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- The PlayStation 5 Pulse 3D is Sony’s official wireless gaming headset for the PS5.
- The headset costs $100, comes in three colors, and works great with the PS5’s 3D audio feature.
- But while the Pulse 3D perfectly matches the PS5’s design, its battery and mic performance are mediocre.
The Pulse 3D Wireless Headset is designed by Sony specifically with the PS5 in mind. It makes the most of the console’s features like 3D audio, and its $100 price tag is competitive when put up against the best wireless gaming headsets from other brands.
Sony’s headset doesn’t hold any exclusive technological advantages over other options, but the Pulse 3D has a unique design with large ear cups and a simple plastic band. So far, there are white, black, and gray camouflage models made to perfectly match the look of the PS5 console and DualSense controller.
The Pulse 3D is a quality entry-level headset, but its short battery life, limited microphone, and somewhat awkward frame make it feel a bit lacking compared to some of the best gaming headsets you can buy. Though the Pulse 3D works well as the baseline audio companion for the PS5, there are simply better performing options for the money.
Design perfectly complements PS5 console and controller
Voice monitoring lets you hear what you sound like
Supports 3.5mm wired connection to save battery
Console provides EQ settings to customize headset’s sound profile
What needs work
Battery life is unimpressive at 12 to 13 hours
Adjustable rubber strap isn’t as comfortable as a traditional design
Integrated microphones can lead to extra background noise
Doesn’t fold for easy storage
Pulse 3D matches the PS5’s design, but it can be hard to store
The Pulse 3D takes a different design approach than most gaming headsets. There’s no adjustable boom microphone that sits in front of your mouth. Instead, dual noise-canceling microphones are embedded in the ear cups, which offers a cleaner look. And rather than adjustable arms to move the ear cups, an adjustable rubber strap is used to secure the fit. In fact, the ear cups on the Pulse 3D headset can’t be moved at all.
The faux leather material that covers the earpads looks a bit cheap but the thick foam is actually quite comfortable. The plastic band that wraps around the headset is surprisingly flexible too, but ultimately feels less sturdy and less comfortable than headsets with metal frames. The inability to fold the ear cups also makes it harder to store the Pulse 3D compared to some competitors.
The look of the Pulse 3D’s plastic headband mirrors the plastic cover of the PS5 and DualSense controller, which makes it a perfect visual complement. The most common PS5 color is white, but Sony also sells black and camouflage covers and controllers, which match the Pulse 3D’s other options. Small PlayStation logos are featured on each side of the band, above the ear cups.
The Pulse 3D headset includes on-board controls for nearly every setting: volume, microphone mute, voice monitoring, and audio chat balance can all be toggled with buttons and switches located next to the headset’s ear cups.
Solid sound quality with the PS5’s 3D audio feature
The Pulse 3D wireless headset has relatively average playback quality for an over-ear headset, but it really shines when paired with the PS5’s 3D audio software. The console creates a spatial audio effect that makes games feel more immersive with sound from multiple directions.
It should be noted that the PS5’s 3D audio works with other headsets as well, including wired headphones connected to the PlayStation controller. The Pulse 3D doesn’t get any exclusive benefits when using 3D audio, but it was built with this technology in mind and does have a satisfying range and enough bass to make the most of the feature.
Spatial audio is most helpful in multiplayer shooting games like Fortnite and Call of Duty, where you can hear enemies approaching based on their footsteps and other audio cues. Spatial audio can also help games feel more alive with effects that create a more spacious soundscape than standard stereo, whether you’re racing through the courses of Gran Turismo 7 or adventuring through New York City in Marvel’s Spider-Man.
Pulse 3D works well when streaming entertainment and watching Blu-ray discs too, providing a fuller soundscape than standard television or gaming monitor speakers.
The PS5 also has an EQ menu for adjusting the Pulse 3D’s sound profile. There’s a preset for boosting bass and a specific profile geared toward shooting games, as well as three empty EQ profiles that let you customize the bass and treble along with low, mid, and high sounds.
Pulse 3D’s microphone is decent enough for team chat but not much else
While you can’t see the headset’s microphones, the Pulse 3D does a solid job picking up your voice clearly. However, despite having noise-canceling tech, the microphones are still susceptible to some background noise, and the lack of an adjustable boom means that you can accidentally create extra noise when the headset brushes against your hair or you make other small movements.
The microphone quality also sounds a bit more hollow than other headsets we’ve tried with boom mics. On the plus side, the Pulse 3D’s monitoring feature is a nice inclusion. This feature uses the microphones to pass through outside sound, letting you hear your surroundings. It also lets you hear yourself through the headphones, and being able to hear how you sound to other players can help you prevent unwanted noise from going out over the mic.
The microphone quality won’t heavily impact your ability to communicate during games, but it’s certainly not the best for recording or casual chatting. Other gaming headsets we’ve tested have good enough sound quality to use during professional or casual calls but Pulse 3D doesn’t quite reach that standard.
The headset can also pair with a PC, but its battery life is lacking
Though clearly designed for use with the PlayStation 5, Pulse 3D wireless is also compatible with Windows PCs. The small USB dongle included with the headset pairs automatically regardless of platform, and the headset will appear as a sound device in Windows without extra setup.
The 2.4Ghz wireless range is about 30 feet, which is much further than you can reasonably sit from your TV while playing. The headset also features a USB-C audio port for charging, and a 3.5mm audio port if you prefer a wired connection to save battery.
The battery life may be the most disappointing feature of the Pulse 3D wireless, lasting about 12 to 13 hours on a charge. While that’s still enough to last a few play sessions, competing headsets usually offer at least 20 hours of battery, with some PlayStation compatible models lasting for more than 100 hours on a charge.
Sony Pulse 3D Wireless Headset: Specs
Should you buy the PS5 Pulse 3D Wireless Headset?
Sony’s Pulse 3D Wireless Headset offers decent value for $100, and its aesthetic design makes it a perfect visual companion for the PS5. However, if external design isn’t your main priority, there are similarly priced gaming headsets with better microphones and a more comfortable fit.
If you game exclusively on PlayStation 5 and want a headset to match the console, the Pulse 3D wireless won’t disappoint, but if you’re willing to look at other brands, headsets like the Razer Kaira and HyperX Cloud II wireless offer a bit more utility for a similar price. And if you’re willing to spend a bit more, we recommend the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 as the best PS5 headset overall.
Because the PS5’s spatial audio software works with any pair of headphones, there’s little that separates Sony’s headset from the competition other than its unique build, which isn’t always a benefit. If you do want to buy the Pulse 3D wireless headset, keep in mind that it occasionally goes on sale for $80, and you can find refurbished models from Amazon or GameStop for even less.