A great-sounding, amazingly comfortable headset at a very competitive price point.
Bulky; a shining example of industrial design this ain't.
Now, the first thing you’re going to notice about the HS1 USB gaming headset is that it isn’t the best looking set out there. It’s bulky, the color choice is uninspired, and the odd decision to pad the bottom and top of the headband gives the whole thing a sort of bloated aesthetic. There—now that that’s out of the way, we can talk about the reasons that Corsair’s first headset kicks ass.
The Corsair HS1 isn't beautiful, but she's got it where it counts.
For one, it sounds great. That supersize chassis means more room for big, beefy 50mm drivers. These give the HS1 clear highs and bass that’s great for a pair of headphones. The dynamic range is also stellar, letting everything from gunshots to quiet, ambient background noises come through with excellent clarity.
The Dolby Headphone technology does a good job of simulating a 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound environment, and provides you with several virtual listening spaces to choose from. The configuration software also lets you apply environmental effects, mess with the equalization, and apply “karaoke” effects to your own voice with the built-in microphone.
The HS1 is also one of the most comfortable pairs of headphones we’ve ever worn. The huge, circumaural cans (complete with thick, memory-foam pads) completely envelope your ears, creating sound isolation and transferring all of the pressure away from the sensitive parts of your head. Despite its heavy appearance, the HS1 never felt uncomfortable, even after several hours of gaming. The microphone swings up and out of your way when you aren’t using it. The inline remote (which has only the standard volume and microphone controls) is big and brightly lit—you aren’t going to lose track of it.
There’s one final thing you need to know about the HS1: its price. Coming in at $100, the HS1 is an amazing deal. Though it’s not the absolute best headset we’ve ever used, the HS1 handily takes first prize in the bang-for-your-buck category, and we’d happily recommend it to anyone.