets look more like audiophile headphones

But fear not, you still get lights and plenty of audio punch.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Corsair's Virtuoso RGB Wireless and Wireless SE gaming headsets are perfect if you don't like your gaming gear to look all angular and aggressive, like it could suddenly transform into a robot. Priced at $180 (AU$330, £150) and $210 (AU$350, £180), respectively, they have the look and feel of premium high-fidelity headphones with an aluminum frame and ear cups matched with memory foam cushions that really isolate external noise (and make your ears sweat some). 

Wireless audio is handled strictly by Cosair's SlipStream ultralow-latency technology with a range up to 60 feet, but it requires you to plug in a small USB dongle. There's no Bluetooth, but there is a 3.5mm jack and a cable included. The best audio quality is 24bit/96KHz delivered with a direct USB connection.  

When I first started testing them out, the audio quality was good but flat. Corsair's iCue software gives you the tools to change that and much more, though. Out of the box, the EQ preset, called PureDirect, is in fact flat. But then there are presets for movies, FPS games, improved chat clarity and bass boost. Even with it boosted, though, bass stays tight and punchy. 

You can use iCue to create your own EQ presets as well as switch from stereo to 7.1 surround sound and there are sliders to adjust mic volume and sidetone level for hearing yourself in the headset through the mic, too. You'll also use the software to set up lighting effects for the Corsair logos on the earcups. The logos on the SE model are made with microperforations in the aluminum for better RGB lighting right on the ear cup. And if you have other Corsair iCue products, you can sync all your lights together. The logos nearly disappear when the lights are off.


The microperforations let the logo's RGB light shine, but nearly disappear when the lights are off.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The SE edition of the headset has a detachable 9.5mm omni-directional, high-bandwidth microphone with improved low-end response compared with the regular model's 4mm mic. A mute button on the underside instantly cuts the mic and the light at the mic's tip goes from green to red. The SE model also gets a padded case for the headset and cables. 

One last cool little feature: There's an accelerometer in the headset that'll put them to sleep and save battery life when they're not on your head for more than 10 minutes. Pick them up and they wake up, so you don't have to worry about shutting them down. Battery life in general is rated for up to 20 hours.  

If you want a pair that's lighter and less expensive, consider Poly's RIG 700HD, which definitely lean more into typical gamer design territory.  But as gaming headsets go, the Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless are some of the best looking I've seen and won't stand out too much on a daily commute, on a flight or in the office.