The HS50 is Corsair’s brand new budget gaming headset. Available for under $50, it’s markedly cheaper than the company’s other models and correspondingly there are some obvious cost cutting measures. But, as budget headsets go, there’s a lot to like about the HS50.
The first thing being that it looks good. The combination of the all-black colour scheme and the choice of materials works really well. You’ve got the metal band that makes up the headband and earcup holders, the nice stitched faux leather, and the metal grille. None of it’s truly premium but there’s a certain sense of quality and cohesion to the whole thing.
Even the blue and green versions only add subtle highlights, so you can fit the headset into your colour scheme without going completely overboard.
Corsair HS50 video review
What’s also immediately likeable is the features that you get. This is a simple analogue stereo headset so there’s nothing too clever going on here but you get an on-earcup volume control, rather than the cheap and inconvenient ones that hang in the middle of the cable.
There’s also a mute button for the microphone, and the mic itself can be removed.
However, the little rubber plug that covers the hole for the microphone seems like something that’ll just get lost straightaway. Also, the mic, while bendable, can’t be entirely moved out of the way, and it can be a bit distracting to have in your peripheral vision.
Meanwhile audio quality from the microphone is reasonably clear and perfectly acceptable for game chat and skype use.
One of the more obvious non-premium features of this headset is its cable. For a start it’s tethered so you won’t be able to swap it if it gets damaged, plus it’s non-braided and arrives fairly kinked. It’s a decent length, though and includes an all-in-one jack as well as a splitter for separate microphone and headphone signals.
As for comfort, this headset’s large earcups should prove ample for all but the largest of ears and although not overly generous there’s enough padding that your ears don’t immediately get squashed.
Padding on the headband looks to be plentiful but a lot of this depth is taken up with the hard inner workings of the headband, leaving only about 5mm of squishy travel.
Despite this, I didn’t find the headset getting uncomfortable even after a couple of hours of wear.
Finally we come to audio quality from this headset’s 50mm drivers and the short version is that they’re okay. Corsair has gone for a fairly typical gamer sound signature with boosted bass and treble. This makes for a slightly hollowed out sound that has a particularly strong thump for kick drums, bass lines and of course in-game explosions, and there’s a certain sparkle to the top end but the mid-range is a bit lacking.
Personally, I prefer a flatter, true-to-life sound signature but if you like that boosted style of sound then the HS50 should suit you just fine. Plus, when gaming, I didn’t find it held me back.
All told, then, the Corsair HS50 is a great headset. It looks the part, it’s well built, it’s reasonably comfortable, and it sounds alright. Spend more and you do get more but for fifty dollars, it’s well worth a look.