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Vengeance® 1500 Dolby 7.1 USB Gaming Headset The Vengeance 1300 Analog Gaming Headset and the Vengeance 1500 Dolby 7.1 USB Gaming Headset offer a strong set of features for immersive gaming: carefully tuned acoustics, high-quality audio drivers, circumaural earpads for excellent noise isolation, and materials, weight and “feel” engineered for comfort during long gaming sessions. The Vengeance 1300 has analog stereo connectors, and the Vengeance 1500 has a USB connection. So, which one should you choose? Vengeance® 1300 Analog Gaming Headset The short answer: what's your PC's sound situation? The quick answer I like to give for the 1300/1500 question goes something like this: does your PC have a nice sound card with built-in surround sound processing, like Dolby Headphone? If so, look at the 1300. If you have entry-level or onboard audio, or if you're using a typical laptop PC, you may be better off with the 1500. At the risk of oversimplifying it — okay, let's face it, I'm seriously oversimplifying it — a PC's audio circuitry is essentially a D-to-A converter, processing digital audio streams and converting them into the voltages that go to your speakers, headphones, or headset. Whether it's a basic audio chipset built into the motherboard, or a high-end audio card from Asus or Creative Labs, it provides the same basic functionality. When you invest more into your audio hardware, you get multi-channel support, more connectors, lower distortion and higher dynamic range, and support for more audio codecs and processing algorithms. The Vengeance 1500, like any PC USB headset, has a “sound card” and surround sound processing built in. Specifically, there's circuitry in the USB connector enclosure that does the same stream processing and D-to-A conversion that PC sound circuitry performs. When you connect the Vengeance 1500, or any USB headset, to your PC, the audio isn't processed by your PC's sound card when you're listening to your headset. With Dolby Headphone surround processing and a dynamic range of 95dB, the sound quality of the Vengeance 1500's built-in sound card is very good. It provides better results than the integrated audio circuitry found in office-grade laptop and many desktop PCs. And by “better results,” I mean that with a high-quality audio source, you'll easily be able to tell the difference between a Vengeance 1500 attached to the USB port (and thus bypassing the PC's sound circuitry) and a Vengeance 1300 connected to the PC's headphone output. Surround sound audio: for here, or to go? Immersive, hyper-realistic surround audio on stereo headsets — the kind that gives you a precise feeling for your enemy's exact location and delivers that magical ”in the game” feel that can make gaming so exciting — requires two things. First, it requires advanced signal processing algorithms that are the result of sound science and extensive real-world testing. More about that in a moment. The other is, naturally, a good headset. This might sound obvious, but it's practical advice: in the course of evaluating gaming headsets — and we've listened to a lot of them — we've encountered far too many which added enough distortion to defeat some or even most of the positional audio. This distortion may be deliberate: for instance, by introducing a boomy, bass-heavy sound to the mix for dramatic effect, or to allow the headset to also sound good with today's pop music, which is mixed for boomy, bass-heavy audio gear. Or, it might be due to lower-quality hardware or small headphone drivers. Or it might be due to a lack of attention to acoustical tuning: the angles and geometries and materials that can make all the difference. Either way, we've listened to far too many gaming headsets where the manufacturer used a high-quality surround sound algorithm, but put it into hardware that distorted the midband to the point that the positional references crucial to spatial audio are masked or lost altogether. Combine that with all the work that the game's audio designer put into making the audio an important competitive element, and it's a lot of effort that's gone to waste. Audio is one of those technologies where the overall quality is no better than the weakest point in the chain, and all too often, that weak point is the headset. Getting the acoustics right is something that we've paid a lot of attention to. When we launched our first headsets, the HS1 and HS1A, I met plenty of people who had written off positional audio as a gimmick… until they tried our headsets. It wasn't the science of positional audio that was failing them; they had simply never heard it through the right headset. The USB Vengeance 1500 has advanced positional audio algorithms built-in, in the form of Dolby Headphone. When you attach it to your PC and configure it accordingly, your PC “thinks” it's a 7.1-channel audio device, and sends a multi-channel audio signal through the USB port. Dolby Headphone built in to the 1500 applies advanced audio processing — including HRTF, duplex, and crosstalk cancellation algorithms — to recreate that multi-channel audio using just one driver per channel. High-quality sound cards also offer multi-channel audio through stereo headsets. Some, like Asus Xonar models, license the same Dolby Headphone technology that Corsair uses. Sound Blaster audio cards offered by Creative, for instance, offer either THX TruStudio PRO or X-Fi CMSS-3D. Creative also licenses THX TruStudio PRO for use on high-end motherboards, including some Gigabyte Assassin models. When you connect headphones or a headset to a sound card or motherboard with one of these technologies, the surround sound processing will be applied to the stereo signal that goes to the headphone jack. But just how good it sounds is up to the headset. Attach an analog Vengeance 1300 to a high-quality sound card that has one of these algorithms, and it will do a great job of reproducing surround sound. So, which one is right for you — the Vengeance 1300 or Vengeance 1500? If the audio circuitry built into your computer is the basic sort that doesn't offer Dolby Headphone, THX TruStudio PRO, X-Fi CMSS-3D or another surround sound technology, you definitely want the Vengeance 1500 USB gaming headset. You'll get to bypass your PC's audio circuitry altogether, and enjoy Dolby Headphone multi-channel audio that your PC simply isn't capable of delivering. If your PC has higher-quality motherboard-based audio or a sound card that offers one of these technologies, consider the Vengeance 1300 gaming headset. You've made an investment in your PC's high-quality audio, and a balanced, high-quality gaming headset like the Vengeance 1300 will let you get the most out of it. If you move from PC to PC, or you simply want the convenience of a single connection, lean toward the Vengeance 1500 — or, better yet, get both!
Last Wednesday we showed our new Vengeance Gaming lineup to the North American press in San Francisco. The next day we did the same thing in the UK with the European press. The feedback and coverage we got on our new Vengeance gaming mice and keyboards, as well as our new Vengeance gaming headsets was so incredible we decided to share the highlights with you in this special coverage round-up: AnandTech — Corsair Enters the Gaming Keyboard & Mouse Market with Vengeance, "I had some brief hands on time with all of the newly announced Vengeance peripherals, they all felt good but it'll take much longer than a short play session to really evaluate these things. I'm mostly curious to see how well these things do in the hands of hardcore gamers. Does Corsair have what it takes to pull customers away from the likes of Logitech, Microsoft and Razer?" /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_corsair-special-coverage-round-up-vengeance-gaming-Content-2.pngTweakTown — Corsair Pulls Off a One Shot, Double Kill , "There are a couple of meanings for the tag line of this news editorial. You might think since Corsair is launching both a gaming headphone and gaming keyboard / mouse line I'm talking about that. I'm not. Corsair has taken aim at both Logitech and Razor and in one quick shot taken both their heads off. The ultimate one shot double kill." /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_corsair-special-coverage-round-up-vengeance-gaming-Content-3.pngHexus — Corsair branches out, again, "Corsair has today announced its arrival in the world of PC input devices by unveiling a range of Vengeance-branded keyboards and mice. It is the latest in a long line of new product introductions for an American manufacturer who, while best known for its memory products and power supplies, has in recent years rapidly expanded its produce range to include a variety of high-performance products such as solid-state drives, computer chassis, CPU coolers and speakers." blog_corsair-special-coverage-round-up-vengeance-gaming-Content-4.png.ashxBright Side of News — Corsair Announces Full Line of Vengeance Gaming Peripherals, "Corsair has always been rooted in performance and their approach towards gaming has come purely as a result of the fact that most gamers demand the best performance. In the last year or two, Corsair has brought on people like Ruben Mookerjee to guide Corsair’s consumer component business in the right direction. Ruben was responsible for the worldwide product development of Logitech’s gaming peripherals division which was responsible for the well received G-series of keyboards, mice and headsets. These products were considered to be some of the best gaming products that the world had ever seen and up until now." /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_corsair-special-coverage-round-up-vengeance-gaming-Content-5.gifPC Gamer — Corsair gets into keyboards and mice, "The K90 MMO keyboard and K90 MMO mouse, along with the FPS friendly K60 and M60 keyboard and mouse have been developed under the auspices of Ruben Mookerjee, who in a previous incarnatiuon oversaw the launch of Logitech’s G-series of gear. Mookerjee takes his new role at Corsair seriously. For some people, he says, getting the right peripherals “is a matter of life or death. At Corsair, we say it’s more important than that." bit-tech — Corsair announces Vengeance gaming peripherals, "The most eye-catching products in the range are the pair of mechanical K90 and K60 keyboards. Both use Cherry red switches, which Corsair claims offer advantages over the more traditional Cherry black switches thanks to their reduced actuation force, which makes double tapping easier." Tom's Hardware — Corsair Launches New Line of PC Gaming Peripherals, "Breaking away from its typical hardware lineup, Corsair is dipping into the peripheral business with the upcoming release of two Vengeance gaming keyboard ("K") and laser mouse ("M") groups. These address two types of gamers: the FPS player (Vengeance K60 and M60) and the RTS player (Vengeance K90 and M90). All four are expected to hit store shelves sometime in October 2011, ranging from $69 to $129." /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_corsair-special-coverage-round-up-vengeance-gaming-Content-8.pngGizmodo — Corsair’s Vengeance K60 FPS Keyboard Is a Headshot-Making Monster, "Let's rush past the part where we acknowledge that grabbing a keyboard with easily-replaceable WASD and 1-6 keys and an ergonomic wrist rest is probably overkill and get right to the part where Corsair's K60 keyboard looks to be a pretty wonderful brand of nerdy." /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_corsair-special-coverage-round-up-vengeance-gaming-Content-9.jpgEverything USB — Corsair Vengeance K60 "Cherry MX Red" Keyboard for FPS Fans, "While it seems that a new gaming keyboard is released every day, very few actually peak our interest like the all new Corsair Vengeance K60 has. This is the for the simple fact that unlike many so called gaming keyboards which rely on mushroom dome keys (we are looking right at you Logitech), the Vengeance K60 takes a different approach and uses high quality Cherry MX mechanical switches. What this means is not only is your keyboard going to be able to take real pounding it will be able to take that level of abuse for years and years." /corsairmedia/sys_master/productcontent/blog_corsair-special-coverage-round-up-vengeance-gaming-Content-10.pngEngadet — Corsair Vengeance gaming keyboards, mice, and headsets hands-on (video), "Hold on to your seats gaming enthusiasts, Corsair just unleashed an onslaught of Vengeance series peripherals aimed at helping you dominate that Call of Duty marathon... and we got our hands on all of 'em. There's a lot to cover, so we'll get right to it."