The Corsair Raptor HS30 and HS40 headsets are virtually identically with few differences. As such, the experience with both these headsets was the same. We’ll first examine what we liked and didn’t like about the design and the impact that had on comfort. Like most other mainstream-priced gaming headsets, the Raptor HS30 and HS40 are constructed almost entirely out of plastic. The Raptor headsets don’t feel hollow, which while at the expense of being heavier, does make them feel more durable. The earcups can use an improvement because the inner diameter leaves little space for the ear. People with large ears may not be able to comfortably wear the HS30 and HS40 and those with more normal sized ears may have to carefully to align the elliptical earcups on their heads. A properly fitted Raptor HS30 or HS40 is very comfortable to use even for long sessions, but the work needed to adjust the headsets can be an annoyance for those especially accustomed to more forgiving headphones.
Sound quality needs improvement as the Raptor HS30 and HS40 recreate music very poorly. Deficiencies were less noticeable with movies and games due to their audio being less busy than music. A very large frequency peak from 300 to 1000 Hz gives music a very empty sound, like speakers placed at the end of a long hallway. Bass, upper-mids, and treble frequencies suffer from the overemphasized peak. Those particularly bothered by the way how the Raptor headsets play music may want to use a graphic equalizer. Our own results were mostly successful and it reveals surprising clarity for a mainstream headset. The microphone is something we aren’t complaining much about. Despite the microphone’s flimsy feel, a very good pickup range means bending the microphone boom is not entirely necessary in a home environment. Recording quality is also very good. Transmitted voice was audible and clear with minor fault to accuracy.
It’s unfortunate there are so many shortcomings with both the Raptor HS30 and HS40. Both of our headset review samples were much more likable after figuring out some workarounds, but the mainstream market is an unforgiving crowded space. Corsair will have to improve upon the Raptor headsets’ current design if they want to lure buyers away from the competition, such as the popular Turtle Beach Ear Force X12 that just just $44.99 shipped.
$49.99 for the HS30 and $59.99 for the HS40 are very reasonable prices as far as gaming headsets are concerned, though gamers with a love for music should consider other products including Corsair’s higher end Vengeance headset lineup.
Legit Bottom Line: The Corsair Raptor HS30 and HS40 are flawed mainstream-priced gaming headsets with a questionable ergonomic design and poor music playback performance that required aggressive equalization to correct.