Gaming headsets come in many shapes and forms, and often can be a subjective experience. Up until recently, I wasn’t even aware that Corsair produced gaming headsets, my exposure to the company being limited to keyboard and mice PC peripherals. However, Corsair was kind enough to inform me of their wide breadth of products and I was given the recently released Corsair HS50 (“HS50”) Xbox edition headset to review.
The HS50 is an entry level gaming headset, which works across multiple platforms including PC, PS4 and Xbox One, much like that of other brands. Right out of the box, the one thing that’s immediately noticeable is that the headset is relatively bulky, and despite having a detachable mic, is not all that portable, which for me is a feature I enjoy.
Though bulky, the headset is surprisingly comfortable with over-the-ear cups that were a tad bit big for me, and a headband that is fully equipped with a fabric cushion that sits nice and comfortably on my head. With the detachable mic housed on the left ear cup, so too are the volume control and mic mute buttons. This took some getting used to as most headsets I’ve worn had the volume and mic controls attached to the cord itself.
The HS50 I received was specifically for the Xbox One, and came with the Xbox colours of black and green. The green around the cups were nice but it would have been a whole lot cooler if there was more green to the headset, to really make it stand out. As someone who’s into colour and visuals, it would have been a nice touch, but this is simply my own personal preference. At the end of the day, quality of sound is most important.
Before delving into the audio quality, it’s important to note that the HS50 does come with two different wires, a single wire which allows you to connect the headset to your console or mobile devices, and a split mic/audio wire, which allows for PC connectivity.
Given that the headset costs only $89AUD, the audio quality is decent and much clearer than one would expect from a reasonably priced headset. However, whilst audio quality is fine for gameplay and party chat, it isn’t exactly fit for listening to music. The headset’s performance in delivering smooth, crystal clear sound when it comes to music is disappointing, probably due to its affordability and being made specifically as a gaming headset. Perhaps the Corsair Void range of headsets would prove to be a step up (though more expensive).
Overall, the Corsair HS50 headset is affordable and one that perhaps younger gamers, or those on a budget, could make use of. Whilst compatible across all platforms, the headset itself doesn’t seem to have any defining features that helps distinguish it from other brands. This is one thing I found particularly interesting, as almost all headsets in the market today have one particular stand-out feature, which sets it apart from its competitors. The HS50 doesn’t. Not only that, but as far as I could tell from the various Google searches and retail site trawling I did, the HS50 is currently not available in New Zealand.
Regardless, I’m especially grateful to Corsair for sending me the HS50 to have a play with and review. Whether it’s a great headset or not, it does the job and is affordable, making it more appealing than its more expensive counterparts.