It has to be said that there are a huge number of gaming headsets on the market. But for all the massive drivers, bass boosts, detachable mics and customisable tags in the world, the one thing that will really gather a gamers’ attention is the overall look. At least initially.
We all want to be seen to be wearing something pretty special and there is little chance of a disgustingly styled pair of cans making its way to many gamers’ heads. The offering from LucidSound should therefore be a headset many will want to check out. One glance at the glorious LS-30 universal wireless gaming option proves that.
I for one believe that the gold and white colour combination, and delightful modern styling that accompanies it, sees the LS-30 arrive on the market with aplomb. A subtle but visually delightful combo that happily blends into the background allows the LS-30 to sit pretty upon any bonce with the gold cups caressing earlobes and delivering sound without too much fuss or hassle. With a wireless connection to our beloved Xbox One’s allowing for a tangle free experience, the latest newcomer on the accessories market should at least be able to hold a light up to the big players in the market.
At least we hope so.
The headset itself works in two ways. Firstly, it can be attached via a standard 3.5mm jack to your PC or mobile phone working in passive mode and allowing you to listen to Spotify, watch Youtube videos or take in your favourite blockbusting films safe in the knowledge that you won’t be distracted by anything going on around you. The integrated mic can also be used for making and taking phone calls and I’ve found that this works very well indeed with crystal clear sound supplied to both the taker and the receiver. With the mic hidden away, it also allows for the LS-30’s to be a decent option should you wish to walk down the street, taking in your favourite tunes and making the odd call. You won’t look like an idiot doing so either. Well, no more than wearing a big set of cans allows.
The passive sound that is delivered by the LS-30’s is very good and ensures that the headset would be a more than capable alternative to your usual bearer of tunes. But pair it up to your console with the included wireless dongle and optical cable taking advantage of its full tricks and you’ll be treated to nothing short of stunning. I’ve used a fair number of headsets over the last couple of years, with big brands, small brands, wireless and fully wired options all being tested and as a relative newcomer to the gaming market, and a decent price point attached, I’ve been consistently amazed at how great the audio delivered by the LS-30’s is. It may not be to everyone’s tastes but it is loud, precise and just as good as you would expect from something a major brand would be able to drop. The 50mm speakers ensure that there is no break up in quality and all tones are heard lovingly, whilst the three different equalizer settings allow for a small degree of customisation. Chances are no matter what game you are playing, or what your own bass and treble preference is, it’ll be a more than pleasurable experience.
It is when you go deep into the headset with a gaming session that you find the easy to use controls an absolute pleasure. Game volume is controlled by simply swiveling the adjustable outer ring on the left cup, whilst a quick press of its internal body will immediately mute all game sounds. With your party or game chat volume adjustable by messing around with the ring on the right cup, and a voice mute kicking in whenever you click in the inner spot, there is no fiddling around as you search for a precise button whilst in the heat of the action. Big, solid button presses are something many gaming headsets need as standard and you’ll be hard pushed (pun intended!) to find anything easier, and quicker, to use than the LS-30’s. A small on/ off button that needs to be hit in order to pair the headset up with the wireless dongle is also well placed, but I would have preferred to see this toggle easier to find when the headset is being worn. More often than not it requires taking the headset off in order to switch it on and off – something which is a little bit of a pain.
Whilst your gaming experience will mostly become a wireless experience, if you want to chat to other gamers, or your friends in a party, you will need to attach the included 3.5mm jack to your Xbox One controller. Now, Playstation users may find that the headset is fully wireless, and if you don’t fancy chatting whilst you play, then you’ll find the same on Xbox, but many may see the jack cable as a pain. Its decent length however ensures that even when connected, it rarely becomes an issue – except for when you want to get up and walk around that is.
When you spend some time wearing the headset, there are some little details which you’ll quickly begin to appreciate. The gold headband may not come with the most padding in the world, but it’s super comfy to wear and feels lovely on my bald head. The swiveling cups as well are beautiful to not only look at, but to fit around your lobes and whilst I’d personally prefer them to be just a tiny bit bigger, they do the job and are comfortable to wear at all times. It is the detachable mic boom that I really enjoy though – at least when looking at it in an aesthetic way. All too often you’ll pick up a headset that either doesn’t run with a shiftable mic, or comes with something so solid that it’s hard to bend it out of the way of your mouth, especially when fueling on food or drink. The LS-30’s detachable boom however is so flexible it just needs to be seen to be believed. You can happily throw it up behind one of the cups whilst you grab a quick snack, or remove it completely with a quick pull, instead relying on the hidden integrated mic for your chat options. No longer will you struggle to eat, drink and play!
So far then and all looks good with the LS-30. But there are a few issues.
The main cause for concern comes about when trying to chat with those friends and family whom I frequent Xbox Live parties with. Whilst I can hear each participant crisp and clear with the cups on the LS-30 delivering near on perfect voice and game audio, the same can’t always be said for what my friends are hearing. A number of speech cutouts (which I’m guessing are the signs of a temporary drop between the headset and the wireless dongle) and the inclusion of what can only be described as ‘quacking’ in the background during my speech have led to numerous gaming sessions seeing the LS-30‘s ditched in favour of a more trustworthy companion.
Initially I thought it may be an issues with the detachable mic boom, but testing the headset with and without the longer mic attached (and using the integrated mic instead) delivered similar problems. Admittedly, they only seem to occur when the headset battery is low, but it comes about way before the audio signals that the headset gives out to signal low battery life. Obviously, these ‘duck sounds’ don’t affect me in any way, but that doesn’t come as any compensation for those on your Xbox Live friends list.
And that brings me on to another thing. The USB charging cable may only be needed when the battery on the headset gets low, but it would have been nice to be able to continue using the headset whilst it charges. The problem is the cable included comes with only 60cm of length, ensuring that charging, keeping the cans strapped to your head and gaming at the same time are near on an impossibility. Being able to plug the headset into a nearby laptop and continuing your long session would have been great but the cable length with the LS-30’s doesn’t allow for that. The battery itself will last a reasonable length of time, but should you fail to remember to charge it between sessions, or are attempting to lose track of times in long sessions with friends, you may just need a backup headset ready and waiting.
Aside from those couple of things though and the LucidSound LS-30 wireless universal gaming headset has delivered brilliant sound quality both in and out of Xbox One gaming sessions. The gold/white version looks better than the vast majority of techy looking, hardcore sets that are on the market too.
If you’re a lone gamer, or just need a new headset to deliver your mobile gaming and music offerings direct to your ears, then I can wholeheartedly recommend you check out what LucidSound bring. However, if you want to connect the headset to your Xbox One and attempt to play through gaming sessions which last many hours with multiple friends, then you may be left disappointed. The battery life itself just about holds on for anything except the very longest sessions, but the lack of charge and play options and the dodgy quacking that the mic has delivered to my online buddies may see the headset comes up short against some competitors.
Eventually your purchase may all depend on what you want from a gaming headset. Do you want a stunning design or would you prefer a solid wireless offering that causes little issue?
The choice is yours!
Related: Unboxing the LucidSound LS-30 universal gaming headset.