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Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless review

The Corsair HS80 sounds great, although its design could be a little better

Corsair hs80 with console
(Image: © Corsair)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless provides rich, nuanced gaming sound, but its design seems better-suited to a cheaper gaming headset.

Pros

  • +

    Excellent sound

  • +

    Solid software options

  • +

    Works with both PC and PlayStation

Cons

  • -

    Tight fit

  • -

    Uninspired design

  • -

    Expensive

Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless: Specs

Compatibility: PC, PS5, PS4
Drivers: 50mm
Frequency Response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz
Wireless: Yes

The Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless is a good gaming headset at $150, although it might be a great one at a lower price. The sound quality is great, which is the most important thing a gaming headset can offer. But the device’s physical design doesn’t reach the same heights, from its tight fit, to its nonremovable mic, to its oddly shaped earcups. The HS80 is priced like a midrange wireless gaming headset, but looks and feels like a much cheaper one.

Still, there’s no denying that the HS80 gets more right than wrong. In addition to fantastic gaming sound and good-enough music sound, it also has plenty of equalization options, solid wireless connectivity, decent battery life and pretty good mic quality. It works with both PC and PlayStation, and its controls are easy to intuit either way.

While the HS80 isn’t quite one of the best gaming headsets, it’s worth looking into if you’re investigating wireless gaming headsets in the $150 range. Read on for our full Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless review.

Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless review: Design

The Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless is one of the odder headsets I've seen from the company lately. While Corsair's high-end headsets tend to have circular earcups, removable mics and notched headbands, the HS80 doesn't follow suit. Instead, its earcups resemble rounded trapezoids, the mic is a simple boom design and the headband is elastic.

Corsair hs80 headset

(Image credit: Corsair)

None of these choices really benefit the headset. The earcups and headband aren't that comfortable (more on that shortly), while the nonremovable mic is a bit of an eyesore, not to mention something that's usually reserved for much cheaper models.

Corsair hs80 with microphone

(Image credit: Corsair)

Between its asymmetrical earcups and protruding mic, the HS80 just isn't a pretty peripheral. It's fairly simple to operate, though. The left earcup is where everything happens: a power button, a volume dial, a USB-C charging port and the aforementioned mic.

Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless review: Comfort

If the Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless were easy to wear, then its questionable appearance wouldn't be so much of an issue. However, Corsair has made much, much more comfortable headsets than this recently (check out the Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT to see what I mean).

Corsair hs80 ear cuffs

(Image credit: Corsair)

The asymmetrical earcups didn't sit well over my ears, but that was only part of the problem. The bigger issue was that the elastic headband - a brilliant design decision in headsets such as the SteelSeries Arctis 7P/7X - doesn't work well on the HS80. An elastic headband is supposed to ensure an effortless, comfortable fit. But no matter how I positioned the HS80 on my head, it felt uncomfortably tight around my ears, particularly while wearing glasses. It was never outright painful, but I couldn't bear to wear it for more than an hour or two at a time.

Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless review: Performance

The good news is that, in spite of a few design difficulties, the Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless does precisely what it was designed to do. I tested the headset with a variety of games including Age of Empires IV, Doom Eternal, Cyberpunk 2077 and Final Fantasy XIV. Between the HS80's powerful 50 mm drivers and its robust equalization options, every game sounded fantastic. Gunning down demons in Doom sounded intense and percussive, while building up a Chinese village in Age of Empires felt sufficiently chill and challenging.

While the HS80 handled every genre well, I thought it did particularly well with action-heavy games, as it made gunshots and explosions sound particularly immediate and impactful. This was as true in Doom as it was in Cyberpunk.

Corsair hs80 used while gaming

(Image credit: Corsair)

Music-wise, the peripheral is passable. I listened to tracks from Old Crow Medicine Show, Flogging Molly, The Rolling Stones and G.F. Handel, and found the experience mostly inoffensive. Like many gaming headsets, the bass on the HS80 isn't that strong, and there's not a strong distinction among treble, bass and vocals in the soundscape.

However, I did have an interesting realization: the FPS Boost mode in the Corsair Utility Engine (iCUE) software makes most music sound a whole lot better. I'm not sure why, but I was happy to link the profile with my music player.

Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless review: Features

The Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless doesn't have many unusual features, but as a USB headset from Corsair, it does have a software suite. The iCUE software is a bit on the complex side, but you can do a lot with it, from customizing the HS80's RGB earcup lighting, to setting equalization levels, to creating profiles for individual games and apps. There are actually quite a few equalization options, from enhancing FPS gameplay to making video calls sound clearer, and they all work well. You can even set up your own EQ profiles, if you're acoustically inclined.

Corsair hs80 volume buttons

(Image credit: Corsair)

Beyond that, there's also the mic, which works well, in spite of its bare-bones appearance. On Windows, you can set up a Dolby profile for surround sound, although it's a little more complicated if you want surround sound on PS4 or PS5. Speaking of PlayStation, it's simple to switch between PC and console - just plug in the dongle - but there's no denying that the HS80's customization options are much more robust on PC.

Side view of Corsair hs80

(Image credit: Corsair)

There's also the battery life, which Corsair estimates at around 20 hours. My own testing bore that out. That puts it in the middle of the pack, considering that some gaming headsets can get dozens of hours of battery life, but others may only last for 15 or so.

Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless review: Verdict

Every great gaming headset must satisfy two criteria: It must provide excellent sound, and it must be comfortable to wear. The Corsair HS80 RGB Wireless checks one of those boxes. Between its drivers and its mic, the HS80 is a good companion for PC and PlayStation gaming, in both single- and multiplayer modes. But its design leaves something to be desired, especially since it's hard to wear for long periods of time.

If you can spring for the $270 Virtuoso XT, that's a much better investment. And if you can't, the Arctis 7P/7X is arguably a better peripheral for the same price. While the sound quality isn't quite as good, it's much easier to wear, and that's arguably more important in the long run.

Marshall Honorof
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.