We spend a lot of time talking about graphics here at The Tech Report—and rightly so! But after the benchmarks are done and we're diving into new releases (I'm playing Assassin's Creed Origins, currently), audio joins the visuals as a crucial part of a gaming experience. Whether you're going through the Egyptian desert on a horse with no name or hopping into Dust for another round of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, the influence of audio on the gameplay experience can't be overstated. I'm always on the lookout for a way to get better audio out of my games, and the latest contender is Corsair's HS50 Stereo Gaming Headset.
I've only been playing with the headset for a little bit, so I'm not ready to give my full verdict just yet. In the meantime, we can take a peek at the headset itself and look at what Corsair has to say about the beast.
THe HS50 is a mid-range gaming headset aimed at the console crowd, complete with blue and green versions to fit the tastes of Sony and Microsoft fans alike It's a wired, stereo headset with a mostly-metal structure. These closed cans have faux-leather cups that pump audio out through the increasingly-standard 50-mm neodymium drivers. The microphone can be detached to turn the headset into a pair of wired headphones, if you're not planning to hop into PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds to make insinuations about someone's parents' private lives.
In my short experience, the HS50 is exceedingly comfortable, and it handles loud volumes pretty well when listening to music. These cans are pretty light, and they have a long enough cord to keep them from jumping off your head mid-game. The on-board controls are pretty simple: just a mute button and a volume wheel.
The only real difference between the Playstation- and Xbox-specific models is that one has some very subtle blue highlights, while the other has some slightly-less-subtle green highlights. A blacked-out Carbon version is also available for those with no particular console loyalty. One design decision I'm not sure I understand is the steel grilles over each ear. It makes the HS50 look more industrial and professional, but these are closed-back headphones underneath. The grilles don't serve any purpose aside from aesthetics, from what I can tell.
But those contentions are more me raising my eyebrow than they are actual problems. The prognosis for these cans is heading in the positive direction so far. I'll be answering my questions about voice quality and gaming quality with some serious time spent in Battlefront II and Call of Duty: WWII this weekend. Check back for our final verdict soon. If you're impressed with the HS50 already, though, the headset is already available from Corsair's site for a fitting $50.