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On The Bench: Corsair's HS1 USB Gaming Headset

Overall Impressions

We also compared the HS1 to the Razer Megalodon, another 7.1 virtual surround unit, and was immediately struck by just how wide the HS1’s dynamic range appears to be. By comparison, Razer’s high-end unit’s maximum volume just couldn’t compare. We’ve also listened to the Psyko 7.1 headset with its baffled multiple drivers. But the less said about that, the better.

Finally, we fired up several games: Mass Effect / Mass Effect 2, Mafia II, Left 4 Dead 2, and Just Cause 2. Left 4 Dead 2 allowed us to try out the microphone with our teammates, and it worked like a charm, though Corsair’s control panel defaults to a mic gain of “1”, so be sure to turn it up if you want to be heard! We also recorded some voice content, and then played it back to test out the noise-canceling feature, which worked quite well. The only thing we avoided were “karaoke” effects (allowing you to alter the sound of your voice). But that capability is there, so if you’re a man who plays female characters in MMOs, you can now sound like one as well.

It’s worth noting that the HS1 was more comfortable than any headset we’ve tried, including various Razer headsets, the Steelseries Siberia V2, and the Psyko. It’s also more comfortable over the long haul than our dedicated Sennheiser HD 580 audio headphones.

In the end, Corsair has exceeded expectations. The audio quality, while not perfect, is certainly excellent overall. Factor in the high level of comfort and the $99 price tag, and you have a nearly unbeatable combination.

  • amk09
    corsair? really? well i guess i'll have to try these baby's out.
    Reply
  • IzzyCraft
    $99 it looks like it's in competition with the G35...
    Reply
  • crazybaldhead
    Nice advertising, Loyd.
    Reply
  • agnickolov
    No technical data provided here, so I had to look it up on Corsair's web site. The dynamic range is 20Hz-20kHz, which is a very solid showing in contrast to all the other sub-par gaming headsets reviewed here on Tom's Hardware. However, it's still no match to a professional gaming headset like the Sennheiser PC 350 (10Hz-26kHz). I couldn't find HD 580 on Sennheiser's web site (discontinued I suppose), but the updated model HD 600 has a dynamic range of 12Hz-39kHz, so it's a different ball game again. In the author's defense, it's very hard to discern audio quality differences beyond 20kHz and many humans cannot do that.

    I'd say for its price of $100, this headset is a great value. For comparison, the MSRP for the Sennheiser PC 350 is $250, while it can be found online starting at $125.
    Reply
  • DavC
    agnickolovNo technical data provided here, so I had to look it up on Corsair's web site. The dynamic range is 20Hz-20kHz, which is a very solid showing in contrast to all the other sub-par gaming headsets reviewed here on Tom's Hardware. However, it's still no match to a professional gaming headset like the Sennheiser PC 350 (10Hz-26kHz). I couldn't find HD 580 on Sennheiser's web site (discontinued I suppose), but the updated model HD 600 has a dynamic range of 12Hz-39kHz, so it's a different ball game again. In the author's defense, it's very hard to discern audio quality differences beyond 20kHz and many humans cannot do that.i dont think there's hardly any people who can hear above 20kHz (or below 20Hz). i remember we tried it in a science lesson at school, out of a class of about 30, there was only me and one other person who could hear a tone upto just over 18kHz.

    I've always been under the impression 20Hz - 20kHz is the full range of human hearing. anything above or below that is pointless measuring, and of no use what so ever.

    Anyway, this headset looks good. i've never done gaming with a proper headset before, and am rather tempted by this one.
    Reply
  • 7amood
    I see no graph... just words describing what the reviewer feel.
    I only see general pictures of the headphones...
    this is not the quality review i'm used to see from tom's...
    total disappointment, but still interested in the headphone.
    Reply
  • nanonyous
    That 'easy to use' control panel is the standard C-Media control panel, which leads me to believe the audio controller employed in the headphones is a C-Media derivative, if not a C-Media chip.
    Reply
  • Collie147
    I thought the Psykos were 5.1 and not 7.1???
    Reply
  • precariousgray
    "But that capability is there, so if you’re a man who plays female characters in MMOs, you can now sound like one as well."

    Only good/interesting/informative part of this "review."
    Reply
  • ares1214
    The more products corsair releases, the better if you ask me. And for those who wanted more graphs or pictures, audio quality is something very hard to do that with. Sure, he can do a dB chart, dynamic range chart, which he already said, but thats about it. This should have been a lot of opinion, and it was, which is good. Not everybody might thing they are comfortable or not. Same with audio quality. A 20Hz-20kHz is the official hearing range of humans. VERY few can hear below/above, and those who can likely cant tell the difference. It would be a waste of money to make them go any further.
    Reply