Windows Central Verdict
The Corsair HS65 Surround is a fantastic budget-friendly headset that focuses on performance over fancy features like wireless capabilities. If all you need is a no-frills headset for enjoying your favorite games, this is one to consider.
Great 7.1 surround sound
Premium design at a low price
No wireless connectivity
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Picking a PC gaming headset can prove to be a little challenging in 2022. There are so many headsets out there that are worth considering. Corsair makes a fair number of its own, and the company is looking to bolster its efforts in the affordable segment with the launch of the Corsair HS65 Surround.
Traditionally, one had to fork out for the best PC gaming headsets to enjoy anything better than subpar audio and a few additional features. These days, it's possible to spend as little as $50 on a headset and enjoy decent 7.1 surround sound capabilities.
At $70, the HS65 Surround is competitively priced to go up against the likes of Razer.
Price, specs, and availability
Surround sound: 7.1
Sensitivity: 111dB (+/-3dB)
Impedance: 32 ohms @ 1kHz
The Corsair HS65 Surround is available for $80, which makes it an affordable headset compared to the competition. It's easy to spend $200 or even more on a PC gaming headset, showcasing just how much value is on offer here with the excellent 7.1 surround sound functionality using Corsair's iCUE software.
The HS65 is available in two colors: carbon and white. Windows Central was provided a review sample in white.
Corsair HS65 Surround: What I like
The Corsair HS65 Surround is a gorgeous headset, especially for the price. I'd have imagined this pair of cans would cost considerably more. The headset is packaged in an attractive box with a simple design. It's secured inside protective cardboard with a manual. There aren't any accessories aside from the included 3.5mm to USB adapter.
The headset itself looks great in white with a fixed non-braided cable. Measuring in at just 282g, this thing is incredibly lightweight. Because of the primary 3.5mm connection, it's possible to use the HS65 Surround with PC, Mac, PS4, PS5, and Nintendo Switch, though surround sound capability is restricted to PC with the iCUE software.
To make the HS65 Surround as comfortable as possible, Corsair utilized memory foam ear cups and a soft headband. Even after a full eight hours of use throughout a workday, I experienced no discomfort that can be associated with heavy or tight headphones and headsets. The headband is light and can be easily adjusted.
Performance-wise, the Corsair HS65 Surround pumps out clear audio using the 50mm neodymium audio drivers to hit the 20Hz-20kHz range. In-game sounds and music are clear through the drivers to create a pleasant experience. It's even capable of allowing you to enjoy some music on the side.
The microphone is decent enough, capturing between 100Hz-10kHz to allow good audio capture for video calls and communicating with teammates in Discord. Activating the virtual surround sound requires the installation of Corsair iCUE. Comparing the HS65 against other headsets in the same price range didn't show any notable differences.
Overall, you won't be disappointed with how much it costs to pick up the HS65 Surround.
Corsair HS65 Surround: What I didn't like
It's not really a complaint as such since you can use the HS65 Surround without surround sound through the 3.5mm jack or USB connection, but you will require the latter and Corsair's iCUE software for the functionality to be activated. So long as you're running a compatible operating system and be comfortable running the software, you're good to go.
What I do dislike with the Corsair HS65 Surround is the inability to wear it outside. I mean, you could, but you wouldn't want to. The microphone doesn't detach from the headset, which is a shame since the design would work since it doesn't feature aggressive "gamer" aesthetics or RGB lighting.
Corsair HS65 Surround: Competition
Even though Corsair priced the HS65 Surround competitively, there are still numerous headsets out there that are also worth considering. The Razer Kraken V3 HyperSense is one such fine offering, which includes many of the same features at a similar price, but has a small party trick up its cans. The HyperSense headset is capable of producing vibrations.
Then there's the Astro A10 (Gen2), which is from Logitech and undercuts both the HS65 Surround and Kraken V3 HyperSense. This budget-friendly headset is a little more basic with only support for a 3.5mm jack connection and does not offer any form of surround sound functionality.
Should you buy the Corsair HS65 Surround?
You should buy if
- You want to use a headset with 7.1 surround sound
- You don't want to spend more than $70 on a headset
- You want a headset that can be used with a USB port or 3.5mm jack
- You want to wear the headset for long gaming sessions
You shouldn't buy if
- You don't particularly care for 7.1 surround sound
- You want a wireless gaming headset
- You have more than $70 to spend on a better headset
The Corsair HS65 Surround is a solid headset for $70. Looking at the packaging and the unboxed headset, you'd be forgiven to mistake it for a more premium pair of cans. The 7.1 surround sound, which requires the 3.5mm to USB adapter and Corsair iCUE software, is also brilliant and sets it apart from some other more affordable headsets.
The cans are incredibly comfortable to wear for long periods of time. Should you enjoy playing your favorite PC game for hours at a given time, you won't experience pain or discomfort from wearing the Corsair HS65 Surround. The ability to use either a USB or 3.5mm port does make it possible to use the headset with a variety of devices.
The headset market is incredibly competitive, but Corsair's HS65 Surround is a great choice for those who want better audio at a reasonable price.
Corsair's HS65 Surround is a stunning PC gaming headset for the price, rocking solid audio, build quality, and support for 7.1 surround sound, so long as you use the company's iCUE software.
Rich Edmonds was formerly a Senior Editor of PC hardware at Windows Central, covering everything related to PC components and NAS. He's been involved in technology for more than a decade and knows a thing or two about the magic inside a PC chassis. You can follow him on Twitter at @RichEdmonds.