It was only a matter of time before the electronics giant Sony got into the wireless headset game. It is especially surprising it took Sony this long to release a headset designed specifically for its own gaming console. With the official Playstation Wireless Stereo Headset, gamers are given a quality headset with out of the box functionality with the Playstation 3 hardware. In addition to that, the price point is very reasonable for the product you are getting, and it brings a high quality headset within reach of even modest budgets. This is not a cheap re-branded headset. Clearly, Sony put a lot of thought into this, and it is something you need to get your hands on.
As mentioned earlier, Playstation Wireless Stereo Headset is a quality headset. There are a number of technical features that would get even the most demanding gamer excited. This set comes with a bluetooth transmitter that quickly and easily pairs with the headset. Simply plug the headset into the Playstation 3 with the controller power cable, and a few button presses later, you are ready to go. This is one of the easiest headset setups I’ve experienced. Most headset requires a number of cables and hook-ups. This headset only requires the USB transmitter, just plug it in, and you are ready to go.
The set also has an on-screen status bar that is displayed when used with a Playstation 3. With just the touch of a button, you will see everything from volume to mic status right on the screen. This is a great feature for a wireless set since everything is displayed in front of you without having to keep your eyes off your game. The headset has a nice range of use, but it’s nothing you wouldn’t expect from other similar Bluetooth devices. As long as you are in the same room as the Playstation 3, you won’t have any signal or clarity issues. This set also features the ability to produce a virtual 7.1 surround sound, which sounds great. Especially when you consider the entry price of $100 dollars, you would have to struggle to find a more feature-rich headset.
Aesthetically the Playstation Wireless Stereo Headset looks great and matches the new slim Playstation 3 quite well. It features a matte black finish over most of the headset with the exception of a metal head band. The set is a little boxy in appearance, but it is still visually appealing. The mic boom retracts into the headset, which is nice, but it feels flimsy. Aside from the feel of the mic, it is not adjustable. Most headsets allow you to move the mic where you want it, but this sets mic is fixed. There is also a light at the end of the mic which lets you know the set is connected. It is good to know that information but a status light is better left to the USB transmitter than the mic next to your face.
The button layout, on the headset itself, is hidden and only has buttons for the most basic of functions. There is a main volume slider, chat volume slider, on-and-off / mute mic button and a virtual 7.1 surround sound enable button. The buttons are hidden so well that most people would have trouble finding them, which is the one of the downfalls to this set. It would have been nice to have a clearly defined button scheme for quick reference, but that isn’t anything that couldn’t be remedied with some time with the headset.
The set itself is very comfortable and fit nicely around the ear. This set is fairly rigid, so there aren’t as many comfort options as you would find on other headsets. The band adjusts in and out and there is some vertical tilt in the cups, but that is it. The set features a faux-leather finish, but it can not be changed with a different pad. It would have been nice to have an option between cloth and leather but for the price point it is understandable. You may find yourself making fine adjustments to the set while wearing it, but it shouldn’t prevent you from having a positive experience.
The sound quality for this set is good. It isn’t as good as a high end headset, but it does the job nicely. The bass response is solid, but the highs tended to get a little too high. Unfortunately, there is no way to adjust the levels on this set so whatever you get out of the box is what you’ll always get. The virtual surround is a little disappointing since it is difficult to determine sound direction when the 7.1 surround is active. If you want the ability to hear footsteps and tell where they are coming from, this set isn’t for you.
Overall this is a quality headset that will suit the needs of most gamers. The set is a nice addition to the Playstation family, and it has some great features for such an inexpensive set. Especially when you look at how easy this set is to set up, and how easily it integrates to the Playstation 3, this set is worth taking a look at. Unfortunately, this set can’t compete with the high end wireless sets as far as performance, so this is really something for the average gamer. I would recommend this set for any gamer looking for a hassle-free, inexpensive wireless set.
This review is based on the retail version of the Playstation Wireless Stereo Headset by Sony