Corsair HS55 wired Stereo gaming headset review
Pro gamers will be left wanting more, but it's a good starting option for newbies
Corsair has been known for producing some of the best gaming headsets over the last few years, with excellent comfort, build quality, and audio fidelity. However, some of their prices have been less than accessible, for example, their flagship Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless SE gaming headset retails for almost $200. It’s a great headset, but not everyone is willing or able to drop such a substantial amount of cash on a gaming peripheral.
The HS55 comes along at a most opportune time, as it’s been almost three years since the release of their previous budget offering, the Corsair HS35 gaming headset. We’ve been taking the HS55 for a spin recently as the ~$60 price has us curious. Can it retain quality while keeping the price budget-friendly? Let’s see.
Corsair HS55 wired Stereo gaming headset
- Attractive design
- Great build quality despite plastic construction
- Trouble sealing around the bottom of ears
20Hz – 20kHz
114dB (± 3dB)
32 Ohms @ 1kHz
Unboxing and setup
Given the budget-friendly price of the HS55, you’ll be unsurprised to learn that the unboxing experience is very much utilitarian in nature. There’s no high-density foam, no magnetic clasps and the box design itself is minimal. Just a couple of large photos of the headset, the compulsory safety info, and some of the more notable features have been referred to.
Opening the box reveals the headset gently lying on a cardboard sled and while ours arrived in mint condition, there is still some risk of the HS55 becoming damaged in transit as the outer shell of the headset is in direct contact with the box, with only a thin plastic bag to insulate it from impacts.
Setup is as easy as it gets as the HS55 is a purely analog stereo headset, simply plug the combo mic and headphone 3.5mm cable into the corresponding jack on your PC, PS5, PS4, or Nintendo Switch. If you don’t have a combination jack, the included Y cable splits the signal so you can utilize the individual mic and headphone jacks for complete headset functionality.
The initial marketing material didn’t inspire much confidence in terms of visuals as the headset had a distinctly uninspired design. The earcups in particular bore suspicious levels of similarity to the Logitech Pro X wireless headset with an almost identical round logo set within an oval enclosure.
We were provided with the white colorway of the HS55 headset and were pleasantly surprised at the aesthetics once we got our hands on it as the dental-white plastics and general fit and finish of the headset were very much apple-esque. This is a clever design as it makes the headset look premium while keeping the price of materials relatively low and we really like the resultant look of the overall package.
The grey and white two-tone color scheme is of particular note here as this combination of colors gives the headset a distinctly modern and minimalist vibe. It might be uninspired, but it’s far from bad, although lighting junkies might be disappointed by the lack of RGB, however, given the price, we consider it to be a reasonable concession. Additionally, the shiny chrome-looking Corsair logos on each earcup help the cheap HS55s retain a touch of opulence despite the simple overall design.
Branding is all but absent here. Aside from the aforementioned Corsair logos, the only other instance is an inoffensive “C O R S A I R” on the top of the headband in silver. Corsair has been agreeably reserved with their branding ever since they abandoned the infamous gaming ‘Tramp stamp’ all those years ago, for which we continue to be grateful.
Generally good, though small instances of egregious money-saving are dotted throughout the headset. The most noticeable of which is the half stiff, half loose volume wheel that feels like it could possibly be an intended feature, but to us, it feels like a quality control issue. Things improve when you examine the steel-reinforced headband that clicks satisfyingly and definitively between increments and holds the chosen position very well.
The mic is also an area that earns some compliments as the flip-to-mute style of mic usually struggles to retain its position but this one manages very well and feels decently rugged too. the fabric on the earcups and headband, however, feels like it could tear quite easily, despite the premium-feeling padding underneath.
The pivots where the earcups connect to the headband remind us of the Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless gaming headset we reviewed last year. This is a good thing as the pivots are a functional and aesthetically pleasing way of connecting the headset together. Overall, durability seems good for the price and we are confident in the longevity of the HS55 Stereo headset.
Sound quality & gaming experience
As with any headset in this price range, the audio fidelity won’t be blowing anyone away, but it’s still serviceable for gaming. Just don’t expect anything transcendental when consuming other content. Additionally, this headset connects via a 3.5mm jack, so the ability to alter the EQ settings is diminished. You can adjust it to a certain extent via windows, but you won’t be able to do anything in iCUE as you would with most other corsair headsets.
The headset has some fairly powerful bass, and the mids are dutifully present, as usual with headsets within this price bracket, the mix tends to get muddled at higher volumes, with the higher frequencies disappearing almost entirely which is a bit of a shame. The overall sound profile is serviceable and will work with no problems for gaming.
It’s worth noting here that the HS55 Stereo has no surround sound capabilities whatsoever, so we cannot recommend it for first-person shooters as there is no spatial audio. Corsair does have a version of this headset that comes with a USB sound card that does enable surround sound, so if you’re into competitive FPS games, go for that one.
Also we have to dock points for the mic, it has a constant fuzz in the background. You voice can still be heard clearly over it, but it will irritate teammates. You can mitigate the fuzz to an extend within discord or teamspeak, but it shouldn’t be there in the first place.
Given the price, we were worried that the comfort wouldn’t be up to snuff so we were pleasantly surprised when the HS55 managed to stay comfortable, even during long periods of use. The faux leather earcups do have the propensity to get a little stuff if you wear it for too too long, but a swift 10-minute break fixes that.
The main saving grace of the HS55 when it comes to comfort is the weight of 273g/9.6oz. Designing such a lightweight headset means you can reduce the amount and quality of the padding, without sacrificing overall comfort. We aren’t saying that the padding is bad, it’s just the minimum amount needed for the weight in question, it seems those engineers over at Corsair are some shrewd people.
With good comfort, decent audio fidelity, and build quality that exceeds expectations for the price, we have been impressed with the Corsair HS55 Stereo gaming headset, if not blown away. Disappointing aspects include the weird fit around the bottom of the ears and the cheap-feeling faux leather covering the otherwise good padding.
If you’re an audiophile, you already know to spend more money than this and competitive gamers will want virtual surround sound to make the most of their performance potential. If you’re needing a basic headset with good comfort, and serviceable sound, and don’t want to spend too much, we can fully recommend the Corsair HS55 gaming headset.