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If gaming is your passion and you are a proud owner of a PlayStation 5, you might be interested in the idea of taking full advantage of the Tempest Engine sound engine that provides immersive 3D sound, but for this you will need a good pair of headphones. However, few headphones support this feature that are also wireless, so obviously we can expect Sony to put on sale some companion headphones that meet this need, so here are the Sony Pulse 3D.
Before starting, it is necessary to note that the Sony Pulse 3D are helmets designed with specific objectives in mind: take advantage of the 3D audio of the PS5, gaming and be affordable enough for the average gamer to notice them. Therefore, if you are looking for more balanced wireless headphones to enjoy music on a day-to-day basis, there are more appropriate options than these headphones, such as the Sony WH-XB900N with noise cancellation.
With that in mind, the Sony Pulse 3D are the ones if your only plan is to play with the PS5, so we continue our review.
Sony Pulse 3D: Striking and comfortable design
Sony has decided to visually link the Sony Pulse 3D headphones to the iconic design of the PS5, opting for the same white finish that can be seen on the console’s faceplates . It is instantly clear that the two products are related, and the design of the headphones can be quite eye-catching, especially when on the go.
Whether the latter is something negative or positive is up to you, but what is true is that the frame is made entirely of rigid plastic , which feels a bit cheap. That said, it does have a rubber suspension band with a slightly loose tension, but which feels secure.
The ear pads are covered in soft synthetic leather , but you may find them quite uncomfortable if your ears are large. Despite that, they are very firm, creating a good seal around the ears, and the headband provides just the right amount of pressure.
In a different vein, the headphone controls are located around the edge of the left cup, so it won’t be necessary to fiddle around with the PlayStation’s menus to make sound adjustments. In this sense, there are buttons to control volume , game balance, chat, monitoring and microphone mute. There are a lot of buttons, no doubt about that, but at least we have all the options at hand … with the exception of one to deactivate the 3D audio function like the one with the Sony Platinum wireless headphones.
Sound and features
The Sony PULSE 3D offers fairly accurate audio output for a relatively inexpensive gaming headset, albeit of course, with a few downsides. There is an increase in sound from the bass range around 100Hz, but it is not as severe as in many gaming headsets. Also, the slight increase in the mid-range of 1-2kHz prevents sounds from being lost.
While some sounds are deeper, there is still more than enough bass here and it is punchy and melodious. For its part, the highs have a brilliance that never deviates and the mid-range is textured and clear, with a more than decent vocal representation. The dynamics are decent too, with the headphones being able to convey subtle changes, as well as epic crescendos.
Obviously the emphasis of these headphones is on gaming and its 3D sound feature. Although this will depend considerably on the titles you play and the optimization that the developers have done on this front, in general 3D audio is capable of transmitting not only the direction from which the sound is coming, but also the distance . The sound presentation is completely immersive and it is easy to identify the effects audibly; We are not only talking about simple elements such as footsteps and shots, but also about voices and the echoes they project on stage.
On the other hand, there are a couple of disadvantages with the Sony Pulse 3D that we should be aware of. In this regard, the headset has poor noise isolation. Even though the sealing is decent, don’t expect it to block out a lot of external noise. Lastly, the recording quality of the microphones is mediocre at best, as while it does a decent job of capturing your voice, it also does the same with background noise.
Connectivity and compatibility
Using the headphones wirelessly involves plugging a dongle-like USB transmitter into your PS5 and from that point, the console will automatically output sound to the headphones each time you turn it on.
Similarly, we can connect the Sony Pulse 3D to the PlayStation 4 or the PC. For greater compatibility, we can take advantage of the 3.5mm cable to connect it to virtually any device that accepts this connection, including the consoles of Sony’s rivals.
Also, the microphone also works in wired mode, but 3D audio is a function that is reserved for connection with the PlayStation 4 and 5.
There is not much to say in this section, the battery lasts about 12 or 13 hours in the best of cases , nothing to brag about in this segment of the market, in fact, it remains below priced helmets. Similary. That said, it is charged through a USB type C port and in case of running out of battery we can always resort to the 3.5mm cable.