Corsair HS1 Gaming Headset

by Dustin Sklavos on 11/4/2010 12:01 AM EST
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  • jav6454 - Thursday, November 04, 2010 - link

    any data on how the headphones hold up to highs and lows without distortion? Reply
  • softdrinkviking - Thursday, November 04, 2010 - link

    I think the first page of the article explained that he (Dustin) doesn't believe these headphones warrant the purchase of equipment capable of delivering the data you are requesting. From what I understand, his reasoning is that they are too cheap to reveal excellence under testing scrutiny.

    Whether or not you agree with that reasoning is another matter.
    Reply
  • liweifr - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

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    <strong><a href="http://www.headphonesfashion.com">Best Headphones</a></strong>
    Reply
  • liweifr - Friday, August 05, 2011 - link

    http://www.headphonesfashion.com Reply
  • AnnonymousCoward - Thursday, November 04, 2010 - link

    Unless you have distortion from an integrated sound card, I think anyone would be much better off with $90 Sony MDR-7506 plus a separate mic. Same price, eons better sound quality. Reply
  • Amart - Saturday, November 06, 2010 - link

    Good advice, I forgot about it in my comment - but that's another good option. That Sony model is superior to any BOSE product. Should have good Soundstage too. Reply
  • Bseic - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    Let's be honest, anything in that price range from any reputable headphone manufacturer is going to be a far better option... AT, AKG, Beyer, Grado, Senn, we could name them all. At the end of the day almost all 'gaming' headsets should be avoided. Unfortunately it seems the majority of customers are sold by the marketing, and why wouldn't they be, without any prior knowledge '7.1 SURROUND SOUND' headphones seem very appealing. Reply
  • Theguynextdoor - Thursday, November 04, 2010 - link

    I wonder how this stacks up against Logitech's G35's and G930?

    I've had teh G35 for over 2.5 years now and absolutly love it with a few minor quirks.
    From the pics I can already see one quirk with the HS1 and that's the controls are still on the cord which is annoying, thus why I leaned towards the G35 when I made my purchase years ago. I like them ON the headset.

    But the price seems attractive I'll probably get some for friends and family.
    Reply
  • Will Robinson - Thursday, November 04, 2010 - link

    Yes,its better to have the controls on the headset where you can see them while you are gaming...oh wait....;)
    Actually I agree,in line controls tend to screw up after the cable's been yanked a few times taking the headset on and off.
    The Creative Arena headset is a better choice.
    http://us.store.creative.com/Sound-Blaster-Arena-S...
    Reply
  • Sufo - Thursday, November 04, 2010 - link

    Nice to see a headset review. Any chance we could get a few more of these? The Sony DR-GA500 particularly interest me. They also claim to be able to simulate 7.1 and i'd be interested to find out if they fulfil those claims. Reply
  • mrako - Thursday, November 04, 2010 - link

    Hey. Just got the dr-ga500 last week. I can briefly tell you that they are pretty good, light and comfortable for long sessions. The sound is balanced but very good-just don't expect bose level bass or any top audiophile headphones. As for the 7.1 I would tell you that I was not amazed until I played bad company 2-which was my actual reason for making this purchase. Somehow in this game the 7.1 works amazingly. A chopper flies from backwards to your side and then ahead of you and you know where it is even with eyes closed. If you are not in the middle of a firefight with many sounds you can actually hear is someone is coming from the back to stab you which is really cool. If you any further questions just give me a shout. Reply
  • Amart - Saturday, November 06, 2010 - link

    7.1 simulation is unnecessary when using decent Headphones that are known to have a good Soundstage - all you need for EAX Surround.
    Read how Binaural Sound works - you have two ears, you only need two channels and sufficient isolation.

    Gaming Headsets are a huge gimmick/scam designed to fool uneducated consumers.
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Thursday, November 04, 2010 - link

    Dustin,

    As another sufferer of having to wear glasses I feel your pain (literally). I was pleased to discover the Seinhesser HD280 headphone a couple years ago. Very VERY good sound quality and no pain issues with extended use. Occasional reseating of the headphones is required to remove humidity if your ears sweat, but that's pretty common on any completely enclosed design. Got mine for $80 on sale and they seem to go on sale pretty frequently.

    Give them a shot sometime, I think you'll be very pleased.
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Thursday, November 04, 2010 - link

    Please note this was a recommendation for headphones only (no mic included), just commenting on your first page of the article where you mentioned the dreaded Bose. :) Reply
  • JPForums - Thursday, November 04, 2010 - link

    I can get on board with that.
    I have a set of HD280 Pros and they are an excellent set in the $100 price range.
    (Even better for $80 as above)
    I'd recommend these for anyone who uses them for more than just gaming, though they really excel in studio listening due to their relatively flat spectrum characteristics.
    For gamers, I include the simple caveat: You need a decent sound card to make these good gaming headphones.
    Paired with a good sound card that can accurately simulate positional audio on a two speaker system, these are a beautiful set.
    Did I mention they are comfortable.
    The build quality is excellent all around.
    Though I agree with 7Enigma, they need to be reset periodically if you get sweaty ears.

    Find them on sale like 7Enigma and you can add that $20 mic and be in the same price range as these Corsairs.

    That said, I'm glad to hear Corsair didn't just put a crap set together and sell it based on brand.
    They seemed to be priced a little high compared to the competition, but not to bad for what you get.
    Given the reviews, I'd find these most useful for gaming on laptops.
    I figure anyone concerned with the sound quality will take the time to tweak them and if they are as comfortable as you say, Corsair will do fine in this market.
    There are a lot of people out there that can't tell the difference between a crap set of headphones and a good one, but they all know if it makes their head uncomfortable.
    I just hope that Corsair recognizes the flaws in their set and makes a better set to cater to the more refined crowd.
    Reply
  • demonbug - Thursday, November 04, 2010 - link

    also have a set of HD 280 pros. Good sound quality for the price, but I have to disagree about them being very comfortable. I've had them for several years, and I like them, but they are quite tight - I wouldn't even consider wearing them at the same time as my glasses, they are on the border of being uncomfortable even without (usually uncomfortable for the first 5-10 minutes, then I don't notice anymore).

    I would like to see a comparison of these "gaming" headsets to what several others have suggested, i.e. decent headphones and a cheap mic. My impression is that gaming headsets have been overpriced and cheaply made, and you can get much better value going the separate component route. It would be nice to have some way of objectively comparing them, though I do understand the hesitancy to invest in testing gear for something that only a small subset of Anandtech readers probably care about.

    I wouldn't see it as such a big deal if the gaming headset was ~$50 or less, but at the price they are asking it needs to be pretty damned good; waving away the idea of testing for sound quality because that isn't really what these are about just makes me wonder what that $100 price tag is going to.
    Reply
  • Spazweasel - Thursday, November 04, 2010 - link

    I'll second (or third) that motion. Got some Sennheiser HD280Pros myself. I wear glasses, and find these to be very comfortable, along with having excellent passive noise reduction (something around 21-22db, which is getting close to the noise reduction you get from passive shooter's headphones). The sound on the 280s is excellent, and for the money you'd be hard-pressed to better them.

    But as others have pointed out, that doesn't address the voice issue.

    I also have a Sennheiser PC151 headset. As non-circumaural headsets go, they're comfortable, and the sound (though not up to the standard of the HD280s) is quite good, especially given they're not primarily intended as music playback phones. The mic works almost too well (it's very sensitive, even to the sides and front) and gives good voice quality. Also goes for about 60 bucks, so you might want to pick up a pair of PC151s as a baseline for reasonably-priced gamer headsets.

    Nothing against OCZ, but they're moving into a well-established market. I'm going to bet these are designed by some other company and are basically OEMed, with changes in cosmetics. That being said, it's a crowded space, and OCZ's primary sell is going to be on name. They just need to make sure their OEM realizes what "good enough" really means.
    Reply
  • 7Enigma - Friday, November 05, 2010 - link

    Yeah, the noise-reduction is almost too good. My wife hates when I wear them and game because she can't get my attention even when in the adjacent room and banging on the wall. I've had both my daughter and wife scare the heck out of me (tap my shoulder or grab my leg) when playing scary FPS such as Metro2033 and F.E.A.R. :)

    But I've actually used them on a 6-hour drive in the car with my mp3 player (yes while driving). Looked very silly but being able to almost completely remove the screaming baby was the greatest thing and helped me focus on the road!
    Reply
  • mindbomb - Thursday, November 04, 2010 - link

    for surround sound on these things, don't you have to turn dolby headphone on and have windows and the game set to 5.1?

    cause i've heard that dolby headphone works very well on the asus dx, can't see why it wouldn't work well here.
    Reply
  • scook9 - Thursday, November 04, 2010 - link

    How would these compare to the Alienware TactX Headset. I got it for $75 and have been quite happy with it so far (replaced my apple earbuds from ipod.....lol)

    Seems like the 2 are directly competing in this market
    Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Thursday, November 04, 2010 - link

    For the 24 hours that I had them, they were.... ok. Then one of the ear pieces fell off and I had to send them off for replacement. HardOCP gave them a glowing review for some reason. Reply
  • DigitalFreak - Thursday, November 04, 2010 - link

    Dustin - You can download the drivers from here - http://www.corsair.com/software/hs1/HS1%20Setup.zi... Unfortunately the only way to find them is search their forums.... :-( Reply
  • WiredWired - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    Don't need to search, they're on the sidebar (and have been there since October 20th). Still a good question as to why they're not on the website though. Reply
  • warisz00r - Thursday, November 04, 2010 - link

    As it has been suggested by a poster here earlier, it makes much more sense to buy a cheap clip-on mic and spend the rest on a headphone that will sound miles better than these 'gaming headsets'. Sure you need to do quite a bit of research but at the end you'll get a much sweeter-sounding setup with an equally functional mic. For example, you can get a Shure SRH440 from your favourite American headphones retailer for about the same price the Corsair headset goes for in Newegg, and spare the chump change on a Zalman clip-on. Reply
  • Qasar - Thursday, November 04, 2010 - link

    directly to the optical or coax output of a sound card...

    i have the Azuntech X-Meridian, being able to listen to DD or DTS 5.1 from my comp regardless of the stereo source ( games music ) is awesome.. just wish i could do the same with headphones late at night..

    the only way i can do this right now, is via a home theater recevier with pre-outs, Zalmans 5.1 channel headphone amp (ZM-RSA ) and Zalmans 5.1 headphones ...

    just need the reciever, and 5.1 headphone amp ..... which i am working on getting ...
    Reply
  • yelped - Thursday, November 04, 2010 - link

    You mentioned in the article that you didn't find any comfortable headphones with glasses; You could try Sennheiser HD-555s. Great SQ, great price, excellent build quality, and very comfortable, even with glasses; it just molds into it. Reply
  • Gonemad - Friday, November 05, 2010 - link

    I had them for eons. From the moment I bought them, they didn´t have that vice-grip feel on the head at all. You can barely feel them on the head. They feel bulky and heavy on the hand, but your neck says otherwise, which comes as a lovely surprise. It's not like you would be turning the head a lot while gaming or anything hooked to a PC.

    I had yanked its cable more than often, and it didn´t fail so far, and its been... 7 years!?! I mean, they worked straight from the box even in Windows 98 *First Edition.* Just like Thrustmaster, they actually labeled the box with the warning "NO CD" inside. Simple and efficient plug'n'play by design.

    If you are good, you can dodge bullets; but if you are REALLY good, you don´t need to. Ouch.

    There is a "bass enhance" switch that shows up straight on the Windows tray, inside the volume control, and trust me, the bass gets so much boost it hurts, so I keep them off. It appears these guys make the DSP-400 up until this day, which apparently folds itself for storage or airplane usage, I don't really know, but the audio section is the same, I guess.

    Only 3 buttons on the mid-cable rocker: volume and a mute for the mike. You know, the red bright led is there to show you that nobody will hear you, until you hit it again. When not speaking you cant just fold up the mike and enjoy some neighbours-quiet songs. Speaking of cables, this one is really long, suited even for back-plane desktop USB hookup. Just don't expect your original sound card to do anything while it is plugged back there.

    They (plantronics) provide headphones of all sorts since 1961 (geez, I had to google that!!), they ought be good. It is not loud or fancy; it gets the job done, and the microphone rarely picks up your breathing; the position of the mike boom appears to have been thought for that purpose since day one, should you ever consider why it doesn´t flex much in any other direction besides the up-stay-away position and usage.

    If you are just listening to music, go somewhere else, it isn´t for you, earbuds are more suited for that; but if any TeamSpeak, skype, or online chatting will be involved eventually, it is on the spot. Counter-Strike coupled with Teamspeak gets a whole new feel to it.
    Reply
  • 43st - Friday, November 05, 2010 - link

    Why do hardware enthusiast websites review cheap headphones? Processor reviews are usually the latest and greatest on the market as well as GPU, storage, etc. Shouldn't you be reviewing audio hardware at the level of the HD800 instead? Reply
  • Gonemad - Friday, November 05, 2010 - link

    After blowing the best part of $500 on a great GPU, a speedy SSD (er, storage), and a 7.1 audio system, you forgot that everybody is asleep and you can't have the amplifier as loud as you'd like, but you still want to hear it loud. Enter the budget headphones.

    Plus your brother stole your good headphones for his (insert fancy mp3 player here). Try that with a USB socket now! hehe...
    Reply
  • Amart - Saturday, November 06, 2010 - link

    Your Audio quality comparison is BOSE? I stopped reading.
    You shouldn't be writing audio reviews if you are ill-informed enough to use their products.

    Please visit head-fi.org and take a long hard look at the sub $130 Headphone market.
    BOSE is somewhere at the bottom. I'd rather listen to my $15 KSC 75 backups.

    A good gaming Headphone to use with a clip-on Mic would be Audio Technica AD700 - less then $100, great soundstage (to read opponent positions), and good audio quality for the price.
    Reply
  • Kaboose - Saturday, November 06, 2010 - link

    If you stopped reading at "bose" then you missed the writer explaining why he has them and that "cue the audiophiles screaming" was meant to stop people like you from assuming he is "ill-informed" he clearly understands bose are over rated crap and he has them for comfort, calling him "ill-informed" is not only rude and disrespectful but inaccurate. I personally have a pair of Denon AH D-2000, and I use the mic on my logitech webcam for my main mic. Total cost was ~$300 I dont reccomend this because of the price but for good audio quality you have to pay for it. However, for most people must having a $50 headsets will suffice and. Reply
  • Amart - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    There are better choices in headphones - even from a Comfort perspective.

    Denon, ATH, Sony, Sennheiser... you have so many decent choices.

    I like the AD700 specifically because they added some weight distribution and they don't get uncomfortable over time. Sennheiser has their street style headphones that are just as light and comfortable as the BOSE, but are 1/3 the price and have superior sound quality. Your Denon set is probably not any less comfortable - but it's superior in every other way.

    Yeah, I'm rude and disrespectful, I'm tired of the unprofessional reviews of gaming equipment that enables manufacturers to scam uneducated consumers.

    Why can't AnandTech reviews contain the same level of depth as a Head-Fi forum post? Why did no one pick up on ESReality's MouseScore?
    Reply
  • Amart - Monday, November 08, 2010 - link

    P.S. Where do you pull the $300 from?

    $15 shipped for a clip on mic (or the cheapest headset mic from a $1 store)
    $80 to $100 for Decent Headphones (with good options at $15, $35, and $60).
    The entry level to "Audiophile" aka Not-Terrible sound quality is $20. Koss KSC75 + $1 Microphone. Probably still better then BOSE even at that price.
    Reply
  • Kaboose - Tuesday, November 09, 2010 - link

    ~$300 was for my setup about 200 for the Denon's and then another 80 or so for the webcam mic combo. i know it can be done for cheaper i was only stating about 300 for MY setup. Reply
  • faxon - Sunday, November 07, 2010 - link

    first things first, AUDIOPHILES ARE SCREAMING! read the first paragraph and was thinking "this guy needs to get his priorities in line"! i actually picked a pair of wireframe glasses out that make me look like a major nerdgeektard but are comfy no matter what headphones i wear. use a pair of sennheiser PC350s for my headset, and ultrasone PRO 2500s for my audiophile grade listening, and while my UGA frames (swedish designer frames) ram into my head like a vice with whatever i wear, i have some old ass wireframes i have had for a decade that i keep the lenses updated in as well, which i cant even feel on my face when wearing the same headphones. just a thought, but you might want to consider investing in a pair of cheap wireframes just for your computer use. if you can afford to buy audiophile grade headphones for $300+ a pop, with an external DAC and amp, then surely you can pay for a $150 pair of shitty ass frames that fit right with them :) Reply
  • Kaboose - Sunday, November 07, 2010 - link

    +1
    I luckily don't need glasses except for distance so I take them off at the computer, but I also bought a cheap pair of wire frames for when I want to watch a movie on the tv with my headphones.
    Reply
  • audiophilleee - Saturday, November 13, 2010 - link

    these are better, and a lot cheaper. who wants to pay $100 for "simulated" surround?

    www.driverstorer.com/zalman1
    Reply
  • hangtoks - Monday, April 11, 2011 - link

    I have used quite a few different gaming headsets but, the best resource I found to get an impartial view on them can be found at http://www.gamingheadsetreport.com, they are constantly adding new headset reviews. Reply

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