The Sony Pulse 3D headset is a brilliant peripheral I can easily recommend to any owner of the PS5. It sounds, looks and feels great, while boasting features such as 3D audio and internal dual microphones which make it feel wonderfully innovative for the price.
- Perfect companion for PS5
- Comfortable to wear
- Spatial 3D Audio is both impressive and immersive
- Internal microphone sounds surprisingly great
- Battery life could be better
- Feels cheap in some areas
- Fine-tuned for 3D AudioOffers three dimensional audio for PS4 and PS5, enabling you to know which direction sound is coming from within a game.
- Wireless connectivity:Uses the bundled dongle to allow for a wireless connection to your console or PC.
- USB-C charging:Uses a USB-port to recharge the headset, which is the same connector the PS5 controller uses.
There are so many different gaming headsets on the market that it can be difficult to find the best option for your platform of choice. Sony has made this decision easier by launching its own official headset for the PS5.
The Sony Pulse 3D Headset sports the same colour scheme as the PlayStation console, with white headband and black earcups. It even uses the same USB-C charging port as the one found on the DualSense controller.
It also supports spatial 3D audio for select PlayStation games, allowing the player to determine which direction sound is coming from within the game’s environment.
Sony is going to make your buying decision slightly more difficult, with plans to launch an even more premium headset called the PlayStation Pulse Elite (£129.99/$149.99) later on in the year, which will offer lossless audio, a retractable microphone with AI-enhanced noise rejection.
This positions the Sony Pulse 3D Headset as the budget option with a retail price of £89.99/$99.99. But is it worth the cost? Here are my thoughts.
- Perfect visual and technological companion for the PS5
- Incredibly comfortable for long gaming sessions
- Plastic build makes it feel slightly cheap
I have reservations with some aspects of the Sony Pulse 3D Headset’s overall design, but I can’t deny the immediately striking impression it left upon me. Sony has crafted a peripheral that sits perfectly alongside its new console, and is also engineered to take direct advantage of it from a technological perspective.
The headset itself is a gorgeous mixture of black and white, sporting the same two-tone approach to colour as the console itself. The headband is made of a solid piece of black matte plastic, with a softer, more flexible white rest sitting beneath it. As a result the headset is supremely comfortable to wear for extended play sessions.
This feeling is further reinforced by ear cups which hug against your head with only the smallest amount of pressure. As someone who wears glasses while gaming, it did prove somewhat irritable after 5+ hours with a game, but that’s likely my fault for not taking some form of break while bingeing Final Fantasy XIV. Compared to other devices I’ve tested, the Pulse 3D feels both lightweight and durable in the best possible way.
But don’t purchase this headset expecting the premium build quality found in more expensive rivals. Retailing for £89.99/$99.99, Sony clearly intends for this to be a product accessible for both casual and hardcore players alike, with cost-cutting evident in the plastic build quality – there’s no metal design here.
The headset sits alongside the console and DualSense controller beautifully, and doesn’t overextend itself to be something adorned with garish, unnecessary features. The Pulse 3D comes with an angular dongle which can be seamlessly inserted into your console to connect within seconds. It also works brilliantly with a PC, quickly becoming my ideal headset when working from home and taking part in Zoom calls.
Unfortunately, the Pulse 3D headset lacks Sony’s new proprietary PlayStation Link wireless technology, which means this headset can’t be used wirelessly with the upcoming PlayStation Portal device. Instead, you’ll need to pay extra for the upcoming Pulse Elite or Pulse Explore headphones.
In terms of inputs and buttons, the right earcup is completely bare, with everything being stuffed on the opposing side. I imagine this is because of where much of the hardware is situated, but I will admit that things can feel somewhat overcrowded as a result. It’s easy to become confused when seeking out the mute button or volume control with just a blind touch, meaning I often found myself taking the headset off completely to adjust the settings.
On the left cup you’ll find volume control, USB-C charging port, a power slider and mute button. There’s also a 3.5mm jack for enabling a wired connection, which can be achieved with a cable included in the box. An additional toggle for adjusting the audio balance between in-game volume and multiplayer chat is also included.
Audio and features
- Spatial 3D Audio is a gamechanger in supported titles
- Battery life is decent at 12 hours, but falls behind competitors
- Dual microphones are excellent, as are the volume controls
I was genuinely surprised by how quickly the Pulse 3D Headset became my primary driver when playing games. I quickly abandoned more expensive, experienced devices in favour of what was simply more intuitive to use in most situations. Obviously I couldn’t use this headset with the Xbox Series X, but it was seamless across PS5 and PC when it came to playing games and chatting with friends on party chat or Discord.
One of the headline features of Sony’s new console is the implementation of 3D Audio. In concept, it aims to make your gaming experience more immersive by honing in on the directional qualities of different sounds to make it feel like you are truly part of the environment you’re exploring. It works wonderfully in most cases, although the overall audio quality does suffer somewhat for the novelty.
Demon’s Souls is one of the finest examples, with the otherworldly growls of goblins in the mines ringing out amidst the hollow shafts, while absorbing souls upon downing enemies is expressed with the feeling of a door slamming right before you. I had to take my headphones and check whether something had happened in the real world a few times, truly emphasising how impressive 3D Audio can be at times.
First-party exclusives benefit from 3D Audio, with developers ensuring that titles like Demon’s Souls, Sackboy: A Big Adventure and Miles Morales take true advantage of the next-gen hardware, although the feature won’t be used so extensively by third-party developers which limits its use.
Similar 3D Audio effects can be found in the majority of modern gaming headsets, but it shines far brighter in official hands. It’s not a feature everyone will use all the time, but it adds an extra layer of immersion that is undoubtedly worth having.
As for the audio itself, I found it to be sufficiently punchy, if a little unclean in busy scenarios when compared to more expensive peripherals. That being said, it is astounding for the price. It produces a loud and thoroughly enjoyable sound profile that really shines regardless of the genre you’re diving into.
- MIcrophone built inside the headset
- Lacks the AI noise rejection of the Pulse Elite
- Voice capture is clear and distinct
The microphone is built inside the headset itself, which I found to be incredibly convenient as you don’t have a waggling stick hovering by your mouth.
However, this looks to be a weakness compared to the more expensive Pulse Elite, which features a retractable boom mic with AI-enhanced noise rejection, which should limit background sounds leaking in.
The Pulse 3D microphone isn’t high calibre, but has proved adequate when playing games with friends and partaking in zoom calls. Well, I’ve never had complaints yet and my voice came across as clear and distinct when listening back to a number of recordings.
Should you buy it?
Looking for a perfect headset for the PS5: Sony has clearly designed this product to sit seamlessly alongside the PS5, and it achieves this perfectly. It looks, feels and sounds great, and will fit alongside your next-gen console without any trouble at all.
You expect the best build quality: While this headset looks great, it suffers from the same reliance on plastic materials as the PS5 itself, and doesn’t exactly feel very durable in the hand. That said, it’s still comfortable to wear.
The Sony Pulse 3D Headset headset is a great value option for PS5 owners, with a comfortable design and immersive 3D audio. However, this isn’t an ideal gaming headset for multiplatform use, as it lacks Bluetooth to wirelessly connect to a Nintendo Switch, smartphone or PC.
The arrival of the more expensive Sony Pulse Elite headset also provides you the option to benefit from lossless audio, a retractable boom microphone with AI noise rejection and the new PlayStation Link wireless technology. As such, that may be the better headset if you’re able to stretch your budget a little further.
Nevertheless, the Sony Pulse 3D is a great option for those who need a simple headset that works seamlessly with their PS5 console. Check out our Best Gaming Headset guide for even more options.
How we test
We use every headset we test for at least a week. During that time, we’ll check it for ease of use and put it through its paces by using it in a variety of games, as well as playing music in order to get the full experience.
We also check each headset’s software (if applicable) to see how easy it is to customise and set up.
Spent at least a week testing
Judge audio for both gaming and music playback.
Use with multiple games to test audio.
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No, the Sony Pulse 3D headset does not have active noise cancellation, and so relies solely on the physical ear cups to block out background noise. The headset does sport noise-cancelling technology in the integrated microphone, but this is designed to stop background noise from reaching the ears of your friends on the other side of the call. They will not block out background noise for your own ears.
The Pulse 3D headset supports a wired connection via a 3.5mm connection. But the lack of Bluetooth means there’s no way to connect them to a phone that lacks a physical audio jack.
Yes, the Sony Pulse 3D headset is also compatible on the PS4 as well as PS5.