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Analysis Review [NXGamer] Sony Pulse 3D headset: Hardware Review

Drizzlehell

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Dec 24, 2020
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I bought them just last month and so far I'm pretty satisfied. I had some third party wireless headphones for PS4/5 before and for some reason they were always really quiet. Kinda makes you wonder if this isn't some deliberate thing by Sony to force you to buy their shit but ah well. At least they're good. Probably the most comfortable pair of headphones I ever used in my life.

If I were to complain about something it's that they don't have a lot of bass. The sound kinda lacks punch because of that sometimes.
 

TLZ

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I have it and really tried to like it but it puts a lot of pressure around my ear.
 
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Is kinda bad. Got it day one and now I only use it for company meetings , mics are good.

i don’t even use it to watch YouTube , I unplug it and use some old Sony headphones I have around 🤢
 
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SkylineRKR

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Pulse is okay for its price. I do prefer the Xbox headset for various reasons (more comfortable, better volume and mix controls) but its a good headset for PS5 in the 100 price range.
 
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Jibran#one

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It's sad Sony makes one of the best headsets and earbuds wh and wf xm4 and they are not supported on PS4 and PS5
 

MikeM

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Did you buy the Dolby Atmos app for XSX? Makes a noticeable difference for headphones.
Blake Shelton Nbc GIF by The Voice
Yeah I use it. I hate the performance spatial audio default as its far too flat. Sounded like garbage to my ears. I am running one of the other eq settings that sounds far better, but I find the spatial audio overall to be lacking.
On the PS5, I find I get to keep good spatial audio while maintaining solid audio quality. Perhaps its the benefit of having only one audio option?
 

Mr Moose

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I don't use mine any more, it was decent enough though. Isn't there an app for it now with different EQs?
 

Topher

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Yeah I use it. I hate the performance spatial audio default as its far too flat. Sounded like garbage to my ears. I am running one of the other eq settings that sounds far better, but I find the spatial audio overall to be lacking.
On the PS5, I find I get to keep good spatial audio while maintaining solid audio quality. Perhaps its the benefit of having only one audio option?

I set Dolby Atmos on "detailed" setting and it sounds pretty good. I'd say Atmos and Tempest are about on par with each other myself. Going from PS5 to XSX doesn't register a significant difference to me now that I purchased Atmos.
 

FrankWza

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I’ve tried my Sony Hear On 3s, and they’re obviously much better headset than the pulse, but 3D audio sounds like garbage with them hooked up via controller, and sounds pretty great via wireless and pulse. No idea what I’m doing wrong.
You’re not doing anything wrong. The wired connection to the controller will degrade quality compared to usb and even wireless. The headphones are using the Dualsense power and it may not be enough to properly drive them. Same with a headset as the mic combination needs to process even more info over the connection. Try to connect it wirelessly using the method Topher Topher used with his
 

MikeM

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I set Dolby Atmos on "detailed" setting and it sounds pretty good. I'd say Atmos and Tempest are about on par with each other myself. Going from PS5 to XSX doesn't register a significant difference to me now that I purchased Atmos.
I believe thats the same option I am running as well. Could be just my ears but I struggle with locating/ponpointing footsteps on Series X versus my PS5. 🤷‍♂️
 

FrankWza

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It's sad Sony makes one of the best headsets and earbuds wh and wf xm4 and they are not supported on PS4 and PS5
Not everything needs to “supported” to work. You can use pretty much any headphones on a PS5 and all you’ll be missing is system level mix and preset profiles.
 
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rofif

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When you are in the middle of a game trying to adjust tiny buttons is not my idea of quick and easy..I find myself having to take the headset off to adjust

arctis pro headsets do this much better and the xbox headset is quick and easy to adjust

as for the plastic…..feels cheap and the foam inserts crack every time I put it on my head
I don’t agree but comfort it subjective.
Arctis pro was too so small for me and the pads felt itchy
 

Arioco

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I'm using my XM4 with PS5 wirelessly using this adapter:


One of the great things about PS5 is that it has USB audio out which allows for adapters like this and opens it up for a wide array of headphone options.



Did you buy the Dolby Atmos app for XSX? Makes a noticeable difference for headphones.



Blake Shelton Nbc GIF by The Voice


And doesn't using a BT adapter introduce some lag to the sound? My TV (LG CX) doesn't allow to use game mode when using a BT device for audio, I guess that's because it could cause a mismatch between video and audio. I mean, the Wi-Fi dongle of the Pulse 3D is supposed to have less lag than any BT device, isn't it?
 

rofif

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And doesn't using a BT adapter introduce some lag to the sound? My TV (LG CX) doesn't allow to use game mode when using a BT device for audio, I guess that's because it could cause a mismatch between video and audio. I mean, the Wi-Fi dongle of the Pulse 3D is supposed to have less lag than any BT device, isn't it?
Bt is very laggy.
Dongle is wifi
 

Topher

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And doesn't using a BT adapter introduce some lag to the sound? My TV (LG CX) doesn't allow to use game mode when using a BT device for audio, I guess that's because it could cause a mismatch between video and audio. I mean, the Wi-Fi dongle of the Pulse 3D is supposed to have less lag than any BT device, isn't it?

I noticed that with my LG C1 as well which is why I went back to using the BT adapter. But no, there is no audio lag with this adapter at all. I imagine if I were using a cheaper generic BT adapter then that would be an issue.
 
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TrebleShot

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I could be wrong but using a Bluetooth dongle with games is going to make the better headphone choice redundant.

Bluetooth does not support the bandwidth for audio that a WiFi or native dongle for audio will.
So you have nice expensive headphones and feeding them a lossy signal which the WiFi dongles on the Pulse or Arctis use a lossless connection (although still not considered high fidelity audio).

As for these headsets they are very very good, compared with the Arctis 7p which I have been using extensively also they are on a par in terms of sound quality but for different reasons

Pulse 3D
- Sound noticeably brighter natively (despite EQ adjustment)
- This creates an illusion of a clearer sounding headset.
- Native integration is great for quality of life such as audio out switching and chat/game balance.
- The earcups are more stiff with limited breatheability.

Arctis 7P
- Sound more solid than the Pulse as in they have more of a boomy presence (better bass) but this also creates a more muddy sound scape.
- The headset is better build and more comfortable by some distance.
- Extendable mic is better but I haven’t had complaints from the pulse.
- Dongle is USB C and looks ugly
- On balance they are compatible and almost equal just in different profiles.

Pulse better sound scape and 3D effect.
Arctis better presence and more hifi sounding.

Also worth noting I could perceive more detail in the pulses and the Arctis struggling with sibilance (S sounds distorting) when I used them a few months back but recently haven’t noticed it so much, but it was much less prevalent on the Pulses.

It’s a flip of a coin for either, but Pulse would edge it by a hair.
 
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Arioco

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I noticed that with my LG C1 as well which is why I went back to using the BT adapter. But no, there is no audio lag with this adapter at all. I imagine if I were using a cheaper generic BT adapter then that would be an issue.


Thank you for your answer. 👍
 
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They are good for the price but feel really cheap, like those £9.99 headsets you get in B&M Bargains cheap. They sound way better than £90 though so the money has gone to the right stuff.

I use XM4s for everything now and they also feel cheap as hell for a pair of £250 headphones but can't argue with the sound and the noise cancelling is so good it seems to defy physics.
 
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FrankWza

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I could be wrong but using a Bluetooth dongle with games is going to make the better headphone choice redundant.

Bluetooth does not support the bandwidth for audio that a WiFi or native dongle for audio will.
So you have nice expensive headphones and feeding them a lossy signal which the WiFi dongles on the Pulse or Arctis use a lossless connection (although still not considered high fidelity audio).

As for these headsets they are very very good, compared with the Arctis 7p which I have been using extensively also they are on a par in terms of sound quality but for different reasons

Pulse 3D
- Sound noticeably brighter natively (despite EQ adjustment)
- This creates an illusion of a clearer sounding headset.
- Native integration is great for quality of life such as audio out switching and chat/game balance.
- The earcups are more stiff with limited breatheability.

Arctis 7P
- Sound more solid than the Pulse as in they have more of a boomy presence (better bass) but this also creates a more muddy sound scape.
- The headset is better build and more comfortable by some distance.
- Extendable mic is better but I haven’t had complaints from the pulse.
- Dongle is USB C and looks ugly
- On balance they are compatible and almost equal just in different profiles.

Pulse better sound scape and 3D effect.
Arctis better presence and more hifi sounding.

Also worth noting I could perceive more detail in the pulses and the Arctis struggling with sibilance (S sounds distorting) when I used them a few months back but recently haven’t noticed it so much, but it was much less prevalent on the Pulses.

It’s a flip of a coin for either, but Pulse would edge it by a hair.
Also these differences you noticed could just come down to your physical shape and the shape of one being a better fit for you. Seal and distance from the drivers are going to be different for everyone. Arctis doesn’t sound 50% better than pulse and you get native controls with pulse but the arctis will be more comfortable to most and is better built. The driver size is the same.
 
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FrankWza

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Why bother with this shit if a great and well integrated official headset is 99 usd.
The pulse doesn’t fit everyone well and it can easily be eclipsed by better equipment. The dualsense has a mic and mute button built in so taking advantage of the openness of the PlayStation audio options over usb is a nice luxury.
 

rofif

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The pulse doesn’t fit everyone well and it can easily be eclipsed by better equipment. The dualsense has a mic and mute button built in so taking advantage of the openness of the PlayStation audio options over usb is a nice luxury.
sure. nobody argues that.
But the system level integration (UI) and built in eq is nice to have.
I would choose it over any other expensive wired headphones. Just like I would not like to play with wired controller again
 

FrankWza

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sure. nobody argues that.
But the system level integration (UI) and built in eq is nice to have.
I would choose it over any other expensive wired headphones. Just like I would not like to play with wired controller again
You don’t get better performance from a wired controller to the extent that you will get with wired headphones over wireless or better quality wireless headphones over pulse. I think the pulse and the xbox wireless headsets are both great for their price point and they offer convenience and in the xbox case you can connect a Bluetooth device and listen while playing. But there are better headsets/setups that are just as convenient if you’re willing to spend more. Even the platinum ps headset sounds better than the pulse and you get the same on board controls and native support. It just doesn’t have as good of a mic as the pulse.
 

rofif

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You don’t get better performance from a wired controller to the extent that you will get with wired headphones over wireless or better quality wireless headphones over pulse. I think the pulse and the xbox wireless headsets are both great for their price point and they offer convenience and in the xbox case you can connect a Bluetooth device and listen while playing. But there are better headsets/setups that are just as convenient if you’re willing to spend more. Even the platinum ps headset sounds better than the pulse and you get the same on board controls and native support. It just doesn’t have as good of a mic as the pulse.
I am starting to doubt how much "downgrade" there is with wireless headphones compared to wired. I've had dacs, good wired headphones from "audiophille category" and to be honest... if there is a downgrade, I cannot hear it.
There is no lag, no hiss, no white noise, no stutter and the audio sounds great. Probably if you put it next to 5k usd planar megnetic headphones, it will be worse but sending a few mbits of audio over wifi and then uncompressing it on headphones does not have to sound any worse than doing it in the pc and sending analog signal over wire.
It's all really the same thing - just happening in different places.

I know it used to be worse (wireless) but it's the same with wireless mice. Their lag/performance is no longer a concern like it was few years before.
 
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rofif

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Because I tried Pulse and my XM4's sound a hell of a lot better. Besides, I already have the XM4s. I'd rather pay $40 for an adapter than pay $100 for another headset.
I've tried xm4. These are very good.
You overlook one thing - xm4 are meant to be used on the bus or outside.
So the bass is tuned for noisy environment (so a lot of bass) and the pads are sealing to help with noise isolation.
The comfort is doubtful gaming for hours. There is reason pulse 3d almost feel like open headphones with almost 0 isoation.
And xm4 is x3 more expensive here :p
 

FrankWza

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I am starting to doubt how much "downgrade" there is with wireless headphones compared to wired. I've had dacs, good wired headphones from "audiophille category" and to be honest... if there is a downgrade, I cannot hear it.
There is no lag, no hiss, no white noise, no stutter and the audio sounds great. Probably if you put it next to 5k usd planar megnetic headphones, it will be worse but sending a few mbits of audio over wifi and then uncompressing it on headphones does not have to sound any worse than doing it in the pc and sending analog signal over wire.
It's all really the same thing - just happening in different places.

I know it used to be worse (wireless) but it's the same with wireless mice. Their lag/performance is no longer a concern like it was few years before.
I think that’s true with headphones but sometimes with headsets the mic might cause an issue and there’s definitely more data to be processed. It’s even an issue on PS5 over USB. There’s not enough power coming out and the sound isn’t as full unless you split the mic portion to a second USB port. Even then you’re still better off using a spdif to an external amp. Basically everything got all screwed up when they removed optical from the new systems. The Penrose have pretty good power and full sound for a wireless headset.
pulse 3d almost feel like open headphones
This is true. Some people do prefer that really closed feel or need them to not disturb others. I don’t personally like closed for the most part.
 

Topher

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I've tried xm4. These are very good.
You overlook one thing - xm4 are meant to be used on the bus or outside.
So the bass is tuned for noisy environment (so a lot of bass) and the pads are sealing to help with noise isolation.
The comfort is doubtful gaming for hours. There is reason pulse 3d almost feel like open headphones with almost 0 isoation.
And xm4 is x3 more expensive here :p

Well yeah, but now we are really talking about personal preferences. I love noise isolation in headphones. For me, regardless of what XM4s are intended for, they sound better than just about anything else.

And I gotta disagree on comfort. These things are extremely comfortable.
 
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BreakOut

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I love this headset. I’ve had nothing but a great experience with it. Fits perfectly on my head, I have a friend who says it hurts his ears but it doesn’t for me. The sound is incredibly clear especially considering you can adjust between party and game focus. I find just using that slider even if you’re not in a party can really fine-tune things. With the 3D audio settings. It is a game changer for me, I never cared much for sound until I got this. Ghost of Tsushima is fucking amazing with it on.
That being said I’m a big fan of the 3-D audio through TV speakers too, I use that usually because I need to be able to hear what’s around me when I’m at home. But anytime I have a chance to use my headset you can bet I put it on.
 

NeonGhost

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Have had gold and the platinum headsets from Sony both of them failed will never buy their gaming headsets again
 

ToTTenTranz

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I think that is going to depend on the BT adapter. iOS latency was only 38 ms. Android was 60 ms. There is no noticeable lag in my XM4s.

I believe Android and iOS inject some latency in the video image to make up for the bluetooth audio latency. In some cases Rtings detect negative latency (i.e. the audio actually appears before the matching video) on smartphones, when the headphones' latency is too short.
 
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Urban

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The sound is good but they feel cheap. But I’ll guess that’s what you get for that price ?
 

TrebleShot

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I will repeat this again.

Any bluetooth headset will not be as good sound quality wise as a native headset using a 2.4GHz signal to pass audio from the console to the headset.

Bluetooth is a lossy format, so the XM4 with a bluetooth dongle will cap out sound quality wise when matched with the pulses or any other 2.4ghz band headset.

So even though the build quality is better, the sound profile may be better you will be feeding them with a vastly inferior sound signal.

You would be better off using a 3.5mm adaptor with the XM4 plugged into your controller as that does use 2.4ghz signal to connect to the PS5 natively which also sends audio.
 
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Topher

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I will repeat this again.

Any bluetooth headset will not be as good sound quality wise as a native headset using a 2.4GHz signal to pass audio from the console to the headset.

Bluetooth is a lossy format, so the XM4 with a bluetooth dongle will cap out sound quality wise when matched with the pulses or any other 2.4ghz band headset.

So even though the build quality is better, the sound profile may be better you will be feeding them with a vastly inferior sound signal.

You would be better off using a 3.5mm adaptor with the XM4 plugged into your controller as that does use 2.4ghz signal to connect to the PS5 natively which also sends audio.

Sorry, but that just does not reflect my experience using the BT adapter and XM4s on PS5. The XM4s sound MUCH better across BT than using the 3.5mm jack. It isn't even close.
 

phil_t98

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I have a series x and the Xbox atmos headphones which also support Microsoft’s 3d sound, I have yet to get a ps5 and will do down the road. How do these headphones compare to the Xbox ones? Similar? Better?
 

SSfox

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Can you charge it with ps5 charge station?
 

TheShocker

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I have a series x and the Xbox atmos headphones which also support Microsoft’s 3d sound, I have yet to get a ps5 and will do down the road. How do these headphones compare to the Xbox ones? Similar? Better?
I have both the Pulse 3D and the Xbox wireless headset with an Atmos profile. I think both deliver quality 3D audio especially at a $100 price point. The Xbox headset is bass heavy, which I personally don’t mind. Both offer customizable equalizers.
 
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