It’s a brand new year, and that means not only new video games to play, but new gaming headsets to review! Today we will be taking a look at two models of gaming headsets from Corsair. The first is the entry-level Corsair HS35 gaming headset, and the second is the mid-range Corsair HS60 gaming headset.
As an additional bonus, I’ll also be touching on the Corsair ST100 premium headset stand. However, more on that handy accessory a little later on. Let’s start by digging in with a closer look at these Corsair gaming headsets.
The Corsair HS35 Stereo Headset
I’ll begin with the more modest of the two headsets. The Corsair HS35 is what I would consider to be an entry-level gaming headset. It features stereo sound (no surround sound) and is compatible across most gaming devices. This includes PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, and mobile devices.
This headset follows a modest pricing model, so it’s a fine choice for those looking for an economical chat solution. Its foam ear cups and lightweight design make it relatively comfortable. If you are looking for something that’s a “step-up” from a traditional chat piece (such as the standard Xbox One chat headset), the HS35 provides a more immersive gaming and chat experience.
With only stereo sound, however, don’t expect rich cinematic audio with deep bass or other premium features. This is a headset I would be more likely to recommend to someone who is really just looking for a decent in-game chat option. It’s not built to cater to the market of those who want an exceptional audio experience beyond what their television may provide. To put it another way, I probably wouldn’t use this headset to watch a movie or stream my favourite show.
The rubber wire isn’t necessarily my favourite feature either. It feels a bit bulky and finicky to manage in comparison to the thinner wires on similar headsets. The 3.5mm headset jack makes it easy to connect to most devices, but even that sticks out more than I’d prefer—I often found it jabbing into my abdomen when trying to rest the controller comfortably in front of me during gameplay.
The Corsair HS60 Pro Surround Headset
Next up is the Corsair HS60 model gaming headset. I would consider this headset more of a mid-range model, especially in comparison to the HS35. It comes in at a moderately higher retail cost, but it also includes significant upgrades in many areas.
Firstly, the audio quality already makes a pretty big leap over the HS35 headset. The Corsair HS60 features 50mm neodymium audio drivers with custom tuning. They aren’t top of the line by any means, but they at least provide some depth and fidelity to the gaming experience. For the price range this headset sits in, it actually has very decent audio quality.
The Corsair HS60 also incorporates memory foam, although the mesh fabric covering is gone in lieu of a faux leather material. For me, it’s more comfortable, although it could come down to a matter of preference. Either way, the faux leather look certainly offers a more premium aesthetic appearance.
The wire on the Corsair HS60 also shows improvement. Gone is the unwieldy rubber covering in favour of a much nicer fabric braiding. It coils and moves with significantly more ease, and is less likely to become annoying over the course of your gameplay session. The hard end of the 3.5mm headset jack still sticks out further than I would prefer—although the fabric braiding does mitigate this issue at least slightly, seeing as it bends away from the connection with more flexibility.
7.1 Surround Sound capability
The Corsair HS60 advertises itself as a “Pro Surround Sound” headset. However, this claim should come with a clear caveat. While the headset is compatible across the same multitude of devices as the HS35 model, including the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, PC, and mobile—it does not necessarily offer full 7.1 Surround Sound with all of those devices.
In fact, the Corsair HS60 only offers full 7.1 Surround Sound on the PC. It actually comes with a small USB adapter that must be used (in conjunction with PC only) to enable 7.1 Surround Sound compatibility. If you are purchasing the headset solely for another device such as the PS4 or Xbox One console, be sure that you consider the limitations of its surround sound support.
The Corsair HS60 certainly has decent audio quality for its price range. That said, while it markets itself as a 7.1 Surround Sound headset, the fact that this feature is only available on PC is conveniently delegated to the product information on the back of the packaging.
The Corsair ST100 Premium Headset Stand
Of course, Corsair does cover gamers with a great product that can actually turn any headset into a 7.1 Surround Sound compatible device. The Corsair ST100 isn’t just a headset stand. It also acts as a bridge between console/gaming device and headset. Connecting the ST100 to your console or device, then plugging your headset into the stand via the 3.5mm headset jack will actually enable 7.1 Surround Sound capability regardless of which headset you are using.
The ST100 also features two USB 3.1 ports. So while it may take up a USB port on your PC/console, it actually gives back two in return. It also incorporates RGB LED lighting at the base for an increase in aesthetic appeal. At first, the ST100 may seem a bit pricey for a “headset stand”, however when you consider the other amenities it offers, it’s actually a very practical and desirable add-on to your gaming setup.
Final Thoughts on the Corsair HS35 and Corsair HS60 gaming headsets
The Corsair HS35 gaming headset won’t necessarily blow you away with its stereo sound. However, it’s not really intended to offer premium audio fidelity. Instead, it’s a modestly-priced set that I would feel most confident recommending to those just looking for a little boost in the comfort and quality of their audio chat experience.
On the other hand, the Corsair HS60 is certainly a step up with better sound and overall quality. Buyer beware however—the “7.1 Surround Sound” functionality is for PC only. That is of course unless you are also using the Corsair ST100. This handy accessory seems pricey for a headset stand but it actually lends 7.1 Surround Sound capabilities to any headset, adds two multiple high-speed USB ports, and features LED lighting to boot—giving it much greater value.