If you’ve been reading The Technovore for a while, you know I’m a huge fan of Sony headsets. I’ve been using their noise cancelling WH-1000XM series for years now. I’m currently using the WH-1000XM4 and am in no hurry to change my headset. For gaming though, I’m been looking forward to trying out the Pulse 3D Wireless Headset.
Simply because I’ve used the Sony Gold Wireless Headset for years before I changed to the WH-1000XM series. The only reason I moved on? The brittle headband snapped.
I’m curious to see how years of evolution has treated the series.
What is the Sony PULSE 3D Wireless Headset?
The Sony PULSE 3D wireless headset is meant for Playstation 4 and 5 consoles. It’s also a headset capable of processing 3D audio, which a feature unique to the Playstation 5. It comes with a built-in rechargeable battery, as well as noise cancelling. According to Sony, the headset’s battery should last about 12 hours of regular usage. It’s charged via USB Type-C (you can charge it while you’re using it), with a charging cable included in the box.
Make sure you have a USB port on your Playstation console free though, as a dongle’s needed for it to be used wirelessly.
The first thing you’ll notice about the headset is how sleek the whole thing looks. There’s no edge on the device; everything’s a curved surface. From the plastic headband to the buttons on the earcups, everything is rounded. It’s a damn unique look and to be honest, I love it.
What I don’t love is the fit.
There’s a rubber headband strap to cradle you head in, which adjusts itself automatically (via a groove at the side) to fit pretty much any regular head shape. It’s a comfy design but I didn’t really like it. The headset rests on my head comfortably, but there’s no grip. It feels like any sudden movement and the headset’ll slide right off my head.
It also probably doesn’t help that I have long hair.
The whole time I was playing games while wearing the headset, I caught myself constantly adjusting it whenever I moved my body. Perhaps if you’re bald or have short hair this won’t be an issue.
Thankfully, while the fit might be a bit iffy for me, the comfort isn’t.
The thick luxurious earcups are to die for! The foam cushions your ears really well. I’ve played with the headset on for hours at a go and didn’t find my ears aching at all. The foam’s very comfortable and should last for quite a while, if my old Gold headset was any indication.
One thing I did find annoying; they did make my ears sweat a bit. I think it might be the material. They don’t seem to allow for decent airflow. Now before you ask, I’ve used other headsets for hours with no sweating, so it’d definitely not my ears.
That might be due to the noise cancelling ability built into the headset.
It’s nothing revolutionary and nowhere near as good as my WH-1000XM4’s but it does block out a decent amount of background noise. Voices, TV, pets meowing…they didn’t fade completely when I wore the headset, but were muted enough that they didn’t really register unless I was really looking out for them.
Built into the cups (or at least the left one) are an array of shortcuts.
From volume control, to equalizer balance to muting, nearly everything’s in easy reach. It’s a bit of a shame that the right earcup’s left bare. It feels like wasted space that could’ve been used to add even more features (such as active noise cancelling or cycling sound presets) to the already awesome headset.
The shortcuts are fine, though I do think they’re needlessly squished together.
I’d have preferred it if some of them were moved to the other cup, so that the controls are more spaced out. They’re all generic buttons too, with no tactile indication of which button is which, which led me to fumbling around a couple of times as I got used to the headset.
I don’t see it to be a huge issue for regular users, but there’s definitely a learning curve initially.
My biggest gripe with the headset has to be the exterior plastic headband (not the rubber internal one). The one on the PULSE 3D feels even flimsier than the one on the Gold headset. It’s much thinner and I don’t see it standing up to the rigors of months (or even years) of constant usage.
That’s because the headset isn’t only for use with the Playstation consoles. There’s an audio jack, which means you can use it on anything you can connect to. Phones, your notebook or even a TV. The headset loses the 3D audio capability that’s present on the PS5, but that’s a small price to pay for versatility.
Speaking of versatility, the PULSE 3D headset could use a hand in that aspect. The headset and the earcups can’t swivel at all, nor is there any way to tighten the earcups’ grip.
If there’s room for improvement for the headset, this is definitely one of the places it can be better.
Here’s the big one; the PULSE 3D wireless headset puts out phenomenal sound for its price.
I’m dead serious.
The quality is definitely on par with my WH-1000XM4 and that headset costs more about 2.5 times more! The sound is rich and full and picks up even minor details. I played Overwatch, Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut, Final Fantasy XIV Endwalker, Spider-Man Remastered, Deathloop and more with it on the Playstation 5 and found that it performed great on every single game.
For those who wonder if the volume goes up high enough, I can assure you that it does. I tend to listen to my headphones at high volumes and even I found the higher settings of the headphones to be a bit too loud for my tastes. That’s great news because it’s not going to sound soft for most people…except for those with hearing issues.
As for other aspects of the audio, the bass is deep and booming enough for me, and there’s no distortion in the output even at high volumes. The 3D audio is kind of hit or miss though. Some games make use of it really well (Spider-Man Remastered and Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut especially) but some seem to have no discernible difference.
Voices are also come across well though. I can hear game chats with no issue and those I talked to said my voice came across crystal clear as well. There’s really not much to be said on this front. After all, if you can understand others and they can understand you, that’s all there is to it.
The Bottom Line.
The Sony PULSE 3D wireless headset is certainly packing enough bang to justify its price SG$149.
The construction is solid, the noise cancellation is decent, there’s a ton of shortcuts to make adjustments easy and the sound it puts out is incredible. Sony’s done really well in creating the headset.
That’s not to say that it’s perfect.
While the sound is great, other aspects of the PULSE 3D can be improved on. The plastic headband feels too brittle and thin, the fit could certainly be better, the shortcuts could be spaced out more and a few other minor niggles.
At the end of the day though, even if you’re in the market for a premium gaming headset, give the PULSE 3D a shot. It punches way above its weight class and is a great choice for any gamer.
Great sound, decent noise cancellation, comfy and solid construction with some minor issues.
- Great audio output.
- Solid construction.
- Looks good.
- Decent noise cancellation.
- Can charge and play.
- Headband is thin and plastic.
- No way to adjust grip.
- Shortcuts all on one cup.
- Earcup material can make your ears sweat.