A Corsair Void Pro has now landed on my workbench.
We recently had a friend bring to me a Corsair Void Pro headset. That during their travels through airports the headset sustained some damage that rendered it inoperable. Although this is a simple repair. It’s still informative to those who don’t want to see it on YouTube dealing with “shakey-cam” footage on the repair process of these headsets. On top of it since we’ve already gone off about other corsair products such as the M65 and their Scimitar. Why not start in on their headset line?
Open up and put it in! Lets begin!
There’s actually two problems with these headphones but we’re going to just focus on the overall functionality of the headset. The paint-job illustrated in the picture above is what happens when you decide to use a high powered solvent to clean your headphones with, resulting in said solvent eating away paint job a little. The real problem with these headphones is the fact that the cord is ripped away from its initial connector. Possibly due to random angry gamer throwing their wireless controller across the room. Who knows and who cares it’s broken right? Lets get to fixing this.
Tools of the trade.
For the repair you may need the follow equipment:
- PH0 screwdriver for removing the plastic tapping screws.
- Rotary tool with a router/drill bit for reshaping the plastic and getting a female audio connector installed..
- Soldering Iron at around 30-40watts with solder. Pointed tip preferred.
- Multi-Meter for performing continuity testing.
- Wire strippers.
- Some wire.
- 4-pin female audio jack connectors.
- 4-pin audio cable.
- Small shrink tubing.
- Electrical tape to insulate our wires after we are done soldering.
The first thing that we’re going to do is remove the foam pads which cover the speaker assembly. You can use your fingers to slowly pull up on the foam to remove however be careful. After they are removed now would be a good time to hit them with soap and water to get them nice and clean. Especially if you receive a pair used like these!
If you attempt to force remove the headset by taking it off or by stretching the leather too far to wrap around the plastics on the inside. You’ll quickly find out the low-quality leather used by Corsair tears very easily. Our advice when repairing your headset is after you fix them wear them without the foam pads for a little while before committing. This little step will save big on the wear and tear from popping them off.
Next we will be taking a PH0 bit Phillips screwdriver and remove the array of screws holding the speaker as well as the outer housing in the arrow tabs below. These are standard plastic tapping screws similar to what is used on the PS3 controllers.
The moment the speaker casing it released be careful to not use any force to pull it off as doing so will wreck the connection to your speaker wire due to the asinine way Corsair decided to perform cable management. We just gently removed the tape to reveal what it is that we are playing with inside.
Once again, similar to my M65 mouse repair. I have to give Kudos to corsair for properly marking what each of the pads do on the board making it very easy for my to wire it all up. Although we are a little confused as to why there’s a MIC_GND and AGND plane when even after removing these wires they are both connected on a continuity test.. Perhaps this was something Corsair was thinking down the road on isolating the microphone portion from the audio? It would make sense, But why not insulate it further if they cares so much about electrical radiation? I’m left with more questions then answers on this one.
Anyhow, we’re going to remove the cabling by removing the two screws. Also, we will be de-soldering all of the pads to eject the old cabling. We should point out the overall size of the cables inside and how insanely thin the wiring is. If this was a regular gauge wire like what you would use in a mouse then perhaps it wouldn’t have been destroyed in the first place.
It was a bit of a pain in removing the old wiring harness as you had to twist the boot 180 degrees and then release it. But after a little bit of cutting of wires and some of the boot itself it finally released.
Now, we could do a re-cabling job like we did with our Wico C=64 joysticks by using a heavier gauge wire and boot replacement. But fitting the boot would be a bit of a pain in the ass in a setup like this. But with how much room there is in the cavity of the Corsair Void Pro why should I repeat the mistakes of the engineers at Corsair?
If fact, there was something already designed by Corsair to which they walked away from which is simply adding a jack at the bottom of the headset like they did with the Corsair void standard edition. For this mod we will be using a 4-position female headphone connector (image 1). The reason why a 4 pin version is to accommodate the microphone part of the jack and it also makes it easy to just purchase a male to male cable to hook into game controllers, cell-phones, and whatever else you want at that level. Also, if it rips again no need to open it! just purchase another straight-through cable for a few bucks!
As far as cost is concerned you can purchase from a chinese vendor for $2-$3 (USD) although the odds of them actually shipping it is low. We went through an American vendor for about $7(USD) . Alternatively for those seeking a reputable dealer there’s always Digi-Key.
Regardless of where you purchase your female stereo connectors from always check the pins you are about to solder with a multi-meter that has continuity function! Too many times have we purchased these types of connectors and the white papers are nowhere near to where the pin design actually is!
We will prepare our female connector by soldering a few wires onto it. Yellow for channel left. Red for channel right. Black for ground. Finally, orange for microphone. We will use some shrink tubing here to prevent the connectors from touching each other and from accidentally pressing into the PCB inside of the Corsair Void.
We need to make space for our jack. So using a rotary tool with a drill bit we can easily cut away all of the plastics that were surrounding the hole of the jack. Also, due to the way the plastics are molded at the bottom the connector will not sit flush inside. Our female connector will actually stick up and smash into the speaker. So we also need to cut away some of the circuit board in order for the connector to be pushed back into the housing.
We did an initial fit-test to see if everything would go together nicely to which it does. The speakers can be clamped down and screwed into position. and despite using some thick wires they can be easily tucked underneath the circuit board so they do not touch the speaker housing to affect the sound coming out of them.At this point we plugged the headset into the cel-phone just to make sure everything is working such as speakers and microphone. Once we were satisfied we bolted down the female connector and then threw in some hot-glue into the corners to act as reinforcement.
Once again we should note that the connector will not sit flush against the plastics because of the curvature. However the washer still bites down into the plastics and does not move when we insert and remove our jack.
To make sure that everything on this side of the headset sits perfectly. We also cut away some of the plastics where the female connector allowing us to close it without too much worry if we’re squeezing the plastics too hard.
Also at this level you can also check the wires around your speaker, make sure they aren’t falling off. Or, if you are experiencing audio crackling as you move your headset around. A cold/loose connector on your speaker is what usually causes it on these headphones.
With the jack repaired the only thing that is left really is to go completely nuts with masking tape and spray-paint the damaged section of the corsair headset. However, we will save that for another project. From a functional standpoint our headset is fully operational.
Some other notes to consider.
For those who may not have the Corsair USB dongle or if you are like me and think that the audio chip on that dongle is utter crap. You may be tempted to get 4-pin 3.5mm to 3-pin 3.5mm converter from china. The one that is pictured on the left is the one that we purchased from china for about two dollars. It’s not even wired correctly!!!! Pin1 and Pin2 for left and right speakers are reversed. Also, the microphone crackles and disconnects in the slightest of moves because the microphone jack is actually a female 2-pin jack! Not a 3-pin! So now we have Chinese manufacturers unable to tell the difference between right and left and also giving us terrible connectivity. great!
DIY to be sure.
As we can no longer trust the manufacturing processes overseas combined with the fact that all of the Radio-Shacks of the world are gone leaving you with Amazon which delivers the same garbage. We made our own Splitter. using the same 4-pin female connector we used for the headset. And using 3-pin female connectors so we could simply patch it into our Audigy 5 rx sound card.
Pin-0uts of the audio connectors.
When building your headphone jacks and/or making your own cables it is essential to have a multi-meter set for continuity testing to ensure that you are indeed connecting to the right ports. Even if the whitepapers tell you what each pin is and it’s clearly marked on the connectors do not trust it! Many of these Garbage manufacturers can’t even tell the difference from left to right speaker much less actually trusting them with numbers.
Plug in one of your patch cables into your female connector and go through each of the solderable leads to ensure everything is going to the right pins before plugging into your computer. This step alone will save you a lot of time, money, and headaches.
The diagram above only represents the most common audio formats of the 3 and 4 pin connector and does not include the following:
- Nokia, and Lenovo mobile connectors – ground and mic are reversed on the 4-pin adapter.
- Raspberry Pi, CHIP, Zune, AppleTV – pin 4 is actually composite video and not microphone.
- Certain camera microphones allow for stereo recording such as the Olympus ME51S pocket condenser mic. In which case left and right are no longer fused but are operating as independent channels.
Although the repair was successful. This is the point where I’m going to illustrate a few things about what Corsair has done here.
Corsair on all of their Void series really goes out of their way to illustrate to us that they are a “Surround Sound” headset. The picture above is probably the most honest box I’ve seen them do which isn’t saying a whole lot. It describes the Void as :
Hybrid stereo gaming headset with Dolby 7.1 USB adapter. – Corsair box as advertised above.
Really now Corsair?
How does this USB dongle supposed to achieve 7.1 surround sound if you don’t mind me asking? Because we’re not seeing it!
You can’t just throw around “7.1 Surround” and not show us that an audio interface or adapter can indeed control 7 independently driven mid-range speakers and a sub-woofer. Even if the audio-chip inside can certifiably handle 7.1 surround on its white paper specs you can’t turn around and cripple the chip while saying
Yup! It does 7.1 Surround! Buy it you stupid gamer!
We wouldn’t say nothing to corsair if they said they were just a surround sound headset. With proper speaker placement you could potentially bounce sound around to make it feel like it’s surround. But no Corsair, you added the “7.1” speaker in the mix which clearly you do not have! That’s called fraud and false advertisement. The reason why people want surround sound is because of a thing called “Dynamic Range.” Where each speaker can handle mid’s, high’s and low’s independently giving a richer sound instead of all audio being compressed into 2-channels where the speaker goes through a balancing act as to what to accent.
This headset made us far more angry at Corsair then our mouse failing after a year. Because they are playing the ugly game the third party China knock-off companies are doing by saying you are official but when we start taking it apart it turns out to be a giant lie filled with low-performing parts that break easily.
When it comes to headsets. Fuck Razer, fuck Corsair, keep the money in your pocket and spend your hard earned money on a knock-off product from Alibaba as you will probably achieve the same effect as you would buying any of the leading brand name companies headphones. Or better yet! Buy a headphone from a respectable audio company and get a condenser microphone. All of your friends on discord will love you for your audio-fidelity and you will have a better experience with quality headphones then buying ones from a company that flat-out lies to you.
Good luck repairing your headphones. Keep them out of the landfills everyone. Until next time, that’s all server has to say.
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