Corsair HS75 XB Wireless review Dolby Atmos headphones designed for Xbox
Last October Corsair announced the new HS75 XB , a pair of gaming headsets dedicated specifically to next-generation Microsoft Xbox Series X and Series S consoles . In recent weeks we have had the opportunity to test them on our Series X and now we are ready to tell you about the strengths and some small uncertainties of the latest Corsair gaming headsets equipped with Xbox certification.
HIGH LEVEL AUDIO AND CONSTRUCTION QUALITY
The Corsair HS75 XB immediately strike for the quality of the materials used, the overall solidity and the very minimal design, despite being a product dedicated to the gaming world. The only hint of extravagance can be identified in the particular metal texture that covers the two pavilions with a dense series of small triangles, at the center of which we find the Corsair logo.
The entire structure of the arch is made of metal, while the external part of the pavilions – the one without weft – is made of a plastic material with a slightly rubberized finish, similar to the one that we find protecting the extension of the arch, while in the central part is placed a soft and comfortable synthetic leather covering of excellent workmanship that makes the wearing of the headphones particularly comfortable, thanks also to the weight of 370 grams which is never excessive even after long gaming sessions.
The metal structure of the headband makes sure that the grip on your ears is always very solid and that the memory foam pads – covered with the same synthetic leather already mentioned – adhere perfectly, creating a good level of insulation even if you want to play without disturb those around you. Obviously we are not talking about perfect soundproofing (to be clear: you certainly cannot play at maximum volume with a person next to you who sleeps), but still satisfying and superior to other proposals.
Convenience is therefore one of the strengths of the Corsair HS75 XB and this is also made possible thanks to the oval shape of the pavilions that are well suited to accommodate any shape of the ear, without ever creating annoying pressures that can make prolonged use of the headphones unpleasant. . Still remaining on the pavilions, I point out that all the controls are divided between the left and the right one.
Starting from the latter, we find the power button and the first audio regulator that allows you to choose to what extent to balance the sound coming from the voice chat with that of the game. This is a particularly useful solution for all players who usually spend their time on titles strongly focused on the cooperative component, since in this way it becomes very easy to find the right balance between game audio and chat.
The left pavilion, on the other hand, integrates the volume control, the button to activate the mute for the microphone, the LED that shows the power on status of the headphones, the Type-C port for charging and the rubber cap that protects the removable microphone housing (sensitivity -40dB +/- 3dB and frequency response from 100Hz to 100kHz) fully articulated.
This is of good quality and guarantees a good level of our voice, not creating distortions and unpleasant effects that can betray the use of a poor quality microphone. Obviously we are far from the performance of a condenser microphone, but it is still an excellent solution to communicate with your team.
Overall, the audio quality of the Corsair HS75 XB is excellent and offers very low latency , thanks also to the wireless communication system adopted (or the Xbox proprietary one, we’ll talk more about it shortly) which allows you to achieve higher performance than the traditional bluetooth headphones. The pavilions house 50mm neodymium drivers (impedance 32 Ohms at 1kHz and sensitivity 109 db +/- 3dB) which guarantee a very clean sound rendering and always at the right volume level.
Even pushing it to the maximum (the adjustment wheel has infinite travel, but it is easy to understand when it has reached the maximum) distorted sounds are never reproduced and the volume does not reach levels such as to be annoying or deafening , all even without exploiting the Dolby Atmos functionality (encoding via Windows Sonic and DTS: X is also supported , but the latter must be licensed separately). The audio is always very precise and balanced, with clear distinctions between the various high, medium and low tones, with a slight additional emphasis placed on the latter.
Obviously we are talking about headphones that look more to the world of gaming and that can be exploited well also in combination with the multimedia player qualities typical of every Xbox console (both One and Series), so they can also be indicated when watching movies (just due to the accentuated bass). Speaking instead of music reproduction, the Corsair HS75 XB manage to do a good job but not on a par with solutions that prefer greater absolute fidelity. But on the other hand, that is not their main use scenario.
Negative note – at least in part – regarding autonomy . Of the 20 hours declared, our tests reported durations between 12 and 15 hours , therefore far from the data provided by the manufacturer. This is a fully average autonomy, but one would have expected something more, especially considering that we are not talking about headphones with a slim profile: the construction is massive and solid and certainly could have been done better with regard to the autonomy, even without affecting aspects such as weight and design.
THE DOLBY ATMOS HEADPHONES DESIGNED FOR XBOX (AND LITTLE MORE)
The acronym XB present in the name of the Corsair HS75 XB is not by chance and immediately indicates the deep connection of the headset with the Xbox world . Unlike other bluetooth wireless solutions that require you to return to the cable in order to be used with Xbox – since Microsoft’s home consoles are not compatible with this standard – Corsair’s proposal uses the same radio transmission protocol used by the Xbox controller to connect to the console .
This means that the pairing phase is immediate and comparable to that of pairing a classic pad: click on the power button of the headphones, click on the pairing button on the Xbox and in a few seconds the headphones are automatically recognized; nothing easier.
Once paired with your console, the Corsair HS75 XB are also able to turn it on simply by clicking on the power button on the headphones , a bit like when you press the Xbox button on the controller. The deep integration also allows you to monitor the charge level directly from the console dashboard, thanks to a dedicated icon that is shown next to the one that indicates the controller battery status. In short, it is in effect an accessory expressly designed for Xbox, which makes this feature its main strength, but also its weakness.
If you leave the Xbox world, in fact, the HS75 XB show a decidedly limited versatility , since out of the box you will not be able to connect them to any other device . This is because the headphones do not also integrate a bluetooth module and do not have an audio jack, so it is not possible to use them on devices that do not support the Xbox wireless communication protocol.
You can connect them to the PC, this is true, but it is still necessary to go through the Xbox Wireless Adapter sold by Microsoft (unjustified absent in the sales package), so take this aspect into consideration when choosing.
Returning to the Xbox, however, the headphones allow you to access another of the characteristic functions of the next gen consoles from Microsoft, namely the support for Dolby Atmos technology. Usually it is necessary to purchase a license from 17.99 euros (you buy directly from the Dolby Atmos app) to be able to unlock this feature for life, however the HS75 XB integrate one that is immediately recognized once the headphones are connected .
This allows you to better configure your audio experience on Xbox, thanks to the possibility of activating the three recommended presets (Game, Movie and Music) or acting on the individual equalization options offered by the three Custom profiles.
The Movie and Music profiles include 4 different levels of balance through the intelligent equalizer developed by Dolby (one increases the detail of the sound, one is more balanced, one warmer and one turns off the optimization effects), while the Game one offers the same levels with the addition of Performance Mode.
The latter allows to give greater priority to the correct positioning of the sound sources, all to benefit the player during the titles designed for the competitive. In short, it is a function that allows you to perceive with greater precision where the sound of your opponent’s footsteps or gunshots comes from. The Custom presets, on the other hand, offer the possibility to act on the 10-band equalizer and to activate / deactivate the selectors dedicated to the virtualization of the surround and the volume leveler.
Dolby Atmos support can only be appreciated at its best in the presence of titles expressly optimized for the Dolby standard (find the list just below), in which the sound precision of the sources is considerably increased. The title we used as a reference is Gears 5 – one of the few with active support -, which allowed us to appreciate the positional audio and the three-dimensional effect of the sound.
A final important detail to underline concerns the management of the Dolby Atmos license. This is actually connected to the headphones, so it does not bind to your account or console: once disconnected, the Dolby Atmos options are no longer accessible from the dedicated app.
LIST OF SECURITIES OFFICIALLY COMPATIBLE WITH DOLBY ATMOS
The official Dolby site allows us to have a complete overview of the Xbox titles that currently integrate Dolby Atmos support , or those that allow you to take full advantage of all the features of the HS75 XB.
The Corsair HS75 XB are excellent gaming headphones that significantly raise the audio quality of your gaming experience, all without presenting itself as an accessory that is conspicuously linked to the gaming world. The sober design is certainly one of the strengths that make the HS75 XB suitable for a much wider audience than usual.
From a qualitative point of view, the HS75 XB are able to offer exactly what one would expect from a pair of headphones in this price range: the separation of the individual audio effects and the recreated 7.1 is really convincing and everything improves when you can take advantage of it.
At best the Dolby Atmos certification with one of the compatible titles. The dedicated application on Xbox (also available on PC) allows you to precisely change the balance of the headphones in various scenarios and offers granular control that you would not expect to find on consoles.
The main weakness lies perhaps in the too deep integration with Xbox, which drastically reduces the usage scenarios of the HS75 XB: no problem if Xbox Series X | S or One are your only living room companions , but if you are looking for a couple of more versatile headphones that can also cover other consoles or devices such as smartphones and tablets, the HS75 XB show all their limits ( Corsair has a similar and more versatile proposal on the list , but which loses the certification and Dolby Atmos license) .
Things improve in the PC world, but in this case you are required to purchase separately (or use, if you already have it) of the Xbox wireless adapter, as this is the only communication channel used by the headphones. In short, considering the list price of 179.99 euros , it would have been useful to find it included in the package (you will find only the charging cable supplied).
However, if the compatibility issue is not a problem and you are looking for a high quality proposal that interfaces perfectly with Xbox, which offers minimal latency, allows you to access Dolby Atmos, integrates a slider to quickly balance the game audio with that of the voice chat and offer you a good microphone (easily removable, for when it is not needed), the Corsair HS75 XB are undoubtedly one of the best proposals to consider.