Corsair HS70 Wireless Headphones Review

Reviewed Feb 19, 2019 at 10:32 am
Corsair HS70 Wireless Picture
Usage Ratings - Version 1.3.1
6.2
Mixed Usage
7.9
Neutral Sound
5.4
Commute/Travel
5.1
Sports/Fitness
6.2
Office
7.7
Wireless Gaming
6.1
Wired Gaming
6.5
Phone Call
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Corsair HS70 SE is an above-average gaming headset that has great sound for critical listening. The HS70 is the wireless variant of the HS60, and both headsets are quite similar. They have a good build quality and great padding on the ear cups and headband. The detachable boom microphone is decent, and you can use the Corsair iCUE software to customize the sound of your headset. Unfortunately, the HS70 wireless headset can’t be used passively with an audio cable, but their 15-hour battery life should last you more than a normal day of gaming. On the upside, their dongle offers a minimal amount of latency, but since they don’t allow passive playback, they’ll be a bit restrictive for mixed usage.

Our Verdict

6.2 Mixed Usage

The Corsair HS70 are average mixed usage headphones. Since you need their USB dongle to use them, they won’t be suitable for commuting or sports. However, you’ll be able to enjoy their great sound quality at home or the office. Also, their dongle gives you minimal latency, so you’ll be able to watch video content wirelessly, and their microphone is decent for gaming as well.

7.9 Neutral Sound

Great for neutral listening. They have a deep and powerful bass, a well-balanced mid-range, and a good treble. However, their bass is somewhat boomy and their mid-range is slightly recessed, but this shouldn’t be too noticeable. Also, their treble is a bit uneven, meaning S and T sounds may feel lacking in detail or too sharp for some. You’ll also be able to EQ them to your liking in the Corsair iCUE software.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
5.4 Commute/Travel

Sub-par for commuting. Since their use requires a USB dongle, they won’t be portable enough for commuting. You’d need to travel with a laptop to plug the dongle in and play your music or audio content from there.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
5.1 Sports/Fitness

Unsuitable for sports. The only way you could use these headphones for sports is if you work out at home and you’re able to have a computer near your training area. Also, they aren’t the most stable and breathable headphones.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
6.2 Office

Decent for the office. They are comfortable and sound great, so you’ll be able to enjoy your music throughout the day, but they also don’t isolate noise well. This means you might be disturbed by ambient noise, and they also leak a bit, so people surrounding you may hear what you’re listening to if you blast your music. On the upside, they have a good battery life and will last you for a full work day.

See our Office recommendations
7.7 Wireless Gaming

Above-average for gaming. The Corsair HS70 SE is a wireless variant of the HS60 that offers great sound and minimal latency issues thanks to their USB dongle. The microphone of the HS70 is decent, and players online won’t have any trouble understanding you. Their battery will also last you for long gaming sessions, and you can still use them while charging. They are also compatible with the iCUE software, which lets you EQ them to your liking and enable/disable surround sound.

See our Wireless Gaming recommendations
6.1 Wired Gaming
6.5 Phone Call
  • 6.2 Mixed Usage
  • 7.9 Neutral Sound
  • 5.4 Commute/Travel
  • 5.1 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.2 Office
  • 7.7 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.1 Wired Gaming
  • 6.5 Phone Call
Pros
  • Great audio reproduction.
  • Comfortable and durable build.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation.
  • USB dongle required; no passive playback.
  1. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.

Test Results

Design
Design
Style

The Corsair HS70 look basically the same as their wired variant, the HS60. There are some minor differences, like the white stitching on the HS70’s headband, but other than that, they kept the same straightforward gaming headset design. They don’t come in any flashy color schemes and also don’t have RGB LED lighting. They come in all-black or with white accents, and have premium looking grills on them. The headband hinges are made of metal, and look quite similar to the HyperX Cloud II’s.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.8 lbs
Clamping Force
1.4 lbs

The Corsair HS70 SE is made from the same material as the HS60, and the padding is the same on the ear cups and headband. They have a well-padded headband that doesn't feel too tight on the head, and the ear cups are large and will easily fit around most ears. The cups are also well padded, although not as much as the headband. Unfortunately, the swiveling joints/hinges do not have a wide angle of motion, so these headphones will still give you a slight clamping sensation over time. On the upside, they are still comfortable enough to wear for long gaming sessions without much pain, soreness, or fatigue.

6.1
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
N/A
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Decent
Call/Music Control No
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control Yes
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control N/A
Talk-Through
N/A
Additional Buttons No

The HS70 have a fairly simple gaming control scheme. Most gamers won’t mind the lack of a button for call and music management and should like the available volume wheel and the mic-mute button. Unfortunately, there is no LED to indicate when the mic is muted, and the mic mute button does not provide as much tactile feedback when pressed as that of the HS60. Unfortunately, they don’t have channel mixing like some other gaming headsets. The controls are easy to use and offer decent feedback.

6.4
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 5.9 C

Like most gaming headsets, the HS70 will make your ears fairly warm during long listening sessions and would not be suitable for workouts. They have a closed-back over-ear design that fully encapsulates the ears and obstructs airflow. Unfortunately, they do not come with more breathable pads like the Logitech G433 or the Astro A50. They won't be ideal if you often have long uninterrupted gaming sessions, but they should be okay if you take a couple of breaks from time to time.

1.1
Design
Portability
L 8.1 "
W 6.0 "
H 3.3 "
Volume 160 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required Yes

Gaming headsets are not usually very portable, and the HS70 are no exception. They have a bulky design, the cups don’t rotate to lay flat, and you can’t fold the headset in a more compact format. Also, they can’t be used without the USB dongle, meaning you’ll always need a PC or console to use them. However, it’s usually rare to be on the move with a gaming headset, so this shouldn’t be too much of an issue.

0
Design
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
Design
Build Quality

The Corsair HS70 SE has the same build quality as the HS60. They are well-built gaming headphones with a sturdy and durable design. They have a thick and well-padded headband and metal hinges that feel very durable. The ear cups are dense and have metal grills that make them look somewhat like open headphones, but it's more for aesthetic purposes. The boom mic is detachable, but we had issues with our unit. The mic was hard to plug in and would disconnect, even if it appeared to be correctly plugged-in.

7.0
Design
Stability

The HS70 are fairly stable, just like the HS60. They are decently tight on the head and apply enough pressure to stay in place during light physical activity. Also, they don’t have a wire, meaning you won’t get your cable stuck on something, which would yank the headphones off. However, since they are not sports-oriented headphones, they will still occasionally slip off if you tilt your head too far back, but it's not a big deal, especially for gaming use.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
0.28 db
Treble Amount
-0.04 db
7.5
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.5 dB

The HS70 have a good frequency response consistency. The treble range is quite consistent across multiple re-seats, but have a maximum deviation below 10KHz of about 6dB. In the bass range, the delivery is also quite consistent across re-seats and multiple human subjects. However, we noticed that having glasses could break the seal and caused a drop of about 6dB at 20Hz, which is not that audible.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
8.7
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.8 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
14.35 Hz
Low-Bass
0.1 dB
Mid-Bass
2.65 dB
High-Bass
1.48 dB

The Corsair HS70 SE have a very good bass. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 14Hz, which is excellent. Low-bass, responsible for the thump and rumble common to bass-heavy music and sound effects, is following our neutral target. Mid-bass, responsible for the body of bass guitars and the punch of kick drums, is hyped by less than 3dB, which is good. High-bass, responsible for warmth, is within 2dB. Overall, their bass is deep and punchy but a little hyped, without overdoing it. They have a slightly more accurate bass than the HS60.

8.6
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.88 dB
Low-Mid
-0.12 dB
Mid-Mid
-1.23 dB
High-Mid
-2.43 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.

7.8
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.67 dB
Low-Treble
-0.87 dB
Mid-Treble
0.15 dB
High-Treble
0.43 dB

The Corsair HS70 have a good treble range performance. Low-treble is well-balanced and even. Mid-treble, which is mostly responsible for sharp sounds like S and Ts (sibilances) is rather uneven. There’s a dip around 6KHz that will negatively affect the brightness and detail of some sibilances, while the peak around 9KHz will make those frequencies piercing and sharp.

7.1
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
2.04 db
Dips
0.99 db
8.5
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.51
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.37
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
1.96
Weighted Phase Mismatch
3.39

The imaging is great. Weighted group delay is at 0.51, which is within good limits. The GD graph also shows that almost 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
Sound
Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
3.68 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
6.76 dB
PRTF Distance
15.96 dB
Openness
6.4
Acoustic Space Excitation
4.4

The Corsair HS70 SE have a decent soundstage. The PRTF graph shows a decent amount of pinna interaction and activation. However, the accuracy of the activation is low. Also, there is a decent notch present around 10KHz. This, and the closed-back design of these headphones, results in a soundstage that may be perceived as relatively large but unnatural.

7.5
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.384
WHD @ 100
0.133
Isolation
3.7
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-11.16 dB
Bass
-0.63 dB
Mid
-2.04 dB
Treble
-30.5 dB

The Corsair HS70 have a poor isolation performance. These over-ear headphones don't have active noise-cancelation (ANC), and therefore 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 2dB of isolation, which is inadequate. In the treble range, occupied by air conditioning noise and sharp sounds like S and Ts, they provide 30dB of isolation, which is good.

6.1
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
44.26 dB

The leakage performance of the HS70 is mediocre. The significant portion of their leakage is spread between 400Hz and 3KHz, 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 44dB SPL and peaks at 57dB SPL, which is just above the noise floor of an average office.

Microphone
6.7
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
522.85 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.6 dB
HFE
6450.8 Hz
Weighted THD
0.783
Gain
26.72 dB

The recording quality of HS70's microphone is mediocre. The LFE of 523Hz results in a recorded/transmitted speech that sounds noticeably thin and bright. The HFE of 6.5KHz is above-average 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.

7.7
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
25.69 dB

The boom microphone of the HS70 is good at noise handling. It achieved a speech-to-noise ratio of 26dB in our SpNR test. This means it can fully separate speech from ambient noise in most environments. However, they may struggle a little bit in extremely loud places like a subway station.

Active Features
8.1
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
15.0 hrs
Additional Charges
0
Total Battery Life
15 hrs
Charge Time
1.7 hrs
Power Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
No
Charging Port micro-USB

The 15-hour battery life of the HS70 is good. This should be more than enough for long gaming sessions. Also, you can still use the headset if it’s charging, which is convenient. Unfortunately, this headset doesn’t have passive playback, meaning you can’t use them wired like the HS60. You won’t be able to use them without their USB dongle. On the upside, they turn off automatically after a certain amount of time, which you can modify inside their app, to save some battery.

7.0
Active Features
App Support
App Name Corsair Utility Engine
iOS N/A
Android N/A
macOS No
Windows Yes
Equalizer
Graphic + Presets
ANC Control
N/A
Mic Control Level
Room effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Sound Yes

The Corsair Utility Engine (now iCUE) offers different options depending on the headphones. With the HS70, you get a good graphic equalizer, as well as mic control and a simple surround sound option. You can choose between EQ presets or make your own. Note that you can only update the firmware if they are plugged in. There is also currently an open Beta on Mac OS.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
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

The HS70 is a wireless headset but isn’t Bluetooth compatible. You must use it with its dongle.

The HS70 have very low latency with their USB dongle. You shouldn’t notice any delay while playing games or watching video content.

8.4
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
70 ft
Non-BT Latency
28 ms
0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
N/A
USB Audio
No
Detachable N/A
Length N/A
Connection N/A
Wired Latency
N/A

You can’t use the HS70 with a wired connection. For a wired version of this headset, look at the Corsair HS60 or at HS50 for a more affordable alternative.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
No
PC / PS4 Wired USB
No
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
Audio + Microphone
Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
No
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No
3.4
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Wireless USB Dongle
USB Input
Yes
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
USB

They come with a USB dongle that is compatible with PC and PS4. Unfortunately, there is currently no way to connect the HS70 to the Xbox One.

In the box
In the box

  • Corsair HS70 headphones
  • Detachable boom microphone
  • USB dongle
  • Micro-USB charging cable
  • Manuals

Compared to other Headphones

The Corsair HS70 SE is an above-average gaming headset that sets itself apart with its great sound and build quality, especially for such an affordable price. Unfortunately, they can’t be used passively like most gaming wireless headsets, and there’s no way to use it on Xbox One. See our recommendations for the best gaming headsets, the best PS4 headsets, and the best PC gaming headsets.

Corsair HS60
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Corsair HS70 Wireless is the wireless variant of the Corsair HS60, so these two headsets are very similar. Both have the same durable design, but the HS70 seems to have slightly better audio reproduction. However, the HS60 is more versatile, since they can be used wired with any device, while you’ll need the USB dongle to make the HS70 work, which means you can’t use it with your phone and it doesn’t work with Xbox.

SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless 2017
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 is a better gaming headset than the Corsair HS70 Wireless. The Arctis 7 is one of the best gaming headsets we’ve reviewed so far, thanks to its great design, features, and sound quality. They also have a very good microphone, and their 24-hour battery life will last you for a while. You can also use them wired, which you can’t do with the HS70. They outperform the HS70 in pretty much every category but are a bit more expensive. If you have the budget for it, get the Arctis 7 since they offer great value.

HyperX Cloud Alpha
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Corsair HS70 Wireless is a slightly better gaming headset thanks to its wireless design, but some may prefer the wired HyperX Cloud Alpha since it is more comfortable. The HS70 has slightly better audio reproduction and have a companion app that lets you EQ them to your liking. On the other hand, the Alpha has a better microphone for online gaming, and they are compatible with every console and PC, unlike the HS70. Their tight fit and design also create a better seal around your ears, isolating more background noise.

Logitech G933 Wireless Gaming Headset
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Logitech G933 is a better gaming headset than the Corsair HS70 Wireless. It has programmable buttons, and the Logitech Gaming Software offers more options than Corsair iCUE. Also, the G933 microphone performs better and transmits a more accurate and full-bodied speech. You can also use the Logitech with a wired connection, even if the battery is dead, which you can’t do on the Corsair HS70. On the other hand, the Corsair has better sound quality and a slightly better battery life as well. Some may also find the Corsair to be better-built thanks to the metal grills and hinges and dense cups.

Corsair HS50
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.

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Corsair HS70 Wireless Price

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