Long Term Use: Durability, Reliability, and Comfort
In my experience, headsets are long term purchases that are expected to last a long time (even through multiple computer overhauls). For example, I have now used my personal headset for over a year, and I bought them after reading several reviews. I think this is typical of sound systems whether they be speakers or headphones — they are usually the last thing to be upgraded or replaced. Because any headset that gamers buy is likely to be very infrequently updated and will (hopefully) be a purchase they will live with and use for years, I wanted to take the time to test them out in real world situations. This brief section is a follow up on my initial impressions and should help give you a better idea of how the Corsair cans fare in a typical gamer’s life (barring any dog interference or unforeseen accidents of course). It covers the build quality, comfort, and reliability after weeks of testing. I did not go out of my way to intentionally break them — no tossing them off the balcony or anything like that — but I did use them as intended just as I do with my personal cans.
The Vengeance 1500 was very comfortable despite being heavier than my usual cans. The headband padding and ear cup padding was more than enough for long gaming sessions or watching movies. If there is one thing I did not like comfort-wise, is that the headphones do press against my head much more than I’m used to. It’s not painful or even out of the ordinary for closed back, around the ear headsets but it definitely took time to get used to.
Durability and Reliability
My initial impressions of the Vengeance 1500 were that it was built very well, though I did have some concerns about the band after a bit of breaking in. At least for my head, the cans need to be pulled apart quite a bit to put them on and take them off comfortably. I worried that after a few weeks they would start to feel lose. Fortunately, that ended up not being the case at all, and if anything they are still a bit too tight, which isn’t really a bad thing. Despite the stress of normal use, the brushed aluminum pieces are still flush with the plastic band as well. The sides of the band and the plastic connecting pieces between the side band and the padded headband seem to have received the most punishment as they show the most wear and tear with small but visible scuff marks. While not immediately noticeable (it takes some searching) there is one small scratch on the brushed aluminum and the USB connector is no longer perfectly rectangular (but still as shiny as ever). The braided cable also held up really well with no fraying or pinching, especially around the connectors. The cable did rather surprise me in that it has not frayed or been damaged at all. Overall, I believe they will easily work well into the future, and I can see no signs of poor build quality.
Despite worries about the headset being USB based and my constant battle against drivers not cooperating, the Vengeance 1500 worked well throughout testing. The headset worked every time it was plugged in. With that said, I did encounter a few crashes of the Corsair control panel but the sound was not interrupted (and I just had to restart the software to get at any settings changes).
For lack of a better section to note this, one annoyance with the physical hardware is that the ear cup padding is somewhat of a dust magnet. It is further very difficult to keep clean. Corsair recommends wiping it down with a damp cloth should it get messy, but even that plus a good vacuuming was not enough to clean all the dust off. It did manage to get the corgi puppy hairs off though (how my puppy manages to shed so much is another story!). The leather covering on the Vengeance 1300 is much easier to keep clean, but I guess that’s part of the tradeoff that gamers will have to make in deciding between the two headsets. Update: it's a bit pricey, but you can buy leather/microfiber replacement pads for either the 1300 or 1500 (see the last page of the review for more details).
All in all, the Vengeance 1500 held up very well and I really can’t see anyone hurting them during normal use. Should gamers buy them, it should do its job and hold together well into the future.
This analog headset is somewhere between my SteelSeries and the Vengeance 1500 as far as weight, but is still pretty comfortable. Like its digital sibling, Corsair built them with lots of headband and ear cup padding. They aren’t as tight fitting as the Vengeance 1500 either. There is a lot to like about this, but it does have a few faults. For one, the headset uses a leather material for the ear cups and over long gaming sessions I would start to sweat. They would get uncomfortable fast as a result. In that respect, I much prefer the microfiber covering that the 1500 series uses despite the slightly worse sound isolation. Also, I noticed that if I did not position it right on my head, it tended to slip around. When it was right across my crown it was a lot more secure – just something to note.
Durability and Reliability
It held up very well over the few weeks I used it. There was no obvious wear and tear besides the shiny bits of plastic connecting the headband and plastic. The warranty sticker on the back of the control pod was the first thing to wear out and is fairly difficult to read now (heh). There are a few minor scratches on the shiny ring of the ear cups but your really have to look for them to even see them. Also, the cable and connectors are still in perfect condition with no fraying and they do not feel loose.
Although it is constructed of plastic, the build quality does not feel or look cheap. The plastic feels fairly strong and should hold up during normal usage for a long time.
I try to be careful with my headphones but I’m honestly not one to fuss over them. I merely attempt to ensure that they are kept as far from water and my corgi puppy as possible. My personal headphones are still in fairly good condition despite a bit of wear and tear, especially on the edges of the ear cups from setting them down or putting the in my bag. I’ve now owned those cans for more than a year. The Corsair headsets were put through the same paces of everyday use, and in the end they held up very well.
No major problems here as far as durability, they do not feel cheap and are both comfortable to wear for all but long gaming sessions (again, the leather material on the 1300). Sound isolation was good on both headsets, with the Vengeance 1300 being the best followed by the 1500 (and below that, my SteelSeries for those curious).
The next page is the final page of the review where I deliver my final verdict on whether the Corsair cans are worth buying.