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Written by Joey Peng   
Tuesday, 08 February 2011
Table of Contents: Page Index
Corsair CA-HS1NA USB Gaming Headset
Closer Look: Corsair HS1NA Headset
Corsair HS1NA Headset Detailed Features
Corsair HS1NA Headset Software
Corsair HS1NA Headset Testing and Results
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Corsair HS1NA Headset Software

Like the headset, the HS1NA software focuses mostly on functionality over design. The interface for the Corsair HS1NA software is very bland and a bit too involved. That's not too say the functionality that came with the software is overly complex, it's just that after a while you realize as you switch from music to movies to games to voice chat, you're constantly adjusting the software settings to get optimal results.

For example the main page of the HS1NA software allows users to adjust between different input channels (2.1, 4.0, 5.1, and 7.1), and listening modes (Dolby Logic IIz, 7.1 virtual surround sound). They give a list of suggestions and expect the users to choose the system input correctly. Much of that should instead be automated. Since music is mostly stereo and many games implement 7.1 surround sound, it makes sense to automatically adjust input channels when certain media is being played.

Of course purely in terms of functionality everything is there. Individual sound channels can be repositioned and volumes changed thanks to Corsair's 7.1 Virtual Speaker Shifter. Dolby Headphone technology can also be turned off completely if you want a normal stereo headset experience.

Corsair_HS1_Software_Audio_Channels.jpg

The software also includes basic headset mic volume settings. Here users can adjust mic volume relative to speaker volume, and change voice playback options.

Corsair_HS1_Software_Mixer.jpg

Corsair's goal is to have users be able to listen to sound the way it was meant to be heard. Having said that, by default the HS1NA comes with no extra bass, surprising because a solid bass sounds great on the 50mm drivers. Luckily the built-in equalizer can be used to adjust the sound to your liking. Corsair also included some basic environment sound effects, which I don't find particularly useful but can be fun to play with.

Corsair_HS1_Software_Equalizer.jpg

Corsair also included some cool extras in the software. On the voice effects page there's some interesting features, including voice morphing (monster, cartoon, male, and female voices). Key shifting is also present for Karaoke lovers. My favorite however is the voice cancellation option, which works extremely well. Essentially you can play any song, turn on voice cancellation and (at the sacrifice of some music quality of course) the software will strip out all vocals from the audio track. This even works for movies.

Corsair_HS1_Software_Voice_Effects.jpg

The Corsair HS1NA USB Headset comes with functionally abundant software. They even include some interesting features unseen in other headsets. However the lack of automatically switching audio modes makes it difficult to maintain optimal settings.



 

Comments 

 
# RE: Corsair CA-HS1NA USB Gaming HeadsetStupido 2011-02-09 04:08
How they fare against other headsets like: Logitech 930, Xense combo & Mad Catz?
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# RE:RE: Corsair CA-HS1NA USB Gaming HeadsetJoey Peng 2011-02-09 12:15
Depends what you're looking for.

Purely in terms of audio quality I'd go with Corsair's. It's cheaper than the rest by at least $35. Also the most comfortable. Logitech G930 is wireless, has a great mic, audio quality good but slightly worse than Corsair's, but again it's wireless.

Mad Catz's headset is true surround sound, not software driven. You will get much better surround sound results if the content does support true surround sound and do it well, but most don't. Make sure you know it matches what you do.
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# Corsair CA-HS1NA USB Gaming HeadsetDRS-Reaper 2011-02-09 14:43
How does Corsair mustard up to Steel Series 7H. I know SteelSeries is a bit on the spendy side, then again you get what you pay for....
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# RE:Corsair CA-HS1NA USB Gaming HeadsetJoey Peng 2011-02-12 15:21
Unfortunately we don't have a sample of the 7H for comparison. However here's what I can conclude (for the 7H USB version):

It's performance should be similar to the Corsair HS1. Both 50mm drivers. However SteelSeries seems to use proprietary software over industry leader Dolby for surround sound. You also won't get anything like Dolby Pro Logic that upmixes stereo to 7.1 surround. But the 7H has some interesting things going for it too like the external USB sound card which you can mix and match headsets/sound cards. Seems like a much better travel mate.
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# RE: RE:RE: Corsair CA-HS1NA USB Gaming HeadsetStupido 2011-02-10 00:49
Thanks for the clarification! :)
Currently I use Roccat Kave and I'm very found of.
But at some point of time (not that far) I'm planning to build mini-ITX system and for that one I would like to have nice USB headset

My Kave doesn't play that well with onboard audio (realtek 889A) - it gives bit hallow and muffled sound compared to the dedicated sound card, so I'm using XtremeGamer from Creative to drive it...
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# RE: Corsair CA-HS1NA USB Gaming HeadsetVik 2011-02-10 16:44
I'm still using some older Razer Barracuda HP-1's which I am pretty fond of, but I do have to be careful with them. These Corsair ones at least seem sturdy and look like it could survive an accidental drop or several :) That said, a quality set of speakers around your ears is a welcome edition to any robust computer setup. A nice entry into a new area by Corsair!
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