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Corsair Raptor HS30 Dual 3.5mm Connector Circumaural Gaming Headset
  • 20Hz–20KHz
  • Dual 3.5mm Connector
  • 2.7m / 9' Cord Length
  • $49.99
  • $39.99
  • Save: $10.00 (20%)
  • Free Shipping (restrictions apply)

5 out of 5 eggs Fantasic sound for $50! 12/19/2013

This review is from: Corsair Raptor HS30 Dual 3.5mm Connector Circumaural Gaming Headset

Pros:

+ Solid bass response all the way down to 20Hz
+ The highs aren't so bright that they hurt your ears
+ Good physical adjustment range for the cans
+ Good response up to 15KHz
+ No problems with Skype, Microsoft Lync, & other similar apps
+ Simple, secondary volume dial and on/off switch for the mic
+ Makes me think my Sony MDR-7506's drivers are shot
+ Fancy packaging

(Note: "Cans" = Headphones. "Drivers" = Speakers)
I performed most of my analysis using my computer with a Pioneer BDR-206 as the disc player and an Asus Xonar Essence STX sound card (which is one of the best/cleanest prosumer audio cards you can buy.)
For testing and evaluation, I used the following CD's:
The Ultimate Test CD (The orange/green one by Woodford Music)
Pink Floyd - Dark Side Of The Moon (Gold coated disc)
The Cleveland Orchestra - Gustav Holst's "The Planets"
Techmaster P.E.B. - Bass Computer
Miles Davis - The Complete "B*tches Brew" Sessions
Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy (for non-music/spoken word testing)
Christian McBride - Live @ Tonic

As others have noted, the bass may be a wee bit overstated, but the drivers certainly get there. Testing with a sinus tone of 20Hz really made the drivers dance and it wasn't sloppy or overly mushy. Impressive!
Keep in mind, we're reviewing these as $50 headphones, not >$100 headphones.
I used the Techmaster CD to check how the drivers handled both extreme low & high frequencies at the same time. Again, I came away impressed!

Another test I use is "The Planets". This will really give a sense of the drivers sensitivity. There are areas where the music hits a crescendo and then tapers off to almost nothing. That 'almost nothing' is sometimes the subtle nuances that make a live recording what it is, especially in orchestral music.
Speaking of sensitivity, this is what sealed the deal for me... I've been using my Pink Floyd "Dark Side Of The Moon" CD for testing for a long time now. I heard something that I've never picked up before! At the absolute very end of "Eclipse", the last 3 seconds where most people only hear silence, there is what sounds like a game-show theme song playing. At first I thought I was hearing audio bleeding in from outside so I pulled the cans off and looked around for the audio source. Nothing. I played the end of the track again. WTH?!?! Then I thought it was just digital artifacts that you'll occasionally hear in music when it goes through a conversion, such as MP3 encoding. Nope! This was actually some type of music in the background! "WOW! After all these years!!!" I even played it back through my home audio system (Higher-end Sony receiver, Klipsch towers). Even with my ear up to the tweeter & midrange, it was barely audible. Color me sufficiently impressed with Corsair's driver selection!

Cons:

- A little bit more adjustment on the mic placement would be nice
- Mild resonant noise transfer from the wire to the can
- Not really effective for mobile headphone-only usage
- They don't collapse for travel
- Since the microphone is integrated, Corsair could spend a couple more pennies and make these USB-based.
- Makes me think my Sony MDR-7506's drivers are shot
- Fancy packaging

Keeping in mind that these are completely passive headphones, there's not too much to complain about. Yeah, they might be a little soft in the middle of the frequency spectrum, but I don't think that's going to bother gamers too much. Vocals still come through clean and vivid enough. There's a slight dip in response around 10KHz, recovers at 11KHz, then tapers off until there's nothing left after 16KHz. Again, nothing major there.
As for the build quality, I did not get the same impression as others have noted. I didn't find the microphone to be fragile. It bends in the middle so you can bring it closer to your mouth. Nothing major there. If I was to complain, it's that it doesn't necessarily want to stay put; It kinda wants to straighten itself out again.
I do think the inner-diameter of the cushion may be a bit smaller for some people with larger ears. However, it's an oval opening and the cups do rotate a little bit for better fit. You just have to 'adjust for feel' once they're on your head.
I certainly didn't find them loose around my ears, although as others have noted, I never did get fully comfortable on the top of my head. BUT, I also don't have months of wear on them to where they would/should eventually settle to the shape of your head. My Sony's are like I'm wearing nothing at all. But they've also got hundreds of hours on my head and fit like a well-worn leather glove.
With volume at approx 75%, I couldn't hear myself snapping my fingers, but I could hear myself clapping. That's acceptable for $50.
A notable annoyance is the wire(s) leading into the can. ON more expensive units, this is typically a more pliable material or it's isolated better. With the HS30's, when any part of the cable between the can and the volume-block is touched or brushes against something, you hear that resonate into the can. Very similar to what you get on almost all inexpensive earbud headphones.
Lastly, they aren't meant for travel/mobile use because of the mic wire and the fact that they don't collapse in on themselves like higher end units (see the Sony MDR-7506 for reference), so packing them in a bag for travel is essentially out of the question. That's also another reason for making them USB and not 1/8" plugs...they aren't going anyplace, so just leave 'em plugged in with a single cord.

Other Thoughts:

This is one of those times where I seem to be at odds with the other Eggxpert Reviewers here. I'm normally a tough critic, but these have wowed me enough that they are gonna get 5-stars. However, that's coming from the standpoint of a semi-audiophile and not a marathon gamer. The fact that I thought so highly of my reference Sony MDR-7506 headphones was a wake-up call. I don't believe they were always this bad...I have to believe that the drivers are shot after years of use and the HS30 headphones simply pointed that out to me, loud and clear! (Pun absolutely intended!)

It's rather cold here, and I wasn't doing anything with them in which I'd break a sweat, so I don't know how well these cans breathe. I'm guessing probably not too well, but unless you're REALLY into your game or you're in a hot room (bad for your computer!), then I don't think sweating is gonna be too much of a concern.

As other reviewers have noted... what's up with the packaging??? Yeah, it looks fancy, but geeze...unpacking 'em without worry about breaking them was not an option. It's quite the puzzle for the first timer. Unless you just tear into boxes with no care about saving it, then you're fine.

For $50 headphones that will stay on your desk, these are great, if not a tad bulky/space-consuming.
I believe that after a while, the headband will finally settle in. (Just surprising that it's not more comfortable because it seems so supple right of the bat.)
In testing with Skype and other voice-based communications, the placement of the mic did not have that great an impact, so that lack of adjustment towards the front of your mouth isn't a serious concern. Almost every soundcard, no matter how cheap, has the ability to turn up the gain on the mic.

I think these will really be liked by gamers who require attention to sound. FPShooters certainly need it, and I thoroughly enjoyed it with my driving sims. Oh, and at max volume, I didn't notice any significant distortion. Although this is probably due to my soundcard as well as the drivers. If you have some dumpy onboard audio, your distortion measurements will likely vary.

"So what do we have?" $50 for comfy headphones that help keep out the noise AND sound as incredibly good as they do in this price range??? Yeah, I'm in for pair! 5 Eggs!!!

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  • Andre J.
  • EggXpert
  • Owned For: 1 week to 1 month


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