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Corsair HS80 MAX Wireless Gaming Headset Review

Matthew Keith Updated: Posted:
Hardware Reviews 0

When looking at the gaming headphone landscape over the past few years Corsair HS80 MAX seems to be a testament to how far headsets have come. Gone are the days of stereo audio, uncomfortable headbands and poor microphones and in their place, a whole new premium breed of gaming headset exists. 

The HS80 MAX Wireless Gaming Headset from manufacturer Corsair are the latest premium headphones to come from the gaming peripheral company. These feature-heavy, premium-feeling headphones aim to take on some of the other premium gaming headsets on the market. Boasting top-of-the-line parts and design features, the HS80 MAX has flexibility in device connectivity, long-lasting battery life and a high-quality microphone to handle all your streaming needs.

While this all seems good on paper the real question is whether it's enough to take you away from the other premium headsets out there. After a couple of weeks of testing, it's time to answer that question. So grab that coffee, kick back and check out our review of the Corsair HS80 MAX Wireless Gaming Headset.


  • Current Price: $179.99 (Amazon)
  • Audio Compatibility: PC, MAC, PS4/5
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz - 40kHz
  • Battery Life: Up to 165H (depending on settings)
  • Connection Type: Wireless via TypeA USB Transmitter/Bluetooth
  • Wireless Range: 50ft
  • Drivers: 50mm 
  • Impedance: 32 Ohms @ 1kHz
  • Microphone Type: Omni-Directional
  • Microphone Frequency Response: 100Hz to 10kHz
  • Audio: Dolby Atmos
  • Lighting: RGB

Built Corsair Tough

The HS80 MAX are exceptionally well-built. With a reinforced aluminum casing running over the majority of the headphones, the HS80 MAX feel sturdy to the touch. While sturdy to the touch they are also exceptionally comfortable to wear. An adjustable floating headband helps keep the headphones firmly but gently in place while the memory foam earpads allow plenty of room for the arms of glasses to gently rest against your head. 

Speaking of the earpads while comprised of memory foam, each earpad is wrapped with a soft, breathable fabric that, even after a few hours of gaming allow heat to dissipate rather well. The earpads fully enclose the ear meaning you won’t have to worry about additional pressure from the pads pushing your ears into the side of your head. 

The connection point for the earpads to the headband, much like the rest of the headphones, has an aluminum outer coating over the hinge point that reinforces the connection. As for the hinge itself, it's sturdy while still remaining flexible enough to allow the headphones to adapt to the curvature of your head. The swivel point of the connection is likewise sturdy but smoothly turns to allow for additional adjustment on your head. 

Volume and power connections are located on the left pad while the right contains a button that, when pressed, pauses/plays whatever media is currently queued up. This is a contextual control and works across multiple media software, such as Spotify and YouTube. When this same button is held down it activates the Bluetooth pairing mode, one of the two connection modes for the HS80 MAX. The other, Wireless 2.4GHz, is managed via the included USB-TypeA dongle. Once inserted into your device, a pairing is automatically secured and you’re ready to dive into your game of choice. 

As for device support, you’ll have no issue connecting to a PC, MAC, or PS4/5 via the aforementioned USB dongle. When leveraging Bluetooth you’ll be able to connect mobile devices as well as your Nintendo Switch. In testing the process with both wireless and Bluetooth was simple and took less than a minute. It is also possible to be connected to a wireless and Bluetooth source simultaneously and, with a simple press of the aforementioned button, cycle through your connected sources. In today's current headphone landscape ease of use and connectivity are king and Corsair wears the crown with both. 

Another feature to highlight is the included RGB support that comes in the form of a light-up Corsair logo on the side of each earpad. With full support from iCUE (more on this later), you’ll find all sorts of customization available for you to tinker with. It's a fun little feature that adds an additional level of character and customization to the HS80 MAX.

As for the headphone drivers, the HX80MAX comes with 50mm neodymium drivers. These Dynamic drivers are typical of gaming headphones and are known for their powerful bass and for maintaining consistent sound pressure without drawing a lot of power. For those interested, the good folks over at maketecheasier.com have done a great job explaining the different driver types. Suficittosay, when running wireless gaming headsets that boast longer battery life, going for the less power-hungry drivers that still maintain solid audio quality just makes sense. 

Speaking of power consumption, the HS80 MAX comes with a rechargeable battery (charging is handled by an included USB-TypeC to USB-Type A cable) that can effectively drive the HS80 MAX for 65 hours before needing a recharge. This of course is dependent on RGB being turned off and running in wireless mode. According to the spec sheet the HS80 MAX can sustain around 130 hours of use on Bluetooth with RGB turned off. In testing though I’ve easily been running these beauties for two weeks without charging them once. They will have no issues handling your 24-hour live stream.  

On the note of streaming, the HS80 MAX also comes with a built-in omnidirectional microphone. According to Corsair, the mic can produce broadcast-quality audio creating an all-in-one solution for gamers on the go or those without an existing mic setup. While I’ve heard this claim from other headphone manufacturers in the past, the HS80 MAX are the first headphones that while not perfect, are clear and easy to hear and I would consider for a stream in a pinch. 

Out of the box, it sounds like Corsair has added a noise cancellation and gate function to the mic automatically to help reduce background noise during chat and streaming. The only downside here is that it does leave your voice sounding a little compressed, though as mentioned still sounds better than many of the other onboard mics out there. It's quite functional but isn’t something I would want as my first choice for a live stream or recording. I couldn’t find anywhere in Corsair’s iCUE software to disable these features so what you hear in the sample below is the raw sound capture. It is worth noting that at the time of recording, there was a ceiling fan running which isn’t present in the recording.  

For those wanting more out of their mic though, Corsair has partnered with NVIDIA to leverage their in-house Broadcast Tech for additional noise canceling and sound modifications. The catch here is that you’ll need to have an NVIDIA RTX graphics card to leverage the software. While the partnership is appreciated in an effort to give us more out of the microphone the need for additional hardware to leverage it is a bit disappointing. Overall though the HS80 MAX is an exceptionally well-built pair of headphones that leverage the latest tech and software support Corsair has to offer.

Solid Sounding Headphones

As with all my headphone tests, the Corsair HS80 MAX where run through a gauntlet of sound tests to see just how well they would hold up. All tests are done with the out-of-the-box EQ profile. The first is a driver warmup test which consists of listening to a series of music selections with the headphones straight out of the box then running them nonstop for 50 hours at max volume and re-running the test. In the case of the HS80 MAX, there were no notable distortions that formed during the second test. They actually held up quite well. 

The HS80 MAX where then run through a series of frequency tests, once again at max volume, to check for any notable areas of distortion. As with most dynamic drivers, the low end was full and fairly warm without distortion. The midrange was fairly clear with, once again, no notable areas of distortion. The high end, while also clear did suffer from some minor distortions at the top end up in the 13-14k region. This is actually pretty typical for dynamic drivers and was really only notable during the frequency testing. During regular gameplay and music testing, there was no notable distortion.

Speaking of music the HS80 MAX handles punchy bass-filled music exceptionally well. As for clarity, instruments were all distinguishable in a mix without any major distortions or ‘muddiness’. As for gaming, the HS80 MAX handled all the games thrown at them like a champ with full surround support. Footsteps, gunshots, and all manner of demon noises from DOOM Eternal were translated clearly and precisely. Speaking of surround sound, the HS80 MAX comes with full Dolby Atmos Spatial support (on PC only). In testing, sound felt full and directionally accurate resulting in an exceptionally immersive gaming experience. 

The overall sound profile of the HS80 MAX out of the box is clear but a little warm. For those who prefer a brighter sound though, you’ll find two great features to help tweak your listening experience. First are the prebuilt sound profiles that can easily be cycled through using iCUE. Additionally, here you can also create your own custom profiles. One note on using the EQ profiles though is that you cannot use the profiles and Dolby Atmos at the same time. In order to gain access to EQ profiles Dolby Atmos must be turned off in Windows settings. 

The second and arguably more interesting feature is the new SoundID technology accessible through iCUE. This technology has you run through what is essentially a five-minute hearing test and generates a profile based on the results. While it might seem a little gimmicky on the surface I was actually quite impressed with two elements of it. The first was the profile that it created for me. There was a notable difference between the SoundID profile and the out-of-the-box experience. The highs sounded cleaner and the bass was more in line with what I typically like in a mix. 

More impressive was the results data that was presented to me at the end of the test which accurately highlighted where my hearing capabilities are in both ears. As a tester of a lot of audio devices, I’ve become acutely aware of my hearing over the years. SoundID accurately assessed my hearing and built a profile that supplemented it well. It’s an impressive piece of technology. 

From a sound perspective, the HS80 MAX delivers a solid sound experience that is on par with what I would expect from that weight class of a gaming headset. It pulls ahead when you add in additional features such as SoundID and NVIDIA’s Broadcast Technology. The result is a premium gaming audio experience that puts you in the action.      

iCUE and You

All of this is controlled by iCUE, Corsair’s in-house software. From here you’ll have full access to the HS80 MAX and can manage everything from firmware updates to RGB color schemes, all of which are handled fairly well. The SoundID and NVIDIA Broadcast technology is also managed here and works exceptionally well. As has been my critique of iCUE for a while, it is probably one of the most robust peripheral software suites I’ve worked with but is also the one with the biggest learning curve. While it will take a bit longer to get your head around how iCUE handles RGB and even profile management, it is nonetheless a great software suite to handle all your needs. 

Final Thoughts

The HS80 MAX from Corsair is a premium wireless headset that handles everything it does exceptionally well. The overall audio experience is solid and competitive with other headphones in its class. Where it pulls ahead is in the area of audio preference control and ease of use, particularly in the area of connectivity. While the onboard mic is better than many I’ve tested, the compression caused by the built-in noise reduction and gate holds it back from truly blowing past the competition. While the partnership with NVIDIA might help sort that out, with the requirement of additional hardware to make it function means that a good portion of gamers will never be able to leverage the technology. 

Despite this, the HS80 MAX are well built, one of the most comfortable gaming headsets I’ve tested and handle audio exceptionally well. All of this is presented at a competitive price when compared to other headphones in its price range. Toss in exceptional battery life and some fun features and the HS80 MAX really does stand out in a crowd. Priced at $179.99 USD, the Corsair HS80 MAX are great headphones to consider. 

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes.

8.0 Great
  • Solid sound quality
  • Sturdy construction
  • SoundID is exceptional
  • Comfortable to wear for long periods of time
  • Excellent battery life
  • Some won't be able to leverage NVIDIA’s Broadcast Tech
  • iCUE can be a bit overwhelming to use


Matthew Keith

Hailing from the Great White North, Matt's been playing games since the Sega Master System was new. About 20 minutes after picking up his first controller he discovered he had an opinion on the matter. Ever since he has been looking for ways to share it with others! Matt's a pastor, gamer, writer, geek, co-host of @Rollthelevel podcast, husband, father, and loving every minute of it!