Corsair HS65 Wireless review

The Corsair HS65 Wireless offers reasonable performance at a reasonable price

Corsair HS65 Wireless on desk
(Image: © Corsair)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Corsair HS65 Wireless is a decent wireless gaming headset at a decent price. While the device’s wireless capabilities aren’t perfect, the sound quality and the mic are both pretty good. The fit is a bit tight, but the headset is still comfortable to wear for hours at a time.

Pros

  • +

    Good sound quality

  • +

    Reasonable price

  • +

    Excellent mic

Cons

  • -

    Imperfect wireless connectivity

  • -

    Obtrusive design

  • -

    Disappointing battery life

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Corsair HS65 Wireless: Specs

Compatibility: PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, mobile
Drivers: 50 mm
Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
Wireless: Yes
Weight: 9.7 ounces

I can’t quite decide whether the Corsair HS65 would have benefited from costing more or less money. If the $120 device were a little more expensive — $150, let’s say — perhaps it would have had more robust Bluetooth functionality, better battery life and a removable microphone. On the other hand, if it had cost $100 or so, it could have bypassed Bluetooth altogether and instead focused on being a straightforward, no-nonsense wireless gaming headset from a major manufacturer.

Instead, the HS65 Wireless is caught somewhere in the middle. It’s not impressive enough to compete with the best gaming headsets we’ve evaluated, but it’s inexpensive enough to warrant a look. After all, the sound quality is good, and if a gaming headset gets that right, it’s at least covered the fundamentals. Read on for our full Corsair HS65 Wireless review.

Corsair HS65 Wireless review: Design

The Corsair HS65 Wireless is, as the name suggests, a wireless version of the Corsair HS65. As such, the device looks almost identical to its wired counterpart. There’s still a padded aluminum chassis with large, oval earcups. The flexible boom mic is not removable, which means the HS65 Wireless will look right at home with your PC or gaming console, and precisely nowhere else. It’s not pretty, although the mic is the only really obtrusive part of the package.

Corsair HS65 Wireless on desk

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Since the HS65 Wireless has both USB and Bluetooth functionality, it requires more buttons to operate than the wired version. On the right earcup, there’s a power button and a separate Bluetooth button. On the left, there’s a mic mute button, a volume dial, a USB-C charging port and the aforementioned microphone. My only real issue here is that the power and Bluetooth buttons are right next to each other, and feel identical. You can imagine how easy it is to accidentally press one when you mean to press the other.

Corsair HS65 Wireless review: Comfort

I have mixed feelings on wearing the Corsair HS65 Wireless. On the one hand, I was able to wear it for hours at a time, during prolonged productivity and gaming sessions, and never felt like I had to take it off. On the other hand, the device had a tight and imprecise fit right from the start, and not much I could do alleviated the situation.

Corsair HS65 Wireless on desk

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The metal headband is extendable, and you should be able to find a fit that accommodates both your ears and the top of your head. On the other hand, there are no discrete notches or numbers, so finding a good fit requires a lot of trial and error — doubly so, if you ever lose your position by stashing the device in a bag, or handing it off to a housemate.

Corsair HS65 Wireless review: Performance

One area where the Corsair HS65 Wireless excels is in its sound quality. Just like the wired version, the HS65 Wireless offers a robust default soundscape that balances bass, treble and voicework deftly. I tested the device with Age of Empires II: Definitive Edition, High On Life, Marvel’s Midnight Suns and Lost Ark, and thoroughly enjoyed the audio in each game. Voicework on the headset sounded particularly punchy and immediate, particularly the frequent quips in High On Life and the spirited character banter in Midnight Suns.

It's also worth pointing out just how many tools the HS65 Wireless has at its disposal to fine-tune sound quality. Sonarworks’ SoundID is the big one, as it lets you compare audio samples until it creates a customized soundscape, optimized for what you like to hear. SoundID singlehandedly improves the audio quality of just about anything you listen to, from games, to TV shows and movies, to music, and it’s a major argument in favor of buying a Corsair headset. Beyond that, you can play with different equalization presets or create your own, as well as improve your mic sound with Nvidia Broadcast.

Corsair HS65 Wireless on desk

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Musically speaking, the HS65 Wireless also performs better than you might expect from a gaming headset, particularly when SoundID is active. I listened to tracks from Flogging Molly, Old Crow Medicine Show, The Rolling Stones and G.F. Handel, and was especially impressed by the rich and nuanced bass in each one. Gaming headsets are usually pretty treble-forward, so to find one that treats music with a balanced soundscape is always a treat.

Corsair HS65 Wireless review: Features

The Corsair HS65 Wireless features two types of wireless connectivity, USB and Bluetooth. In theory, this makes it a pretty robust device, particularly in the $120 price range. Unfortunately, neither protocol works perfectly.

Corsair HS65 Wireless on desk

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Assuming you’re on a PC, USB wireless is a considerably better choice. (If you’re on a game console, USB wireless is your only choice.) Not only can you take advantage of SoundID, but USB wireless is also much simpler to use on the HS65 than Bluetooth. However, even USB wireless is not flawless. Multiple times during my tests, the mic would simply cut out, even though the headset’s regular audio would continue playing normally. Fixing the issue required a full restart, as well as unplugging the USB dongle and plugging it in again.

Corsair HS65 Wireless on desk

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

At this juncture, it’s also worth noting that the USB dongle is a USB-A model, and the headset doesn’t include a USB-C adapter. That feels a bit dated, especially considering that the device charges via USB.

Bluetooth audio, however, is subject to a whole other spate of issues. You can’t have simultaneous Bluetooth and USB audio. Listening to a game and a podcast at the same time, for example, is impossible. Instead, Bluetooth functions only for phone calls while USB is active, severely limiting its utility. The Bluetooth connection itself is much less stable than USB wireless, sometimes cutting out and refusing to work again until I re-paired the device.

Corsair HS65 Wireless on desk

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

The HS65 Wireless has an excellent mic, with clear pickup and minimal background noise, suitable for either online meetings or competitive gameplay sessions. On the other hand, the battery life leaves something to be desired: 24 hours. At a time when gaming headsets such as the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless can deliver hundreds of hours on a single charge, a headset that requires multiple recharges each week is a tougher sell than it used to be.

Corsair HS65 Wireless review: Verdict

While I acknowledge the Corsair HS65 Wireless’ technical competence, I simply didn’t like the headset that much. The sound quality was always good and occasionally great, which went a long way toward sanding over some of the device’s rough edges. But the wireless connectivity is not nearly as solid as it should be, the battery life isn’t that impressive and the tight fit started to grate on me after a while.

As such, pinning down a recommendation for the HS65 Wireless is difficult. At $120, it occupies a unique niche in the world of wireless gaming headsets, neither inexpensive nor premium. At $100, I’d much rather go for the Razer Barracuda X; for $150, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 is a better choice. But the HS65 sounds a bit better than the Barracuda X, and saving $30 off the Nova 7 could theoretically pay for a new mid-budget game.

Ultimately, the HS65 Wireless, like its price, is somewhere between “OK” and “good.” If and when the price drops to $100, it’ll probably be worth a second look.

Marshall Honorof

Marshall Honorof is a senior editor for Tom's Guide, overseeing the site's coverage of gaming hardware and software. He comes from a science writing background, having studied paleomammalogy, biological anthropology, and the history of science and technology. After hours, you can find him practicing taekwondo or doing deep dives on classic sci-fi.