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Sony PS5 Pulse 3D Headset Review: Get The Most From Your New Console’s Audio

PlayStation maker Sony is going big with its PS launch next week. The Japanese company is not only releasing the PS5 console and controller on November 12, but it is also bringing a wave of accessories alongside it. These include a camera, charging dock, media remote, and a new gaming headset that will change the way you experience audio on your next-gen console. Called Pulse 3D Wireless Headset, Sony claims it takes full advantage of the company’s proprietary Tempest 3D Audio Tech.

Sony PS5 Pulse 3D Headset Review: Get The Most From Your New Console's Audio
Image courtesy: Sony

Sony Pulse 3D wireless headset comes with a USB wireless adapter, a 3.5mm audio cable, and a USB Type-C charging cable, all within $100. The headset is compatible with PlayStation 5/4, PC, and Mac through its 3.5mm audio cable and the USB wireless adapter. Another major ability that comes with Pulse is that users will still be able to use the headset if it runs out of battery when using wirelessly. All you need to do is plug the headset into your DualSense controller and continue using it.

Sony PS5 Pulse 3D Design Features

Sony’s new headset, the Pulse 3D is a part of its latest PlayStation design family — the upcoming PlayStation 5 console. The headset carries a similar design in terms of colors, contrast, and a few other features. It features the same contrasting black and white design as in the upcoming PS5 console. However, there is no extruding boom mic in the headset and also it comes with a slightly less eyeball punching form. Apart from the outside look, Pulse 3D carries Sony’s proprietary tech inside, which includes the PS5 Tempest 3D AudioTech.

Speaking of the Pulse design in a bit detail, its top band features two visible parts — the rigid outer white plastic frame and a black rubber support band. The rubber band’s main purpose is to provide support on your head and balance the headset’s weight. Though, it weighs only about 295 grams. For some, the significantly bigger gap between the rubber band and top frame may look like interfering with the headset’s aesthetics but it does its job perfectly well.

Now it’s the turn if the main component responsible for comfort: the Earcups! Here’s where Sony’s Pulse 3D outsmarts other gaming headsets ad it comes with perfectly round earcups, an uncommon feature for gaming headsets. These are padded well with thick open-cell foam covered by smooth leatherette. Behind those, there lie 40mm neodymium drivers. Though these are smaller than many premium third-party headsets, the sound quality and power remain unaltered.

Pulse 3D Headset Controls
Image courtesy: IGN

About the ports and inputs: the Pulse 3D features a stack of all controls and input ports along the back of the left can. First, speaking of the ports, the headset carries a USB Type-C port for charging and a 3.5mm headphone jack if a user prefers to set up a wired connection. On the other hand, there lie multiple buttons and dual rockers for various controls. At the top, there is a dual rocker to balance game-versus-chat audio mixing and a microphone monitoring switch. Then, there comes a dual rocker for volume, a mic mute button, and a power switch at the bottom.

Noise Cancellation Features

Similar to Sony’s other high-end headphones, the Pulse 3D also uses a pair of noise-canceling microphones to pick up the user’s voice. These come in-built in the headset under the hood — one at the front, near your mouth, and the other near the top of the left can. These dual-mics are meant to mitigate ambient noise and make your voice clear. Though the Pulse 3D dual-mic noise-canceling system offers good clarity for your voice, but it also catches nearby voices. This is where we find Sony could do better. In a test performed and reported by IGN, the headset was found picking up the low hum of some nearby heating system. However, it does offer some nice cancellation effect, but it could be better.

3D AudioTech Support With/Without Tempest

Sony PS5 Pulse 3D Headset Review: Get The Most From Your New Console's Audio
Image courtesy: Sony

Currently, the PS5’s Tempest 3D AudioTech is limited and does not work with all PS5 games. Right now, it only works with Marvel’s Spider-Man: Miles Morales and Astro’s Playroom reports GamesRadar. However, on these two games, the Pulse 3D’s audio experience is perfectly 3D. You can clearly hear the sounds of combat, footsteps walking away, and other sounds from all directions. For example, in Spider-Man: Miles Morales, you can experience yourself standing in virtual Times Square in New York as the sounds keep coming from all around you. You can distinctly ‘hear cars and people coming and going from every angle and every distance’. 

Further, the 3D audio tech without Tempest works for a lot of other games. Some of these include Gran Turismo 7, Destruction AllStars, Returnal, Demon’s Souls, Resident Evil Village, and a few others. For example, while playing the opening of God of War (2012), you can hear the sound of Kratos in the woods clearly. However, you may notice that without Tempest support, the sounds appear to come from a limited number of directions.

Pulse 3D Battery, Price, and Availability

Sony claims the Pulse 3D wireless headset battery lasts for up to 12 hours on a single charge. However, in real-time testing, the headset battery didn’t last that long, as claimed by Sony. As per IGN, the Pulse 3D lasted somewhere between nine and ten hours in their tests. But, this should be enough for most users as long as they keep their headset charged. However, one should expect modern headsets for PlayStation and PC to last longer.

In terms of price, the Sony Pulse 3D wireless gaming headset costs $99.99 for the headset and other accessories that come alongside the headset. You get a Pulse 3D headset, USB-C cable, a USB wireless adapter, and a 3.5mm audio cable. The headset is already available at Sony and other online retailers, including Amazon, Best Buy, and Target.

Summary in General

Considering the price and the headset’s unique feature of taking advantage of the PS5’s Tempest 3D AudioTech, the Sony Pulse 3D gives a detailed and impressive 3D sound experience. Even without the Tempest, the usual 3D audio tech is also impressive while remaining comfortable to wear. The dual-mic noise-canceling system is a bit average and prone to picking up ambient noise, but your voice still comes through loud and clear. Also, some things may seem to mess up with the design, such as the support rubber band. Battery capacity should be enough for most users, considering the PS5 era has just begun, and we may see more improvements in the near future.

Check out the main highlights below:

What’s Good:

Comfortable to wear

Rich 3D audio effects

Both wireless and wired connectivity

Compatible with PS5, PS4, PC, and Mac.

What’s Bad:

Noise cancellation not up to mark.

Battery life is less than claimed.

The plastic frame feels cheap and easy to break.


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