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Reviews - Featured Reviews: Audio
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 USB Gaming Headset Final Thoughts

In comparison with some of the other latest gaming headsets that implement Dolby Headphone technology, it is no surprise that there are huge similarities in terms of directional audio performance. After all it's the exact same algorithms being used to generate the virtual surround sound. That doesn't mean every headset is the same. In fact performance varies greatly depending on the drivers and build of the headset. Great directional audio is well complemented by first class drivers that deliver high audio quality. In this respect the Corsair HS1NA is a good example of a headset that merges well with the software.

Corsair_HS1_Headset_Left.jpg

Corsair HS1NA Headset Conclusion

It may be pure coincidence or genuine quality, but somehow the Corsair HS1NA USB Gaming Headset hit a sweet spot. It is instantly my favorite headset for listening to music, watching movies, and gaming. Much of it can be attributed to the fine-tuned 50mm drivers delivering top-notch audio. The decision to use Dolby for surround sound is wise, as they are the industry standard for music, games and movies. This is also the most comfortable pair of headset I've used. The mic isn't the best but if you're in a noisy room with lots of ambient noise this mic will manage to capture your voice and your voice only.

The HS1NA's visual appearance may seem is a little plain, as it surely looks that way from the box art and packaging. However the aluminum silver and leathery textures give it a nice high-end feel. The design is mature and suits a more diverse age group. Even if you're not a gamer this headset could still be a good purchase because of its excellent performance.

Corsair constructed the HS1NA very well. It has a solid frame but flexible at the same time. Most headsets tend be a hassle to carry around without a case in fear of damage, but the HS1NA is extremely flexible and can be shoved into a bag without any problems by tucking the ear pieces away. The headband adjuster is solid and provides enough friction to avoid arbitrary shifts. The mic has limited adjustability but it maintains its position after bending.

Functionality wise the Corsair HS1NA delivers everything you need in a surround sound headset. The software could use some extra work to improve usability but at least an abundant of options are available and plenty of tweaks to personalize your audio experience. In particular the Karaoke effects included with the software is unique and interesting, and plenty of fun is possible with it.

The Corsair HS1NA USB Gaming Headset can be purchased for $89.99. For a late entrant into the market, the price may not seem particularly competitive. However the HS1NA's feature set and performance justify the price. Purely in terms of hardware you can expect to pay more for the larger driver. The 3.5mm audio jack version comes at about $25 cheaper however you lose the surround sound features. For those that care more about compatibility the Corsair HS1ANA is a better choice.

Corsair has successfully made a great headset and it performs magnificently. The two areas it stands out is audio quality and comfort. If these two things are your primary concerns for a headset then the Corsair HS1NA USB Gaming Headset is a great choice.

Pros:Benchmark Reviews Golden Tachometer Award

+ 50mm drivers, excellent sound quality
+ Interesting software extras
+ Noise cancelling, unidirectional mic
+ Memory foam ear pads
+ One of the most comfortable headsets
+ Study and flexible

Cons:

- Needs frequent settings adjustments to get optimal experience
- Low mic volume
- PC only

Ratings:

  • Performance: 9.25
  • Appearance: 8.75
  • Construction: 9.50
  • Functionality: 9.00
  • Value: 8.75

Final Score: 9.05 out of 10.

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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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