Sony's PlayStation branded headsets have always been great, but the Pulse 3D marks the clearest distillation of the company's ideals yet.
Offering fantastic 3D audio, impressive comfort, and an eye-catching design, it's easy to recommend to all PS5 owners – especially those that want to know what a dragon sounds like overhead.
Looks The Part
There's absolutely no mistaking which console this headset is for – right out of the box, the Pulse 3D carries over the controversial two-tone look of the PlayStation 5, and for my money, it arguably looks better here than it does on the console itself.
The futuristic white arms aren't adjustable, though, outside of the natural springiness afforded by the inner headband that removes much of the weight from a user's head.
While both of the earcups are circular, the inner, leather-style padding is actually a little more oval-like in shape, making for a firmer seal around the ear.
All of the controls are found on the left cup, including the expected volume, mic mute, and power buttons, as well as a 3.5mm jack for those wishing to plug into a Dualsense (or another device).
There's also a chat mixer for game and party audio, as well as the option for mic monitoring. Finally, there's a USB-C port for charging, meaning you can use the same cable you use for charging your pads. Battery life is around 12 hours, which while not the best in the world is pretty solid for a pair of gaming cans.
All in all, while the headset is very plasticky, it looks great for the price – although whether you're a fan of its aesthetic to begin with is likely to be a personal choice.
Setup is nice and easy – just plug the included dongle into your console, and you're good to go. While you can plug the headset into other devices, you'll want to connect to your PS5 via the dongle to enable its killer feature – 3D audio.
Sounds Like Heaven
Do you know what a dragon sounds like? I didn't, at least until I was testing the Pulse 3D headset. I was playing Demon's Souls, and one such beast flew overhead. Every flap of its wings felt colossal, to the point where I'd have probably felt the breeze past my ears if I hadn't sprinted to get away from it.
This is thanks to 3D audio, which creates a sense of spatial awareness using the console's much-vaunted Tempest Engine. In Spider-Man: Miles Morales, I was able to pick out different voices in a busy intersection, working out where their conversations were happening around me.
It's not quite surround sound, but it certainly makes gaming much more personal. 3D audio is available on any headset plugged into your Dualsense, but it's elevated by the overall audio quality from the Pulse 3D.
That's because even taking 3D audio out of the equation, there's a decent range and crispness to the audio it pumps out. NBA 2K21's arenas feel almost alive with the passion of the fans in the stands, and Destiny 2's weapons sound bright and clear – and lethal.
While some may prefer a more visible (and tangible) mic, the Pulse 3D's built-in option offers clear voice comms in the most heated of gaming moments, but it isn't without a drawback – background noise.
If you have someone chatting in the room next to you, or any other sound, you'll want to make liberal use of your mute button.
The Pulse 3D headset is impeccably priced and offers the kind of sound quality to take your PS5 experience to the next level. It offers the best approximation of 3D audio you'll find on Sony's latest system, and it looks great, too.
It's the best choice for PlayStation gamers right now.
Review unit provided by the manufacturer.