Author: Jack Wager
Corsair has done well organizing all of the features into one comprehensive display. On the left you’ll notice a few sliders for volume, mic, mic loopback, and balance. Underneath that there’s a 10 band equalizer. Corsair has included five presets, Music + Bass, Music Reference, Movies Mod-X (TM), F.P.S. Gaming, and M.M.O. Gaming.
The right side features all of the virtual multi-channel processing. There’s three modes, Bypass, Dolby Headphone (with or without Pro Logic IIx), and 7.1 Virtual Speaker Shifter.
Bypass is exactly what it says, it bypasses any processing or filters to give you pure two channel audio.
Dolby Headphone will take any audio source (two channel, 5.1, or 7.1), and create a virtual sound field to emulate surround sound. It’s actually a bit surprising how well Dolby Headphone works when paired with a 5.1 source. It creates a great illusion of space, there were many times where I felt like I was in a large room. Although dialog in games and movies can be a bit weak. It’d be nice if you could reposition the speakers while Dolby Headphone is enabled. Also if you want to use Pro Logic IIx, Dolby Headphone is the only option that will allow you to enable it. But enabling Pro Logic IIx can be a bit of a chore. You have to go to the control panel, and configure the headset to be a 5.1 setup (or less, quadraphonic). Once you’ve done that, the Pro Logic IIx logo will light up. Doing this extra step isn’t too bad, but anytime you change the mode, it resets the speaker configuration. So if you’ll have to re-enable Pro Logic IIx each time by going to the control panel.
7.1 Virtual Speaker Shifter is similar to Dolby Headphone but if you want it to emulate surround sound, then your source must have at least X channels to emulate. For instance, if you’re listening to music with 7.1 Virtual Speaker Shifter enabled, only the L and R channels are in use. It won’t create a quadraphonic or 5.1 channel effect like Dolby Headphone. Furthermore, when 7.1 is enabled, you lose the advanced processing that Dolby Headphone does. This creates a much less realistic surround effect, but what the surround effect that 7.1 does provide is not bad. In fact, I preferred 7.1 Virtual Speaker Shifter more than Dolby Headphone since I could position the speakers to get clearer dialog. One frustrating task is placing the speakers in the appropriate spot. Sometimes you’d swear two speakers are evenly spaced, but the diagram on the right reports they are different levels (-11dB vs -10dB). It took me quite a while to get the placement properly organized. But one placement may not work for every piece of media. So it’d be nice if you could save a ‘movie’ and ‘game’ configuration, to save you the time of trying to re-position everything perfectly. In addition to profiles, it’d be great if Corsair could implement the ability to manually enter values for distance and dB.