Corsair HS80 – Comfort and Quality
In this day and age, there are literally hundreds of choices when it comes to headsets. The market is absolutely flooded with headsets, all of which with varying levels of quality and features. There are almost endless possibilities when it comes to looks, lights and adjustable settings, but often the most important feature, to me anyway, is overlooked. That feature is comfort, often sacrificed for fancier features that look better on the back of the box.
I can firmly say that isn’t the case with the Corsair HS80 which has, in my mind, the comfiest earcups on the market. The cups are a soft, lightweight material that breathes wonderfully and caresses my gigantic ears with a gentle touch. Ok maybe that is going too far, but just know that these bad boys feel wonderful on your ears and handle long play sessions with ease. The headband is adjustable thanks to a stretch elastic band that sits on the top of the head. It is worth noting however if somehow you have a bigger melon than me (which is unlikely) know that I had it set at full stretch to fit, so it may not be the best choice for those with a larger cranium.
So we have a very comfy headset here, what about the important things? Well, let’s start with sound, shall we? Crystal clear audio no matter what the purpose, be it gaming, Skype calls or listening to music. The audio is clean and clear at higher volumes, but trust me when I say you won’t need those high volumes. This is perhaps the loudest headset I have ever used and I very rarely had the volume set above 25 on Windows. Gaming was where this headset really stood out with a wonderful sense of environment and surrounding sound created. Bullets whistle past the ears, cars screech to a halt, swords clash with a steely ring. It all sounds great. The only area I found the set a little lacking was in deep bass ranges. It struggled a little bit with deep thumping drums and bass when listening to music. That being said to get better performance from a headset in this area you need to spend significantly more money, so it is a sacrifice that is more than acceptable.
Voice communications are crystal clear and for really the first time ever I would suggest this is a headset that is capable of being used in podcasts and streaming, especially for someone just starting out. Usually, a stand-alone mic is a must in these situations but the HS80 performed wonderfully in these areas, certainly above my expectations. I would say the mic here is better than that of even the top-priced headset models available, which is an achievement worth celebrating. The less gear people need to get into content creation the better in my mind.
The look of the headset is fairly subtle as far as gaming headsets go. There are some small areas with customisable lighting (through the Corsair iCue software) but it isn’t obnoxious or gaudy in any way. I quite like the design of the squarish earcups (though that is simply a matter of taste) and the mic arm is never in the road when tucked away. The entire design feels durable and sturdy but at the same time, it lacks anything that would be called a refined finish. Once again though, that is something reserved for higher-priced headsets and may not be an issue at all. The whole headset folds up nicely to tuck away and never feels like it is a device that is going to get in the road as some headsets do. In all, it is a utilitarian design that puts function and form ahead of fashion.
With all that said it is very easy to say that the Corsair HS80 is a fantastic audio choice for either your PC or your Playstation. The battery lasts for a good 15 hours between charges, the audio quality is top-notch, it has a class-leading mic and it feels like a headset that can take a beating. The slightly average bass performance and less refined look are very small issues that won’t matter to most people at all. As far as mid-priced headsets go I can comfortably say that the HS80 is the best unit I have slapped onto my dome. I can thoroughly recommend the HS80 to anyone looking for a headset around the $200 mark and infact in a lot of areas its performance is equal to that of the higher-priced sets available.
Audio CUE Software: Supported in iCUE
Surround Sound: Yes
Detachable Microphone: No
Rechargble Battery: Yes
Headset Frequency Response: 20Hz – 40 kHz
Headset Battery Life: Up to 20 hours
Headphone Sensitivity: 116dB (+/-3dB)
Headset Wireless Range: 60ft
Impedance: 32 Ohms @ 1 kHz
Headset Type: Wireless
Headset Drivers: 50mm
Audio: Dolby Atmos
Microphone Impedance: 2.2k Ohms
Microphone Type: Omnidirectional
Microphone Frequency Response: 100Hz to 10kHz
Microphone Sensitivity: -40 dB (± 3 dB)