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Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE vs Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless (2021): What’s the Difference?

The Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE and Virtuoso RGB Wireless are two wireless gaming headsets that can get the job done in more ways than one. For starters, they can deliver decent audio whether you’re playing a game or listening to music. They also have high-quality microphones so your voice will come through with clarity.

Across the board, they’re similar. According to Corsair, the differences are in the microphone, RGB lighting, and ear cup plate design. The most obvious one is that only the Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE comes with a storage pouch. We made this comparison to clear up the more subtle distinctions between the two. That way, you can decide which one will suit you better.

Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE vs Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless Comparison Chart

ModelCorsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SECorsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless
Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE Gaming HeadsetCorsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless Gaming Headset
PriceCheck Price

at Amazon

Check Price

at Amazon

Frequency Response20 Hz – 40 kHz20 Hz – 40 kHz
Drivers50 mm Neodymium50 mm Neodymium
7.1 Surround SoundYesYes
Microphone9.5 mm, Detachable, Omnidirectional Broadcast-Grade4 mm, Detachable, Omnidirectional Broadcast-Grade
ConnectionLossless 2.4 GHz, USB Type-A Wireless Receiver, 3.5 mm Analog, USB Type-CLossless 2.4 GHz, USB Type-A Wireless Receiver, 3.5 mm Analog, USB Type-C
Battery LifeUp to 20 HoursUp to 20 Hours
Wireless Range60 ft.60 ft.
SoftwareCorsair iCUECorsair iCUE
RGB LightingYesYes
Weight0.8 lbs0.8 lbs
CompatibilityPC, Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, MobilePC, Mac, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, Mobile
Year of Release20192019
ColorsGunmetalWhite, Carbon

Design and Comfort

Corsair went with an understated look for the Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE and Virtuoso RGB Wireless.

Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE vs Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless Design and Comfort
The Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE (in photo) has aluminum cup plates with micro-perforations for its RGB lighting.

From the look of things, Corsair eschewed the stereotypical gamer look and opted for a sleeker and polished one. In other words, the Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE and Virtuoso RGB Wireless are more stylish than most among their brood. The detachable microphone is also a nice touch. You can wear the headsets outside without getting some odd looks because of that. One inherent downside to detachable microphones is you run the risk of losing it, which is just something to keep in mind.

When it comes to comfort, both headsets can provide a snug and secure fit. That’s thanks to its memory foam cushions and soft-padded headbands. Neither one gets too hot or has too much clamping force as well. At that, it’ll take a long time before you feel any discomfort.

As their name suggests, the Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE and Virtuoso RGB Wireless feature RGB illumination that light up the logos on their ear cups. It’s difficult to notice what the difference between the two here is, but it’s on the sides. For the Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE’s ear plates, Corsair used aluminum with micro-perforations for its RGB lighting. They’re also practically invisible when the lights are off. In short, it’s pretty snazzy.

Audio Quality

Both headsets are better suited for gaming than listening to music.

Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE vs Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless Audio Quality
The Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE (left) uses a 9.5 mm microphone, while the Virtuoso RGB Wireless (right) uses a 4 mm one.

The two headsets have 50 mm neodymium drivers, a frequency response range of 20 Hz to 40 kHz, and 7.1 surround sound. That means they can pick up faint details fairly well, produce clear highs, and provide accurate positional audio. This combination can give you a competitive advantage in gaming. After all, you can hear just about anything you need on them, including your opponents’ footsteps and the like.

Overall sound quality leans toward treble and vocals. You might find they need a little more oomph in the bass department. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In a lot of instances, games have treble-heavy soundtracks and plenty of dialogue, especially in RPG titles.

When it comes to listening to music, the Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE and Virtuoso RGB Wireless perform quite well. As expected, treble and vocals are more emphasized, drowning out the underpowered bass at times. All in all, the whole experience is still decent enough.

The biggest difference between the two here is their microphones. Corsair fitted the Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE with a 9.5 mm microphone and used a 4 mm one for the Virtuoso RGB Wireless. During gaming sessions, your teammates probably wouldn’t even notice the difference. However, the same doesn’t apply for streaming. Your viewers will likely have a better time when you use the Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE’s microphone. It just performs better in terms of clarity and low-end responses.

Features

The headsets aren’t packed with features, but they can get the job done and then some.

Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE vs Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless Features
The Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE (left) and Virtuoso RGB Wireless (right) feature a smart sleep and wake function.

Using their built-in accelerometer, the Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE and Virtuoso RGB Wireless can power up or shut down by themselves. In other words, they turn off when you put them down and turn on when you put them on again.

The two are also compatible with Corsair’s iCUE software. You can customize equalizer settings, sidetone, and 7.1 surround sound, among other things. Beyond the audio options, you can tweak things like RGB lighting too.

Battery and Connectivity

The Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE and Virtuoso RGB Wireless offer somewhat flexible connectivity options.

Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE vs Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless Battery and Connectivity
Both the Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE (left) and Virtuoso RGB Wireless (right) last up to 20 hours.

It goes without saying that battery life is important for wireless headsets. The Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE and Virtuoso RGB Wireless can go up to 20 hours on a single charge. That’s pretty standard. You can also keep on using them even if they don’t have any juice left in USB mode.

While both headsets do offer flexibility when it comes to connections, they don’t have Bluetooth support. They’re RF headsets, meaning they use transmitter dongles. The plug is USB Type-A at that, so you can’t use it on your smartphone or tablet. For mobile devices, you’ll have to use their 3.5 mm audio jack. They do come with a USB Type-C cable too, which is also used to charge them. The takeaway here is they’re really made for the PC and PlayStation 4.

Verdict

The Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE doesn’t offer anything that’s special enough.

It’s not easy to choose between the two because of how similar they are. However, our recommendation will have to be the Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless, aka the “non-special” one. Sure, the Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE comes with a storage pouch, fancy micro-perforated RGB lighting, and a bigger 9.5 mm microphone. Still, they don’t really justify the price difference. Not to mention that these headsets aren’t exactly affordable to begin with.

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Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.