Corsair HS50 Gaming Headset Review
Published: 16th November 2017 | Source: Corsair | Price: |
Whenever you deal with hardware of any type, the combination between rugged build quality, decent aesthetics, great performance and a price point that doesn't make your significant other weep is pretty much the holy grail. There is always a compromise to be made somewhere, and if the compromise isn't on the build quality, looks and performance then you can be sure that there is a price to be paid that will involve sleeping on the sofa for a week, or living on beans on toast.
The list of products which manage to tick all those boxes is so slim that most of them get our product of the year awards, or live long in the memory after other, lesser products have been forgotten. Part of the problem with reviewing quite so many products is that all our focus is on that particular product at that particular time, and it takes something special to stick in the mind months or years later.
All of which brings us to the Corsair HS50, a headset of such surpassing excellence that we'll unquestionably be able to recall it a year from now.
The design is based around a metal frame which reminds us of the HyperX Cloud and that is definitely a good thing. There is no flex in it, no creaking nor worries that the hinges - a notoriously weak point in nearly all headsets - will give up the ghost at the worst possible moment. Instead you have a headset we'd be happy to throw in our bag and know it'll come out the other end unscathed. Even the height adjustment of the HS50 are metal. There is no doubt at all that the foundations are strong, but the rest of it is equally good. The headrest is well padded and comfortable, as are the ear pieces. There might be a tiny bit of frayed stitching but you'd have to be some kind of insane perfectionist to bemoan that at this price point. Heck we've seen it on ones costing way more. The design doesn't only score points for ruggedness, but the placement of things too. The volume wheel is easily accessible and yet unlikely to be caught when you're just taking them on or off. Equally the microphone mute button is dead easy to hit when you need it. We know we can't be the only people who have ended up transmitting things we'd rather not be public. Lastly the microphone is removable so the HS50 works just as well as a pair of headphones when you're out and about, something that you're likely to do thanks to the included 4 pole 3.5mm jack and splitter. So the HS50 is as happy on your console as your phone or portable music player of choice. Even your PC.
But looks and clever design are meaningless if the sound quality isn't any good. Fortunately for the HS50, and Corsair, and indeed you the consumer, it is fantastic. Not just good for a £50 headset, but good for almost anything this side of a set of Stax. The bass is tight and firm, the highs are glassy, the sense of space is a surprise in a closed back design and yet, most importantly, everything is well defined. There is nothing worse than all the instruments blending into an indistinct mess, but the HS50 is capable of letting you pinpoint everything whether you're breaking your neck to some Busta Rhymes, rocking out with Aerosmith or conducting the Royal Philharmonic. Anything that is that good at music reproduction will definitely score points in films and games, and the HS50 scores so many it needs its name in a hiscore table.
Corsair have had a few goes at headsets with varying degrees of success, but the HS50 are spectacularly good with fabulous build quality, beautiful audio reproduction and a price point that is bound to raise a few eyebrows, and thus wins our OC3D Enthusiast Award. Great stuff.