There are so many headset manufacturers on the video game market these days, it’s not even funny. If it’s not Microsoft or Sony making specialized headsets for the Xbox One and PS4 (respectively), then it’s someone like Astro Gaming, Turtle Beach or SteelSeries attempting to corner the market with some new-fangled surround sound-compatible headset ready to blow the minds off gamers.
So when you’re entering the market with a new product, you’d better make sure that it’s a damn good one. But, fortunately, LucidSound has a couple of solid creators behind it, with both Chris Von Huben and Aaron Smith already establishing themselves from Tritton years earlier. Its company’s debut effort, the LS30 Wireless Headset, is both sleek in design and practical in use, with an all-in-one unit that actually utilizes volume control into the headset itself, with dials built in to the speakers. It sounds a bit weird, but put to good use, you’ll find that it’s probably the easiest headset you’ll ever use – with awesome sound to back it up.
Available in both a black/silver and white/gold design, the LS30 comes in pretty slick packaging, complete with the headset, a USB base station, a removable boom mic (if you feel like blaring tunes on the go), two port covers, an Xbox 360 chat cable, an Xbox One chat/3.5mm cable, and a micro USB charging cable. Since it’s wireless, charging only takes a little bit, and lasts for up to 12 hours on a full charge. That’s about right based on our tests, in which we put it through the proper channels with Uncharted 4, Overwatch and a handful of other games.
First of all, let’s talk about comfort. The earcups are actually quite comfortable on this thing, as the headset doesn’t grip tightly around your skull, and instead comes off with a very casual feel. That’s not to say they’re loose at all, though – they fit handily around your head, making them ideal for when they’re not in use with your game device. In fact, the only downside is that if you’re using them with your phone (with the 3.5mm cable), you can’t really control volume on the headset itself. That’s really about it.
The set-up for making it run on Xbox One is a bit more complicated, as you have to set up the USB receiver into the system, then connect the optical cable and hook it up to the other end. But that’s just the way the system is set up – the LS30 actually runs pretty effortlessly, delivering top-notch sound.
Although the headset doesn’t deliver on a surround sound set-up (like more expensive ones on the market), the LS30 still delivers an enriched, extraordinary performance the way it’s set up, creating nice delivery through its 50mm drivers in each off the ears. The volume adjusts just about right as well, not too loud that you’ll blow out your hearing, but far from going, “Wait, what did he say?” You can also handle chat volume or turn it off entirely, in case you feel like partaking everything that your game has to offer.
The EQ settings won’t be for everyone, but they’re fun to mess around with. For instance, you can increase the bass for some of your favorite songs and really feel it thumping through the speakers. There’s also extra treble (though I don’t really know who’d use it), as well as regular stereo sound. Regular stereo is probably the best way to go, but I know a few fans of musicians that will love seeing what these options can do.
As for the boom mic included with the headset, it performs well, and even has a light-up option to let you know when you’re muted or not (with a tap of one of the earcups – a neat feature that doesn’t get in the way of the dials that are built in). It’s also easy to plug and unplug, and doesn’t get bent out of shape enough to get in the way of your performance (like capturing your heavy breathing during a crazy round of Overwatch – you know how that gets).
The headset does run $149.99, and while that’s a bit more in price than the usual $50-$100 variety, keep in mind that they’re built on the same level as Beats – and way better in performance with gaming, especially where the mic is involved. This is a high-quality headset that held up quite well during my most heated gaming sessions, and there was just enough juice left after using them to pop in a few songs as well. They’re long lasting, durable, comfortable, and practical – and this is just the first design from LucidSound. Imagine what they’ll improve upon the second time around.