Corsair HS50 HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings - Version 1.3.1
6.2
Mixed Usage
7.7
Neutral Sound
5.6
Commute/Travel
6.0
Sports/Fitness
5.9
Office
5.8
Wireless Gaming
7.5
Wired Gaming
6.8
Phone Call
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : No
Noise-Cancelling : No
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

The Corsair HS50 is a decent gaming headset with very good sound quality. It has a nearly identical design to the Corsair HS60 with the same sturdy and premium-looking build. The padding on the headband and the ear cups is comfortable, and you will be able to wear them for a while. The microphone performs well, and you can detach it to use the headset outside, but the isolation performance is sub-par. The HS50 don’t come with a USB adapter like the HS60, meaning they aren’t compatible with the Corsair iCUE software. On the upside, you’ll be able to game on all platforms without any latency issues.

Test Results
Design 6.8
Isolation 4.5
Microphone 7.7
Active Features 0
Connectivity 3.6
Pros
  • Very good audio reproduction.
  • Good microphone for online gaming.
  • Comfortable and sturdy build.
Cons
  • Bass delivery varies noticeably across users.
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • No customization options.
  1. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.

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6.8

Design

The Corsair HS50 are identical to the HS60, but without a USB adapter, and with a few minimal style changes. The HS50 is still very well-built and has a premium feel. The build quality is great, and the back grills give them an open-back look. These headphones are comfortable thanks to the thick and soft padding on the ear cups and headband but they aren’t the most breathable, like most gaming headsets. They also have a bulky over-ear design, which isn’t very portable, but their low-profile style with a detachable cable still makes them suitable for outdoor use.

Style

The Corsair HS50 is practically identical to the HS60 in style. There are only very few minor differences, like the headband stitching color. They kept the same straightforward over-ear gaming design, without any LEDs or RGB lighting, since they are completely passive. However, you can get a PS4 Blue variant or an Xbox Green variant (these are only color variances; you don’t have to get a particular model for your console). The color accent almost looks like LEDs but is in fact only shiny colored plastic.

The HS50 also has the same cup design as the HS60 and Corsair HS70 Wireless with grills on the back, which gives it an open-back headphones look. The yolks are the same metal ones as on the other models and resemble that of the Cloud II’s design. Overall, they are low-profile enough to use outside, but their bulky design might not be ideal for this use case.

7.5 Comfort
Weight : 0.72 lbs
Clamping Force
:
1.4 lbs

Since they have the same build as the HS60, the HS50 are equally comfortable. They have well-padded ear cups and headband, which doesn’t helps mitigate the pressure on the head. The cups are large, and most ears should easily fit without touching the drivers. Unfortunately, they feel a bit tight, and the swiveling joints/hinges do not have a wide angle of motion. For an affordable but more comfortable option, take a look at the HyperX Cloud Core.

6.1 Controls
OS Compatibility
:
Not OS specific
Ease of use : Good
Feedback : Decent
Call/Music Control : No
Volume Control : Yes
Microphone Control : Yes
Channel Mixing
:
No
Noise Canceling Control : N/A
Talk-Through
:
N/A
Additional Buttons : No

The HS50 have the same simple gaming control scheme as the HS60. You only have access to a mic-mute button and a volume dial on the left ear-cup. You don’t get access to functionalities such as music control and call management since these headphones are gaming-oriented. There’s also no in-line remote with channel-mixing control, which would have been useful. On the upside, the controls are easy to use.

6.1 Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference : 6.8 C

Like most closed-back over-ear headphones, the HS50 trap a good amount of heat under their ear cups, which will create a noticeable difference in temperature in your ears. They create a decent seal around your ears and won’t allow for much airflow. This means they won’t be a great option for sports, as you will sweat more than usual when wearing them.

5.7 Portability
L : 7 "
W : 5.8 "
H : 3.6 "
Volume : 146 Cu. Inches
Transmitter required : N/A

The Corsair HS50 is not a very portable gaming headset, like most. The cups are fairly large, and they do not fold or swivel. They won’t be easy to carry around, but you shouldn’t be on the move too often with your gaming headset, so this issue might not be a big deal.

0 Case
Type : No case
L : N/A
W : N/A
H : N/A
Volume : N/A

These headphones do not come with a case or pouch.

8.0 Build Quality

The Corsair HS50 are well-built gaming headphones with a simple and efficient design. They have a thick and well-padded headband and metal frame for the hinges and yokes. They have dense ear cups and have metal grills that make them look somewhat like open-back headphones. The grills are well-built and feel sturdy enough that they won't break from a couple of accidental drops. However, the swiveling hinges, where the ear cups meet the metal frame of the headband, is somewhat thin and does not have a wide range of motion, which would be the most fragile part of the HS50's design.

6.5 Stability

The HS50 is decently stable and will be okay for gaming use but might come off if you wear them for jogging or other sports. They will occasionally slip off if you tilt your head too far back, but it's not a big deal, especially for the gaming use case. However, their cable isn’t detachable, so if it gets stuck on your desk chair when getting up, the headphones could get yanked off your head.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
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Sound

They have a deep, powerful and punchy bass, a flat and even mid-range, and a great treble. Unfortunately, their bass is a bit boomy and prone to inconsistencies across multiple users. Their treble range is also a bit uneven, and some S and T sounds may be piercing or lacking in detail for some. Overall, these headphones are versatile enough for a wide variety of genres, from bass-heavy to vocal-centric music.

These headphones have practically the same frequency response as the Corsair HS60 and will sound very similar. We consider the differences in scoring to be related to our pool of human subjects, but results were within our margin of error.

Sound Profile
Bass Amount
:
0.82 db
Treble Amount
:
-0.57 db
5.9 Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
:
0.96 dB

The frequency response consistency of the Corsair HS50 is sub-par. These headphones are inconsistent in their delivery across multiple subjects, especially in the lower frequencies. In the bass range, they show more than 13dB of deviation at 20Hz. We noticed that not only wearing glasses could cause a big drop in bass, but people with different head shapes and sizes also experienced significantly different amounts of bass. In the treble range, they perform better since the inconsistencies occur in narrower bands.

8.3 Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
2.43 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
:
10 Hz
Low-Bass
:
0.77 dB
Mid-Bass
:
2.98 dB
High-Bass
:
2.98 dB

The bass performance of the HS50 is great. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, which is excellent. Low-bass, responsible for the thump and rumble common to bass-heavy music and sound effects, follows our target curve very well, which is great. However, mid-bass, responsible for the body of bass guitars and the punch of kick drums, and high-bass, responsible for warmth, are both overemphasized by about 3dB, which adds a bit of boominess to the bass.

However, their bass delivery varies noticeably across users and is sensitive to the quality of the fit, seal, and whether you wear glasses. The response here represents the average bass response, and your experience may vary.

8.8 Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
1.59 dB
Low-Mid
:
-1.13 dB
Mid-Mid
:
-0.17 dB
High-Mid
:
-1.77 dB

The mid-range is great. The response throughout the range is flat and even, but slightly underemphasized. This results in a clear and well-balanced reproduction of vocals and lead instruments.

7.9 Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
:
3.54 dB
Low-Treble
:
-2.39 dB
Mid-Treble
:
0.6 dB
High-Treble
:
-1.66 dB

The Corsair HS50 have a good treble range performance. Low-treble is well-balanced and even but slightly underemphasized; however, this won't be very noticeable. Mid-treble, which is mostly responsible for sharp sounds like S and Ts (sibilants) is rather uneven but decently balanced. This means that depending on their frequency, some of the sibilants will lack detail and brightness while some others will be sharp and piercing. Not everyone will hear this as intensely, and these headphones might not be as sibilant for some.

7.3 Peaks/Dips
Peaks
:
1.88 db
Dips
:
1.08 db
8.5 Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
:
0.25
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
:
0.49
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
:
2.09
Weighted Phase Mismatch
:
5.55

The imaging is great. Weighted group delay is at 0.25, which is within very good limits. The GD graph also shows that the entire group delay response is below the audibility threshold. This ensures a tight bass and a transparent treble reproduction. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were very well-matched. This is important for the accurate localization and placement of objects (voices, instruments, video game effects) in the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our unit, and yours may perform differently.

7.0 Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
:
2.9 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
:
6.65 dB
PRTF Distance
:
14.76 dB
Openness
:
6.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
:
4.7

The soundstage of the Corsair HS50 is decent. The PRTF graph shows a good amount of pinna interaction and activation, with decent accuracy as well. There is also a small notch present at the 10KHz mark, which is good. Overall, the soundstage of the HS50 could be perceived as relatively large, but inside the listener’s head. Since they are closed-back headphones, they won’t be as open-sounding as open-back headphones.

8.2 Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
:
0.198
WHD @ 100
:
0.073
4.5

Isolation

The HS50 do not isolate well, just like the HS60 and Corsair HS70 Wireless. They create a decent seal around your ears that will block some high-frequency noise, but it won't be enough for the noisy conditions involved in commuting or being at an eSports competition or gaming convention. They also leak quite a bit at high volumes so what you're listening to will be audible to the people around you in quieter circumstances. However, this may not be a significant issue if you mostly game in a quiet room.

3.7 Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
:
Overall Attenuation
:
-10.86 dB
Bass
:
-0.36 dB
Mid
:
-2.47 dB
Treble
:
-29.56 dB

The Corsair HS50 have poor isolation performance. These over-ear headphones don't have active noise cancelation (ANC) and don't provide any isolation in the bass range. This means they will let in all the low rumbling noises of airplane and bus engines. Also, in the mid-range, important for blocking out speech they achieve less than 3dB of isolation, which is inadequate. In the treble range, occupied by air conditioning noise and sharp sounds like S and Ts, they provide just over 29dB of isolation, which is good.

6.0 Leakage
Leakage Audio
:
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
:
45.19 dB

The leakage performance of the HS50 is mediocre. The significant portion of their leakage is spread between 400Hz and 5KHz, which is a relatively broad range. This results in a leakage that is fuller sounding than that of in-ears and earbuds. The overall level of the leakage is not very loud, though. With the music at 100dB SPL, the leakage at 1 foot away averages at 45dB SPL and peaks at 56dB SPL, which is just above the noise floor of an average office.

7.7

Microphone

Integrated
:
No
In-line
:
No
Boom
:
Yes
Detachable Boom
:
Yes

The boom mic of the Corsair HS50 has a good performance and is very similar to that of the HS60. In quiet environments, speech recorded or transmitted with this mic sounds noticeably thin and bright, but quite clear and easily intelligible. In noisy situations, this microphone is able to fully separate speech from background noise in very loud environments like a gaming competition but may struggle a bit in extreme situations.

7.0 Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
:
LFE
:
522.85 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
:
3.15 dB
HFE
:
10093.19 Hz
Weighted THD
:
0.318
Gain
:
31.66 dB

The recording quality of the HS50's boom microphone is okay. The LFE of 523Hz results in a recorded/transmitted speech that sounds noticeably thin. The HFE of 10KHz is quite good and means speech will be intelligible and detailed. The response between the LFE and HFE points is decent, but it'll sound a bit too bright because of the overemphasis in the treble range. For a clearer sounding speech, take a look at the Logitech G432, SteelSeries Arctis 1 or the Razer Kraken X.

8.3 Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise :
Speech + Subway Noise :
SpNR
:
31.05 dB

The boom microphone of the HS50 is great at noise handling. It achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 31dB in our SpNR test. This means it is able to fully separate speech from ambient noise in most environments. However, they may struggle a little bit is extremely loud places like a noisy subway station.

0

Active Features

This gaming headset is wired and doesn't have any active features or need a battery. The main difference with the Corsair HS60 is that the HS50 doesn’t come with a USB connector, meaning they aren’t compatible with the Corsair iCUE software.

N/A Battery
Battery Type
:
N/A
Continuous Battery Life
:
N/A
Additional Charges
:
N/A
Total Battery Life
:
N/A
Charge Time
:
N/A
Power Saving Feature
:
N/A
Audio while charging
:
N/A
Passive Playback
:
N/A
Charging Port : N/A

The HS50 are wired headphones and don’t have a battery.

0 App Support
App Name : N/A
iOS : N/A
Android : N/A
macOS : N/A
Windows : N/A
Equalizer
:
N/A
ANC control
:
N/A
Mic Control : N/A
Room effects
:
N/A
Playback control
:
N/A
Button Mapping : N/A
Surround Sound : N/A

This headset isn’t compatible with the Corsair iCUE software and doesn’t have any customization options.

3.6

Connectivity

The Corsair HS50 is a straightforward wired gaming headset. It has a 1/8” TRRS connector and will be compatible with consoles and PCs. This also means that you won’t have any latency issues while watching video content or when gaming. However, your range will be limited by the length of its cable.

0 Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
:
N/A
Multi-Device Pairing
:
N/A
NFC Pairing
:
N/A
Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Default Latency
:
N/A
aptX Latency
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
:
N/A

This wired headset is not Bluetooth compatible and can only be used wired.

Like most wired headphones, the HS50 have practically no latency. They will be suitable to use for watching video content and gaming without having any delay between the video and audio.

0 Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
:
N/A
Non-BT Latency
:
N/A
9.0 Wired
Analog Audio
:
Yes
USB Audio
:
No
Detachable : No
Length : 6 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRRS
Wired Latency
:
0 ms

This wired headset is compatible with all consoles and PCs. You will have audio and microphone support thanks to the 1/8” TRRS connector.

PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
:
Audio + Microphone
PC / PS4 Wired USB
:
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
:
No
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
:
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Wired USB
:
No
Xbox One Wireless
:
No
0 Base/Dock
Type
:
N/A
USB Input
:
N/A
Line In
:
N/A
Line Out
:
N/A
Optical Input
:
N/A
RCA Input
:
N/A
Dock Charging
:
N/A
Power Supply
:
N/A

The Corsair HS50 don’t have a base or dock. If you're looking for headphones with a dock for customization options, look at the Arctis Pro Wireless. If you want a charging dock, look at the Astro A50, and if you're looking for wireless headphones for watching TV, look at the Sennheiser RS 185.

In the box

  • Corsair HS50 headphones
  • Detachable microphone
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

The Corsair HS50 is a decent gaming headset that sets itself apart by its very good sound and build quality for such an affordable price. Unfortunately, it doesn't block ambient noise well, and its sound delivery varies noticeably across users. If you’re interested in affordable gaming headset options, look at our recommendations for the best gaming headsets under $50. See also our recommendations for the best gaming headsets for PC and the best gaming headsets under $100.

Corsair HS60
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Corsair HS50 and Corsair HS60 are basically the same headset, but the HS60 come with a USB adapter for you to use the Corsair iCUE software on PC. If you are a console gamer, save a few bucks and grab the HS50, but if you are playing on PC, the customization available on the app might be worth the extra few dollars.

HyperX Cloud Stinger
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Corsair HS50 is a slightly better gaming headset than the HyperX Cloud Stinger. The audio reproduction is slightly more accurate on the Corsair, and they feel better-built. The Stinger feels plasticky and slightly flimsy, while the HS50 feels sturdier. On the other hand, the HyperX headset has a noticeably better microphone recording quality, which may be important for some for online games.

HyperX Cloud Core
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Corsair HS50 are better sounding gaming headphones than the HyperX Cloud Core. They have volume controls and a mic-mute switch which the Core is lacking. Their sound quality is also more accurate, especially in the treble range. On the other hand, the Cloud Core are more comfortable and have a better sounding microphone for online gaming.

Logitech G430 Gaming Headset
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Corsair HS50 are better gaming headphones than the Logitech G430. They feel sturdier due to the dense plastic and metal build of the headphones. The G430 feels very flimsy, and the microphone can’t be detached to give them a more outside-friendly look. On the other side, the G430 is compatible with the Logitech Gaming Software, which is one of the desktop apps that offers the most amount of control and customization options.

Razer Kraken X
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Corsair HS50 are better gaming headphones than the Razer Kraken X. The HS50 are more comfortable, feel much better-built, and sound significantly more balanced overall. However, the Kraken X have a better-sounding boom microphone and a more lightweight design.

SteelSeries Arctis 1
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Corsair HS50 and the SteelSeries Arctis 1 are two decent gaming headphones that have different strengths. The Corsair HS50 are slightly better sounding, are noticeably better-built, and feel more durable. Some may also prefer their large cups and find the padding to be more comfortable. On the other hand, the microphone of the Arctis 1 is noticeably better and sounds clearer. If you play single player games and don’t need a boom microphone, get the Corsair HS50.

Corsair HS70 Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Corsair HS50 and Corsair HS70 Wireless are very similar headsets, but the HS70 model is wireless, while the HS50 is wired. Both have the same similar build and audio reproduction. However, the HS70 has a small edge over the HS50, since they are compatible with the Corsair iCUE software and offer more freedom thanks to their wireless design. However, the HS50 is more versatile, since it can be used with any console or PC with the 1/8” TRRS connector. This is something you can’t do with the USB dongle-only connection of the HS70. Some also won’t like having to manage a battery life with the HS70.

Logitech G432 Gaming Headset
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Logitech G432 are better gaming headphones than the Corsair HS50 thanks to their amazing microphone recording quality. They have a companion customization software, which the HS50 doesn’t have. On the other hand, the HS50 is noticeably better built and more durable than the G432, on top of having a slightly more accurate sound right out of the box. You can’t EQ the HS50, but you can detach their microphone, which makes them a bit more outdoor-friendly.

+ Show more
6.2 Mixed Usage

Okay for mixed usage. This gaming headset has very good audio reproduction for critical listening and video game effects. Its design is a bit bulky and is not the best to use outside, but if you don’t mind it, it looks fairly low-profile and you can detach their microphone. However, these headphones don’t block out ambient noise well, which means they're sub-par for commuting and for the office. They also trap heat under their ear cups, which will make you sweat more during physical activity. While they don’t have any latency issues and sound great for movies and TV shows, your range will be limited by their cable’s length. Their microphone is good for online games, but this model isn’t compatible with the Corsair iCUE software.

7.7 Neutral Sound

Very good for neutral listening. The Corsair HS50 have a deep, powerful and punchy bass, a flat and even mid-range, and a great treble. Unfortunately, their bass is a bit boomy and prone to inconsistencies across multiple users. Their treble range is also a bit uneven, and some S and T sounds may be piercing or lacking in detail for some. Unfortunately, they aren’t compatible with the iCUE software, which offers an EQ.

5.6 Commute/Travel

Sub-par for commuting. These headphones are quite bulky and aren’t easy to carry around. They also don’t isolate any lower-frequency noises such as engine rumbles, making them a bad option for your daily commute. On the upside, you can block more noise by playing audio, but you might disturb people surrounding you as they are a bit leaky at higher volumes.

6.0 Sports/Fitness

Mediocre for sports. These over-ear headphones have a bulky design that won’t be ideal for physical activity. You might be able to jog with these, but they aren’t the most stable and might move around a bit. You’ll also have a wire in your way, and it might get hooked on something and yank the headphones off your head. They also don’t allow much airflow, so you will probably sweat more than usual when working out with these.

5.9 Office

Passable for the office. They don’t isolate ambient chatter well if you aren’t playing any audio. They are also a bit leaky at higher volumes, so you might bother coworkers surrounding you. On the upside, you won’t have to manage battery life, and you can take calls with their good microphone.

5.8 Wireless Gaming

Decent for gaming. The Corsair HS50 do most things well but don’t really stand out in any gaming categories. Their microphone is good; it will please most online gamers, and you’ll be able to wear them for long gaming sessions. Also, you won’t have any delay due to their wired connection, which is great. They have a simple gaming-oriented control scheme with a mic-mute switch. However, they aren’t customizable like some other gaming headsets, since they aren’t compatible with the Corsair iCUE software and don’t have channel mixing. On the upside, their simple 1/8” TRRS connector is compatible with all consoles and PCs, making them a versatile headset.

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