Corsair HS35 Gaming Headset Review

Corsair is one of the leading brands when it comes to PC hardware and peripherals. They’ve built their name on quality products that span from PC cases and RAM, to coolers and peripherals. While Corsair isn’t famous for their peripheral lineup, they still have some of the best keyboards, mice, and headsets in today’s market. 

Speaking of which, today we’ll be taking a look at one of their popular headset offerings to see how it stacks up in a hugely competitive price spectrum. That’s right, it’s the Corsair HS35 gaming headset. 

This headset is a stripped-back, fairly basic headset that graces the sub $50 price range. It comes to the table with fantastic comfort, a lightweight design, and custom-tuned gaming sound that helps accurately pinpoint where enemies are lurking. 

As this is one of the cheapest headsets on the market, it’ll be very interesting to see how it stacks up against high-performing alternatives such as the Astro A10, HyperX Cloud Stingers, and Razer Krakens

So, with all that in mind, let’s waste no further time and dive straight into it!

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Specifications

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Below we have outlined the main specifications of the Corsair HS35 gaming headset. 

Corsair HS35 Gaming Headset Specs
Headphone Frequency Response20 - 20,000 Hz
WirelessNo
Battery LifeN/A
Drivers50mm Neodymium magnets
MicrophoneUni-directional, noise cancelling microphone
Weight250g
Cable Length1.8m

Inside the Corsair HS35 Box, we see:

  • Corsair HS35 headphones
  • Detachable microphone
  • Port plug
  • PC Y-splitter
  • Manual guide

Pros

  • Clear microphone
  • Excellent comfort
  • 250-gram lightweight design
  • Subtle aesthetics 
  • Robust cable
  • Multi-platform versatility 

Cons

  • Build quality reflects its price tag
  • While the microphone was clear, it was very tinny

Setup

Setting up the Corsair HS35 gaming headset couldn’t be easier. Simply unpackage the headset and plug the 3.5mm audio jack connection into any device which accommodates an audio port (phone, tablet, laptop, PC, and so on). Now, for PC users who want to make full use of this gaming headset, you’ll need to utilize the splitter Corsair provides in the HS35 box. 

Using the splitter allows users to access both audio and microphone at the same time – and works across multiple platforms too. Thankfully, no software is essential in getting this headset up and running, making this headset one of the easier to use right out the box. 

Design

Corsair, like always, has given the HS35 gaming headset a fairly subtle design that falls away from the gaming characteristic we’re more used to seeing with other brand’s products. It’s the kind of headset that wouldn’t look out of place if worn to the shops or on public transport. A design trait that certainly opens this headset up to a wider audience. 

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This is a budget headset, and as such, is primarily made using plastic – with the addition of some steel used within the headband. The HS35’s we purchased sport an all-black color theme and look a little basic when compared to other headsets of this price point. That being said, this headset does come in a number of different color variants, all of which are geared towards specific devices and platforms – albeit with no actual technical differences. 

The HS35’s come to the table with large oval earcups that sport the corsair logo on either side. The outside of the earcup has a speaker-like aesthetic comprised of two ovals separated by a glossy ring layer. Inside the earcups, users are treated to extremely comfortable memory foam covered with a fabric material that feels soft and breathable. The earcup forks are, again, made of plastic and don’t really offer anything in terms of design features – apart from a slight swivel that can be used to adjust comfort while in-use.

The headband, like 99% of today’s gaming headsets, comes with around 30mm of adjustment on either side. The headband comes with more Corsair branding across the top and a large cushion underneath that uses the same memory foam padding as the earcups. 

Volume controls and a mute button can be found on the back of the left earcup, making on-fly-changes extremely easy – especially if you don’t have dedicated media keys on your keyboard. Furthermore, the cable has been finished with a rubberized coating that is non-abrasive and fairly robust. 

Overall, it has to be a thumbs up from me as far as design goes. It might not have the flashy features you get with more expensive headsets, but what can you expect at this price point? It looks good and does its job. 

Build Quality

Unlike the HS60 Pro Surround headset that we recently tested from Corsair, the HS35s didn’t offer half as much when it came to the build quality department. 

The first thing I noticed when removing the HS35 form their packaging was just how light they were. While that is great for gaming, it usually tells me that, somewhere along the way, build quality has been compromised – especially in budget headsets like this one. Before we get into that though, let’s discuss some of the positives. 

The earcups, for a start, feel extremely well made in both comfort and general build rigidity. The forks that hold the earcups in place have a firm fitting that doesn’t offer any wiggle or rattle. The earcup lining feels well installed and the plastic used for the earcups themselves held up well to our robustness tests. 

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Sadly, that is where most of the positives end. First of all, let’s get the headband out of the way as I feel that could attract quite a few issues down the line. The plastic used in the headband leaves a lot to be desired. It feels pretty cheap, quite fragile, and should be handled with care. We actually had an instance in work with a pair of HS35’s (naming no names – Mike) where the headband snapped whilst taking the headset off their head. Usually, during this section of the review, we’d do a few flexibility tests on the headband itself. However, thanks to better judgment, we’ve left this section out. I can safely say the headset would snap if put under decent amounts of pressure. 

To continue with the headband, the adjustment section just feels a little weak. I could definitely envisage this thing buckling after six months of use, especially if you fiddle or play around with this mechanism quite a bit. 

So, ultimately, the build quality is a little hit and miss for me personally. On one hand, some sections of the headset feel well-made and comfortable. However, others (mainly the headband) feel pretty dreadful. I suppose for $40 that’s pretty much what we can expect at this price range though. 

Comfort

Thankfully, the comfort department makes up for a lot of the ground that was lost in the build quality section. 

The HS35’s come to the table boasting an extremely slender 250-gram design, making it one of the lightest headset we’ve had the pleasure of testing – and you can really tell. The headset sits on your head very softly, applying little strain on the neck and head, while only offering a slight hugging sensation from the headband pressure. All huge positives in a gaming headset, especially if you enjoy gaming for extended periods of time.

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The earcups offer up memory foam padding which feels very soft and adaptable. The breathable fabric used on the earcups will most likely be a talking point among the consuming public as it can be hit-or-miss for a lot of people. For me though, I thought the earcups felt great. The same memory foam padding can be found on the underside of the headband, providing adequate amounts of comfort to the top of your head while in use. 

Another nice feature that we haven’t touched upon yet, is the slight swivel the earcups have. It may only be subtle, but the earcups have a little swivel to them meaning you can alter the headset to meet your exact needs. It’s the little things like this that really do make the difference when it comes to purchasing time. 

When comparing this headset to similarly priced alternatives (HyperX Cloud Stinger + Astro A10s), I’d definitely say this headset was up there in terms of comfort. I’d go as far as saying it exceeds them both, if only slightly. So, a thumbs up when regarding comfort. 

Performance

So, with design out of the way, it’s time to take the Corsair HS35 gaming headset for a spin in a couple of games. In the following section, we’ll be taking a closer look at some of the technical aspects of this headset to see how it sounds in real-world scenarios. We’ll be testing the headset in games, TV & Film, music, and other general uses as well. 

With all that in mind, let’s dive straight into it. 

Sound

As per usual, I decided to kick start the sound performance testing of the HS35 gaming headset off by listening to a number of different musical genres. I like to do this as it gives me a better understanding of the range this headset has to play with, and what sounds it can and can’t create. I started by playing some fast-paced electronic music, like always, and as I expected, the sound left a little to be desired if truth be told. 

Whilst the bass was quite prominent – similar to the HS60 Pro Surround headset – the 50mm drivers this headset comes equipped with just didn’t provide that warm, full-bodied sound that you’d like to hear when listening to music. The mids seemed a little washed out and the highs felt quite gritty and sharp which, even though not great for music, isn’t always bad from a gamin point of view.

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Speaking of which, it didn’t take me long to fire up to favorite FPS shooter, CS:GO. Like I’ve said before, this is the perfect game to test headsets on as it requires excellent sound queues and spacial awareness to accurately pinpoint your enemy. That being said, I actually found gaming with this headset to be a much more enjoyable experience than listening to music. 

My ability to pick out enemies was certainly heightened and I could easily tell what height and area they were coming from. Corsair has described the sound as “custom-tuned for gaming”, and after a short while using this headset, you can see what they mean. The gritty high end of this headset plays a major role in spatial awareness, allowing users to hear footsteps and gunfire very accurately. While the bass does still come through quite prominently – making sniper shots and explosions sound realistic and immersive – it doesn’t overpower any crucial sound queues while gaming. This makes me feel like time and consideration has gone into the sound these produce. Always a positive. 

I went on to play several other FPS games after this which included PUBG, Overwatch, and Valorant which all yielded very similar results. I played a couple of role-play games thereafter, and while immersion wasn’t overly impressive, the HS35s certainly made the gaming experience a pleasant one. As mentioned above, this headset doesn’t require any software to get it up and running. So as far as altering the EQ is concerned, you are fairly limited to what you can and can’t do. 

Having said that, when comparing this to other similarly priced alternatives, I think the Corsair HS35s display nice clarity and generous sound quality as far as budget headsets go. They aren’t going to win any awards as far as sound is concerned, but at this end of the price spectrum, they do themselves proud. 

Microphone

There isn’t really a great amount of detail that can be extrapolated when discussing the microphone, mainly due to its simplicity. The microphone is a detachable microphone that sits firmly in the left earcup. The mic offers good flexibility and feels pretty robust. Correct me if I’m wrong, but it looks like the exact same microphone that Corsair used in the HS60 Pro Surround headset – receiving a decent review upon testing. 

The microphone clarity is what you’d expect from this price point, providing a decent account of your voice albeit on the tinny side, if truth be told. The microphone offers 20-20k frequency and, as you’d expect, doesn’t provide a ton of bass while using it in Discord

To continue with the positives though, the microphone is heavily noise canceled meaning it doesn’t pick up huge amounts of ambient noise. Always a huge positive, especially if you plan on using mechanical keyboards

Overall, the microphone is pretty basic. It provides ample clarity, good versatility, and feels well-made. What more could you ask for at this price range?

Features

When it comes to a budget headset, the features play a major role in any buyer’s decision-making process. The features of a headset can make or break its popularity at this end of the price spectrum, so equipping your headset with as many as possible is usually the way to go. 

That being said, the Corsair HS35 doesn’t come with a ton of features to its name. However, the features it does offer, have been executed very well. 

That being said, let’s take a closer look at the features this headset has to offer. 

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Multi-Platform Support

A lot of today’s higher-end PC gaming headsets now come equipped with a USB analog connection which, for the most part, makes them fairly exclusive to PC users alone. Having said that, Corsair has decided to go the other way, equipping the HS35’s with a generic 3.5mm audio jack which can be used with almost any device as long as it has an audio jack input. 

This automatically markets this headset to XBOX, PS4, tablet, laptop, phone, and MP3 users, making it an extremely versatile headset, to say the least. 

Lightweight Design & Comfort

The Corsair HS35’s are an extremely comfortable headset and I thank the lightweight design for this feature trait. 

Coming in at a mere 250 grams makes this one of the lightest headsets we’ve had the pleasure of testing. It sits on your head with very little resistance and puts almost no strain on your neck or shoulders. This is the kind of headset that you could wear for very long periods of time and feel little to no effects from doing so. 

The earcups offer memory foam padding, as does the headband. Overall, I can’t knock this headset from a comfort point of view, it’s great. 

Budget

Finally, we have budget. Usually, I wouldn’t put this under the features section, mainly because it doesn’t offer the user anything other than a little boost in the back pocket. Having said that, this is one of the cheapest headsets on the market right now – as far as gaming is concerned – and I feel it’s a factor that must be considered in this headset. 

While this thing won’t win any awards for sound quality or overall user experience, when put in context and compared to similarly priced alternatives, it takes on a much more attractive prospect. 

Our Verdict

There you have it, our comprehensive review of the Corsair HS35 Gaming headset. As we come to the end of our review, we like to give some final thoughts on the headset, summarising whether or not we feel it’s worth your money and consideration.

So, do I think this headset showcased good value for money? Well, considering it’s one of the cheapest headsets on the market and offers comparable sound and build quality to similarly priced alternatives, I’d be inclined to say yes, absolutely. 

To cut a long story short, deciding whether or not this headset is right for you comes down to your specific needs and what you prioritize in a headset. If all you need is a budget headset that gives you adequate sound, stops people moaning at the constant explosion coming from the monitor and TV, or just need an all-in-one solution where you can play and interact with your friends, then this headset will probably do exactly what you’re looking for. 

However, if you want to enjoy music, be immersed within your gaming experience, or expect a wide range of sound, then it might be worth looking at something a little more high-end.