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Corsair HS50 Review

This headset is fine but you could do so much better
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Price:   $50 List | $45 at Amazon
Pros:  Relatively inexpensive, fairly comfortable
Cons:  Lackluster microphone quality, not as convenient to use
Manufacturer:   Corsair
By David Wise and Austin Palmer  ⋅  Aug 29, 2018
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57
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 11
  • Comfort - 40% 6
  • Audio - 30% 6
  • Microphone - 20% 5
  • Ease of Use - 10% 5

Our Verdict

Finishing close to the bottom of the pack, the Corsair HS50 didn't fare all that well in our tests. While it didn't do particularly poorly in any one area of testing, its average to slightly above average results across the board pales in comparison to our top products. Its price tag is right about where it should be, neither overpriced nor a great value. Overall, the HS50 is fine, not amazing, but there are comparably costing headsets out there that perform soooo much better.


Compare to Similar Products

 
This Product
Corsair HS50
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $50 List
$44.99 at Amazon
$170 List
$119.94 at Amazon
$100 List
$77.62 at Amazon
$100 List
$84.99 at Amazon
$50 List
$49.99 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Relatively inexpensive, fairly comfortableComfortable, great microphone and audio qualityExceptional sound quality, very comfortableIncredibly comfortable, great value, solid sound qualityInexpensive, exceptional microphone quality
Cons Lackluster microphone quality, not as convenient to useExpensive, doesn't block background noiseMicrophone quality is so-so, not as convenient to use as other productsHarder to mute, no mic sidetoneNot the most comfortable, sound quality could be bette
Bottom Line This headset is fine but you could do so much betterIf you want the best of the best, the GAME ONE should be your number one choiceIf you love games with rich soundtracks and want the most immersive experience possible, the Kraken is the headset for youIf you are looking for an excellent, all-around gaming headset without breaking the bank, the Cloud II is a great choiceIf you are on a tight budget and want a solid gaming headset, the Cloud Stinger is a great choice
Rating Categories Corsair HS50 GAME ONE Kraken 7.1 V2 HyperX Cloud II HyperX Cloud Stinger
Comfort (40%)
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
6
Audio (30%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
Microphone (20%)
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
8
Ease Of Use (10%)
10
0
5
10
0
7
10
0
5
10
0
6
10
0
7
Specs Corsair HS50 GAME ONE Kraken 7.1 V2 HyperX Cloud II HyperX Cloud Stinger
Wired or Wireless Wired Wired Wired Wired Wired
Measured cable length 6.8 ft 9.65 ft 6.7 ft 10.6 ft 10.5 ft
How to mute the mic Button Lift mic Button on the mic Switch Lift mic

Our Analysis and Test Results

This headset finished at the bottom of the pack, only really outperforming its fellow Corsair model, the Void Pro RGB, and the BENGOO X-40. It has better audio abilities, costs about $50 less, and is more comfortable than the Void Pro, but is less convenient to use and doesn't have the same number of lights. The HS50 is about $15 more than the BENGOO, but the BENGOO is just plain bad and we wouldn't really recommend anyone to get it.

The Corsair HS50.
The Corsair HS50.

Performance Comparison


We scored these headsets by buying all of the best and most promising models, then pitting them against each other in a series of head-to-head challenges. We divided these tests into four weighted rating metrics, with the results of the Corsair shown below.

The HS50 is reasonably comfortable.
The HS50 is reasonably comfortable.

Comfort


Responsible for 40% of the overall score for the HS50, our Comfort metric is the most important out of the entire bunch. Our group of testers wore each headset for a lengthy period of time, then filled out a questionnaire on the comfort levels of each one. The Corsair HS50 did reasonably well, meriting a 6 out of 10 for its results.

Opinions on the comfort level of this headset were widely split amongst our panel of testers, with most people being perfectly happy to wear this headset all day and a few absolutely hating it after only a few hours. This discrepancy was mainly due to the limited adjustability of the headband and the size and shape of the ear cups. All of the testers that disliked this headset couldn't adjust the fit properly because they ran out of adjustment range or there was too much pressure pinching their ears or forcing them into an unnatural shape.

The ear cups measured 2 1/8" X 2 5/8".
The ear cups measured 2 1/8" X 2 5/8".

The headband is padded with leatherette and the fit is overall on the snugger side — with some of our testers with larger ears noting that the ear cups are shallow enough to actually hit the speaker plate while the headset is worn.

We liked look of the sewn in pattern on the HS50; It didn't seem to effect comfort at all.
We liked look of the sewn in pattern on the HS50; It didn't seem to effect comfort at all.

The ear cups have semi-firm padding, again covered with leatherette, which can cause them to get a little sticky and sweaty in warmer weather. However, it is on the lighter side at around 11 ounces.

The HS50 has slightly above average sound.
The HS50 has slightly above average sound.

Audio


The Corsair HS50 again delivered a slightly above acceptable performance in our set of sound quality tests, earning another 6 out of 10 for its results. We tested how well you can identify the location of a sound, the quality of both voice and music, and used a trio of benchmarking audio tests, as well as how well each gaming headset does at blocking out external noises to determine the score, which combined accounts for 30% of the total score.

The Corsair does decently well at signifying the location of sounds, doing a bit better with the quieter in-game sounds, like someone walking behind you, then the louder sounds, like gunfire or a vehicle cruising by. Our testers usually got the locations correct for footsteps, but misidentified it a handful of time with the vehicles or gunshots.

Voice is about average sounding, not coming across as terribly distorted but a noticeable difference from talking to someone in person. Music comes across with slightly higher quality, with decent bass and treble. However, the mid-range tones — especially voice — can get washed out and harder to hear over a game's soundtrack.

Unfortunately, the HS50 doesn't do all that well at reducing ambient noise levels and didn't impress in our benchmarking tests. There was plenty of parasitic buzz in the bass quality test and the drivers didn't stay particularly well matched through the higher frequencies in the driver matching test. It did a little better in the binaural recording evaluation, with the position coming across fine, but the knocks on the wooden door sounding less realistic than they should.
The HS50 mic didn't stand out in either a good or bad way.
The HS50 mic didn't stand out in either a good or bad way.

Microphone


The performance of the HS50 slipped a little into our microphone test, earning it a 5 out of 10 for its uninspiring results. We looked at both how it picked up your voice and how well it filtered out undesirable sounds for this metric, which is worth 20% of the total score.

This headset doesn't do the greatest job at picking up your voice, making it sound flat and far away, with a noticeable lack of bass and a decent amount of fuzz. It is slightly sibilant with "S" sounds, but doesn't make "T" sounds sound overly harsh. It does an alright job at failing to pick up background noises like typing, but your teammates can definitely hear if you are eating or have a fan running in the background. It does much worse with side conversations, picking them up if people are talking anywhere around you in a 25' radius, with the full side conversation usually being perfectly understandable to the other people you are playing with.

The onboard controls of the HS50.
The onboard controls of the HS50.

Ease of Use


For the remaining 10% of the total score, we assessed how easy to use and convenient each product is to actually use. The Corsair HS50 again failed to distinguish itself, meriting another mediocre 5 out of 10.

There are controls right on the headphones of the HS50 to control both the volume and mute the microphone. We liked that it is fairly easy to quickly hit the push button to mute the mic, but quite disappointed at the surprisingly short cord (6.8') on the HS50. We found this to be quite limiting and we routinely found that we got caught by the shorter cable. The cable also isn't detachable, so if you damage it, be prepared to replace the whole headset.

Detachable mics come in handy.
Detachable mics come in handy.

The mic is detachable, but you don't have the option to enable a sidetone.

Value


This headset is the right price for a value purchase in this category, but you can get so much more bang for the buck with some other models.

Conclusion


All in all, we didn't find anything majorly wrong with this headset and it gets the job done. However, it is incredibly far from being one of our favorites. It might be worth considering if you can find it deeply discounted, but otherwise, there are far better headsets that cost the same.


David Wise and Austin Palmer