After the convincing mid-range HS70 Bluetooth headset (our review), Corsair launches its successor, the HS80 RGB Wireless, which aims to score with more comfort and convincing sound quality. We have subjected the Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless to an extensive test and tell you why the purchase of the wireless gaming headset is worth it.
|Driver||50 mm neodymium|
|Frequency range (headphones)||20 – 40,000 Hz|
|Impedance||32 ohms @ 2.5kHz|
|Sensitivity (headphones)||109 dB (± 3 dB)|
|Microphone type||Omnidirectional, with noise reduction|
|Frequency range (microphone)||100Hz – 10kHz|
|Impedance (microphone)||2.2k ohms|
|Sensitivity (microphone)||-40 dB (± 3 dB)|
|Connections||USB Type C|
|Range (Wireless)||Circa 18 m|
|Battery life||Up to 24 hours|
|Compatibility||PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5|
|Price||€ 125.00 *|
Scope of delivery
Unlike the HS60 Haptic, the brand new HS 80 RGB Wireless presents itself in a largely black cardboard box complete with yellow and white lettering. The appearance seems more dignified and noble than the predecessor devices and is a first indication that Corsair wants to advance further into the premium headset segment.
When opening the packaging, the heart of the wireless gaming headset including microphone immediately catches the eye, which is held in an additional plastic casing. Underneath, there is only a small, shiny black cardboard box that houses the other contents. Besides a quick-start guide including a warranty card, it contains the USB receiver as well as the USB-C to USB-A charging cable.
Design and finish
The design language of the Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless also hints at a qualitative leap from the previous models in the HS series. After all, the manufacturer says goodbye to the oval ear pads including the typical metal grille this time. Instead, the gaming headset’s curved shape reminds us a bit of the Turtle Beach Atlas One or EPOS Audio’s products. Corsair’s VOID series was the inspiration, but the HS80 is superior in terms of wearing comfort.
The combination of soft ear pads and a light but robust aluminum finish leaves an extremely high-quality impression. At the same time, the design looks very classy and is thus also suitable for office use: In addition to the golden accents at the transition between the ear cups and the adjustable headband, as well as the Corsair logo including (optional) RGB lighting, the manufacturer relies on a matte black finish. In terms of build quality, the HS80 RGB is beyond reproach.
The arm of the omni-directional microphone is located on the left ear cup. In addition, the headset’s control elements in the form of the power button, as well as a volume dial with equalizer toggle, and the status LED, which informs about the battery status, are located there on the inside. The HS80 RGB can be charged or connected via cable at the bottom of the left ear cup.
In terms of the headband, the new model relies on a ski goggle headband similar to the one used on products in the SteelSeries Arctis line. With the help of a Velcro strap on both sides, this allows for an even more precise adjustment to one’s own head shape and thus guarantees a secure hold of the gaming headset.
Comfort & Practice
Despite a lush weight of 411 grams, the wearing comfort can also convince, which is mainly due to the comfortable and lushly dimensioned ear cups. These are covered with lightweight memory foam along with breathable fabric that perfectly adapts to the shape of the head.
Even for those who wear glasses, the headset rests comfortably over the ears even after a few hours of gaming – at least once you get used to the unusual shape. In the practical test, the Corsair HS80 RGB also convinces with some clever features. The positioning of the controls is well chosen and can be easily adjusted even while the game is running.
What we particularly liked in the test is the well thought-out “flip-up mute function”: If you flip the microphone arm upwards, the mic is automatically muted. A red status LED at the microphone input informs you that your voice is no longer being transmitted. If you then fold the microphone back down, the voice transmission is ready for use again without any delay.
The Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless also offers a wide range of connection options. The headset can not only be used in combination with the receiver via wireless connection, but can also be used wired via the included USB-A to USB-C cable.
The manufacturer consequently does not include a 3.5 mm jack, but Sony’s PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5 consoles are supported in wireless mode. When connected with a cable, the headset can also be charged while in use.
In addition, sound quality again benefits noticeably from connecting via USB, as high-fidelity sound options with 24bit/96kHz are only offered in wired mode. But don’t worry, the HS80 RGB can absolutely be heard in wireless mode as well.
Sound and playback quality
In order to stand out from the broad mass of gaming headsets, Corsair unceremoniously doubles the frequency band covered in the HS80 RGB Wireless and covers the comparatively above-average range of 20-40,000 Hz. This is also reproduced astonishingly accurately in the custom-made 50 mm neodymium drivers (32 Ohm impedance).
Playback in stereo format is of course also possible, although you should refrain from doing so. The HS80s only reveal their full potential when Dolby Atmos surround sound is enabled, which is activated by default after the first installation via the Dolby Access app in the Microsoft Store. Alternatively, Windows Sonic can also be used – we liked the sound in combination with the Dolby counterpart much better in the test.
In terms of sound quality, the headset easily leaves the other representatives of the in-house HS series behind, achieving the same high quality of the slightly more expensive Virtuoso series, which has quite similar specifications.
Wireless operation once again makes use of Corsair’s Slipstream technology, which ensures ultra-fast transmission of sound at low latencies, while also providing the headset with a long range. You can move up to 18 meters away from the receiver with the headset and still enjoy the transmission in 24 bit/48kHz. If the connection is interrupted by thick walls, for example, the device automatically reconnects as soon as sufficient connection quality is ensured.
The battery life is around 20 hours, which is a good value. If you also activate the RGB lighting via the iCUE software, you can squeeze out another four hours. It is also praiseworthy that the headset automatically turns off when not in use – after 10 minutes by default, but this value can also be adjusted via the software.
Although you cannot use the full spectrum of the drivers in wireless mode, the sound is already completely convincing and is noticeably superior to classic gaming headsets. Especially the focused trebles should appeal to shooter fans, since they enable a tactical advantage in combination with the spatial localization of the surround sound.
Fortunately, the mids are also reproduced very precisely, which results in an airy and detailed sound. Only the bass drops a bit here, which sounds unusual for owners of “usual” gaming headsets at first – but we really like this more balanced sound. If you don’t like this or are looking for more boom, you can counteract this with the help of the software.
The maximum volume is also impressive and reaches a range that only very few users are likely to use at all. However, the sound is crystal-clear even in quieter playback and comes without any background noise or interference.
High-resolution sound in wired mode
However, the Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless reveals its full potential as soon as you connect it to the PC using the USB cable. The headset can then natively play back content in a resolution of up to 24 bits at a sampling rate of up to 96 kHz – these values are also already familiar from the Corsair Virtuoso series.
The increase in sound quality is simply impressive in a direct comparison – provided that the source material has a correspondingly high resolution. Especially complex scenarios like concerts or hi-fi tracks from different streaming providers gain even more complexity and depth.
Regardless of whether with or without the cable: in terms of sound quality, the HS80 really does play in the top league of gaming headsets and makes even some higher-priced competitors look pretty old.
While the playback quality is on par with the Virtuoso series, some sacrifices have to be made when it comes to the microphone. The impedance of the omni-directional mic is minimally higher, but the sensitivity of -40 dB (± 3 dB) is not quite as high.
However, Corsair also advertises the microphone as streaming-certified, which is supposed to enable flawless and clear voice transmission. In our test, we can actually confirm this for the gaming headset. The user’s voice is reproduced clearly and richly in facets, and background noise is not noticeable.
Of course, the headset can’t replace a high-quality desktop microphone, but it really does a good job in voice chats or for video recordings on the go. You can get an impression of the microphone’s quality with the help of our short video.
Optionally, Corsair’s in-house iCUE software can be downloaded for free to further refine the features. This makes it possible to customize the subtle RGB lighting of the manufacturer’s logo on the ear cups. Various light effects and predefined color patterns are available here.
However, the equalizer settings are much more interesting, but they are only available when Dolby Atmos is not used. Here, all frequency ranges can be fine-tuned independently, alternatively, different presets for movies, bass boost or clear communication are available, which can also be switched between by briefly pressing the volume wheel on the headset itself.
I’ve had countless headsets on my head over the years, but the Corsair HS80 RGB is undoubtedly one of the best. That’s because Corsair is sticking to many of the specifications of the top-notch Virtuoso Wireless RGB here, which was already able to impress with its top-notch sound quality.
In terms of playback quality, the new model is on par and scores with a crystal-clear and balanced sound. I especially like the focus on trebles and mids – if you want the bass-heavy sound typical for gaming headsets, you can easily help it with the software (even though I am not a fan of it). Especially with Dolby Atmos, the acoustics reach unimagined dimensions.
Despite the relatively high weight, the wearing comfort is also completely convincing, which is mainly due to the new design of the ear cups in combination with the headband. Even as a wearer of glasses, hours of gaming sessions are possible with the headset without any problems.
The wireless function also works flawlessly and convinces with a high range, as well as a more than sufficient battery life of over 20 hours. Only in terms of the microphone and connectivity (missing 3.5 mm jack) do buyers have to accept a few compromises, but that is complaining on an extremely high level. The Corsair HS80 RGB is an all-around convincing headset that is definitely worth its price. Clear buy recommendation.