Wireless headsets are in abundance these days, as the technology around audio quality overair improves. Corsair has a few great options on the table, including the impressive Corsair HS75 XB for Xbox. Where Corsair generally excels is value for money, in my view, with the build quality and sound reproduction that edges out the competition at the same price point.
Recently, I got my hands on the Corsair HS80 for PC, which is a wireless headset that comes with Dolby Atmos baked in. This headset is also compatible with PlayStation 4 and 5, making it quite a versatile option for multi-platform gamers.
Does the HS80 continue Corsair's trend and make the grade? Let's go ears-on and take a listen.
Bottom line: The Corsair HS80 is a lightweight and comfortable headset option for those who want a headset that feels sturdy across heavy use. The soundscape isn't the most versatile out there, but it offers great clarity and separation ideal for tactical play.
- Solid build quality with high-grade materials
- Comfortable floating headband design
- High-quality software
- Rock-solid wireless signal
- Dolby Atmos license built-in
- Great microphone
- Fabric is warm and unpleasant on the ears
- Treble is a bit overbearing
- Pointless RGB logo
Corsair HS80: Price and availability
The Corsair HS80 costs $150, and comes with a USB-C charging cable, USB 3.0 wireless dongle, and the main headset unit. The headset is generally available at all major retailers and seems to have decent stock allocation. It was up on Amazon and other sites at the time of writing.
Corsair HS80: What's good
I've become a fan of Corsair in recent years, owing to their subtle design tendencies and emphasis on value for money. Many other gaming accessory manufacturers seem to gun for over-the-top designs with bright colors and loud angular toy-like visuals, but Corsair offers something far more mature, continuing the trend with the HS80.
|Freq. response||20hz to 40kHz|
|Battery life||20 hours|
|Compatibility||PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5|
|Connectivity||USB wireless, USB wired|
|Features||Flip-to-mute mic, sidetone mic monitoring|
The HS80 is a very attractive headset design, marrying high-quality plastics and metal parts with multi-tone grays and steel accents. The headset itself isn't adjustable, but it comes with a high-quality Velcro floating headband strap that can be tightened or loosened, adjusting the height for your ears. As someone with an annoyingly large head, this design is always welcome. I was able to tailor the headset quickly and easily to my liking, and found it to be comfortable on the head even across lengthy sessions.
The Corsair HS80 is a wireless headset that comes with a powerful USB dongle, across a 20Hz to 40kHz frequency response. The soundscape is broad with good separation, giving you a heightened awareness of minute-to-minute sound details entering the stage. The out-of-the-box sound seems tuned towards tactical play, which gives it a bit of a crunchy profile, emphasizing footsteps and reload sounds and things of that nature. It's no slouch for warmer tones or bass, though, especially if you're willing to spend time tweaking it with the powerful iCUE software.
The headset itself has all the necessary controls baked on, and they come with good action. Many headsets fall at this detail, so it's welcome to see Corsair offer high-quality dials and buttons here. The headset also has a clear voice assistant on board, giving you feedback when you flip-to-mute, or change settings on the fly. The mic also has good sidetone support so you can hear yourself speak, just make sure you've set the dongle to the correct platform beforehand. It will work on "PlayStation" mode on PC, but you'll lose some volume if you don't set it properly, and the headset doesn't inform you if you're in the correct mode. It's minor, but just something to be aware of.
Another impressive feat of the HS80 is the microphone. On Corsair's website, they describe it as "broadcast-grade," and I often roll my eyes when I see a headset manufacturer claim as such. Microphones on headsets are almost never near even the cheapest condenser mics for quality and aren't really something you'd use for making content generally speaking. However, I was pleasantly surprised by the HS80 mic. It's very clear, and very crisp, giving listeners on the other end a positive experience. It's not quite something you'd use for making podcasts and the like, but it's certainly among the better options in this price bracket.
Overall, the HS80 is a great headset that ticks all the right boxes. It's comfortable and lightweight, with impressive 20-hour battery life on a single charge. The on-ear controls work well, and the maximum volume and sound clarity are satisfactory for its price tier. There are a couple of things I wish were a bit different about it, though.
Corsair HS80: What's not so good
There's nothing majorly wrong with the HS80, so I have a collection of nitpicks here and there. This is a headset that errs on the tactical sound side, giving it a bit of a treble-heavy accentuation with highs that come through a little too crisp at times, to the point of sounding a bit unrealistic.
You can tweak the soundscape with the equalizer in the app, but the default profiles offered are a bit lackluster. The default bass boost for example swept all of the detail out of the sound stage, while also reducing the volume. I was able to eventually get the sound reproduction to a place I liked both for games and a separate profile for music, but it felt like an uphill struggle. Music, in particular, didn't sound super great on this headset. While it's by no means terrible, for users who want a versatile sound stage, this might not be the best option.
I'm also not a fan of the wooly fabric-style earcups some manufacturers use. It's an unnecessarily warm material when compared to synthetic leather. Maybe it's a costing thing, I'm unsure, but in the tail end of the summer months I found it to be a bit on the warm side. As we enter autumn and winter it'll be less of an annoyance, but it's worth being aware of.
Finally, I wish manufacturers would stop putting RGB on their headsets. What's the point? You can't see it yourself, and all it does is decrease the battery life, even if it's slight. Thankfully, you can turn it off.
Corsair HS80: Competition
The Corsair HS80 competes with various wireless PC headsets in this $150 price range, including the likes of the LucidSound LS35X, the SteelSeries 7X, and the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro Wireless. I think the Corsair HS80 offers good value for money and is at least comparable with most other similarly priced headsets on the market, although it doesn't quite edge out the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro for overall quality and sound reproduction in my view, but the gap is very close. The BlackShark V2 retails for $10 more too, however, which may sway you in Corsair's direction. The Corsair option looks a little less "pro gamer," too, if you prefer the design.
Corsair HS80: Should you buy it?
The Corsair HS80 is a generally great headset with an impressive microphone, decent sound stage, with high-quality construction. The design is mature and subtle, with a comfortable feel for long sessions.
The HS80 audio won't blow you away by any means, and you may find yourself spending a fair amount of time tweaking the audio profile for different scenarios. The iCUE software makes that pretty easy to do, though, and it comes with a good array of features for customizing the headset's settings, RGB lights, and sidetone mic monitoring.
Ultimately you could do far, far worse than this headset. I'm not sure it'll make the best PC gaming headset hall of fame, but it's certainly a great product that won't disappoint.
Bottom line: The Corsair HS80 isn't mind-blowing, but it delivers a great experience for its price, with good tactical sound, a great mic, and robust design sensibilities. This headset will not disappoint.
Jez Corden is a Senior Editor for Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!
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