ReviewsPeripheralsCorsair HS80 Max Review: Unboxing, Performance & Quality

Corsair HS80 Max Review: Unboxing, Performance & Quality

In-depth review of the Corsair HS80 Max featuring Design, Comfort, Build Quality, Microphone, Control Scheme, Performance, and connectivity.

Expert Verified by Nauman Siddique
Remarkable Sound!

Review Summary

The Corsair HS80 Max Wireless is a high-quality gaming headset known for its excellent sound, custom drivers, and Dolby Atmos support. It offers long battery life and various connectivity options. However, buyers should consider their needs and budget to see if it meets their specific requirements. Despite its impressive features, the decision to purchase the HS80 Max should be based on personal preferences and how it will be used.

Weeks Tested: 3

Overall
8.6/10
8.6/10
  • Build Quality - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Comfort - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Performance - 9/10
    9/10
  • Value - 8/10
    8/10
  • Design - 9/10
    9/10

Pros

  • Exceptional Sound Quality
  • Extended Battery Life
  • Versatile Connectivity
  • Comfortable Design
  • Durable Construction

Cons

  • Non-Foldable Design
  • Single Active Connection
  • Limited Adjustment for Ski Band
  • Microphone Consistency

All too often, while researching high-end headphones, I come across models that, although having excellent sound quality, are heavy and overly built with the metal and suffocating leatherette fabric elements that have come to define these headphones as premium. However, the Corsair HS80 Max completely reverses that.

This headset can be perfect for hours of gaming since it ditches the heavy metal earcups for lightweight and sturdy plastic ones and replaces the leatherette with a stylish mesh fabric. Nearly two years have passed since Corsair’s release of the HS80 RGB Wireless. The HS80 series, which was an already excellent headset series, received some much-needed updates in 2023.

It includes Bluetooth audio capability, a much longer battery life, and improved wireless audio quality. The Corsair HS80 Max is now more equipped to cope with gaming life with several platforms thanks to the addition of Bluetooth connection. Although it has several enhancements, the increased price puts it squarely in the premium headset category. Let’s evaluate if the model’s improvements justify the price.


Key Takeaways

  • The Corsair HS80 Max Wireless headset offers exceptional sound quality and immersive gaming experiences with customized drivers and Dolby Atmos support. It also features an extended battery life and versatile connectivity.
  • The things I like about the Corsair HS80 Max are its excellent sound quality, extended battery life, versatile connectivity, comfortable design, durable construction, software features, gaming performance, and music reproduction.
  • The things I did not like about the Corsair HS80 Max are its non-foldable design, single active connection, limited adjustment for the ski band, and microphone consistency.
  • The Corsair HS80 Max is a perfect fit for dedicated gamers who are seeking a top-tier gaming experience with customized 50mm neodymium drivers, Dolby Atmos support, and studio-quality sound.

Let’s start with the specifications.

Specifications
Specifications

Box Contents

Box Contents (Image By Tech4Gamers)
Box Contents (Image By Tech4Gamers)
  1. Corsair HS80 Max Wireless
  2. USB Wireless Transmitter
  3. USB Charging Cable, 1.8m
  4. Warranty Card

Design

Design (Image By Tech4Gamers)
Design (Image By Tech4Gamers)

The Corsair HS80 MAX Wireless headset combines elements from its predecessor, the HS80 RGB Wireless, featuring a sturdy chassis, minimalistic button design, and a flip-up boom microphone. It boasts a ski-band headband and uniquely geometric ear cups, available in Steel Gray or White.

Corsair also offers Custom Kits with colored ear cushions and ski bands for further personalization. The headset’s ear-shaped cups, accented by a gray interior and high-quality stained finish on the exterior, add to its sophisticated style.

Portability 

The HS80 Max headphones are not ideal for portability. Their over-ear, gaming-focused design is bulky and non-foldable, with a swivel design for easy tabletop placement. Plus, they lack a carrying bag for transportation. Despite featuring Bluetooth for mobile connectivity, their bulky, wide profile and gaming aesthetic make them less suitable for long-distance travel or outdoor use compared to more portable headsets. Consequently, they are better suited for home use.

Comfort

Geometrical Ear Cups (Image By Tech4Gamers)
Geometrical Ear Cups (Image By Tech4Gamers)

The HS80 Max is very close to the top wireless gaming headphones in weight (only 352g), flexibility (thanks to its mostly plastic build), and lightness. The HS80 Max was comfortable enough to wear all day for me. It is clear that comfort has been given top importance here. For all-day comfort, the HS80 Max Wireless has rotatable, cushy memory foam earcups covered in a breathable, skin-friendly fabric that won’t irritate your ears even while you listen to music or gaming.

These cans are so comfortable that you won’t even notice you’re wearing them. Because they are swivel-capable, I had no trouble laying them flat on my neck.  Even after extended gaming periods, the mesh covering prevented my ears from overheating. Additionally, it kept my sweating to a minimum, which is something I would much appreciate when the weather becomes warmer.

Floating Headband

Ski Headband (Image By Tech4Gamers)
Ski Headband (Image By Tech4Gamers)

The Corsair HS80 MAX features a floating headband that enhances comfort during long gaming sessions and prevents discomfort from the harder headband above. Its height is adjustable via Velcro straps, but the ski band’s limited adjustability makes it less suitable for larger heads.

A minor flaw is the lack of vertical headband adjustment, which can cause instability, especially during intense movements or head tilting, leading to slippage. The headphones’ clamping force doesn’t distribute weight evenly, pressing on the top of the head and creating a gap at the ear cup base, affecting comfort and seal. Despite these issues, they generally offer a comfortable fit.

Build Quality

Extended Wire (Image By Tech4Gamers)
Extended Wire (Image By Tech4Gamers)

Although headsets made of plastic aren’t generally the most durable, the HS80 Max stands on its own. The construction of these headphones is top-notch. During my testing, it fared well, seeming undamaged even after falling from my desk into the tile floor. Conversely, the ear cushions and customizable ski-band headband have been covered in a premium-feeling material that may wear out with time.

However, replacements are available from Corsair in the unfortunate circumstance that this happens. But be careful not to bend the flexible boom mic too much or too often since it can break. Be cautious of one design flaw: the headset’s wires extend through tiny triangle holes above the earcups, making them very easy to cut or tear down unintentionally.

Control Scheme

A number of physical buttons are there, and they are quite straightforward and quick to use. A power button and volume slider are on the headset’s left side. The latter additionally functions as a programmable button that, by default, cycles between EQ settings. The left earcup’s base also has a USB-C connection, which may be used for USB-C quick charging. On the outside of the other earcup, you can locate the Bluetooth button that lets you connect it to wireless devices.

The Bluetooth button also serves as a multifunction button, ensuring that managing audio playback is easy; a single push starts playing and pausing media, a double press skips to the next track, and a triple press returns to the previous track. With each chime, you can tell that the buttons have received an input, and they provide excellent tactile feedback. In general, the control scheme is satisfactory.

Connectivity

In addition to being compatible with PCs, Macs, PS5, and PS4 through a 2.4GHz wireless connection (as provided by the USB dongle), the Corsair HS80 Max Wireless headset can also be connected to the Nintendo Switch and other standard mobile devices through Bluetooth. Sadly, Xbox consoles aren’t compatible with it. 

2.4GHz Connection

USB Wireless Dongle (Image By Tech4Gamers)
USB Wireless Dongle (Image By Tech4Gamers)

The Corsair HS80 MAX excels with its 2.4GHz connection, offering superior sound quality and maintaining it over significant distances. It boasts an impressive wireless range, reaching up to 25 feet in Bluetooth mode without signal loss and up to 50 feet when using wireless connectivity. This allows for freedom of movement, including walking around or moving to another room, without experiencing audio dropouts or latency issues.

Additionally, the 2.4GHz connection supports studio-quality sound at 24 bits and 96 kilohertz, double the standard of most gaming headsets and previously only available in wired mode on the HS80 RGB Wireless. The headset also supports the Tempest 3D Audio feature of the PS5 and Dolby Atmos on PCs, enhancing the audio experience.

No Support For Simultaneous Audio Playback 

While it works with Bluetooth and wireless connections, you can only have one of them going at any moment. As an illustration, you might be connected with both simultaneously but cannot use them simultaneously. Regrettably, you cannot simultaneously use your phone to listen to podcasts or music with the audio from your PS5.

I was expecting the HS80 Max Wireless, a premium headset, to provide simultaneous dual-stream audio, even if it isn’t the norm for all gaming headsets. Nonetheless, I had no trouble navigating between connection modes thanks to the Bluetooth button on the right earcup. Having said that, charging these headphones is a breeze with the included USB-A to USB-C connection. However, playing audio with this connection is not possible.

Microphone

Flip-up Boom Microphone (Image By Tech4Gamers)
Flip-up Boom Microphone (Image By Tech4Gamers)

You can simply adjust the left-side omnidirectional microphone to mute it while not in use or tilt it slightly toward your lips for enhanced voice pickup. On PCs, it works with Nvidia Broadcast, an AI-powered feature that boosts your voice and dampens ambient noise. To use this feature, your graphics card must be RTX 2060 or higher. The boom mic from Corsair, the HS80 MAX, produces high-quality audio.

Still, there is a little bit of room for improvement. During testing, it did not sound the most consistent. It’s quite clear for playing games. Whether playing a game or interacting with friends, your voice is clear, detailed, and easy to understand. However, I wouldn’t suggest it as a streaming device, but it has an adjustable flip-to-mute mic, which is useful for most uses. This is commonly an issue with wireless headsets since they may not be able to use the microphone fully due to the lack of a cable.

Battery Life

The HS80 Max Wireless headset’s much-improved battery life is perhaps its finest new feature. Although the battery life of these headphones is exceptional, it varies greatly depending on your use.

USB Dongle 

Using the wireless USB dongle, I got 64 hours of battery life on the headset with RGB lights off, close to Corsair’s 65-hour claim. This is enough for a week of gaming. However, using RGB lights reduces battery life to about 24 hours. I would recommend that you disable the  RGB lights; they are not very visible, and the extended battery life is worth it.

Bluetooth

Corsair claims their headphones offer up to 130 hours of listening time on Bluetooth with the RGB lighting off, though actual battery life varies with usage. A quick 15-minute charge provides about six hours of playtime. However, they can’t be used passively. When I received them, they weren’t fully charged, but I’ve only needed to charge them twice in several weeks of testing. This headset has one of the longest battery lives I’ve experienced, making the HS80 Max a great choice for those prioritizing long battery life in wireless gaming headsets.

iCUE

YouTube video

Corsair’s iCUE software offers extensive customization for its PC accessories and peripherals, which is essential for both Mac and PC users. It allows you to adjust EQ presets, headphone control key bindings, and the Nvidia Broadcast feature for the microphone, along with headset firmware updates. Additionally, the software synchronizes RGB lighting on the earcups with other connected RGB devices, creating expansive colorscapes across your display, PC chassis, and other compatible devices. While its RGB integration isn’t as extensive as some other Corsair products, iCUE is a crucial companion app to fully utilize the headset’s features.

SoundID

I found the HS80 Max Wireless headset’s compatibility with SoundID intriguing for a customized audio experience. SoundID requires a brief hearing test to assess the sensitivity of my right and left ears. After choosing a generic track from various genres, I listened to snippets with slight sound variations and selected the ones I preferred.

This process resulted in a personalized equalization preset, tailored to my unique preferences, which I could enable or disable as I wished. The customized equalization promised optimal sound quality for my ears. In my experience, SoundID is a significant innovation, allowing customization according to individual listening preferences. The test was enjoyable, and I ended up with a unique SoundID profile.

The results were surprising. With SoundID enabled, my profile sounded more vibrant and bass-heavy, enhancing the music noticeably. While the HS80’s standard drivers can be aggressive, SoundID markedly improved the audio, surpassing the factory default settings. It’s truly astounding to witness the headset’s full potential unlocked with SoundID.

Performance

Frequency Respose (Image By Tech4Gamers)
Frequency Respose (Image By Tech4Gamers)

The HS80 Max has been fine-tuned for gaming thanks to their custom 50mm neodymium drivers, which transform electrical signals into sound. The headphones’ crisp and clear music further supports this claim. With a high-resolution signal of 24 bits and 96 kilohertz, the audio quality is much superior to certain headsets.

It has its own world of premium sound

Gaming Performance

I primarily played games like LOL, Valorant, Fortnite, CS2, and Minecraft on my PC with the HS80 Max Wireless headset. The default audio was great, but Dolby Atmos on PC enhanced the experience, making it more realistic. The headset comes with a Dolby Atmos license, so there’s no extra purchase required.

The headset impressed me by amplifying subtle in-game sounds, like spike beeps in Valorant, adding a new dimension to my gameplay. I could clearly hear footfalls and distinguish between friend and foe, and the handling of explosions and gunshots was exceptional, allowing for comfortable extended play.

Regarding Bluetooth, the headphones performed well with IOS and Android smartphones, offering very low latency, which is ideal for mobile gaming. However, on PCs, high latency might cause audio/visual sync issues in streaming or gaming, though some programs can compensate for this delay.

Music

The HS80 Max Wireless headset isn’t just fantastic for gaming. It also sounds fantastic while listening to music. I was impressed by the general sound quality across various genres, whether listening to music over Bluetooth or using the 2.4GHz wireless connection. This headset handles various frequencies, from clear highs to powerful bass.

The headset can produce audible deep bass and ear-splitting high treble when customized properly. Extremely high-quality treble reproduction makes budget headphones seem nothing in comparison. Moreover, the headset’s mid-tones are its strongest suit. Their neutral and pleasant tones provide an immersive music experience.

Should You Buy It?

Should you buy the Corsair HS80 Max Wireless?

Buy It If

✅You Want Premium Gaming Experience: The Corsair HS80 Max Wireless offers an exceptional gaming experience with customized 50mm neodymium drivers, Dolby Atmos support, and studio-quality sound, making it a top choice for gaming enthusiasts.

✅You Need Extended Battery Life: With an impressive battery life of up to 130 hours and 65 hours on Bluetooth and wireless connectivity, respectively, and quick USB-C charging, the HS80 Max ensures uninterrupted gaming sessions, making it ideal for gamers who value long-lasting performance.

Don’t Buy It If

❌You Prefer On-the-Go Portability: If portability for on-the-go use is a priority, the bulky and non-foldable design of the HS80 Max may not be suitable for travel, and users may prefer more compact alternatives.

❌You Need Dual-Stream Audio: For those who desire simultaneous dual-stream audio, the HS80 Max Wireless only allows one active connection at a time, restricting the ability to, for instance, listen to music on a phone while gaming on a console.

Final Verdict

With its excellent all-around quality of sound, the Corsair HS80 Max Wireless headset is suitable for video games, music, movies, and more on a wide range of platforms. The floating headband and cushy memory foam earcups make this headset very comfortable, allowing you to use it for a lengthy period of time. Still, the HS80 Max’s exceptional battery life is its most appealing feature. After using the Corsair HS80 Max for quite a time, I wish it had only two more features, which should be a removable microphone and an option to play wireless audio simultaneously.

Besides that, it excels at everything else you might want from it: high-quality audio, plenty of cushioning, and stylish design. Although it’s not cheap at $179.99, it’s less expensive than other premium competitors, so it’s easy to suggest as a fantastic option for selective gamers. Although it lacks a few bells and whistles compared to other high-end gaming headphones, it nevertheless meets the needs of the majority of buyers.

 
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