Corsair HS50 Pro stereo gaming headset review: Premium quality with a budget price

Can you experience the comfort of a $100 headset for half the price? Corsair thinks so.

Corsair HS50 Pro stereo gaming headset
(Image: © Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

Windows Central Verdict

Corsair is tackling the budget gaming headset category with some of the most comfortable cushions I've felt at this price range. Its combination of plastic, metal, and artificial leather makes extended game sessions a breeze. The detachable Discord-certified microphone won't help you record high-end podcasts, but it's suitable for multiplayer communication and rounds off this fantastic offering with tremendous value.

Pros

  • +

    Comfortable faux-leather.

  • +

    Super-soft cushions.

  • +

    Decent microphone.

Cons

  • -

    Integrated cable.

  • -

    No chat volume wheel.

  • -

    Cushioned seals can cause some sweatiness.

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Headsets are essential accessories for gamers teaming up with friends or immersing themselves in a personal audio environment for late-night gaming. Hundreds of models, from money-saving budget variants to high-end sets for those with money to burn, are usually advertised with plenty of hype.

Not everyone has the cash or the patience to determine which headsets provide the best value. Luckily we're checking out the latest affordable entry from Corsair to see if you can pick up a premium headset for less than $50 in our HS50 Pro stereo gaming headset review.

Corsair HS50 Pro: Price, availability, and specs

Corsair HS50 Pro boxed (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

Corsair sells the HS50 Pro stereo gaming headset through third-party retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, and Walmart, for a $50 MSRP. This wired headset is compatible with PC, consoles, and mobile, using a standard 3.5mm jack connection. The box includes a two-way headphone/microphone splitter alongside the detachable microphone and a foam pop shield.

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CategorySpecification
ConnectionWired 3.5mm analog
Speakers50mm neodymium
Speaker response20Hz to 20,000Hz
Speaker impedance32 Ohms @ 1kHz
MicrophoneUnidirectional
Mic impedance2.0k Ohms
Mic response100Hz - 10,000Hz
Sensitivity~40db (+3dB)

Corsair HS50 Pro: What's good

Corsair HS50 Pro unboxed (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

When I first unboxed the HS50 Pro headset, the faux-leather padding along the underside of the headband stood out immediately. It's something I noted in Corsair's promotional shots and wondered if it would turn out to be as plush as it seems in real life. Although the thickness tapers toward the edges, the band is superbly comfortable and visually more appealing than plain felt or plastic-covered sponge.

The earcups are of similar construction and equally impressive, covering its memory foam with the same artificial leather stitched around the edges. So far, the HS50 Pro reminds me of some favorite headsets from the past; absolute gold mine finds exceeding the quality you might expect at this price point. I had no complaints about comfort after an entire evening of playing Overwatch 2, and I wouldn't have an issue picking them up as a budget set for my Xbox.

Each chunky foam cup creates a decent seal and does a fantastic job of preventing any sound from leaking. You could happily crank the volume without disturbing anyone else at home as long as you don't have any objections to encasing your ears, as things could soon get sweaty in the warmer months. Levels are somewhat flat, but there's enough bass to enjoy games with intense music.

Corsair HS50 Pro headband and cushions (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

Each side of the headset expands by around 24mm, which is plenty of extra space for my gigantic skull. There are printed measurements inside the band, too, which helps if you find the perfect size for your head. The outer sides feature a reasonably standard grill pattern but with some extra fancy green or blue stitching if you pick up one of the colored variations. There's no RGB, but the centered Corsair logo is at least engraved in aluminum and looks slick enough.

You can control the volume with a wheel on the left-side speaker, and the microphone detaches quickly enough from its custom-shaped slot. A foam attachment in the box acts as a pop screen when speaking, plus a 3.5mm splitter cable helps with use on a PC sound card. Finally, a chunky push-button allows for a quick mute, so you could leave the microphone permanently connected if you prefer.

Listen to the sound clip above, and you'll hear that the microphone isn't particularly studio quality, but it's perfectly serviceable for party voice chat. I recorded the samples inside the Xbox messaging system to show how it performs in real-world testing, and I've certainly heard worse than this.

The advertised noise cancellation is clearly in effect, and you can hear it removing a significant amount of bass from my voice. It's especially noticeable towards the beginning of sentences, but the clarity is mainly preserved. Sticking to in-game communications and casual chatter will be fine, so Corsair's application for Discord certification was justified. Remember that Discord support for Xbox is gradually making its way to all users, so the HS50 Pro is perfect for both console and PC.

Corsair HS50 Pro: What's not so good

Corsair HS50 Pro fixed cable (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

There aren't many negatives to such an affordable headset, but some missing functions are likely due to cost savings. Something lacking compared to other models is the absence of a voice-specific volume wheel, forcing you to use the Xbox side menu to adjust party chat or the Windows volume mixer on PC instead. It might seem trivial, but when you're playing with a large group for extended periods, dedicated volume wheels are something you'll wish were present here.

Although the microphone is detachable, the headphone cable is not. You can split it into two parts with the included adapter, but the primary cord remains permanently fixed to the HS50 Pro. It's not a complete deal breaker, but it can make for messy storage. Corsair includes a rubber cable tidy, which helps to wrap things up when you're not using the headset, but the cord reaches around 70 inches, so it's still a little bulky.

The button for microphone muting has a shallow travel distance, and it's sometimes hard to tell if you pushed it. Since there are no LED lights on this headset, you must learn how it feels when the mute function is activated. Overall, Corsair has made the right sacrifices for the HS50 Pro's affordable design, in my opinion. They help keep the cost down, but it's worth considering if you'll be frustrated by these omissions.

Corsair HS50 Pro: The competition

Logitech Astro A10 (Image credit: Ben Wilson | Windows Central)

Finding a quality headset in this budget category is tricky, and Corsair has proved the HS50 Pro to be a worthy competitor. Few models can match its comfort and style, but there are some standout wired headsets in its price range, including the fantastic Astro A10 (Gen 2), which sells for just $10 more. Pulling ahead with microphone quality and just about matching overall comfort, the Astro sometimes suffers from interference with its detachable 3.5mm cable.

Hitting the same mark, Razer's Kaira X retails for $60 and matches the 50mm drivers found on the HS50 Pro. There's still no dedicated voice volume control wheel, but you get the addition of RGB lighting, just as you'd expect from a Razer product. Fitting more of a typical gamer aesthetic with varied color schemes and adding a detachable microphone makes it a tempting alternative.

The SteelSeries Arctis 1 has a wired variant, sold as cheap as $25 on previous Amazon Prime Day events. Its 40mm drivers are slightly weaker, but the microphone is still detachable and offers a comparable level of comfort. Similar sales aren't too farfetched for Corsair, with the HS50 Pro dropping as low as $27 in June 2022, so it's worth the extra few bucks if that happens again.

Corsair HS50 Pro: Should you buy?

You should buy this if ...

  • You need a comfortable gaming headset.
  • You're looking for high-quality construction on a budget.
  • Your devices are all compatible with a 3.5mm wired connection.

You shouldn't buy this if ...

  • You need a detachable jack cable.
  • You want the highest-quality microphone.
  • You don't like the feeling of synthetic leather.

Corsair delivers a level of comfort that feels like a total steal at $50, especially considering they paired the HS50 Pro with a convenient detachable microphone. Its microphone quality is outperformed by the speakers but is still good enough for party chat during extended evenings of multiplayer gaming. It sits pretty alongside not only the best Xbox gaming headsets under $100 but as one of the most comfortable entry-level sets around $50.

If you're happy to use a wired headset tethered to your wireless controller or directly to a PC, there aren't many alternatives that can compete with the cushioned faux leather here. As long as you're comfortable with the material and don't mind getting your ears a little warm in the closed cups, it's one of the best budget headsets I've used.