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I’ve always admired Corsair’s straightforward approach to budget gaming headsets. When it comes to affordable headsets, what really matters to me is good audio quality, comfort, durability, and a clear microphone. Last year, I was impressed by the Corsair HS55 Stereo, which ticked all these boxes and had an affordable price tag of just $45. In fact, I still consider it the best budget gaming headset available.
Now, let’s talk about the wireless version of the HS55. Although there are many similarities between the wired and wireless models in terms of build quality and specifications, the wireless variant brings a whole new level of convenience.
Wireless Freedom without Sacrificing Quality
The audio quality of the HS55 Wireless is decent, delivering clarity across the frequency range essential for gaming. Whether I was playing Destiny 2 or racing games, these headphones provided excellent positional cues and impressive sound even at high volume levels. While the headphones could get a bit muddy during chaotic gameplay, I found them to be clear enough for gaming across various genres.
However, when it comes to music, the HS55 Wireless offers a standard experience. The 50mm drivers produce a slightly heavy bass, though not overpowering like some gaming headsets. The mid-tones can sometimes blend together, making it challenging to discern individual sounds in complex compositions. Nevertheless, the overall sound profile is pleasant and suitable for casual listening.
If you’re more musically inclined, I recommend exploring options like Drop’s PC38X or the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless. These alternatives offer impressive audio quality, though they come with a higher price tag compared to Corsair’s offering.
A Mic that Falls Short
Unfortunately, the microphone on the wireless HS55 headphones is the biggest disappointment compared to its wired counterpart. The wired HS55 features a crystal-clear mic without any background noise or interference. However, the wireless connection introduces a significant amount of noise, impacting the microphone’s output quality. While it’s still clear enough for meetings and group gaming sessions, it’s disheartening to see the HS55’s strongest feature become one of its weakest points.
The wireless model retains the convenient flip-to-mute design, and the mic can be easily adjusted for optimal pick-up. Additionally, you can adjust the microphone volume in the iCUE app, a welcome addition considering the slightly low volume of the wired headset at times.
Is Wireless Worth the Price?
One major drawback of the wireless version is its price. The HS55 Wireless comes at a hefty cost of $100/£100/€120, more than double the price of its wired counterpart. However, there are compelling reasons to consider the wireless option.
The freedom to move away from your desk without the hassle of cords is a significant benefit. Though a wired headset isn’t overly inconvenient, it’s undoubtedly nice not to have to take off your headset every time you need a break or want to grab a coffee.
Additionally, the HS55 Wireless offers excellent range. I tested the headphones by walking downstairs, out into the garden, and through multiple walls and floors, and the audio remained uninterrupted throughout.
Nevertheless, the higher price does diminish the HS55’s appeal. Although Corsair maintains high quality, the predominantly plastic construction leaves me wanting more of a premium feel at this price point.
Comfort and Portability
Despite its plastic build, the HS55 Wireless is remarkably comfortable. I wore it for extended eight-hour workdays, and it only started to feel slightly uncomfortable towards the end. This is a significant improvement compared to some other budget headsets I’ve tried.
Corsair has managed to maintain a lightweight design with the wireless version weighing in at just 274g. To confirm the weight difference, I weighed both the wired and wireless models, and the discrepancy was minimal. This attention to detail ensures a comfortable fit, and the HS55 Wireless is noticeably lighter than recently released wireless headsets like the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless and SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7.
Battery Life and Conclusion
As for battery life, the HS55 Wireless lasts approximately 24 hours, which is impressive for a wireless headset. During my week of use, I only needed to charge it once. However, it falls short compared to the marathon 300-hour battery life of the Cloud Alpha.
In summary, the Corsair HS55 Wireless Core Gaming Headset offers a mixed bag of features. I appreciate that Corsair has maintained the well-designed formula of the HS55 while achieving a similar weight for the wireless variant. However, the high price makes me question whether cutting the cord is truly necessary or if I would be better off with the more affordable wired HS55. The wired model excels in microphone fidelity, which the wireless version can’t match.
If you’re eager to go wireless and free yourself from being tethered to your desk, the HS55 Wireless is a decent choice within this budget range. However, if you’re uncertain about the advantages of wireless, you can save a significant amount of money by opting for a reliable wired headset instead. That’s where I would personally invest my money.
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