On the surface, the Corsair HS65 Wireless headset offers everything you could ask from a set of cable-free cans for streaming.
At around a hundred bucks it presents great value, with impressive sound quality for its price point – including Dolby Audio 7.1 Surround. The 2.4GHz wireless audio and Bluetooth are lag-free, and effective at plenty of range even with lots of chatter from other devices.
The build quality is excellent, with sleek design, comfortable ear cups, and a very slick microphone that turns on when you fold it down, and mutes when you flip it up and out of the way. Battery life is brilliant, too, with a whole day of use on a single charge.
All good then, right? Sadly, no – or at least, not good all the time, thanks to a connection that’s prone to dropping out and providing microphone audio without warning. Is it enough to sink the ship, or is it a problem worth persisting with?
Given that there’s so much competition among the best PS5 headsets, the Corsair HS65 has an uphill task to prove its worth.
- Sleek, comfortable design
- 7.1 Dolby Surround
- Great battery performance
- Connection drops every time
- Choppy mic transmission
- Not Xbox-compatible
Corsair HS65 Wireless specs:
|Platform||PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, Mac, mobile|
|Connection||2.4GHz wireless, Bluetooth|
For a budget wireless headset, the HS65 is packed with good stuff. Perhaps the most impressive feature is the battery life; not only does a full charge get you about 24 hours of performance on a wireless connection (and up to 37 hours on Bluetooth), but charging the headset for just 15 minutes gets you 5-6 hours – which is perfect for those times when you’re about to stream, but you forgot to charge your headphones overnight.
One of the star attractions is 7.1 Dolby Surround, though this is only available on PC and Mac using Corsair’s iCue software – the same software that enables you to curate your own personal audio experience thanks to SoundID, which caters to the different ways that different users experience different sounds.
In addition to premium sound delivery, the Corsair HS65 Wireless has an intelligent microphone arm that automatically mutes when raised into the upright position – so you can flip your mic out of the way to take a drink, or have a conversation with someone else in the room, before flipping it back down to resume talking to your audience.
Long battery life is no good if a headset isn’t comfortable enough to wear for long periods, but that’s not an issue for the HS65. It’s very lightweight and incredibly gentle on the ears, with leatherette memory foam cups that’s both soft and breathable. The headband is adjustable, too, and the earpieces are swivel-hinged so the whole thing moulds pretty well to your head, hair or hat.
The construction is all-plastic, so this isn’t going to be the most durable headset in the world, though it’s far from flimsy. It feels solid and well built, but plastic will invariably ‘life’ faster than metal, and the pristine white of our unit seems destined to discolor after sustained use (though this is obviously not an issue if you opt for the black version).
The microphone arm is, again, a very thoughtful piece of design. It sits far enough away from your mouth to prevent any obnoxious popping (or clashing with soda cans or straws), and when raised out of the way automatically mutes itself. If you don’t want that hassle, there’s also a mute button that you can quickly press without having to move the mic, next to a volume wheel on the left earpiece.
Also on the left is a USB-C port for charging, while the right earpiece are buttons for power and Bluetooth pairing – along with an LED that blinks blue or red depending on your Bluetooth or wireless connection (or lack thereof).
So, here’s the rub: everything on the HS65 is great… when it works. Which it does 95% of the time, but the other 5% brings the whole experience crashing down.
Every single time we connected the headset via Bluetooth, it disconnected. Sometimes immediately, sometimes after ten minutes, sometimes after half an hour – but it always disconnected, sooner or later, on every device with which we tested it.
It didn’t matter what we were doing, either. Using streaming software, listening to a podcast, playing a game, recording a podcast… it failed during everything. But it only failed once; once reconnected, it was problem-free.
We also experienced some unacceptably patchy microphone audio on one occasion (which required us to scramble in the middle of recording a podcast, and switch to another headset, as the audio was almost unusable), which compounded the connectivity issue.
It’s a crying shame, because otherwise the Corsair HS65 Wireless has a lot to love. The microphone (when working) is probably the weakest part of the equation, as the sound is good but not great, though it does an impressive job of removing ambient noise including keyboard strokes and mouse clicks. (In fact, the slightly “flat” sound might be due to overeager noise canceling.)
Otherwise, it’s all gravy. Powered by 50mm neodymium audio drivers, the headset produces rich directional sound – especially if you take advantage of the 7.1 Surround. Bullets ricochet around the battlefield, voices and effects emanate from the appropriate direction, and if you make use of the SoundID feature you can attune a profile that best suits you and the titles you enjoy, whether that’s prioritizing voices or doubling down on bass.
Should you buy the Corsair HS65 Wireless?
• Yes: The Corsair HS65 Wireless has great sound quality
• Yes: The Corsair HS65 Wireless has superb battery performance
• No: The Corsair HS65 Wireless’ Bluetooth persistently disconnects
Unfortunately, for all its great features, the one that counts above all others is stability – and the HS65’s Bluetooth connection simply isn’t stable. It cuts out without warning, without consistency, so you don’t even know if it’s going to be after a minute or an hour.
Once reconnected it seems to behave fine, so if you don’t mind having to re-pair after that first drop then maybe you can put up with it. Personally, though, we simply wouldn’t trust it – and certainly not during a stream, where you’re going to look like a dummy who can’t even make a headset work. Which means that, sadly, we really can’t recommend that you buy it.
If the Corsair HS65 Wireless isn’t for you
Sony PS5 Pulse 3D Wireless Headset
If you want to stay wireless, your best bet is the official Sony PS5 Pulse 3D. It looks straight out of a sci-fi flick – and performs like it, too!
For a great headset on a budget, release the Kraken. Hugely popular for its price-to-performance ratio, you can’t go wrong.
Our list of the best Xbox headsets will also give you some options to choose from if you need one to use with Microsoft’s console too.
Corsair HS65 Wireless review
Great sound, great battery, great comfort, great features – all let down by fickle connectivity. When it works, it’s great. When it don’t, it ain’t.