This Corsair HS65 Surround review in a sentence: if you’re after a high-quality, versatile and immersive wired headset that you can use for both work and play then this could well be it - it easily matches up to the best gaming headsets you can buy.
A wired headset boasting Dolby Audio 7.1 surround sound, a simple stripped-back design, an omnidirectional microphone and in-depth desktop software, the Corsair HS65 Surround is sure to tick a lot of boxes for a lot of people. You can use it with your gaming PC, with a PS5 or even with an Xbox. In this review, you can find out everything I thought when I tried it out.
If you’re looking to give your whole rig a refresh then it could also be worth checking out T3’s guides to the best gaming mouse, best gaming keyboards, best gaming chairs and the best gaming monitors.
Corsair HS65 Surround review: price and what’s new
You can buy the Corsair HS65 Surround gaming headset now for $80 in the US, £80 in the UK and AU$120 in Australia - see the widgets on this page to see where the best deals are right now.
New to the HS range in 2022, the Corsair HS65 Surround headset follows on from the Corsair HS60 Pro Surround headset with improved Dolby Audio 7.1 instead of 7.1 surround sound, a new omnidirectional microphone and a refreshed, lighter design.
Corsair HS65 Surround review: design and setup
The first thing I want to point out about this headset is that, unlike most others, it’s got serious style. The Corsair HS65 Surround doesn’t look clunky when you wear it so you could get away with using it for work calls as well as for gaming.
I checked out the white colourway but you can also buy it in a ‘Carbon’ black. Made from smooth matte plastic reinforced by a metal build, with grey and silver detailing across the outside of the earcups and covering the memory foam on the inside - there’s nothing showy or over-the-top about this, no RGB lights, no bulky build - it’s simple and sophisticated.
Comfort is key here, the Corsair HS65 Surround headset only weighs 282g and has an adjustable headband that slides out and stays firmly in place. As well as that, breathable microfiber and leatherette-wrapped memory foam across the underside of the headband and over your ears make it easy to forget you're wearing anything at all. I was able to keep this for hours on end without too many complaints, and in the summer too!
The flexible ominidirectional microphone can be positioned perfectly next to your mouth but it isn’t detachable, instead, you pull it down from the side of the earcup. That’s a shame because that’s the only thing stopping this from doubling up as a regular pair of headphones. You won’t really want to use these away from home because of that.
Another thing I like about this headset is that it keeps the controls simple, in fact, there’s only a volume dial. While it is handy to have, it is a little too smooth so I wouldn’t say it’s particularly accurate. To mute the microphone you just have to flip it up towards the earcup, which is very easy to remember.
You can use this wired headset with PC, Mac, PlayStation 4/5, Xbox One / Series X S, Nintendo Switch and even your mobile devices. You can choose to connect using the 3.5mm audio cable or with the included USB adaptor. The cable measures 1.8m which I found was long enough to give me space to move around.
I’m not sure why Corsair hasn’t included USB-C connection instead of the the 3.5mm audio cable with a USB dongle. It does mean more compatibility with older devices but I would have preferred a split cable or a USB-C especially given the fact that not all devices come with a headphone jack nowadays. The dongle also doesn't match the rest of the headset and it seems a little flimsy like it could break.
So what about the setup? Just plug it in. That’s it!
For more control over the headphones, you’ll need to download the iCue desktop software on your computer. It’s worth knowing that you’ll need this to make the most out of the Dolby Audio surround sound.
Corsair HS65 Surround review: performance and features
50mm neodymium drivers power the audio behind the Corsair HS65 Surround headset with a frequency range of 20Hz - 20 kHz.
I thought that the headset's audio was great for gaming. The tuning was spot on and the surround sound element is fantastic. You do feel properly immersed in the game with effective 360-degree audio so you can hear where things are happening in relation to you. Admittedly there could be a richer bass but you can’t have it all, and actually, that lends itself well to more punchy sounds like gunfire.
It’s a huge shame that the surround sound doesn’t work on a PC and it doesn't work without the iCue software downloaded either, so you won’t get as immersed on a console as you would playing on a PC or Mac.
While this headset is ideal for gaming, I can’t really say the same for listening to music or watching videos. You don’t get as wide a soundstage as you would from a pair of the best noise cancelling headphones and the more subtle, deep sound effects in movies don’t have as much impact as I’d have liked.
The omnidirectional microphone is solid, those on the other end said I sounded perfectly clear without much in the way of background noise. Of course, a separate microphone will always be better but for a gaming headset at this price, it’s pretty impressive.
To control the headset’s settings, you need to download the Corsair iCue desktop software. It’s well worth doing because it’s a really well-thought-out app. The menus are easy to navigate, it starts up quickly and smoothly, and you can manage all of your other Corsair gaming kit from there, as well as sync it with your Philips Hue lights at home.
Through the software, you can set up to 5 preset equaliser settings for each of your games or according to the genre of music you're listening to, although to switch between them you do have to open up the app. You can also use SoundID which adapts the audio profile of the headset to fit your individual hearing, the results are varied but it’s still a nifty feature to have included.
Corsair HS65 Surround review: verdict
Given its mid-range price tag (and the cheaper end of mid-range at that) the Corsair HS65 Surround is an excellent gaming headset if you’re willing to put up with wired connectivity. Compatible with loads of devices, you can use it with any type of computer or console, or even with your smartphone.
The sound is perfectly tuned for gaming, you can hear every footstep crunch on the grass while explosions and gunfire sound seriously realistic and easy to locate. That goes even further with the Dolby Audio surround sound, it excels at making you feel immersed in the action, although it is a shame that you can’t make use of that on your PS5 or Xbox. This gaming headset is definitely worth adding to your shortlist!
Corsair HS65 Surround review: also consider
For console gaming, the best headsets are still the SteelSeries Arctis 7P Wireless for PlayStation and the SteelSeries Arctis 7X Wireless for Xbox. Both are wireless with decent battery life, and they’re totally immersive with excellent sound and a super comfortable fit. They are a bit pricier than the Corsair HS65 Surround, though.
If you’re a PC gamer and you’re on the hunt for a Corsair wireless headset, then the Corsair HS80 RGB is worth taking a look at. Like the Corsair HS65 Surround, you get custom-tuned 50mm neodymium audio drivers, but here the surround sound is boosted to Dolby Atmos. You will have to pay a little more for this than you would if you bought the Corsair HS65 Surround.