After years of feverish anticipation, the next generation of game consoles has
arrived. Yet with both Sony and Microsoft’s shiny new boxes consoles and peripherals becoming increasingly hard to find in the midst of a global pandemic, third-party accessory manufacturers are reaping the benefits. Enter the US-based Lucidsound.
As you’d probably expect from the name, this is a company that specialises in audio tech, and hey presto - it’s just launched its first budget next-gen headset. Compatible with either PS4, PS5 and PC, or Xbox consoles and PC (depending on which model you choose) the LS15P/X is solid, if unremarkable. We’ve been using the PlayStation version for the last two weeks, and it offers decent, if not amazing audio, a generous feature set and a respectable battery life… but does it do enough to justify costing more than a next-gen game?
Keep on reading for our full review...
Design - Score 83
First impressions of this wireless next gen offering are fairly positive. Sporting a lightweight feel and incredibly soft leatherette memory foam covered earpads, the LS15 cements itself as one of the most comfortable headsets we’ve ever worn.
Sporting a slick but fairly generic-looking design, these black wireless headphones are unassuming enough that you could actually use them at the office or out and about with your laptop. With Sony’s own official (and very sold out) offering – the
– oozing a weird aesthetic that screams ‘gam3r t0y’, it’s nice to have a console headset that you wouldn’t be embarrassed to wear outdoors.
one of the most comfortable headsets we’ve ever worn
In another cool design touch, both the headsets’ audio and chat volume can be adjusted by rotating two giant wheels built into the cans themselves. It’s an elegant design consideration that feels intuitive and original, and if we’re honest, turning those circular rims just feels
. The only downside to these disc-based volume controls, however, is that on the PS5 the chat volume adjuster isn’t currently supported.
Considering how vital balancing in-game audio and chat audio is to the overall gaming experience, this is a pretty major flaw. While this could well be a
issue, it still felt frustrating to have to go into the console settings and adjust this during our chat sessions. Interestingly though, when using the LS15P while gaming on a PC, this problem disappears - as the right rim adjusts the chat volume without a hitch.
The buttons are easy enough to access and thanks to its light 270-gram weight, the LS15P sits steadily on even the largest of heads.
Technical Performance - Score 77
As we mentioned, thanks to its unassuming design, this is the rare headset you probably won't be embarrassed to wear outside. Yet unfortunately, without the wireless virtual surround sound audio you probably won’t want to.
When playing at home with the 2.4GHZ USB wireless dongle, you'll get access to the full gamut of virtual surround sound, yet when walking about with the 3.5mm audio connection, you no longer get this audio enhancing benefit - and the sound is noticeably flatter as a result.
impresses more with its battery life
Thankfully, Lucidsound’s latest impresses more with its battery life. During my time with it, I regularly went several days without charge, with the LS15P averaging around 16 hours of battery life. One frustrating quirk of the headset, however, was that the PS5 automatically defaults to outputting sound to the LS15P.
This means that even once you switch off the headset, audio still comes through the LS15, leaving you having to boot up the PS5’s quick start menu and swap the sound output manually. This is a minor gripe, sure, but when you’re spending a hundred quid on a headset, you really expect it to make life as easy for you as possible.
The wireless, however, works flawlessly. While Turtle Beach’s current and last-gen headsets connect directly to consoles, the LS’ marginally cheaper offering will need a dongle to work with either device. Thankfully then, the dongle’s connection is fairly strong, with the LS15’s wireless signal staying uninterrupted throughout our testing period– even in a household with multiple devices clogging up the airwaves.
Audio - Score 70
As well as these aforementioned giant volume nobs, the LS15P features two other crucial buttons: an EQ setting and the power button. Unlike most other gaming headsets, Lucidsound’s latest offers three different EQ presets: ‘standard’, ‘Signature sound’ and ‘Bass Boost’.
Somewhat unsurprisingly, Lucid’s Signature sound preset reigns supreme here, offering a decent amount of low end without muddying the highs. Yet even here, the audio you’re getting is decent, but far worse than a £50 pair of regular in-ears. Listening to music or in-game audio, the LS15P does a solid job, but lacks the kind of aural wow factor you get with similarly priced Turtle Beach or HyperX gaming headsets.
When it comes to outputting sound though, the LS15P is a winner. Curiously, the LS15 comes with not one, but two mics. Boasting both a detachable wired boom mic and inbuilt wireless mic, you can either use a wireless mic to take calls on the go or the tried and tested boom mic while gaming. The detachable mic is unsurprisingly the superior option here and delivered dependably crisp and clear voice chat every time. In both party and gamechat on PS5 and PC, the mic did a commendable job of amplifying my inane chatter without picking up much ambient noise.
the mic did a commendable job of amplifying my inane chatter
While the LS15comes in both Xbox Series X/S and PS5 variations, the only differences between the two are in how they interact with said consoles. The components, design and build quality remains otherwise the same, so while we’ve been using the PS5 version for the last two weeks, this review will serve as a good assessment of the Xbox Series version, too.
Yet it’s worth taking into account the PS5’s audio ace in the hole – its 3D audio software. The PlayStation 5’s 3D audio does improve the PS15’s audio noticeably, with the headset’s sound quality noticeably worsening when listening to music through the 3.5mm jack. This will be lacking on the Xbox Series version, which instead relies on the slightly less impressive Windows Sonic.
- Unassuming design and some inspired volume adjusters
- Surprisingly good boom mic
- Offers both wireless and wired options
- Disappointing audio quality
- A bit of a jack of all trades
- Too expensive for what it offers
Overall, Lucidsound’s first next-gen headset is a comfy and dependable headset that lacks in wow factor. Solid mic and nice design touches aside, the headset’s distinctly ‘OK’ audio makes it hard to recommend over its similarly priced Turtlebeach and Hyperspace X rivals.
At just shy of a hundred quid, we’d expect slightly better audio from a gaming-centric headset. If, however, you are looking for a solid all-rounder that you can use to take calls with while out and about, the LS15P may just suit your needs.