Sony PlayStation Gold Wireless Stereo Headset Review
When I swapped out my regular TV for a gaming monitor, the change brought with it a few unforeseen downsides. One, adjusting the volume on the monitor was a pain, as the monitor doesn’t come with a remote or volume buttons on the monitor itself. Two, the audio quality from the monitor’s built-in speakers would disappoint Meghan Trainor, as they seriously lacked bass. Worst of all, my gaming monitor doesn’t have an audio out jack, making it impossible to plug in my own speakers or headphones.
My only recourse at this point was to go with a gaming headset that directly interfaced with the console itself. After stumbling through the research process and buying a pair of Turtle Beach headphones that wouldn’t actually address any of my specific needs, I ultimately ended up with the Sony PlayStation Gold Wireless Headset. Slick in design and fairly reasonable in terms of price point, does this headset address my needs for quality sound?
One of the first things that attracted me to this headset was its slick looks. Clean lines create the silhouette for this sexy unit. It sits comfortably on my head thanks to the assortment of adjustment options and the leather padding along the inside. All of the controls sit along the outer ridges of the right speaker, which include volume, mute, virtual surround sound, sound/chat toggle and the power switch. Once you get used to it, you should be able to adjust the sound to your liking without having to take the headset off.
The wireless functionality is enabled through a USB dongle. Simply plug in the dongle to your PS3 or PS4, turn on the power and you’re good to go. Not sure what the battery life is like for other wireless gaming headsets on the market, but this one goes for about three hours per charge. You can plug it into a USB power source when the battery is low to keep playing, but you likely won’t do it with the 1-foot USB-to-micro USB cable that comes with the headset. Hopefully you have a longer one lying around, or your extended gaming session may suffer.
Though I sit at a desk when I play games, I tried walking around my house to see how far the sound would reach. I estimate that this works for about 20 feet before the sound starts to cut out. Can’t speak for everyone’s gaming situation, but that distance should be ample for most.
In terms of sound quality, these are great. The speakers handle the high and low ranges really well, providing a clean sound by default. Even at max volume, the sound stays sharp. That being said, I wish the headset had a bit more granularity in terms of volume control. The intervals in which it goes up and down are a bit too spread out in my opinion, though finding a comfortable listening level with what’s available should be fine in most cases.
If you want to use the headset on a Vita or smartphone, the headset comes with a 4-foot 3.5mm cable to connect the two. In case you were wondering, yes, Taylor Swift sounds awesome with these on your ears.
Where I think this headset falls behind some of its higher-end peers is that your control over the mix. By default, you only get bass boost and virtual surround sound as modifiers. With the downloadable app, you can activate game-specific presets, which are actually a nice touch. However, there are only about 20 games covered in the store, making the feature’s usefulness pretty limited. If you want more control over the particulars of your sound, this might not be the headset for you.
If you’re in the market for a PlayStation-specific wireless headset solution, the Gold Wireless Stereo Headset from Sony is a great option at a modest price. I’m really happy with the unit’s sound output, comfort and ease-of-use. It might be a bit light in terms of bells and whistles, but it delivers the goods where it matters most.