Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless Review
Compare to Similar Products
Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless
$137.89 at Amazon
$129.99 at Amazon
$95.53 at Amazon
$35.97 at Amazon
$34.99 at Amazon
|Pros||Flip to mute mic, sturdy build, comfortable ear cups||Awesome haptics, great bass, plush ear cup padding, removable mic||Incredibly comfortable, great value, solid sound quality||Decently comfortable to wear, solid sound quality||Inexpensive, exceptional microphone quality|
|Cons||Can get hot, headband relatively difficult to adjust||Cord is stiff, cord can't be removed||Harder to mute, no mic sidetone||Short cable, mic and cable aren't detachable||Not the most comfortable, sound quality could be bette|
|Bottom Line||An all-around decent quality wireless headset that performs above average while costing less than average||This headset offers great sound quality, awesome haptic feedback, and comfort to keep you in the saddle for hours on end||An excellent and affordable all-around gaming headset that's extremely comfortable, even for long sessions||The G332 is a decent value pick for anyone shopping on the tightest of budgets for a new headset||This headset has a great mic and offers strong value for more limited budgets|
|Rating Categories||Corsair HS80 RGB Wi...||Kraken V3 HyperSense||Kingston HyperX Clo...||Logitech G332||Kingston HyperX Clo...|
|Ease of Use (10%)|
|Specs||Corsair HS80 RGB Wi...||Kraken V3 HyperSense||Kingston HyperX Clo...||Logitech G332||Kingston HyperX Clo...|
|Measured cable length||Wireless
charging cable is 6ft
|USB-A: 6ft 5in||10.6 ft||7.35 ft||10.5 ft|
|How to mute the mic||Lift||Toggle||Switch||Lift mic||Lift mic|
|Measured weight||12.8 oz||13 oz||10-7/8 oz||10-7/8 oz||9-1/2 oz|
|Measured ear cushion size||1" x 1"||1" x 7/8"||1-1/2" X 2-9/16"||1-5/8" X 2-3/8"||1-5/8" X 2-9/16"|
|Ear cup shape||Oval||Oval||Oval||Oval||Oval|
|Ear cup fabric type||Microfiber fabric||Memory foam, leatherette, cooling mesh||Leatherette
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Corsair HS80 RGB is a high-quality wireless gaming headset with a reasonable price tag considering what one gets for their money. The headset performs at or above average in every category, all while providing users with tangle-free, unimpaired head movement while gaming.
Above all else, comfort is what makes a good headset because you won't want to wear them for long if they hurt your ears or put unnecessary pressure on the sides of your head. More than that, uncomfortable headgear can break your concentration when you need it the most. As such, we do a thorough assessment of all the gaming headsets that we review. Our analysis looks at the amount of time the device can be comfortably worn, the padding material, how well it vents heat, how well it adjusts, and what it weighs. When taken as a whole, the Corsair HS80 RGB performs well above average in this metric.
Perhaps the most telling test in our comfort analysis is how long one can wear the headgear before it becomes uncomfortable. We had a variety of testers wear this headset and record the time elapsed before they felt discomfort. Most found that the Corsair HS80 was comfortable for 8-9 hours before they needed a break. In large part, the eventual discomfort came from the leatherette and elastic headband — while it isn't the worst we've tested, it isn't the best design nor the most comfortable materials. On the other hand, the ear cups have soft padding that is quite comfortable. The cups offer a decent fit, too, as they encompass the ears and provide a good seal against noise. Additionally, the cup provides enough room inside that even the biggest ears don't make contact with the hard plastic interior.
While the padding of the ear cups is nice, our chief complaint is that the Corsair HS80 did not vent well, which can make them feel hot and itchy after a while. Additionally, the floating headband can be a bit frustrating to adjust, which is exacerbated by the limited adjustment allowed and the lack of adjustment markers on the band. Finally, the Corsair weighs in at a middling 12.8 ounces. Despite the heat and adjustment issues, when we look at this device's comfort, it is well above average.
The audio evaluation is a close second to comfort when assessing a gaming headset. In this series of tests, we look at the positional sound quality (i.e., the ability to determine the direction that sound comes from), the quality of voice rendered over the headset, the quality of music, and EQ levels as well as sound blocking. Looked at holistically, the Corsair HS80 delivers slightly above-average audio quality for the class.
We use a couple of different tests to evaluate the headsets in our review for the quality of their positional sound. First, we use a youtube video produced by Razer that has the sound effect of a helicopter circling overhead with a graphic showing where the helicopter is in that pattern. Testers are tasked with pointing out where the helicopter is positioned without referencing the graphic. The better the headset's audio, the better the tester's accuracy. Similarly, we use the game Counter Strike Global Offensive (CS:GO) to test the headset wearer's ability to detect the direction of gunfire and footsteps accurately. As with the Corsair HS80's overall score in this assessment, it performed slightly above average in the positional sound assessment — good enough that the device's sound provided a decisive advantage in many of the games we use for testing.
Another big advantage the headset provides for gaming is its ability to communicate with fellow players clearly. As such, we assess the headsets for voice quality. We found that the Corsair HS80 has good volume and that we can easily hear and understand other players. However, the sound isn't crystal clear. This would prove problematic depending on where you do your gaming, as our testing also revealed that the Corsair doesn't block noise effectively. We tested the unit with both music and a fan running in the background, and though the fan noise was reduced by roughly 50-60 percent, the music was only slightly muffled with a reduction of around 20 percent.
While the Corsair HS80 isn't a standout in noise cancellation, it does a decent job at pumping out quality music. Our tests make use of a variety of music samples. In the end, we found that the Corsair's bass is quiet even though not overly powerful. The midrange is great though it can slightly override the bass and treble. And, while not very poppy, the treble quality is upfront and sounds good.
We have already detailed what other peoples' voices sound like when projected into the ear cups of the Corsair HS80. However, the way the wearer's voice sounds to others is also of the utmost importance. The quality of this sound is the product of the microphone. As such, we use audio recording software to capture speech and then compare the recording from the other device in the review. Here again, the Corsair HS80 delivered a slightly better than average performance.
When we compare the Corsair HS80 to the rest of the class of headsets, we find that the device captures fairly clear speech. However, sibilants, or hissing 'S' sounds, are apparent though the overall effect is mild. We also evaluate the muting function as part of the microphone assessment. We found the mute to be absolute with no white noise or static.
Ease of Use
The ease of use metric measures the difficulty, or lack thereof, in getting the device to operate as expected. This assessment covers software, onboard controls, and the physical details of the microphone. The Corsair HS80 received an average performance for its overall ease of use.
First off, the Corsair HS80 uses Corsair's proprietary iCUE software for programming details such as the RGB illuminated logos on the ear cups. However, it is not necessary to use the software as the unit is plug-and-play right out of the box. The headset has several onboard controls, too. There is a volume dial, and a power button as the unit is wireless and needs to be turned off to save the battery. The microphone is adjustable, and we found no issues with it staying in the set position. We like the adjustments on this mic quite a bit as it swivels up and down and is very flexible. Muting the mic is as simple as lifting it into the vertical position.
The Corsair HS80 is a wireless device, so there isn't any issue with the cord getting in the way so long as the device is charged. The charging cable is a 6-foot USB-C that we found to be an acceptable length for most rigs. Our only complaints with this device are that the mic is not detachable, and the ear cups fit snuggly enough that it's hard to know how loud you are speaking. Some headsets have a sidetone feature that feeds your voice back into the headset but not the Corsair.
Should You Buy the Corsair HS80 RGB?
As far as wireless headsets go, the Corsair HS80 is a remarkably good device. It has a significantly good performance overall yet costs far below the class average. Sure, the HS80 has some shortcomings in ease of use and comfort, but they are minor when set up against the many beneficial features packed into this device. With this in mind, we can say that we think this is a very good purchase and well worth the money invested.
What Other Gaming Headsets Should You Consider?
If you want to save a little money and get a better-performing device in the deal, consider a wired headset such as the Kraken V3 HyperSense. This device tops the class in every metric except ease of use — a blemish on its otherwise stellar performance that couldn't be avoided since it is a corded device. If you are just getting into gaming or are unsure if a headset is worth the cost, check out the HyperX Cloud Stinger. This piece of hardware costs a fraction of what leading models cost. However, it earned respectable audio and comfort performances, and its mic is among the best in the class.
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