The H1500 is a rebrand of the Corsair Vengeance 1500 V2 under the new Corsair Gaming division, and it now comes with a yellow and black colour scheme. The colours won’t be to everyone’s taste, although they’re perhaps a good match for Corsair’s 380T this month, and the yellow is subtle, rather than overdone.
The headset has its own USB-powered DAC, which uses Dolby technology to provide virtual 7.1 surround sound through its 50mm drivers. The microphone and 3m cable are both non-detachable, so mobile use isn’t an option – it’s a gaming headset through and through. It’s constructed form plastic rather than metal, but it’s much more solid and robust than cheaper plastic headsets we’ve seen. There’s a micro-fibre covering on the memory foam earcups and faux leather on the padded headband, so despite being quite heavy, the H1500 is comfortable to wear.
The earcups are roomy and deep, but larger ears may still brush against the insides. Ample height extension and pivots fitted to the earcups also mean the headset adjusts to your head’s shape well, and it stays put through rigorous movement once it’s in place. The microphone can be rotated up and out of the way but this movement doesn’t mute it – you need the in-line remote for that function, which also has volume up and down buttons, a clip and a flashing red light for when the microphone is muted. Meanwhile, the software is very lightweight and simple to use.
There’s just one screen to deal with options for microphone and volume levels, a toggle for the surround effects and a customisable equaliser. It’s a shame the surround-sound toggle wasn’t moved to a physical button on the in-line remote, though, as it’s annoying to open the software just to toggle that feature.
In terms of sound, the H1500 is exceptionally loud, even at just 20 per cent volume, and we can’t see people enjoying themselves at over 50 per cent volume. Thankfully, sound doesn’t become distorted until you reach unbearable volumes, although the leakage from the earcups does get picked up by the microphone at loud volumes.
We’re used to bass-heavy gaming headsets that try to cover up lacklustre audio performance elsewhere, but that isn’t the case with the H1500. There’s plenty of bass on tap, but it isn’t too dominant, with high and mid-range frequencies both well covered. The HyperX Cloud has a little more detail and clarity, but it also lacks some of the H1500’s other features . Initially, with music, we found the H1500 to be a little flat and lacking punch, but the preset ‘audiophile’ EQs are well designed to bring music to life.
The same isn’t true of the surround-sound effect, though, which leaves music sounding unbalanced – we recommend leaving it disabled. Movies and games, thankfully, are much better suited to the surround effects, which help to make using the headset feel more immersive, although you won’t be shooting with pinpoint accuracy based on sound alone. Surround sound isn’t an essential in headsets – there are plenty of fantastic stereo models, as sound is the main measure of quality, but surround sound can make gaming more fun if it’s well implemented. Again, the relevant EQ settings are well adjusted too – it’s good to see that Corsair’s engineers have taken the time to set them up correctly.
The H1500 is solid, comfortable and sounds great. It isn’t the best headset available in terms of comfort or sound, but it’s a great all-rounder for the money, especially with the surround-sound effects and simple but effective software.