Corsair has been putting out quality gaming headsets for years, so we were excited to see what the new HS50 stereo gaming headset had up its sleeve.

The HS50 is geared more toward the entry level, though you wouldn’t know by seeing it. This headset excels in this price range, and between the build quality and the stellar sound, you’re looking at a very compelling price to performance ratio here.

You can pick up the Corsair HS50 gaming headset in black here for $49.99. You can check out the green and blue models (shown in photos in this review) on the Corsair website

Design

As you’ve probably noticed, this is not Corsair’s typical yellow and black. Instead, Corsair went with a much more subtle blue and black. It’s also available with green stitching, or all black Carbon. The color choices correspond to your console of choice, but any color will work with any console.

The moment you take it out of the box, the build quality immediately stands out. From the metal frame to the luxuriously soft stitched padding on the headband, it just feels all around nice.

The cable is a thick and durable rubber, and though I almost always prefer braided, this is a close second. Where the cable attaches to the headphones feels a little loose, though if you don’t constantly wiggle it it’s probably going to be fine.

The earcups themselves look nice too; they have small honeycombed holes over the black plastic, with a small, chrome-like Corsair logo peeking through. The earcups are surrounded by a very subtle blue, black, or green plastic lining that adds a bit of flair.

The only place where there’s any color is on the cross-stiching on the foam padding, and that aforementioned plastic rim. It’s very aesthetically pleasing, a far cry from the loud RGB headsets that are so prevalent in the current headset market.

There is zero RGB here, but if that’s what you’re looking for Corsair certainly has you covered.

There’s really nothing about the HS50 that screams gamer, and I like that. This is the kind of headset you can wear in public without drawing attention to yourself, and as I get older, I’ve come to appreciate that.     

Comfort

So they look good, but how do they feel?

These are circumaural headphones, so they cover your ears tightly. That would be my only complaint about comfort really, they might be slightly too tight. I think part of that is the rigidity of the metal bar, which is the price paid for durability. They were never uncomfortably tight to the point I needed to take them off, but there was noteable pressure. Your head shape will probably impact your experience.

Speaking of head shape, how about adjustability? The HS50 doesn’t utilize the rubber band attached to the headband route that maximizes compensation, but the adjustable metal head strap does allow for a variety of head shapes and sizes.  

The foam padding is quite generous around the ear cups, and the stitched foam covering the metal bar rests nicely on your head.

It’s a remarkably comfortable headset, and the luxurious design feels as good as it looks for the most part.

Performance

The HS50 sounds quite good, and considering the price, it performs better than I expected. The 50mm neodymium drivers deliver crisp highs and fairly clear lows. I listened to everything from 14th Century Italian music to some dubstep, and the HS50 navigated it all with an audio fidelity that impressed me.

This is still a gaming headset however, not a $200 pair of audiophile cans. If music is your primary focus, it might make sense to spend a little more for more accurate sound reproduction. There’s no emulated 7.1 surround, this is a straight stereo headset, but given what it’s working with, the audio is solid.

When it comes to gaming, I had zero complaints. The high-pitched shots from my pulse rifle in Destiny 2 sounded great; and the low rumble of exploding Nazis in Wolfenstein II was as satisfying as it should be.

The headset gets loud too, but the tightness of the seal kept sound bleed at a minimum, which I’m sure significant others will appreciate.

The unidirectional detachable mic was a little questionable at first. I appreciate the fact that it’s removable, but it looked a little flimsy. After I plugged it in though, my tune changed. It may be light, but it sounds great, and is easily adjustable. It’s also Discord certified, so if you use that service frequently, that’s something to consider.

Features

This is a $50 headset, so it’s a little light on features, but it’s got the essentials.

First up, the HS50 has the controls on the headset itself, which I always appreciate. I don’t like fumbling with in-line controls, I much prefer being able to just reach up and increase the volume with a knob or mute the mic.

I tested this headset with a gaming PC, a Switch, and a PS4 pro, and had no trouble connecting to any of them due to the included 1/8th inch Y-adapter.

Price/Performance

The Corsair HS50 may not have RGB lighting or a million customization options, but as far as price/performance, it’s an exceptional value.

The build quality in particular is well beyond what you might expect for this price point, and the drivers powering the speakers deliver. Couple that with the solid detachable mic and modern styling, and you’ve got a great gaming headset that can be used on the street or while you’re racking up headshots.