PS5 DualSense controller microphone array explained: Do you still need a gaming headset with PlayStation 5?

Will the PS5 DualSense controller’s built-in microphone lead to the death of the headset?

by Jason Coles

The DualSense, which is the official name for the PS5 controller, is absolutely packed with impressive technology.

Just look at the features like adaptive triggers and haptic feedback; it’s sure to be a powerful new step into the next-gen for the way we play games.

It’s not just the touch aspect of the controller that is getting a rejig, though, as there are a few other key aspects that are worth keeping in mind. For example, the controller now has a built-in microphone array…

The PS5 microphone array explained

Sony announced in a blog post that the DualSense controller “adds a built-in microphone array, which will enable players to easily chat with friends without a headset – ideal for jumping into a quick conversation.”

The PS5 controller will have a microphone built-in, then, which is pretty cool, but this does raise questions about gaming headsets going forward.

Sony did seem keen to stress social chatting as the main use of this PS5 feature, as opposed to all-out gaming commentary, but you still might be wondering if you need a headset as well.

If you can chat to your friends, family, and that random 13-year old in the USA who insists he’s met your mother, without a headset, then why would you even want to buy one?

Frugality is the name of the game at the moment, and if you’ve just splashed some cash on a new console then you’re going to want to try and save money elsewhere.

Read more: PS5 DualSense controller’s Create button explained

Another angle on the PS5 controller.

Will you need a headset with the PS5 DualSense?

In a word, yes. Assuming the PS5 controller doesn’t somehow have an earbud installed in it, you’ll need one to listen to your friends without them booming out of your TV, but that’s not all.


The chances are that while the in-built microphone might be good, it’s also likely to pick up everything going on around you, will which probably lead to the classic friend echo that we all know and love.


The only thing worse than a low-quality mic is hearing everything you say repeated back to your by yourself via someone else’s microphone.

The Roccat Khan Aimo, one example of a gaming headset!

Sony still wants you to buy a headset

Even in the blog post announcing the controller, Sony says, “if you are planning to chat for a longer period, it’s good to have that headset handy.”

This certainly suggests that the in-built microphone array is fine for a short while, but not 100% suited to actually gaming with for extended amounts of time.

You can’t expect to succeed in Call Of Duty without a decent means of communication, and that game is louder than the dress that your aunt who is really into crystals wore to your birthday last year.

There’s no way you’re going to be able to communicate with each other and still hear the game, so you’ll need to invest in a nice headset to get the best possible gaming experience. Which is good news for headsets, but maybe bad news for your wallet?

Read more: The best headsets for working from home

Jason Coles