While gamers often tend to prefer headphones made by audio specialists, “official” models are making a comeback at the start of 2021.
In our last selection of headsets for gamers, we presented five different models, with multiple accessories. This time, it’s time for the “official” models of Xbox and PlayStation, and a little novelty on the Epos side.
Epos H3 – premium at a premium price
Corded headsets are no longer very fashionable. While consumers often prefer Bluetooth models to them, wired models retain some nice advantages: unlike Bluetooth models, they do not need to be recharged, have a much longer life expectancy and can easily switch from one machine to another. . For this reason, they still find their audience today. Epos understood this well and delivered with its H3 one of the best corded models that we have been able to test in recent months.
While its minimalist design won’t appeal to everyone, its sound quality undoubtedly makes it one of the best headphones out there. It’s quite simple, the H3 does as well if not better than helmets sold for 100 or 200 € more. The sound is crystalline, extremely faithful, the treble and bass are perfectly balanced, the spatialization is excellent. In short, it’s practically flawless. And this is very probably the best asset of this “premium” helmet which is offered to us at a very competitive price, since it is sold for € 119 “only”.
Epos has put in place the means to deliver an accessory that adapts to all media. You can use it with your PC, PS4 / PS5, Xbox / Series or Switch without difficulty. The H3 even supports 3D audio engines and binaural on next-gen consoles.
In use, the helmet is also extremely comfortable with its thick pads, its headband which considerably reduces the pressure on the head and its excellent sound insulation. No feeling of “tightening” after several hours of play, we feel that the engineers who designed this helmet spent a lot of time in it. Another advantage of the H3: its side wheel, very practical for adjusting the sound level quickly. Strangely, impossible to cut it completely. You will have to go through the system settings to do this, if you wish. In use, the H3 therefore seems very light and is also very functional. However, we blame him for a very big flaw: his microphone. It’s not a disaster, but we are far from optimal sound, the voice cruelly lacking naturalness. That being said, no need to worry, you will make yourself understood very well. The sound remains audible. The microphone just tends to attenuate the bass as much as possible.
In its price range, the H3 is an absolute must-have, especially for gamers who play on different platforms. If you have a PS4, Switch, and PC, this is probably the headset that offers the best compromise. However, it will be necessary to deal with the cable, which is not to the taste of all players.
- A premium helmet at an ultra-competitive price (119 €)
- Excellent audio quality
- Very comfortable
- The giant dial
The – :
- A wire-only model
- A design that lacks personality
- A voice that lacks serious
Xbox Wireless Headset – the ultimate Xbox experience
While there are a multitude of headsets compatible with Xbox consoles, it is not always easy to find a high-performance model that respects a “limited” budget. Because with headsets for gamers, prices tend to soar very quickly. It must also be admitted, wireless models are rather rare on Xbox. Fresh from the Microsoft factories, the new official “Xbox Wireless Headset” is quite possibly the best option currently available on the market.
First of all, because the Xbox Wireless Headset is sold at a fair price. € 99. Secondly, because although “designed for” Xbox One and Xbox Series, the headset also works via Bluetooth and can therefore be connected to a long series of devices, from tablets to PCs and smartphones. It should also be noted that it can connect to both protocols simultaneously and therefore allows you to answer a phone call while continuing to play. Convenient!
Its very sober design will not please everyone. However, the Xbox Wireless Headset is extremely comfortable, admirably well thought out with its retractable mic, and overall very pleasant to use. There are knobs on the headphones. The left dial is used to give priority to conversations or sound effects / music in the game, for example to favor dialogues in a cutscene or on the contrary the indications communicated by a teammate. The right dial is used to adjust the sound volume.
Considering the price (99 €), there is no active noise isolation, but the passive isolation is quite good. The sound quality is good, the sound spatialization excellent and for a headset in this price bracket, the Xbox Wireless Headset hits hard. The price / quality ratio is literally unbeatable. So, of course, you will find more efficient headphones, but you will generally have to opt for a much larger budget (140 to 200 €). Especially since level of autonomy, it defends itself rather well with its 15 hours of autonomy. Its USB-C port also allows it to be charged quickly. 30 mins of charge is enough to play 4 hours according to Microsoft. Pairing with the console is also surprisingly easy since it is enough to turn on the headset, activate the recognition of a Bluetooth device on the Xbox, by pressing the pairing button, and voila! Only small regrets: that the headset is not compatible with competing consoles (even if we suspected it a little) and that it cannot be connected either with a simple jack port when it has no more drums.
- An unbeatable quality / price ratio for a wireless (99 €)
- 15 hours of autonomy
- Very comfortable
- Pairing, which is child’s play
- Very pleasant to use with its giant knobs
The – :
- No jack port
- Not PS4 / PS5 / Switch compatible
Pulse 3D – immersion above all
We end this selection with the Pulse 3D, the new official PlayStation headset, which is designed for complete immersion in virtual worlds with its unique surround technology.
The Pulse 3D is above all a headset that has been designed to take advantage of the Tempest 3D technology of the PlayStation 5. But what is it exactly? Unique technology offering better sound spatialization. Understand by this that by playing, you will immediately realize where the footsteps of an approaching enemy are coming from. Pulse 3D locates each sound with surgical precision and it must be admitted, it’s rather impressive, especially since a lot of games integrate it very well. It is important to note, however, that the game must be compatible with this technology for the headset to use it. All Sony exclusions are by default, from Miles Morales to Astro’s Playroom to the new Returnal. Is it really worth the detour? Not necessarily for a game like Astro’s Playroom, but for a shooter or a title like Returnal, in which locating enemies as quickly as possible is essential, certainly.
But what about sound in general? The Pulse 3D remains an excellent audio headset. The sound is clear, very well calibrated and considering the price at which it is offered, it is certainly a very good investment if you play exclusively on PlayStation. Note, however, that nothing prevents you from using it also on a PC, with its dongle, in which case you will not however benefit from the Tempest 3D technology.
If it therefore manages to convince audio level, the feedback is a little more mixed in use. First of all, because its futuristic design will clearly not please everyone. Secondly, because its design is also difficult to convince. The Pulse 3D does not have an adjustable headband. The helmet’s silicone band adjusts the positioning of the helmet. The comfort is generally quite good, but in use, however, we would have preferred to have at least the possibility of adjusting the hoop yourself. And then of course there is the question of the controls: not necessarily very easy to reach and far from being as ergonomic as a dial, for example. No external microphone either, but the Pulse 3D microphone is nonetheless very effective in use. Its design, however, can clearly surprise. Autonomy level too, the findings are mixed. Sony announces 12 hours of autonomy on its site. In reality, we are getting closer to 10 hours, which is not bad in itself, but not great either, especially since to fully charge it, it will take a good 3 hours all the same.
While it won’t convince everyone in terms of its ergonomics, the Pulse 3D is nonetheless an excellent gaming headset, but above all the only one to take advantage of Tempest 3D technology – which in itself is already a great selling point. On some games, Pulse 3D brings a real plus, but not necessarily to all. If you play a lot of PS5 exclusives, this is definitely a great investment.
- Competitive price (€ 99.99)
- Pairing which is child’s play
- Comfortable to use
- Complete immersion, thanks to surround sound
- The excellent spatialization of sound
The – :
- The design will clearly not appeal to everyone
- Too light autonomy, too long charging time
- No adjustment possible on how to wear it
- The not very ergonomic positioning of the buttons