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REVIEW: Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless

By Edward Chester. Posted

The HS80 RGB Wireless is the latest addition to Corsair’s gaming headset line-up, and it continues the company’s recent trend of having a completely different physical design for each of its headset ranges. There’s a little bit of the aggressive angles of the Void range here, along with the more muted aesthetic of the Virtuoso series, all finished off with a headband that’s unique to this headset.

Instead of simply adding some padding to the underside of a stiff headband, here your rests against an elasticated band that’s slung between either side of a fixed outer headband. This arrangement does away with adjustable arms on the outer band – instead you can loosen or tighten the elastic to adjust the band’s height. It’s a system that works well, although the adjustment takes a bit of trial and error, and can’t easily be adjusted once it’s on your head.

The earcups have an angled, straight-edged shape that does a decent job of emulating the overall shape of most ears, and in doing so, provides a comfortable, cosseting fit. The earcup pads are comfortable and deep so as not to squash your ears, and they have a very soft fabric cover. They make for a fit that balances being secure on your head without applying too much pressure.

The non-removable microphone and large, angled earcup shape mean this is a resolutely ‘gamer’-looking device, but the muted all-black colour scheme looks smart enough. There is some RGB lighting but it’s relatively subtle, being confined to the Corsair logos on the sides of each earcup, and it can be turned off to conserve power. The microphone also has a small ring of light around its tip, which will switch from red to white automatically when the microphone is deployed.

Instead of simply adding some padding to the underside of a stiff headband, Corsair has instead provided an elasticated band slung between either side of a fixed outer headband

Hosted by the left earcup, the microphone rotates up and down, and can be bent slightly to bring it closer to your mouth. Also on the left earcup is the USB Type-C charging port, power switch and digital volume wheel. The latter works well – although like many digital volume wheels, it can be a little slow to adjust, but the power switch is a little small.

As well as charging, the USB port can be used for audio, which upgrades the headset from the 24-bit/48kHz sample rate it uses in wireless mode to a 24-bit/96KHz sample rate when tethered.

In terms of sound quality, the microphone is nothing special. It’s fine for getting the point across with in-game voice comms but it lacks the depth and clarity of the likes of the Sennheiser GSP 300, for instance.

Headphone sound quality is very good though. There’s plenty of bass but it doesn’t feel forced, instead just providing warmth and power to the sound. Clarity is excellent too, allowing you to clearly pick out subtle game sounds and the intricacies of your favourite music.

The headset also supports Dolby Atmos for Headphone and it works as well as we’ve come to expect, providing greater positional feel in games and other audio sources with multi-channel audio support. Meanwhile, the rated battery life of 20 hours is on the low side for a wireless gaming headset, although the ability to charge and provide USB audio at the same time slightly makes up for it.

Conclusion

The Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless is an accomplished gaming headset that looks and sounds great, is comfortable to wear and has just enough core features to do the job. The inclusion of USB charging (and USB audio) makes it convenient for modern systems and its virtual surround works well. It’s not packed with extra features and it’s priced fairly high but it’s a quality unit.

Verdict
A well balanced if slightly pricey high-end wireless gaming headset.

Price
£140 inc VAT

Scores
DESIGN 16/20 | FEATURES 16/20 | VALUE 14/20 | OVERALL SCORE 80%

FRIGATE
+Great sound quality
+Useful core features
+Wireless convenience

DINGHY
-Fixed microphone
-Fiddly power button
-Expensive

SPEC
Connections USB Type-C (charging and audio)
Audio config Stereo and Dolby Atmos virtual surround
Frequency range 20-40,000Hz
Sensitivity/sound pressure level 109db
Mic frequency response 100-10,000Hz
Mic sensitivity -40db
Battery life 20 hours
Weight 367g
Extras USB Type-C cable, wireless dongle

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