Buying a headset is a lot like shopping for laundry detergent. There’s a lot of choices, and they all do the same thing. So, what makes one headset any better from another? Well, like laundry detergent, the devil’s in the details. Sure every headset may promise a fresh, clean scent, but do they really deliver? Oh wait, that’s detergent. What I meant to say is that headsets promise to keep your colors from fading, but my jeans still come out faded. Nope, I’m doing it again. Okay, time to segue fully into the article before I try to pour Tide on my PS4.
Today we’re here to talk about the headsets that come straight from the hands that made the PS4. Yes, Sony, the titans of all things entertainment. Sony products are usually the gold standard, and their headsets are no different. With a fully updated PS4, all of the Sony headsets on the market made for PS3 are no compatible for the PS4. So, which one should you spend your money on? Let’s go over the options and review the pros and cons of each. On a side note, before we dive in, these headsets are the most recently and currently in production. Other versions such as the original Pulse and the GTA V branded headset will also work on PS4, but are no longer produced.
Option #1 - The Sony Gold Wireless Stereo Headset ($99.99)
When I first heard about this headset, I imagined this luxurious piece of hardware, crafted from solid gold and weighing in at a bulky fifteen pounds. I imagined lawsuits of people breaking their necks and ridiculous claims that the gold was fabricated. Of course, all of this was thrown to the wind when I realized that the “Gold” in the name was referring to the Gold trophies that you can earn when playing games on your Sony consoles. The headset itself is a sleek black and blue design. It was just recently released into the wild.
This is a well rounded headset, with large comfortable ear cups that have plenty of padding. It works for the PS4, the PS3, and the Vita so the functionality is expansive. It comes with a small USB receiver that can be plugged into whatever device you need to use it with. From there, you simply turn the headset on and get to gaming! While playing, you can adjust volume, mute, and other functions which all show an on screen response.
The sound is crisp and balanced, bringing great quality for the price. In addition, the headset features a dedicated button for toggling a virtual 7.1 surround sound. While this isn’t truly surround sound, the feature offers a convincing imitation of the effect. Overall, the sound is better though with the feature turned off. The headset has a rechargeable battery, and includes a short USB charge cable with it. Each charge holds about seven hours before you’ll need to plug it in again.
We’ll be going into more detail later in the article, but it is worth noting that this headset is also compatible with the new Headset Companion app that Sony released for smartphones and tablets. Read on for our overview of the app later in the article.
While not quite as expansive or sleek as the past Sony Pulse headsets, this option is perfect for owners of one, or all the recent Sony consoles.
Option #2 - The Sony Pulse Elite Headset ($149.99)
This is the premiere headset released by Sony. It was preceded by a previous Pulse headset that is no longer produced, so therefore this is the one to buy. Here we have a sleek and comfortable headset that has adjustable ear cups that slide vertically to meet the needs of any head size or shape. There are even two pads on the upper portion of the headset to ensure total comfort for those long gaming sessions.
The entire headset is built with an air of sturdiness and quality. Everything from the ear cups to the sliders on them feels sturdy and strong. Although there are a number of switches and sliders on the earcups, they are arranged to be easily accessible and don’t pose a problem once you familiarize yourself with their locations.
On the left earcup is the power switch, mute button, audio slider and volume slider. The audio slider allows you to adjust game volume so you can bring conversations to the forefront or push them aside during multiplayer. Pushing the mute button will mute your mic. Holding the mute button sets your microphone audio to play through the headset so you can hear yourself talking and hear what’s going on in the game.
On the right earcup you will find the BassImpact slider and the mode button. The Pulse Elite headset has a feature called BassImpact which sets off pulse vibrations in the headset, letting you literally feel the sound. This is an amazing feature that really makes the headset stand out. It can be intense, but the slider offers on the fly adjustment. This headset also features a button for switching audio profile modes, which again can be created in the Headset Companion App which we will discuss momentarily. On top of this, the headset also features the iconic 7.1 virtual surround sound.
The overall quality and balance of audio here is the best money can buy for this range of headset. In addition, the BassImpact feature adds a lot of intensity to the audio and is easily a reason to buy this headset. Either this, or the recently released Gold Stereo headset will provide you with a great experience. Overall, this headset takes top honors for its extra features and sturdy design.
The Headset Companion App - A Gamer’s Best Friend
One of the coolest features of these headsets is the ability to customize the audio profile for each of your games. These allows you to control the various levels of the audio effects for a tailored experience. Sony had this to say about the companion app that was recently released:
“Get the Headset Companion App and enhance your gameplay by downloading custom sound modes created exclusively for your PlayStation® headset,” states sony entertainment network site. “Fine-tune your experience with custom audio modes for the biggest upcoming PlayStation®4 titles.”
You’ll be able to access custom sound modes to enhance your gameplay, music and movie experience on, available on the PlayStation Store at no extra cost. There are going to be future releases of sound modes that are specifically tuned to enhance the audio in PS4 games. The first sound mode that will be coming to the app is being developed by Sucker Punch for their PS4 exclusive Infamous: Second Son.
The app also has a variety of preset audio modes for games, music and movies, as well as a tool to create your own custom EQ mode. These modes are included when you download the app: audio modes for game, music, movies, shooter, fighting, techno, hip-hop, action, and horror.
There you have it ladies and gentlemen. I can’t recommend these headsets enough as they are best in class for their prices. Either one will give you a great experience, it’s just a matter of the price range you’re looking for.
Do you own either of these headsets? Which one would you rather have? Tell us in the comments!
Article by - Bradley Ramsey
Insert Date: 01/21/2014