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.