Corsair HS55 Wireless Test: Price-performance hit with 7.1 surround sound
Manufacturer Corsair proves how to make a very good headset even better with its new gaming headset. The HS55 Wireless Core (our review) already offered an excellent price-performance ratio and a convincing stereo sound, and now they are following suit. The “Core” in the name may have been dropped, but the new model now also offers virtual 7.1 surround sound. So it is rather a wireless variant of the HS55 Surround.
|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 (± 2 dB)|
|Range (Wireless)||Up to 15 meters|
|Battery life||Up to 24 hrs|
|Charge time||1 hour|
|Compatibility||PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Mobile|
|Features||7.1 surround sound, dual connectivity (wireless and Bluetooth)|
|Price||UVP: 119.99 euros|
Corsair HS55 Wireless: scope of delivery and design
- High-quality, sleek design
- Impeccable build quality
- Microphone with convenient flip-to-mute feature
Anyone who has ever held one of the newer gaming headsets from the house of Corsair in their hands knows what to expect in terms of design and scope of delivery. The Corsair HS55 Wireless also comes in a yellow box with black lettering – which should especially please fans of Borussia Dortmund.
The scope of delivery is similar to that of the cheaper Core model: In addition to the headset itself, you’ll find a USB-A wireless receiver, as well as a two-meter USB-A to USB-C charging cable including the obligatory paperwork in the packaging.
There are also no significant differences in the design. But there is no need for that, since the Core and the HS65 Surround (our review) already scored with a chic and high-quality look.
Meaning: Here, too, the manufacturer relies on a largely matte-black, noble exterior including a grooved, shiny area on the outside of the ear cups, on which the silver manufacturer logo is emblazoned. The ear cups can be folded inwards, so that the headset can be worn around the neck when it’s not on your head, for example. There are also no changes in the controls:
The mute button, the grooved volume wheel with a pleasant grid (and also clickable), and the USB-C port for charging can be found on the bottom left. The Bluetooth button, status LED and power button are on the right bottom.
The flexible microphone boom, also located on the left ear cup, is identical and has a length of 13 centimeters, just like the Core model. In summary, we can say that the design and build quality of the Corsair HS55 Wireless are excellent and offer no reason for criticism.
Comfort: How comfortable is the Corsair HS55 Wireless?
- Low weight of just 266 grams
- Pleasantly soft cushions provide a high level of comfort
- High wearing comfort, even after hours
Anyone picking up the Corsair HS55 Wireless for the first time will be surprised at how light the gaming headset actually is. The weight is just 266 grams, which is on par with the Core model.
Although there are certainly lighter gaming headsets that transmit wirelessly, there is nothing to complain about in terms of wearing comfort. Around two centimeter thick ear pads made of artificial leather and a 1.5 cm thick padding on the headband ensure a comfortable fit.
The HS55 Wireless doesn’t feel as tight on the head as its sibling. This also benefits the wearing comfort. The space inside the ear cups is once again identical: 6.7 cm in height and around 4.5 cm in width are available to your ears, which means small and medium-sized ears are well served. Another positive aspect is the successful passive attenuation that the closed ear cups allow. Thus, even without ANC function, many monotonous noise from the environment is significantly attenuated.
Practice and operation
- Successful operating concept including EQ preset change
- Dual connection via 2.4 GHz radio and Bluetooth
In the practical test, the Corsair HS55 Wireless proves to be a real multi-talent. The connection to PC, Mac or PlayStation console is made via the included USB receiver. Alternatively, a connection via Bluetooth (version 5.2) is also possible, and then even additionally with smartphones, tablets and other devices.
Even a simultaneous connection is feasible. For example, you can listen to music on the smartphone and play games on the PC at the same time. You simply have to hold down the Bluetooth button for five seconds to initiate the pairing process and you’re ready to go.
The clickable volume wheel also allows you to quickly switch between different equalizer presets. This is especially handy when used on a console or Bluetooth device, as you can make a lot more sonic adjustments on a PC or Mac, but more on that later.
Like the Core model, the HS55 provides an audible indication of the currently selected EQ preset in the form of one, two, three, or even four beeps, each emphasizing different frequencies and sometimes more and sometimes less suitable for movies, music, or gaming.
Battery life, charging time and range
- Up to 24 hours of battery life
- Quickly recharged
- High wireless range
In terms of wireless capabilities, the Corsair HS55 Wireless again shares most of the stats and data with the Core model. Up to 24 hours of battery life is said to be possible, which we can confirm in our test at around 80 percent of maximum volume (and don’t worry, the headset gets really damn loud).
The high charging speed is also pleasing, while the LED on the right ear cup informs about the battery status. Convenient in the Apple universe: the headset’s battery status even appears in the iPhone’s battery overview, if paired.
The wireless range is convincing. Up to 15 meters in 2.4 GHz and 9 meters in Bluetooth mode should also be possible with this model, according to Corsair. In practice, however, a bit more is possible via Bluetooth – depending on the thickness and condition of the walls. Like the HS55 Wireless Core, the headset scores with one of the most convincing wireless ranges among all gaming headsets.
Audio and microphone quality: How good does the HS55 Wireless sound?
- Good, detailed sound on the default setting
- Needs some fine-tuning, though, depending on taste
- Excellent spatiality in surround sound mode
Let’s get to probably the most important point in the Corsair HS55 Wireless review and the biggest differentiator from the Core variant. Because although the pure technical specifications remain largely unchanged (50 mm drivers, 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz frequency band, 32 ohms impedance), the result is a significantly airier, more spacious sound image thanks to the 7.1 surround sound.
The Core model already scored with a detailed and rich sound, full of striking (but not over-present) bass. Basically, the sound is primarily tuned for fun and relies on a successful amount of powerful lows for brute explosions and sound effects, but also slightly emphasized highs to better locate enemies in shooters, for example.
I only like the sound for listening to music to a limited extent ex-works. However, you can still fine-tune it by pressing the volume wheel or within the accompanying software and get much more details.
In any case, a slight lowering of the lower frequencies and simultaneous increase of the mids works wonders. However, the HS55 Wireless switches up a notch when you activate Dolby Audio in the software. Then the sound stage expands noticeably and gives the acoustics more room to unfold.
Of course, games also benefit noticeably from the surround sound and allow a precise localization. Sony’s Tempest 3D audio engine of the PlayStation 5 is also supported, which provides an excellent surround sound in combination.
Microphone quality of the Corsair HS55 Wireless
- Decent microphone quality, but somewhat lacking in dynamics
- Relatively low recording volume (but can be amplified)
As good as the headset sounds, the microphone quality could not fully convince me. However, this may also be partly due to the fact that our test model still came with a pre-series firmware and software. Thus, there might still be some changes before the release.
Once again, the omni-directional microphone filters out ambient noise and isolates the user’s voice for clear intelligibility. However, the volume is a bit low this time as well, so you should definitely activate the microphone amplification in the software (which I did not do for the test recording, by the way).
The clarity of the voice is definitely pleasing, but the recordings lack a bit of dynamic range. There are also a few problems with sharp s-sounds. So it sounds quite good, but it can’t compete with the in-house HS65 – which shouldn’t come as a surprise due to the wireless operation.
Software connectivity: Corsair iCUE
- Overwhelming, clearly understandable software
- Relatively few setting options
As always with Corsair, iCUE is used as the accompanying software. After the first start, the firmware of the headset wants to be updated first, which is done within a very short time without any problems.
After that, you can make settings on a total of three pages. After the optional download of NVIDIA Broadcast Technologies, you have the option of suppressing noise and echo during microphone recording on the software side under the menu item NVIDIA. It works flawlessly, but I don’t think it’s necessary.
The second page, Equalizer, is much more interesting. Here you activate Dolby Audio and select one of the EQ presets or create your own (which settings I used and found good, you can see in the corresponding picture).
Under the device settings, there is the option to update the firmware, add microphone amplification or, for example, set when the Corsair HS55 Wireless should automatically turn off when not in use.
Corsair HS55 Wireless review: conclusion
With the Corsair HS55 Wireless, the manufacturer once again proves that you can master an excellent price-performance ratio. Sound-wise and with its many connection and setting options, the gaming headset can convince. In addition, it is very comfortable to wear and lightweight, which makes it comfortable to wear for hours.
The only thing I’m not completely satisfied with is the quality of the microphone. It is absolutely okay and sufficient for voice chats in games or video calls, but it falls a bit behind the HS55 Wireless Core. I assume that this is due to the firmware not being finalized yet.
The real plus point is of course the 7.1 surround sound, which raises the sound to a completely different, much better level. All this at a price that the Core model was also launched at. For around 120 euros, the HS55 Wireless hardly makes any noteworthy slip-ups and is absolutely worth the money in my opinion.
Corsair HS55 Wireless
Value for money
The HS55 Wireless scores with a first-class price-performance ratio thanks to strong 7.1 surround sound, high wearing comfort, long battery life and multiple connection options.
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