A pretty common gaming headset with a subtle sense of style and a great build is the Corsair HS55 SURROUND. Although it comes with a USB dongle, which is needed to activate its surround sound and other software features, it connects using the standard 3.5mm headphone socket. How does it stack up against the competition given that it is going after a market segment where prices are lower than average?
Lightweight, elegantly designed, and well-built
Wireless 2.4GHz transmitter with on-the-fly sound preset adjustment is still not USB-C.
The Corsair HS55 Wireless Core is still meant to be portable even though it isn’t the most durable and well-built gaming headset we’ve tried. It has soft and velvety ear foams, strong clamping force to keep it in place even while you’re moving through a crowd, and ear cups with lots of swivel so you can lay the whole thing flat for storing in your weekender or laptop bag. It weighs only 266g, or less than 0.60 pounds.
Naturally, all of those features also contribute to the comfort of this gaming headset. Even after wearing them for about an hour, the soft leatherette ear foams feel wonderful against our ears and do not become overly warm. However, there is a little bit more clamping force than is required, so you might need to break it in a little bit before using.
Although being primarily comprised of smooth matte plastic that feels lovely to the touch, the structure is generally quite sturdy. Although we can reasonably assume that it will readily fracture if it falls from a higher floor or under the weight of a gaming computer, we don’t claim to know how durable it is. Yet, we believe it to be sturdy enough to withstand normal wear and tear.
The Corsair HS55 Wireless Core’s audio quality
Large, 50mm neodymium drivers that are unique to the HS55 Wireless Core were created by Corsair. Larger drivers may move more air and, when tuned properly, can typically produce a more powerful, impacting sound than smaller drivers. You won’t need to turn up the volume all the way to hear enemy footsteps sneaking around the corner because the drivers, despite their massive diameter, are simple to power and may soar to ear-crushing levels. The typical frequency response range of these devices is 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz, which is nearly similar to the range of the human ear.
Before Overwatch 2’s release, the headset was delivered, and as soon as I was able to log in, I tested it out in dozens of games. Although the headset doesn’t seem compressed, it also doesn’t sound especially open. The lack of a strong sense of space is typical for a closed-back gaming headset, but since the software doesn’t offer any virtual surround sound options, there is no way to increase the soundstage without spending money on a third-party product like Dolby Atmos. On its own, the soundstage didn’t feel like a completely immersive environment; it seemed to reach just beyond of my skull.
Despite the fancy marketing touting the drivers and audio quality, this headset’s actual sound quality isn’t all that exceptional. The HS55 Wireless Core is a victim of the same pitfalls that have befallen other gaming headphones before it: booming, bloated bass that dominates the frequencies around it. Moreover, there is some treble roll-off, making it harder to detect higher-pitched details and making the headset seem less clear than it should.
A battery’s life
Although the Corsair HS55 Wireless Core has a reasonable amount of battery life, you’ll still need to plug it in about once a week (depending on how much you play). Total playtime is rated by Corsair at 24 hours. When listening at about 50% volume, I found this to be fairly accurate, but if you listen any louder than 50%, you should expect this to drop. Nonetheless, the headset is quite simple to operate, and I found that pushing it up past 50% was very uncomfortable.
Its battery life will give you around eight days of playtime between charges if you game for three hours every day. To inform you of the battery’s current condition, an indicator light on the right earcup will alternate between the colors green, orange, and red. However, even within the software, there is no method to really check your battery level. I was compelled to verify the HS55’s status using the Android Bluetooth menu, which isn’t particularly accurate and only measures in 10-percent intervals.
If you do run out of juice, you won’t have to plug the headset in for very long to recharge it for a full day of play thanks to its quick charging capability. Up to six hours of fun are possible with just 15 minutes of charging (depending on your volume). You won’t have to switch headsets entirely just because the battery is dead because it can be used while charging. But, keep in mind that the USB connection is exclusively for charging. To improve the sound or microphone quality, you cannot plug in.
A straightforward wireless gaming headset that adheres to many gaming headset cliches is the Corsair HS55 Wireless Core. Despite the fact that it has a few tricks up its sleeve, the sound and microphone quality aren’t particularly impressive. Apart from its dual Bluetooth 5.2 and 2.4GHz wireless connectivity, the headset isn’t horrible; it’s fine. Nevertheless, there isn’t much more about it that makes it a must-buy.