Allow us to preface this Sony Pulse 3D Wireless Headset review by clearing up that that 3D Audio will only work with Playstation 5. For anybody looking for more than Stereo sound quality on alternative consoles or devices, this product is not for you.
Whether you are playing basic co-op games or cinematic masterpieces an immersive, surround-sound system will undoubtedly elevate your gaming experience. For this reason, serious gamers are always on the lookout for an upgrade that will ultimately complete their gaming setup. While the audio market is no stranger to subwoofers, soundbars, and surround speakers, budget-conscious PS5 console players can still get convincing and punchy audio output by using standard gaming headsets.
Sony Pulse 3D Headset Review
The Sony Pulse 3D is undoubtedly great. But, there are much better options for both sound quality and also versatility. For anybody not using a Playstation, we would not recommend the Pulse.
With the release PS5 in 2020, Sony also introduced its next-gen headset for the Pulse line known as the Pulse 3D. At first, this dedicated line of PS5 headsets was a huge hit with gamers globally. But how does the Sony Pulse 3D stack up against its cheaper and more versatile competitors like the HyperX Cloud Stinger?
Find out all there is to know as we go under the hood of one of Sony’s flagship PS5 headsets in this extensive Sony Pulse 3D Wireless Headset review. Don’t forget to share your thoughts or questions about the Sony Pulse 3D in the comments section below!
As a must-have for the ultimate immersive gaming experience, headset designs have come a long way over the years. Today, you can find convenient, cost-effective options that are still guaranteed to provide the audio brilliance you need. One of the most popular companies to release a headset line suited for consoles is Sony. Out of the box, the Sony Pulse 3D headset is ultra-sleek with its minimalist-looking design, blending easily with the aesthetics of the PS5. This headset is available in midnight black as well as the original two-tone design.
Just like its classic configuration, the Sony Pulse 3D comes with an auto-adjusting rubberised strap on the top that seamlessly provides enough clamping force to prevent them from falling off, but without making you feel like you’re in a sandwich press!
Right off the bat, you’ll notice its all-plastic body, making it a lightweight option at 295g. However it doesn’t feel cheap, and you won’t hear creaks when slightly bending both ends in the opposite direction. It also sports soft pleather earcups which are comfortable even after extended gaming sessions.
Of course, we believe that the sweet combination of a metallic body, cooling gels and velour would’ve made this cosier and sturdier, but completely appreciate that Sony’s compromise here has helped keep the cost down. Given that it is priced at the lower end of the spectrum, we also forgive them for how thin the earcups feel.
As for the controls – you’ll find the power slider, USB-C charging port, 3.55mm headphone jack, mic mute button, volume rocker, and a mic monitor toggle, all around the left cup. While we get that this is manageable, we personally would have preferred if the controls had been evenly distributed on both sides. However, they make up for this with the on-screen notifications that accompany most of the control buttons, something we don’t often see with other third-party headsets.
On the lower end of the left cup, you’ll find the dual microphone pinhole, which works together to pick up your voice and cut out ambient noises. The Pulse 3D’s microphone has the capacity to represent your voice clearly, however, let’s be honest – you can’t expect this to work as great as other headsets with a dedicated boom microphone. You’ll notice that the mic also picks up on vibrations, rumbles and screeches.
3D Sound & Audio Quality
Setting up your console and the headset is made easy, with the included USB dongle almost instantly connecting the devices. Once connected, you can immediately jump into action and experience the promised immersive 3D audio. To clarify, this feature only works when connected to the PS5, which means that it will only function as a regular stereo headset when used with other devices.
The Pulse 3D is specially created to work with the PlayStation’s Tempest 3D AudioTech engine, which allows you to enjoy close-to-life sounds and easily determine where sounds are coming from. This is a game-changer, especially when playing combative games, as you can skillfully prepare when you hear an enemy coming from behind. While it is no match to home theatre systems or soundbars, this headset is pretty decent and will give you an elevated gaming experience as both cans can definitely output full-bodied lows, mids, and highs.
From our experience, the Pulse 3D works impressively even without the Tempest as it gives amazing bass tones perfect for watching on Netflix or listening on Spotify. It works as a stereo, but you will be impressed with how clear and crisp the sound is when compared to using regular earphones.
Compatibility & Battery Life
What makes this a great addition to your audio system is that the Pulse 3D is perfect to use for both wired and wireless gaming. Accompanied by a USB dongle with a 2.4GHz wireless connection, this is compatible with the PS5, PS4, Xbox Series, PC and Mac. When used wirelessly, the battery life can last for up to 12 hours which is decent, but in our opinion could be better when compared to competitors.
On paper, it takes about 3 to 3.5 hours to fully charge the unit and this model, unfortunately, doesn’t support fast charging. Once you run out of juice though, you can simply use the 3.5mm cable for a wired connection.
With these connections considered, it’s a versatile and practical headset that can be used not just for gaming but we think it makes a great companion for those working from home attending all those virtual meetings too.
Depending on the features and the brand, gaming headsets can indeed be pricey. For the case of the Pulse 3, it is available for just $99.99 and is honestly great for those on a budget. It does not compromise on the design and sound quality, albeit the microphone is a tad disappointing. And while the all-plastic body is indeed lightweight, it still seems sturdy and durable.
If you are willing to spare a few more bucks, you can always check out the Razer BlackShark V2 X, which is available for just $100. It has good isolation, a “gamey” design, and amazing surround sound capability that can rival the Pulse 3.
The microphone is average but with a dedicated cardioid microphone directly pointing at your mouth, wins against the Pulse 3 for sure. When used in a quiet environment, this can even be great for basic streaming. On a similar price point, you can check out the HyperX Cloud Alpha, also retailing at $100. This is a great alternative if you are looking for something durable, as most of the parts of the unit are made of solid metal. In addition, it has thicker padding compared to the Pulse 3.
A notable downside for us is the battery life. At up to 12 hours, we think Sony could have done better with competitors offering headsets lasting more than 12 hours at similar price points. For example, compared to its closest competitors like the Turtle Beach Atlas Aero, that’s 3 hours shorter!
Additionally, the Pulse 3D is only compatible with Playstations. Which, when you compare to the majority of headsets that do not limit the premium quality audio to a single console, this is actually a major miss from Sony. We understand the want to keep Playstation gamers using Playstation products. But this was a good opportunity to branch out into other markets.
As for the sound quality, while the Pulse 3 is great in this department, the quality still won’t blow you away that much. This rings true particularly if you are planning on using this for activities outside of just gaming.
Overall, we have graded this Sony Pulse 3D Wireless Headset Review a respectable 85%. While it remains to be one of the fan-favourites to this day and is an interesting upgrade from its predecessors, it does lack some key features.
Although the Sony Pulse 3D is not one of the best budget gaming headsets out there, it does pack a whole lot of features and an impressive design. If you are interested in getting something that seriously matches your console, then this is a perfect choice.
It has a plug-and-play type design which means that you do not have to spend time worrying about complex configuration just to get the sound and audio quality right. However, it does not quite measure up when compared to its rivals like the HyperX Cloud Stinger or the Arctis 7P.
Overall, we were impressed with the immersive sound quality given its affordable price. This is perfect for casual gamers who are looking for something simple, easy to use, and offers good audio quality for your gaming needs. If you’re looking for a wireless headset with a better microphone, sound, and build, then you may want to look further than the Pulse 3.
Thoughts on the Sony Pulse 3D? Hit the comments below.
Content Disclaimer: This Sony Pulse 3D Wireless Headset Review is independently written. We have not been commissioned by Sony, nor have we received any royalties for this article. This includes financial reimbursement or the Sony Pulse 3D Wireless Headset as a gift.
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