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Corsair HS1A Gaming Headset Examined


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#1 Nemo

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 09:07 PM

OCC checks out a second headset from Corsair with our review on the Corsair HS1A http://www.overclock...s/corsair_hs1a/

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#2 Bosco

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Posted 06 March 2011 - 10:56 PM

I agree the HS1's are a better option for $15 more.

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#3 potatochobit

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 12:48 AM

music is a far more important reason for me to spend money on a nice set of headphones
though I do game with mine as well everyday
I am not sold on any dolby or surround sound stuff atm
though if I had these two choices I would of course spend the little extra on the 90$ set
on a side note* USB headphones are ok but I can't really take them seriously
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#4 iskout

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Posted 07 March 2011 - 02:06 AM

I think I'll stick to my Razer Carcharias'.

If I decide to upgrade, I'll probably go with Audio-Technica AD700's. :thumbsup:

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#5 DylanRhodes

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Posted 24 March 2011 - 04:36 PM

Thanks for posting the review. A few comments:

"Yes, I'm completely certain that the same photo used with the HS1 was used for the HS1A, albeit after some convincing editing."

I'll take this as a compliment. The HS1 box photo was taken of the HS1, and the HS1A box photo was taken of the HS1A. They were shot months apart. You mentioned that the latter was positioned exactly like the first -- I'm glad you noticed. The photographer and I spent a lot of time getting it just right.

"Corsair has chosen only to cater to speakers and readers of three languages: English, French, and Spanish. A curious choice, and a 'Piss off!' to the Germans, Italians, and the East Slavs."

Not exactly. The European packaging for the HS1A has the same set of languages (abbreviated EFIGS+R) as did the HS1. Here in the United States, we need only English, French, and Spanish. The HS1A you got for review was the US version. Don't worry, they're identical except for the packaging. You may assure your Italian, German, and Russian-speaking friends that there was no actual slight.

Regarding the unfortunate situation of many gaming headsets having overdriven bass, it's written:

"This is a load of rubbish. Games use the same frequency range as other audio sources. Headphones that are muddy, or honky, or tin can-y will have those characteristics no matter where the audio is sourced from. In a way, Corsair is correct in saying that crappy headphones are crappy, and good headphones are good, though this hardly needs clarification."

Alas, but I wish it were. Early in the development process for the HS1 and HS1A, as you'd expect, we listened to a LOT of gaming headsets. And, unfortunately, several popular models have bass that's waaaay overdriven. This results in a set that's fine for gaming (I suppose their logic is that overboosting the bass makes for a nice experience listening to all those explosions), but when you take those same gaming headphones and listen to some music you're familiar with, you'll immediately see that something isn't right.

You're correct, of course, that bad headsets are bad and good headsets are good, but it's a peculiarity of the gaming headset category that some vendors have chosen to add a particular form of bad, which can have the narrow effect of pleasing game performance for what I call the "20 second test," at the expense of general-purpose suitability. That's the point. Apologies if it wasn't clear.

#6 Sim

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Posted 29 March 2011 - 11:23 PM

The HS1A build quality is nice but Corsair messed up on sound quality.
People buy headsets for gaming and voice chatting, not listening to music/movies. We all know you buy headphones to listen to music/movies or for gaming if you don't care about using voice chat.

I have read REAL user reviews and most of them agree with me on the lack of bass and explosions in game. I don't see how Corsair or any site can claim this to be a good gaming headset or even a good headset to listen to music when the sound quality is bad. If you try to turn up the bass it makes the high's sound muffled and you still won't get any bass out of this headset.

My sound card has Dolby headphone option and not even that would help.
I see this headset dropping in price (below $50) or being discontinued on major online retailers due to so many returns from unsatisfied customers.

I owned the HS1A for a week before returning it. I will take a $23 loss over keeping this "gaming" headset. (shipping and stocking fee)

#7 SpeedCrazy

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 04:27 AM

The HS1A build quality is nice but Corsair messed up on sound quality.
People buy headsets for gaming and voice chatting, not listening to music/movies. We all know you buy headphones to listen to music/movies or for gaming if you don't care about using voice chat.

I have read REAL user reviews and most of them agree with me on the lack of bass and explosions in game. I don't see how Corsair or any site can claim this to be a good gaming headset or even a good headset to listen to music when the sound quality is bad. If you try to turn up the bass it makes the high's sound muffled and you still won't get any bass out of this headset.

My sound card has Dolby headphone option and not even that would help.
I see this headset dropping in price (below $50) or being discontinued on major online retailers due to so many returns from unsatisfied customers.

I owned the HS1A for a week before returning it. I will take a $23 loss over keeping this "gaming" headset. (shipping and stocking fee)

To begin with, "People buy headsets for gaming and voice chatting, not listening to music/movies. We all know you buy headphones to listen to music/movies or for gaming if you don't care about using voice chat."
False. Headsets are far superior to headphones for music in most cases, far more comfortable too.

"I have read REAL user reviews and most of them agree with me on the lack of bass and explosions in game. I don't see how Corsair or any site can claim this to be a good gaming headset or even a good headset to listen to music when the sound quality is bad. If you try to turn up the bass it makes the high's sound muffled and you still won't get any bass out of this headset. "
Did you even read the review? Or did you just want to rant. He admits they are not worth it for music. Neither did he praise them for gaming. and he did not say it was a great headset for anything, what he said was
"if you're willing to put down close to $100 for a headset, spend the extra $15 and go for the HS1. It delivers more, and though neither the HS1 or HS1A is even a decent choice for music, the HS1 is far better for movies and games,"

As for your sound card having dolby, that wouldn't help as the headset does not support it.
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#8 Sim

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 11:07 PM

To begin with, "People buy headsets for gaming and voice chatting, not listening to music/movies. We all know you buy headphones to listen to music/movies or for gaming if you don't care about using voice chat."
False. Headsets are far superior to headphones for music in most cases, far more comfortable too.

"I have read REAL user reviews and most of them agree with me on the lack of bass and explosions in game. I don't see how Corsair or any site can claim this to be a good gaming headset or even a good headset to listen to music when the sound quality is bad. If you try to turn up the bass it makes the high's sound muffled and you still won't get any bass out of this headset. "
Did you even read the review? Or did you just want to rant. He admits they are not worth it for music. Neither did he praise them for gaming. and he did not say it was a great headset for anything, what he said was
"if you're willing to put down close to $100 for a headset, spend the extra $15 and go for the HS1. It delivers more, and though neither the HS1 or HS1A is even a decent choice for music, the HS1 is far better for movies and games,"

As for your sound card having dolby, that wouldn't help as the headset does not support it.


False. Headsets are far superior to headphones for music in most cases, far more comfortable too.

False. If you ask any audiophile they will tell you headphones are far superior and have better soundstage for listening to music,movies. If you still think i am wrong feel free to ask members on head-fi.org see what they say. If you ask gamers who care about good quality sound which headset to buy, most of them will tell you to buy headphones like the H555's(headphone) and use a clip on mic.

As for your sound card having dolby, that wouldn't help as the headset does not support it.

False. You can use Dolby with the HS1A, it uses the same drivers HS1 does. It all depends on if your sound card software supports Dolby Headphone technology or not. My sound card uses the same software the HS1 USB headset uses. (cmedia software)

My issue with the article is this. It didn't go into enough details about gaming with this gaming headset. The article was loaded with fluff info and not enough real world info. It would of been nice to read what the person reviewing it thought about explosions and other in-game sounds.
This headset is Comfortable and build quality is nice, but if Corsair headset's can't produce good quality sound while gaming the first two things are pointless. What people want is detailed info on how it performs while gaming, do you feel immersed while gaming and how is the sound quality to other headsets around the same price.

#9 Sim

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Posted 30 March 2011 - 11:12 PM

To begin with, "People buy headsets for gaming and voice chatting, not listening to music/movies. We all know you buy headphones to listen to music/movies or for gaming if you don't care about using voice chat."
False. Headsets are far superior to headphones for music in most cases, far more comfortable too.

"I have read REAL user reviews and most of them agree with me on the lack of bass and explosions in game. I don't see how Corsair or any site can claim this to be a good gaming headset or even a good headset to listen to music when the sound quality is bad. If you try to turn up the bass it makes the high's sound muffled and you still won't get any bass out of this headset. "
Did you even read the review? Or did you just want to rant. He admits they are not worth it for music. Neither did he praise them for gaming. and he did not say it was a great headset for anything, what he said was
"if you're willing to put down close to $100 for a headset, spend the extra $15 and go for the HS1. It delivers more, and though neither the HS1 or HS1A is even a decent choice for music, the HS1 is far better for movies and games,"

As for your sound card having dolby, that wouldn't help as the headset does not support it.


False. Headsets are far superior to headphones for music in most cases, far more comfortable too.

False. If you ask audiophile they will tell you headphones are far superior and have better soundstage for listening to music,movies. If you still think i am wrong feel free to ask members on head-fi.org see what they say. If you ask gamers who care about good quality sound which headset to buy, most of them will tell you to buy headphones like the H555's(headphone) and use a clip on mic.

As for your sound card having dolby, that wouldn't help as the headset does not support it.

False. You can use Dolby with the HS1A, it uses the same drivers HS1 does. It all depends on if your sound card software supports Dolby Headphone technology or not. My sound card uses the same software the HS1 USB headset uses. (cmedia software)

My issue with the article is this. It didn't go into enough details about gaming with this gaming headset. The article was loaded with fluff and not enough real world info. It would of been nice to read what the person reviewing it thought about explosions and other in-game sounds, you know what most gamers care about. (in terms they relate to)
This headset is Comfortable and build quality is nice, but if the Corsair headset's can't produce good quality sound while gaming the first two things are pointless. Who wants a headset that is comfortable but sounds horrible. What people want is detailed info on how it performs while gaming, do you feel immersed while gaming and how is the sound quality to other headsets around the same price.