With the HS65, manufacturer Corsair sent a gaming headset with an excellent price-performance ratio for less than 100 Euros into the race in May and had the cheaper HS55 follow shortly after. However, both models did not offer one thing: a wireless connection option. This is now being made up for. In the Corsair HS55 Wireless Core Review, we take a detailed look at the new wireless gaming headset.
|Driver||50 mm neodymium|
|Frequency range (headphones)||20 – 20,000 Hz|
|Impedance||32 Ohm @ 1kHz|
|Sensitivity (headphones)||114dB (+/-3dB)|
|Frequency Range (Microphone)||100Hz – 10kHz|
|Impedance (microphone)||2.2k ohms|
|Sensitivity (microphone)||-41 dB (± 3 dB)|
|Range (Wireless)||> 12 meters|
|Battery life||Up to 24 hrs|
|Charge time||1 hour|
|Compatibility||PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Mobile|
|Price||UVP: 119,99 Euro (current: € 129.99 *)|
Corsair HS55 Wireless Core review: the scope of delivery
We already know the yellow cardboard box including black text from other peripherals of the manufacturer. It already informs about the most important features of the Corsair HS55 Wireless Core on the front.
Inside, we find the headset itself, the illuminated USB-A wireless receiver, and a two-meter USB-A to USB-C charging cable. Safety and warranty information round out the scope of delivery, and Corsair doesn’t include a manual – but you really don’t need one, as the usage is self-explanatory.
Design and finish
- Elegant, high-quality design
- Microphone with flip-to-mute function
- Sophisticated build quality
When it comes to design, the Corsair HS55 Wireless Core stays true to the last models like the already mentioned HS65. That means you can expect a largely matte-black, noble exterior including grooved, shiny area on the outside, on which the manufacturer’s logo is emblazoned centrally. It reminds us a bit of the Logitech G Pro X (our review).
We like the discreet look, especially since the design is well thought-out and the workmanship is of high quality. The ear cups find support on a sturdy metal frame, while the ear cups themselves fold inward and are flexible enough to ensure a comfortable fit.
Corsair distributes the controls on the inner sides. On the left, we find the mute button, as well as a light gray volume dial with a pleasant grid and feel. The USB-C port for charging the headset is found at the bottom.
The Bluetooth multifunctional button (MFB), a status LED that informs about the battery status, and the power button are on the right. The microphone boom sits on the left ear cup and comes to a length of 13 cm.
Here, the HS55 Wireless Core relies on a flip-to-mute feature that mutes the microphone when you flip your arm up. There’s not much to complain about in terms of workmanship either. Besides the fact that the headband creaks a bit when wobbling quickly (absolutely not practical), the peripheral feels very high-quality and scores with a pleasant feel.
How comfortable is the Corsair HS55 Wireless Core?
- High wearing comfort for small to medium ears
- Relatively tight fit and probably too tight for large ears
With a weight of 266 grams, the Corsair HS55 Wireless Core is in the good midfield of wireless gaming headsets. The wearing comfort of the headphones also knows how to please. It rests comfortably on the head thanks to around 2 cm thick synthetic leather ear pads, but the model inherits the tight fit from the HS65.
The padding on the headband, with a thickness of three centimeters in the middle, does not turn out quite as large as its sibling. However, this does not affect the comfort. For large ears, however, it could get a bit tight inside the ear cups. 6.7 cm x 4.5 cm (height x width) of space are available to your eardrums inside – absolutely sufficient for small and medium-sized ears.
Practice and operation
- Connection options via wireless and Bluetooth 5.2
- Selecting equalizer modes via the volume wheel
In practice, the Corsair HS55 Wireless Core quickly finds connection and that with the help of the USB wireless receiver not only to PC and notebook as well as PlayStation 4 and PS5, where the headset is immediately recognized and ready for use.
Conveniently, you can also pair the headset with smartphones, tablets and other devices via Bluetooth 5.2. Again, setup is as easy as pressing and holding the MFB button, while pressing the power button toggles between the two wireless modes.
However, using both modes at the same time is only possible to a limited extent. If you use the HS55 in 2.4 GHz wireless mode and have it paired with the smartphone at the same time, you can at least answer, make or reject calls via the headset. However, automatic source switching during music playback is not supported.
The volume wheel also has another practical function because it is clickable and allows switching between different equalizer presets. This is especially handy since the headphones cannot be customized with Corsair’s iCUE software.
So there are no other ways to influence the sound. An acoustic signal, which emits one, two, three or four beeps when the volume wheel is clicked, indicates how many equalizer presets are available. Accordingly, the equalizer sometimes focuses on bass, treble or more clarity.
However, the surround sound of the HS65 and wired HS55 had to give way due to the wireless connectivity, so the Core model only handles stereo sound.
Battery life, charging time and range
- Up to 24 hours of battery life
- Fully charged in as little as one hour
- Excellent wireless range in both modes
At most, the Corsair HS55 Wireless Core comes up with a remarkable battery life of up to 24 hours, which of course also depends heavily on the volume used. In any case, we can confirm this value in practice.
Charging is comparatively fast. It only takes 15 minutes to recharge the headset with enough energy for 6 hours of playback; a complete charging process takes about an hour.
The status LED on the right ear cup at least serves as an approximate battery indicator. It flashes green (high battery level), orange or red (low battery level), but there is unfortunately no concrete percentage display.
The wireless range is also pleasing, and that in both wireless and Bluetooth mode. The manufacturer speaks of up to 15 meters in 2.4 GHz and 9 meters in Bluetooth mode, presumably referring to indoor environments. In my obligatory range test, however, I can easily surpass the specification in BT mode.
The headset mastered the 12 meters from the workplace to the front door without sound dropouts and problems and thus surpassed partly much more expensive rivals without problems. Outstanding!
Audio and microphone quality
- Convincing, powerful stereo sound
- Very high maximum volume
Sound-wise, the Corsair HS55 Wireless Core relies on custom-designed neodymium drivers with a diameter of 50 mm, covering a frequency band from 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz at an impedance of 32 ohms.
We already know the setup from the manufacturer’s HS65, which more than positively surprised us in the test about half a year ago. Fortunately, the new model is in no way inferior and scores with a rich, detailed and quite balanced sound. Only the trebles are a bit in the background, but still come across very well.
Especially since you can still fine-tune the sound with the help of the equalizer presets if you are not yet happy with the precise and yet not too present basses. But even in the standard settings, the eardrum dances along nicely at maximum volume.
And that without mids or trebles losing presence. Fortunately, you won’t find any unattractive sharpness even at maximum volume, which means that the HS55 Wireless Core also cuts a very good figure when listening to music or podcasts and videos.
Keyword volume: This once again puts many other manufacturers in the bag. I did not notice any sound differences between the two wireless modes, so the headset is also very suitable for listening to music on a smartphone.
How good is the microphone of the Corsair HS55 Wireless Core?
- Good microphone quality, though it doesn’t come close to the wired models
- Relatively low recording volume
The design and specifications of the omni-directional microphone used in the Corsair HS55 Wireless Core are also similar to those of the HS65, which is considered to be and still is one of the best microphones in the field of gaming headsets.
So is the quality just as good in this case? After all, the microphone now has to fight it out in wireless mode. Once you’ve positioned the relatively rigid microphone boom close to your mouth, 1-channel recordings in 16 bit with up to 48,000 Hz are possible.
However, the recording quality doesn’t quite match that of its wired siblings, which was to be expected. Nevertheless, the omni-directional microphone ensures a fairly clear intelligibility of the user’s own voice, which is transmitted with a good dynamic range.
Ambient noise is also filtered out relatively well. Only the volume could have been a bit higher. Even when we bring the microphone arm close to our own mouth, the HS55 does not quite reach the volume of other models.
Corsair HS55 Wireless Core Test: Conclusion
Like the manufacturer’s last gaming headsets, the Corsair HS55 Wireless Core also scores with an excellent price-performance ratio in the test. Although you have to accept a few compromises in terms of sound due to the missing surround sound, you make up for them with the additional comfort of the dual wireless connectivity.
The headset’s sound is equally convincing in wireless and Bluetooth mode and scores with a rich, clear and detailed sound across all genres. The build and design are also pleasing, and there is nothing to complain about the wearing comfort, unless you have huge ears and/or a big head.
Of course, you have to accept a few quality compromises in the microphone due to the wireless standard. However, the quality is still more than sufficient and especially satisfactory for voice chats or video calls.
For a recommended retail price of around 120 Euros, the Corsair HS55 Wireless Core is a coherent overall package for all those who are looking for a convincing wireless gaming headset.
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