ConclusionThe Corsair Gaming Audio Series HS1A is priced at $79.99. They can often be found for about $5 cheaper than that. The build quality of these headphones is truly second to none, and they are very comfortable units. The sound they produce is more than adequate compared to the price they are offered at.
When compared to the Grado SR-125 headphones, the HS1As just do not perform so well. We also must consider that the SR-125s are going for around $150, essentially double the price of what Corsair offers. Plus the SR-125s do not have the fit and finish of the Corsair units, nor the comfort. When we take these factors into account, the Corsairs start looking better and better. If one is an audio purist, then spending the extra money for better sound, but cruddy comfort, is something one can live with. For the majority of users and gamers out there, the extra pain is not worth the improved sound. Plus in a gaming environment, the sealed headphones that Corsair offer are much better for the job than the Grados.
Two complimentary hemorrhoid pillows from Corsair!
I like a lot of the decisions that Corsair made with the headphones, now I only hope they can achieve sound parity of higher end offerings in future products. Even the low end Grado SR-60s sound better overall, but we again run into quality construction and comfort issues for around the same price. Plus those Grados do not come with an inline volume/muting control. The microphone, which is again decent but not great, is an extra that many other headphones in that price range cannot match.
Corsair has created a compelling product that seems to balance out sound quality, comfort, features, and affordability. While $79 is not exactly chump change for many users, it is not that much more expensive than a triple AAA gaming title, and will certainly be used a lot longer than that game come three years from now. Unless we are talking about Starcraft 2. But needless to say, I did enjoy my time with the Corsair HS1A. They are very solid headphones that provide above average sound in a variety of situations. The quality construction should insure that these headphones will last many years down the line and still provide a comfortable experience for the end user.