Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Updated Mar 18, 2021 at 11:45 am
Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE Picture
6.3
Mixed Usage
6.6
Neutral Sound
5.8
Commute/Travel
5.9
Sports/Fitness
6.6
Office
7.4
Wireless Gaming
7.4
Wired Gaming
7.3
Phone Calls
These headphones were replaced by the Corsair VIRTUOSO RGB Wireless XT
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE are decent wireless gaming headphones. They have an understated and premium design that's a lot less flashy than many other gaming headsets, with subtle RGB Corsair logos on each ear cup. They feel quite well-built but unfortunately aren't the most comfortable and likely can cause some fatigue after long gaming marathons. On the upside, their wireless latency is great with their included USB dongle, and they can even be used wired by plugging them into the controller of either a PS4 or Xbox One. Their microphone performance is very good, though transmitted speech may lack some detail.

Note: We reviewed the SE variant, though we expect the Corsair VIrtuoso RGB Wireless' performance to be very similar. The Corsair Virtuoso SE has more customization options for their RGB side-lighting, brushed metal aluminum on their ear cups, and a slightly larger microphone.

Our Verdict

6.3 Mixed Usage

The Corsair Virtuoso are passable for mixed usage. They're a decent choice for wired or wireless gaming, as they can be used with their 1/8" TRRS cable, USB-C cable, or wireless USB dongle. They also have a great overall mic performance so you're heard clearly. However, they have a slightly bulky design that doesn't isolate against much background noise, so they may not be the best choice for commuting or traveling. While they don't have a neutral sound profile out-of-the-box, their companion app offers a graphic EQ to help tweak them.

Pros
  • Premium, durable look and feel.
  • Very good microphone performance.
Cons
  • Tight fit may not be the most comfortable for everyone.
  • Poor noise isolation performance.
6.6 Neutral Sound

The Corsair Virtuoso are okay for neutral sound. They have a warm and somewhat uneven sound profile, which doesn't sound very neutral. They're also prone to inconsistent audio delivery, and their passive soundstage can be perceived as unnatural and as if coming from inside your head. Luckily, their companion software offers a graphic EQ and presets to help tweak their sound to your liking.

Pros
  • Premium, durable look and feel.
  • Graphic EQ and presets available.
Cons
  • Prone to inconsistent bass and treble delivery.
  • Disappointing passive soundstage.
5.8 Commute/Travel

The Corsair Virtuoso are sub-par for commute and travel. They don't isolate background noise well, especially the low rumbles of engines, and may not be the most comfortable for people with moderately large heads. Like most gaming headphones, they are also quite large which can make them less portable, though they do feature a removable microphone and have swiveling ear cups, which allow them to fold flat.

Pros
  • Premium, durable look and feel.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation performance.
  • No music or call-related controls.
5.9 Sports/Fitness

The Corsair Virtuoso are middling for sports and fitness. They aren't very portable due to their bulky design, and despite being fairly tight, they don't stay on the head too well while you're moving. Their over-ear design also isn't the most breathable and can trap heat in the ear cups, causing you to sweat. Although we don't currently test for this, they don't have an IP rating for water resistance, either.

Pros
  • Premium, durable look and feel.
Cons
  • Tight fit may not be the most comfortable for everyone.
  • No music or call-related controls.
6.6 Office

The Corsair Virtuoso are alright for office use. While they don't leak much audio, meaning you can crank up your music without bothering your co-workers, they aren't the most comfortable and may cause fatigue after a full workday. They also struggle to cut down ambient chatter around you. Unfortunately, they don't support Bluetooth, but you can use them wired with their 1/8" TRRS cable or USB-C cable.

Pros
  • Premium, durable look and feel.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation performance.
7.4 Wireless Gaming

The Corsair Virtuoso are decent for wireless gaming. They have low latency when using their USB dongle and offer over 13 hours of continuous playback time. Their microphone is also very good, and your teammates should have no problem hearing and understanding you. Unfortunately, they aren't the most comfortable and can cause you discomfort during longer gaming marathons.

Pros
  • Premium, durable look and feel.
  • Very good microphone performance.
  • Graphic EQ and presets available.
Cons
  • Tight fit may not be the most comfortable for everyone.
  • Disappointing passive soundstage.
  • No channel mixing.
7.4 Wired Gaming

The Corsair Virtuoso are decent for wired gaming. They have low audio latency and are fully compatible with PC, PS4, and Xbox One consoles using their 1/8" TRRS cable. They have decent customization options via their companion software and can also be used wired while charging, which is good as they take about four hours to charge.

Pros
  • Premium, durable look and feel.
  • Very good microphone performance.
  • Graphic EQ and presets available.
Cons
  • Tight fit may not be the most comfortable for everyone.
  • Disappointing passive soundstage.
  • No channel mixing.
7.3 Phone Calls

The Corsair Virtuoso are decent for phone calls. Their boom microphone records and transmits speech very well and does a very good job at separating your speech from background noise, like subway trains. Unfortunately, they aren't the most portable, so they may not be great for taking phone calls on-the-go.

Pros
  • Premium, durable look and feel.
  • Very good microphone performance.
Cons
  • Tight fit may not be the most comfortable for everyone.
  • Poor noise isolation performance.
  • 6.3 Mixed Usage
  • 6.6 Neutral Sound
  • 5.8 Commute/Travel
  • 5.9 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.6 Office
  • 7.4 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.4 Wired Gaming
  • 7.3 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Jun 11, 2021: Changed USB Audio results for clarity.
  2. Updated Mar 18, 2021: Updated review for accuracy and clarity.
  3. Updated Feb 15, 2021: We've retested the non-Bluetooth wireless latency.
  4. Updated Dec 02, 2020: We've updated the USB Audio test results.
  5. Updated Mar 11, 2020: Converted to Test Bench 1.4.

Check Price

Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE
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Carbon Virtuoso RGB Wireless
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White Virtuoso RGB Wireless
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Test Results

Design
Design
Style

The Corsair Virtuoso have a straightforward but premium look. They're less flashy than other gamer-centric headsets, with a black and silver color scheme. While they're quite large, they aren't as bulky as many other gaming headsets. They feature a customizable RGB Corsair logo on each ear cup.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.86 lbs
Clamping Force
1.3 lbs

The Corsair Virtuoso are decently comfortable. While they have good padding, they're a bit heavy and may fit a bit tight on some people's heads. The cups are swappable but unfortunately don't come with other options in-the-box. That said, the cups' normal depth should be comfortable enough for most people. Overall, they should be comfortable enough for shorter gaming sessions but may cause fatigue during longer marathons.

5.6
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Decent
Call/Music Control No
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control Mute/Unmute
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls No

The control scheme is sub-par. It's better suited for gaming, as there is no music control from the headphones themselves. While the controls are easy to use, they lack many options and only give you volume and microphone control. The microphone wheel is a bit stiff and has an infinite scroll with audio cues indicating min/max volume.

6.4
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 6.1 ยฐC

The Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE are passably breathable. They can trap in some heat, which can make your ears feel fairly warm and cause you to sweat more than usual, so they may not be ideal for sports or working out. They should be fine in more casual conditions, however, and should be suitable for gaming and listening to music if you take breaks from time to time.

5.5
Design
Portability
L 8"
W 6.4"
H 3.6"
Volume 184 inยณ
Transmitter Required No

Like most gaming headphones, the Corsair Virtuoso aren't very portable. The ear cups swivel a full 180 degrees, which allows them to lay flat, and the microphone is detachable, but they don't fold into a more compact format.

5.5
Design
Case
Type Pouch
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A

The pouch is sub-par. It may protect the headphones from some small splashes of water or dust, but it may not be able to protect your headphones from the occasional drop.

8.0
Design
Build Quality

The Corsair Virtuoso have a great build quality. They're made from good-quality and dense plastic, while there's metal in the headband. The SE model also have a brushed aluminum finish on the ear cups. Both the headband and ear cups are padded with a nice feeling faux-leather that gives them an all-around premium look and feel. They should be able to withstand a few accidental drops or bumps without sustaining too much damage.

6.5
Design
Stability

The Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless have alright stability. They're a bit tight on the head, though they can fall off from bigger head movements, which isn't ideal for sports. They should stay quite stable during gaming. They also have a wireless design, so you donโ€™t have to worry about a cable getting hooked on something, which could yank the headphones off your head.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless Gaming Headset
  • Detachable boom microphone
  • USB dongle
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • 1/8" TRRS cable
  • Carrying pouch
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-0.47 dB
Treble Amount
-2.84 dB

The Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE have a fairly warm but uneven sound profile. They have a dip in low-mids which pushes back lead instruments and some vocals, so they sound quite dark and may not be the greatest choice for more vocal-centric audio like podcasts. It's worth noting that due to their mediocre frequency response consistency, you may experience differences in their sound profile depending on their fit. Luckily, their companion software offers a graphic EQ and presets so that you can tweak its sound to your liking.

6.1
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.9 dB

The Corsair Virtuoso have mediocre frequency response consistency. Due to their fit, seal, and positioning, they have inconsistent bass and treble delivery, and people who have thick hair or glasses may especially notice a drop in bass. You may need to adjust their position on your head every time you put them on to ensure consistent audio reproduction.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
7.6
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.06 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
55.76 Hz
Low-Bass
-3.84 dB
Mid-Bass
0.31 dB
High-Bass
4.31 dB

The Corsair Virtuoso have good bass accuracy. They're underemphasized in the low-bass, so your mixes lack thump and rumble. In contrast, the high-bass is overemphasized, which adds boom.

7.3
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.64 dB
Low-Mid
-2.95 dB
Mid-Mid
-2.55 dB
High-Mid
-0.31 dB

The mid-range accuracy is decent. The dip in the low and mid-mids thins out vocals and lead instruments while also nudging them to the back of the mix. However, the high-mids are fairly neutral so vocals and instruments have adequate clarity and detail.

6.8
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
4.27 dB
Low-Treble
-2.58 dB
Mid-Treble
-4.49 dB
High-Treble
-12.35 dB

The Corsair Virtuoso's treble accuracy is alright. It's underemphasized across the range so vocals and lead instruments sound veiled while sibilants like cymbals are dull and lispy.

6.6
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
2.19 dB
Dips
1.96 dB

The Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE have an alright peaks/dips performance. There's a large peak in the high-bass, which adds a significant boom while the following dip in the low-mids thins out vocals and lead instruments. There's also some mismatch between the left and right driver in the high-mids, so the left driver makes vocals and lead instruments a bit honky and harsh while the right driver keeps these sounds adequately detailed and clear. However, it's important to note that driver mismatch is only valid for our pair and can vary from unit to unit.

8.0
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.34
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
1.09
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.84
Weighted Phase Mismatch
4.97

The Corsair Virtuoso's imaging performance is great. The group delay falls just under the audibility threshold, resulting in a tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. While the L/R drivers are well-matched in amplitude and phase response, there's a small amount of frequency mismatch, which could indicate holes in the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our test unit, so your experience may vary.

4.6
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
5.59 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
2.66 dB
PRTF Distance
10.69 dB
Openness
4.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
3.3

The Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless' passive soundstage is poor. Due to their closed-back design, the soundstage is perceived as small and located inside your head. It also sounds unnatural, and it may not sound as immersive as headphones with an open-back design.

2.0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
On/Off
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
Yes

These headphones have a 7.1 surround sound feature in their companion software. However, we don't currently test this feature's performance.

7.3
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.459
WHD @ 100
0.166

The Corsair Virtuoso's weighted harmonic distortion is decent. There are a couple of peaks in the treble range at normal listening volumes, but this can be hard to hear with real-life content. The frequencies also fall within good limits at higher volume levels, resulting in clear and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
0.14.133
Power
On
Connection
Wireless (Proprietary)
Codec
PCM, 24-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Default
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Boom

These are the settings we used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid when using these settings.

Isolation
5.5
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-14.67 dB
Bass
1.06 dB
Mid
-10.69 dB
Treble
-35.32 dB

The Corsair Virtuoso's noise isolation is sub-par. They do a poor job at blocking out the low rumbles of bus or plane engines and struggle to isolate ambient speech. While their treble range isolation is significantly better, this isn't generally as important. It can help cut down the hum of an AC unit.

7.1
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
38.78 dB

The Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE have decent leakage performance. The significant portion of their leakage sits in the mid-range, which means that their leakage sounds fuller than that of in-ears and earbuds but not as loud and full as open-back headphones. Also, since the overall level of the leakage is not very loud, it shouldn't be a concern unless you play loud music in a very quiet environment.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-Line
No
Boom
Yes
Detachable Boom
Yes
8.2
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
20 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
1.21 dB
HFE
3,568.48 Hz
Weighted THD
0.23
Gain
24.35 dB

The microphone's recording quality is quite impressive. Your voice sounds full-bodied, though lacking some detail. The bump in low-bass may make your voice prone to pops and rumbling noises.

7.9
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
27.06 dB

The Corsair Virtuoso's microphone's noise handling is very good. It can easily separate speech from ambient noise in most loud environments and should even be able to handle extremely loud situations like subway stations and gaming competitions.

Active Features
7.9
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
13.3 hrs
Additional Charges
0.0
Total Battery Life
13.3 hrs
Charge Time
3.8 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Standby mode
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
Yes
Charging Port USB-C

The Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE have a very good battery performance. They have over 13 hours of continuous playback time, although their performance in this regard depends on your usage. They also have a customizable standby timer that puts your headphones into sleep mode after a specified amount of inactivity. They support passive playback through an included 1/8" audio cable and can be used while charging via their USB-C port, which is good as their charge time is very long at almost 4 hours.

7.0
Active Features
App Support
App Name Corsair iCUE
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows Yes
Equalizer
Graphic + Presets
ANC Control
No
Mic Control Adjustable Level
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
Yes

The Corsair iCUE software is decent. It offers a good graphic EQ, as well as EQ presets, mic control, and a simple surround sound option. They support 7.1 surround sound, though it doesn't specify whether this is Dolby or DTS. The app also allows you to set the headphones' sleep mode timer. The settings are saved onto the wireless dongle and carry over if you plug it into different PCs or your PS4. The RGB lighting has many customization options that can be set via the software, including displaying red when your battery percentage falls below a set level.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
No Bluetooth
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
N/A
PC Latency (SBC)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
N/A
Android Latency
N/A
9.1
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
124 ft
Non-BT Latency
10 ms

Update 02/15/2021: Due to user concern, we've retested the non-Bluetooth wireless latency. However, as we were able to reproduce a similar result, no changes have been made to the review.

These headphones use a USB dongle to connect to your PS4 or PC. They have extremely low latency, which shouldn't be noticeable, and offer a decent range, which should have no problem reaching your couch or chair.

9.7
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
USB Type A
Detachable Yes
Length 5.1 ft
Connection 1/8" TRRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
10 ms

Update 06/11/2021: We have changed USB Audio to 'USB Type A' to reflect the source port instead of the headphones' port. When using their USB cable, the USB-A connector can be connected to any device with a USB-A port. The scoring of this box hasn't changed.

These headphones can be used wired via their USB cable or 1/8" TRRS cable. They can also be used with their USB wireless dongle. The included USB cable is 6.3 feet long, and the included TRRS cable is 5.1 feet long.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
Audio + Microphone
PC/PS4 Wired USB
Audio + Microphone
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
Audio + Microphone

These headphones are fully compatible with PC or PS4s using its wireless dongle, USB-C cable, or 1/8" analog TRRS cable.

Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
No

These headphones are only compatible with the Xbox One when plugging in the 1/8" TRRS cable directly into the Xbox's controller.

3.4
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Wireless USB Dongle
USB Input
Yes
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
USB

These headphones come with a USB dongle that's compatible with PC and PS4. Unfortunately, they don't work wirelessly with the Xbox One.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE comes in one color variant: 'Black'. These headphones also come in a pared-down variant called the Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless, which doesn't have 7.1 surround support, and lacks a brushed aluminum finish on their ear cups. They also have a smaller microphone and don't come with a carrying pouch, either.

If you come across another variant, please let us know in the discussions and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

Comparison picture

The Corsair Virtuoso RGB are decent gaming headphones with a premium look and feel, and impressive microphone performance. They can be used wired and wirelessly, have over 13 hours of continuous playback time, and are compatible with Corsair iCUE software, so you're able to customize them to your liking. Unfortunately, they have an uneven sound profile as well as a tight and heavy fit, which some users may find fatiguing over time. See our recommendations for the best gaming headsets, the best PS4 headsets, and the best wireless gaming headsets.

Corsair HS70 Wireless

The Corsair HS70 Wireless are slightly better wireless gaming headphones than the Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless. The HS70 are more comfortable, feel more stable on the head, have a much better-balanced sound profile, are much more consistent among various users and reseats, and have longer battery life. On the other hand, the Virtuoso have a better microphone, wired connectivity options, and block slightly more background noise.

SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless are better wireless gaming headphones than the Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless. The SteelSeries more comfortable and have much better controls on the headphones. Their sound profile is much more balanced and neutral with fewer peaks too, which some users may prefer. Their microphone also performs better overall and handles background noise much better. However, they leak more sound and isolate background noise worse than the Corsair. The SteelSeries also support Bluetooth, which is rare for gaming headphones/

SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition Wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition Wireless are better wireless gaming headphones than the Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE. The SteelSeries are more comfortable, have better controls, feel more stable on the head, and have a more balanced and neutral sound profile. They aren't as consistent among users, however, and some people may get inconsistent bass or treble delivery. Their microphone's recording quality isn't quite as good as the Corsair's, but it handles noisy environments much better and they have a much longer continuous battery life.

Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless 2019

The Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless 2019 are much better wireless gaming headphones than the Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless. The Astro are much more comfortable and have a significantly more balanced sound profile. Their microphone offers superior recording quality and noise handling capability. Unfortunately, the Astro can't be used wired like the Corsair, meaning they don't work with Xbox One consoles. Also, unlike the Corsair, the Astro block out almost no background chatter and leak much more audio, meaning they aren't as well-suited for gaming with others in the room.

Corsair Void PRO RGB Wireless

The Corsair Void PRO RGB Wireless and the Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless are similarly performing gaming headphones and depending on your usage, you may prefer one over the other. The Void are a bit more comfortable due to being less tight on the head. However, they are quite a bit bulkier, they also don't feel as well-built and don't isolate sound as well. The microphone on the Virtuoso has significantly better recording quality, though it doesn't handle very loud environments quite as well. Unlike the Virtuoso, the Void can only be used wirelessly, and can't be used with the Xbox One at all.

ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air Wireless

The ROCCAT Elo 7.1 Air Wireless and Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE each have their own advantages, and one may suit you better depending on your preferences. The ROCCAT have a better control scheme, a longer battery life, and companion software with more options. The Corsair are better-built, can be used on wired connection either via USB or with a 1/8" TRRS cable, and have lower non-Bluetooth wireless latency.

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