This past weekend, I picked up a pair of the PS5 Pulse 3D headphones and now I can hear EVERYTHING in my games! This is the first time I’ve ever bought “the official headphones” for a console and I’m very happy I did.
I’ve never been much of a headphone gamer (click for “Gaming with Headphones” article) other than when talking to friends or playing on PC (while also chatting with friends). I’ve used the cheap headset included with my Xbox 360 and the earbuds that came with my PS4. I tried out my Apple wired earbuds, my Razer Kraken headset and even my bluetooth Anker headphones (which didn’t connect to my PS4). I’ve just always preferred my TV speakers or sound bar.
The reason why I bought this brand new PS5 headset was to try out the PS5’s new 3D audio. I don’t remember much from “The Road to PS5” tech presentation back in March 2020. The one thing I do remember was the segment about 3D audio. Dana Carvey (I mean Mark Cerny) had a whole part about the sound quality of the future, and how Playstation 5 was going to create this whole new type of sound in gaming. This part got me really excited. Check it out below:
After wearing the headset for about an hour and jumping between a few games, I didn’t get hot or sweaty around my ears like I normally would with covered headphones. These are comfortable to wear and stay that way for long periods of time. They also don’t have the normal adjustable band on each side. Instead, there’s a rubber strip that sits on top of your head, allowing the headset to rest comfortably.
There are plenty of controls on the headset, and they all fall to the left side. It can be tricky at first, but I’m slowly getting used to them. The controls allow you to do things like power on/off the device, move the volume up/down, turn the mic on/off and turn on monitoring (to hear yourself while chatting online).
I tested out the sounds of the future (aka 3D Audio) with a few games and other content and here are the results:
MARVEL’S SPIDER-MAN: MILES MORALES
I actually beat this game using my built-in 4K TV speakers the night before I received my PS5 Pulse 3D headset. Lucky for me there’s still more to do in the game. I didn’t know how much I was missing out on the sound design of this game until I jumped back in with my Pulse 3D headset.
It’s crazy how you can hear what people on the streets are saying so clearly. When swinging high in the air vs next to the streets you hear different background sounds. The fighting sounds come from all directions. Cars, buses, people and the sounds of New York City invade your ears. Nose-diving with Miles feels even more intense than it ever did.
The sounds in the menus are even highlighted with these headphones. The music is always there, in the background. Something cool about this game was anytime you log back in and you’re on a roof, it’s like the game is completely silent. Once you jump off that roof the music and sounds of the city kick in, and it has such a greater impact now with these headphones.
There was one time where I was fighting a bunch of criminals. Out of nowhere I heard an unfamiliar sound, but it ended up being Spider-Cat meowing and hissing during the fight. I was wearing my Spider-Cat-Man outfit, which has a cat in the backpack.
I have always been “not so great” at APEX Legends. Anytime my team has been named champions it has never been my fault. It’s always my teammates carrying me to the finish (and probably reviving me once or twice along the way).
I’m not saying playing with this headset made me better at Apex, but I did manage to take down two or three enemies before dying in my first game. The 3D Audio does allow you to listen to your surroundings better. In one match I heard the footsteps and sounds of another group and was able to get the jump on them (of course they ended up taking me out in the end, but I may have dropped one of them).
One thing that’s for sure is that having this headset still does not entice me to talk to strangers while playing Apex. Before every match I mute my team. That’s why the game has such a great pinging system.
I watched the end battle in Avengers: Endgame and I may consider watching some movies and shows using my 3D Pulse headset. Now that HBO Max is releasing some big movies the same day streaming as in theaters I’m excited to watch some of these at home (with my new headset). I’ll totally watch Space Jam in 3D Audio.
I watched Avengers: Endgame two or three times in the theater and now on a 4K TV with these headphones the quality is of course not the same as going to the theater, but it is a really cool experience. You get to hear all of the sounds with these cans on your head. Just like watching a movie in a Dolby or IMAX theater you get to hear the extra sounds you wouldn’t otherwise notice in a normal theater or on your normal TV speakers.
I would most definitely recommend the Pulse 3D headset to all PS5 owners, especially if you aren’t working with a sound bar or some kind of external sound output. If you’re stuck playing your PS5 at a desk on a monitor then these are definitely a great buy.
I initially bought them just to be able to test them out and write about them. From there I didn’t know if I would use them all that much or they would just be a pretty accessory. I’m pretty sure that they will see a great deal of use by me, for gaming, movies and more.