Corsair HS80 RGB wireless gaming headset review – solid straight out of the box
Class-leading comfort, exceptional audio
Corsair is well known in the gaming peripheral space, producing mice, keyboards, mousepads, even chairs! They have impressed us with their headsets before, so let’s see if they can continue the streak. Read on for a comprehensive breakdown of the Corsair HS80 wireless gaming headset and see how it stacks up in this increasingly competitive market.
- Very comfortable
- Fantastic out-of-the-box audio performance
- Noise-free mic performance
- Easy setup
- PS4 & PS5 compatibility
- Build quality of mic is substandard
- Battery life is less than advertised
The setup of the HS80 is straightforward, just download Corsair’s iCue software and plug the headset in via the included USB Type-C cable. Setup is identical for wireless functionality, you just plug the dongle in and hold the power button on the left earcup to pair the headset. The setup process for PS5 is equally smooth – just plug the dongle into a USB port and wait a few seconds for it to show up, then hold the power button to connect the same as on PC. It’s worth noting here that you cannot use this headset with the Xbox One X/S due to Microsoft’s proprietary audio interface.
The HS80s strike a sensible balance between the understated utilitarian design of the HS70 Pro and the sharp ‘gamer’ look of the Void RGB Elite. It has more rounded earcups than the Void Elite which helps it whisper ‘gamer’ instead of screaming it.
Corsair has opted for a floating headband design for the HS80s which gives them a less ‘clamped on’ look and contributes to a smarter aesthetic overall. The sides bear an RGB-illuminated Corsair ship logo neatly positioned on the upper back of each earcup which can be controlled by Corsair’s iCue software. Additional branding is located on the top of the headband, simply reading ‘CORSAIR’ in a tidy, minimalist font. The left-hand side yolk reads ‘//HS80’ in a similar design convention to Corsair’s Sabre RGB Pro Wireless gaming mouse.
The positioning of the control on the backside of the left earcup is easy to reach but presents some issues. Grasping the headset with both earcups to remove it can result in accidental contact with the volume wheel and power button. This can mess with the volume, EQ presets, or turn the headset off altogether. This issue also rears its head if you have a habit of wearing headsets around your neck, as the controls rub against your shoulder.
The headset feels robust to the touch, with yolks made from sturdy aluminum, but the rest is plastic. Given that yolks are the most stressed part of a headset, this is a smart decision to upgrade the strength yet retain a comfortable weight. The mic is a cause for concern, as the tactile feedback as it flips from mute to active is barely there and feels like over time it will wear down and disappear entirely. The elastic floating headband feels tough and holds its adjustable position well, with no noticeable movement over time. As a result of the mic, the build quality falls just under par for the price of $149.99.
The HS80’s floating headband makes them the comfiest Corsair headset yet. The headset is suspended by the elastic band which reduces direct pressure on the top of the head. This, combined with the fairly strong clapping pressure, means that the headset’s pressure on the head is uniformly distributed among the points of contact. In short, the headset adheres to your head, without the sensation of squeezing that traditional headset designs often suffer from.
The earcups are suitably plush and lined with soft fabric. They are described as memory foam but they seem to lack the shape-retaining properties that memory foam is known for. The choice to go with a breathable fabric, instead of a leatherette lining, means you won’t get stuffy or sweaty during extended use. The plush earcups also do a good job at passive noise isolation. Overall the comfort is excellent. A clever headband design combined with plush earcups and a reasonable weight of 0.8 pounds/367g results in a painless, trouble-free wearing experience.
The HS80s are well-rounded in terms of sound. It’s refreshing to have a gaming headset that doesn’t overblow the bass to create a facade of good audio quality. This headset has a balanced audio profile and performs well for gaming, music, and movies. Corsair’s iCue software contains five audio presets which are helpful for quick adjustment, and clicking in the volume wheel on the headset cycles through these presets which avoids having to tab out to iCue.
The mids and highs are respectable too. Small audio details during a dialog scene in a movie were easy to discern and sounded accurate. The bass is fairly powerful for a gaming headset but works alongside the mids and highs instead of overpowering them.
The gaming performance is tight. The ‘FPS Competition’ EQ preset tunes the soundscape to balance incoming voice chat with gunshots and footsteps which definitely helps provide a competitive edge. The gaming audio was tested on both Valorant and Apex Legends while using Discord and no flaws were found in the fidelity. As a result, this headset can definitely be recommended if you’re a competitive gamer looking for a solution that performs very well out of the box. This was the case for both PC and PS5.
It’s worth noting the ‘Dolby Atmos’ spatial audio feature on this headset is only accessible via a $15 monthly subscription from the Windows store.
On both PS5 and PC, the communication was crisp and avoided background fuzz or breathing/popping noises, impressive given the mic features no windscreen. The microphone gain had to be turned up in-game for PS5, but that was the extent of the adjustments.
The Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless is a compelling offer for a high-end gaming headset. The out-of-the-box audio performance is far more balanced than many gaming headsets, and this is reflected by the $150 price point. The comfort is far above average for gaming headsets due to the clever floating headband design. The setup is uncomplicated and the microphone quality is clean. The battery life is unimpressive, however, and during testing it fell short of the reported 20 hours. Overall, we recommend the Corsair HS80 to gamers looking for a comfortable, well-performing headset.
We recently took a look at the Corsair Virtuoso Pro, an open-backed premium option that only costs a few bucks more.
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