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Corsair Virtuoso Disappointment (Audio/Connection issues)


Nambread
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For the first time in my life I'm signing up to a product forum to relay my frustrations with a product. A quick read even just the first page of the forum tells me that I'm not alone. I've seen individual issues but none that have aggregated them and provided a bit more information.

 

My problems have been mostly with the wireless connection:

 

1. If the headset and/or computer go to sleep, upon waking the headset doesn't reconnect. The device shows in the volume popup in the task tray, but no sound comes out. Unplugging and re-plugging in the dongle usually works (but not always!)

This happens multiple times a day.

 

2. Audio corruption happens frequently. One second the sound is fine, the next it sounds like it's coming through a radio with really bad reception. This happens almost every day.

 

3. Every 3-4 days the sound quality will deteriorate. What I means is that the audio sound normal, then every few seconds there is a "popping" sound. Not quite as bad as in #2, but still enough to ruin music listening. The only way I've found to fix it is to do a full restart using the command "shutdown /t 0 /r". A normal restart via the start menu will not fix it.

 

4. The volume wheel on the right cup will not scroll the volume level smoothly. I've seen at least one other user having the same issue. You scroll the volume level down and then it will jump back up a few levels.

 

I believe these are software related as these are recent issues but I've been using the headset since Oct 2019. I'm on latest iCue and firmware for headset + dongle. I used to get other issues such as constant connection dropping and duplication of the headset in the iCue software, but they have been resolved in recent months, only to be replace by other issues just as bad!

 

I've actually steered away from choosing Corsair for other wireless products because this experience and iCue stability have been so poor.

 

Such a shame, the actual hardware of the headset is brilliant, and the mic quality on the non-SE version is superb. But if the audio drivers are naff then that defeats the whole point of having one.

 

Are people having similar issues? I'd like to gather a consensus here that something is up with these things. In the meantime I'm going to speak to the retailer and see what their returns policy on bad products is.

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Exactly the same reason for registering here...

 

Got the virtuoso yesterday and have already ran into audio disappearing/distorted THREE times and I have only used straight USB connection, I haven't even tried wireless! Pretty much all threads are about issues with wireless, well, I'm having the same issue with the wired connection.

 

I have to either pull the cord and put it back in to restore functionality or switch between wireless and wired on the headphones.

 

Needless to say, these are going back to where I bought them promptly. Too bad, I like the design except for the USB connector being on the wrong side for me, I have my rig on the right side and jack is on the left side of the headphones...

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That's right guys, I had all that problems, making really annoying to play games with friends having all the time wireless problems. Why I will pay for a product that is wireless if I can't use it an entire day without having a problem?

 

Obviously won't pay again for a Corsair product that sell me smoke saying that is a premium product:evil:

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To add insult to injury tonight I have two more problems:

 

1) There is now constant, low-level noise whenever audio is playing on this headset. USB or Wireless.

 

2) I was filling out the RMA form and had to look up a serial number. I found that the exact same clip on both the earcups have snapped off. This is the first time I've removed them. The headset rarely leaves the desk, so isn't subject to much more than routine use.

 

For reference, I've followed these instructions to the letter twice and the issues still persist: https://help.corsair.com/hc/en-us/articles/360033489511?input_string=audio+connection+issues+and

 

Like I said, very disappointing. I would advise people to stay away from this particular model. I expected better for £150.

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That sux. Luckily for me, most stores in Sweden have a 30 day open return for most kind of electronics. Hence I don't have to deal with RMA, which seem pointless as the product is flawed.

 

Also, very annoying with the usb cable "scraping" against anything can be heard in the left headphone VERY loudly.

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I had my virtuoso for several months and never had any issues. It seems like people who have issues with them, have the first release models a.k.a first revision modeles. Those suffers from multiple problems and the best course of action is to RMA then and hope that Corsair sends a recent revision replacement.

 

When it comes to ANY audio problems when using in wireless mode, they are mostly related to frequency inference. It's been proven that having the Slipstream dongle plugged in behind your PC can cause issues as it's close to your PC components, same goes for using the headset is an area with a lot of WiFi hotspots, mobile phones and even kitchen appliances such as microwaves, eletric ovens, toasters and so on. There was a user on this forum who lived in a flat and was getting Slipstream issues everytime his neighbour next door used his microwave as his PC was next to the wall of his neighbour, he had to move rooms and it solved Slipstream issues for him. If you want to do a fun experiment, turn on your microwave and put on the headphones and play a song and stand next to the microwave, the audio will start breaking up, crackle or the headphones will just lose connection all together, that's what frequency/radio inference is. This isn't a design flaw, this is just how wireless things work. If you're from the 90's, you probably remember the annoying sounds that your speakers would make when you had a phone next to them and you were sending a text or a getting a phone call.

 

When using the headset in wireless mode, the best thing to do is to have the dongle plugged in to a USB extension away from your PC, or to you Corsair keyboard USB passthrough if you have a Corsair keyboard, those are the best ones. Having the dongle away from your PC but close to your headset is a huge plus.

 

When it comes to the earcups clips breaking off, this is a common issue as people do it wrong. People tend to turn and pull at the same, which causes the clips to break off, you supposed to twist without pulling or pushing and the earcup will turn and pop out on their own.

 

Last thing you could do is update ICUE if theres an update, update your headset firware and your dongle firmware.

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Thanks for the suggestions but they don't really help.

 

I'm aware of wireless interference. Other products have accounted for this and provided excellent connectivity, some of which I'm using now. It is a black mark against Corsair if they cannot do the same. Like you say this is a problem dating back to the 90's, we should have moved on since then.

 

Additionally, I live in a rural area with mostly elderly folk, plus the neighbours have been out for several days, so I'm going to assume external EM pollution is low.

 

As for the cups, they were not pulled, they were twisted. I did notice that the cup clip remained in the slot and took some digging to fish out. Perhaps too snug a fit caused enough resistance to make it snap, then again maybe not, since I didn't feel or hear it "give".

 

The dongle has been in several ports, including in the passthrough of my corsair mech keyboard. There has been no discernible difference. I've had it drop connection while sitting right next to it.

 

The firmware and software has been updated multiple times, along with unpairing/pairing, as well as going through the "clean install" process I posted about above. I appreciate that these are common sanity steps to take, but I've already taken them several times over months of ownership.

 

For now I'm going to discuss RMA options (refund/replace) with corsair and go from there. A shame, since the design of the headset and its build quality in the headband is brilliant.

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Sounds like there's a external factor when it comes to your issues and not an issue with the headset directly. I would wait and see what Corsair says in your RMA. When you do get a new headset if you do and it's newer revision and you still have issues, then it's not the headset themselfs. You could try a different PC or a laptop and see if you get the same issues, it could be a bad sound card driver or a bad windows audio transfer which is hard to diagnose and sometimes can only be fixed by formatting or doing sketchy registry stuff. Updating or reinstalling ICUE tends to cause that and cause irreversible damage as some users here experienced.

 

Sometimes its a hit or miss. Some users get no issues and some have to go thru multiple RMAs before they can use the headset. Theres been a lot more issues that have been fixed via firmware updates espically when the headphones were first released, it was so bad, that some people bricked their headset just by switching device output in Windows and had to RMA it. Some issues like the volume scroll wheel has been a major complaint and Corsair knows about it as a mod on this forum has addressed the issue so I would assume they will fix it in the next revision since it's a hardware issue and not a software issue.

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For myself I doubt I got an old pair as they were already the latest firmware according to icue.

 

Today I had a meeting, still wired connection, and they worked for all of three minutes before crapping out. Ended up having to phone in to the meeting.

 

Back to looking for a new headset. Good luck with yours Nambread =)

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For myself I doubt I got an old pair as they were already the latest firmware according to icue.

 

Today I had a meeting, still wired connection, and they worked for all of three minutes before crapping out. Ended up having to phone in to the meeting.

 

Back to looking for a new headset. Good luck with yours Nambread =)

What do you mean by crapping out? And having latest firmware, doesn't necessarily mean you have the latest revision.

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Do you mean it's so long ago they upgraded the firmware that a new hardware revision came out? Because I doubt they would start opening packages at the stores and upgrading the firmware and the applying original sealing of the packages.

 

Crapping out in this instance = all audio went went out. Not even pulling out the cable and inserting it again worked. As I said, I was in a meeting so I didn't have a lot of time to get audio working.

 

And that's exactly it, my time is worth more to me than trying to get this working.

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Well, I just have this SE version 3 days ago, and firstly I plugged the audio dongle in the rear usb's, and the audio was ok but on DISCORD I had interference, like a radio as someone mentioned above. then I plugged the dongle on the frontal USB port, and no problem so far, even I get far from PC. I charged the headphones, and then I use them wireless. No problems so far from now on.
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Do you mean it's so long ago they upgraded the firmware that a new hardware revision came out? Because I doubt they would start opening packages at the stores and upgrading the firmware and the applying original sealing of the packages.

 

Crapping out in this instance = all audio went went out. Not even pulling out the cable and inserting it again worked. As I said, I was in a meeting so I didn't have a lot of time to get audio working.

 

And that's exactly it, my time is worth more to me than trying to get this working.

 

This is a more of a manufactoring matter. When a new firmware comes out, it's very simple for Corsair to implement it and can start producing headphones with the new firmware as fast as next day. When it comes to new revisions, it can take up to a month or even two months for a manufactor, in this case Corsair, to start producing the new revision headphones, this means that all headphones between that time that has been produced, will have new firmwares, even the latest if thats the case but still have the old revision build. Obviously if the new revision fixes a major flaw such as headphones bricking and so on, the manufactor will try to either stop producing or reduce that time lenght down to a week. This is why sometimes people will still have issues when running latest firmware and it will only be fixed when they RMA it because they might get a new revision.

 

When it comes to your audio blackouts, I would contact Corsair and try to get them to send you a replacement Slipstream dongle. A lot of users have reported audio dropouts and they had Corsair send them a new dongle and their issues were fixed.

 

Well, I just have this SE version 3 days ago, and firstly I plugged the audio dongle in the rear usb's, and the audio was ok but on DISCORD I had interference, like a radio as someone mentioned above. then I plugged the dongle on the frontal USB port, and no problem so far, even I get far from PC. I charged the headphones, and then I use them wireless. No problems so far from now on.

 

Glad my infomation/warning regarding having the dongle plugged in the back of your PC could resolve your interference issue. Corsair Slipstream dongles have no protection regarding radio interference inside the dongles and since graphic cards and motherboards cause a lot of EM noise, it can cause issues. Not a lot of people know how wireless things work so I can see how people can complain about drop outs and interferences. You should always plug in wireless dongles either infront of your PC or as I recommend, a USB hub extension to be extra safe as you never know if a dongle has built-in EM protection or not.

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4. The volume wheel on the right cup will not scroll the volume level smoothly. I've seen at least one other user having the same issue. You scroll the volume level down and then it will jump back up a few levels.

 

Yeah my volume control wheel just started acting sporadically, rendering it useless. Will probably try and search for a replacement part, maybe fix it my self one day, and even if I break it that's probably for the best. :biggrin:

 

All of the other Corsair products that I've bought before work flawlessly to this day, but this is my first major disappointment. After this kind of experience it's hard to justify recommending anything now to any of my friends or family any Corsair product now. :dunno:

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Yeah my volume control wheel just started acting sporadically, rendering it useless. Will probably try and search for a replacement part, maybe fix it my self one day, and even if I break it that's probably for the best. :biggrin:

 

All of the other Corsair products that I've bought before work flawlessly to this day, but this is my first major disappointment. After this kind of experience it's hard to justify recommending anything now to any of my friends or family any Corsair product now. :dunno:

 

I would highly recommend not to do that. First of all, to find a specific part like that is impossible unless you buy a broken headset and use it as a part donor. Plus, it will void your warranty. You should just RMA it and get a replacement headset. Not only you will keep your warranty, but the problem will be fixed.

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This is a more of a manufactoring matter. When it comes to your audio blackouts, I would contact Corsair and try to get them to send you a replacement Slipstream dongle. A lot of users have reported audio dropouts and they had Corsair send them a new dongle and their issues were fixed.

 

As I said, this was with the wired connection, not wireless. Anyways, I have returned them and got my money back already so am already looking for other headphones ^^

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Just as a follow-up, spoke with a helpful CS rep who suggested turning off USB selective suspend, moving the dongle to different ports to eliminate usb controller constraints, and separating the dongle from other sources of EM interference.

 

As suspected, none of those work so I will be RMAing this week once I've found a replacement for work.

 

Given other people's issues, I don't expect the replacement to be any better, but we will see. Will keep this thread posted.

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  • Corsair Employees
Yeah my volume control wheel just started acting sporadically, rendering it useless. Will probably try and search for a replacement part, maybe fix it my self one day, and even if I break it that's probably for the best. :biggrin:

 

We can actually have the headset replaced for you if you're having a hardware failure like that. I would also recommend trying the headset on a different PC/Laptop to see if the wheel still has the same issue. Also, which version of iCUE are you using?

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  • 3 weeks later...

Posting an update here:

Paid out of my own pocket to RMA my headset, the refurbished unit exhibits exactly the same issues.

 

There is noise on the line, the volume wheel makes the volume bar jump around, and after the headset went to sleep, turning it on again resulted in total audio corruption that needed a disconnect/reconnect of the dongle to fix.

 

At this point it just seems to be a flaw in the design. Very disappointed as this was not a cheap headset. I will be avoiding wireless corsair products in future.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Hi Nick,

 

Unfortunately I've already returned the product for a refund and gone with a different brand, so can't properly answer your questions but will give them a go for future reference:

 

"Have you tried connecting the headset to a different PC/Laptop?"

 

This is my only computer in the house, It is a Ryzen 3-based machine with an X570 mobo. The only other is a work laptop for which I do not have admin rights, so cannot install iCue. I did try several ports/hubs and tested proximity to other wireless dongles. Even with other dongles unplugged I got the same problems.

 

"What is the firmware version for the headset and dongle since you got your replacement? Also iCUE version?"

 

I definitely checked that headset/dongle firmware and iCUE were fully up to date at all troubleshooting steps, this includes that last message on 9/28. Similarly, I believe windows was also up to date.

 

A pity that we couldn't get to the bottom of it, but there seem to be plenty others with the same issues:

 

https://forum.corsair.com/forums/showthread.php?t=192884

https://forum.corsair.com/v3/showthread.php?t=190610

 

Some report the slipstream beta fixed their issue, other messing with audio channel settings, others the spatial sound. Interestingly one person reported they had to fiddle with power settings on their x570 auros elite mobo (same as mine). I'd already tried the "selective USB suspend" setting though to no avail. Hope some of this helps.

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