In need of some wireless headphones for your PlayStation 3 that won’t break the bank? Then Sony may just have you covered.
Sony has released the Pulse Wireless Stereo Headset – Elite Edition, which comes in at $149.99 and offers up some pretty nice audio with the added benefit of head-shaking bass.
The Pulse headset comes with a USB wireless transmitter and a 3.5mm audio cable, which gives you the option of either going completely wireless or wiring up to another device such as your smartphone, or handheld system. The headset has a USB connector as well for recharging, though inexplicably, Sony decided not to include a mini USB cable (!). The controls are place on the cups, which can be a bit awkward at first, especially when you want to make quick adjustments. It took me a little while to figure it out however, and after a few lengthy sessions, I managed to remember where everything was placed. There is a slider for handling the volume, along with a separate one for balancing the game audio and the voice level, for those who will be chatting online. There is also a third slider that handles the impact of the headset’s base, which can also be turned off completely if that’s not your thing. You’ll also find a button for the mic’s mute button, a mode button (for EQ settings) and one for toggling between stereo and virtual surround sound.
Aesthetically, the Pulse headset looks pretty sexy, featuring a combination of glossy and matte black plastic with metallic accents. The cups themselves have a nice amount of cushioning to them which make them quite comfortable to wear.
Now let’s talk briefly about this “bass impact” feature, which is to say, is the main point of this particular headset. Essentially, the headset is able to send out enough bass that the headphones shack, almost like having rumble functionality on the headset. Depending on what you’re playing, the headphones will vibrate and let you feel what you’re doing, such as firing a weapon, making a long jump, engaging in a fight and more. At first, it seemed a bit gimmicky, especially when the bass thumped the ear cups during the intro music to Uncharted 3. However, after playing for a few hours, including games like Battlefield 3, Journey and Need for Speed: The Run, I found the headset’s bass rumble to be quite enjoyable and more engaging than I would have imagined.
In addition, gamers will find a series of audio presets that are toggled with a push of a button on the headset. At first, I was confused at how I would know which one I am activating, as there is no light or other way of seeing what you have chosen, but as it turned out, you actually get an audio alert as to what you picked, assuming you have the headphones on. You’ll find presets such as for music, shooters, movies, shooters, fighting games and racing games; each offering up its own specific amount of bass . I ended up preferring the setting for shooters, movies and fighting games the best. I did notice that depending on how high you have the bass setting, certain audio, like dialogue, or music, can trigger the rumble when it really shouldn’t, making it feel a tad out of place.
I also tested out the headphones with my iPhone 4S and my Macbook Pro, and found the audio from the auxiliary jack to sound pretty good. It wasn’t as solid as when I used it on the PS3 obviously, but the quality was certainly there, and given the headphone’s great look, it’s the kind of headphones that you should have no problem showing off.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed the added experience of literally “feeling” the sound in the various games I played and though I would’ve liked a bit more out of the virtual surround sound, I certainly appreciated the added element of gameplay with the thump and vibration that the Pulse provided.