As part of the PlayStation 5's launch line-up, Sony has created a dedicated set of headphones outfitted to accentuate and enhance the PS5 experience. The Pulse 3D wireless headset is that very device, and besides having an unusual design - like the console does - it features a variety of features so you can use it as your go to headset for a lot of purposes should you wish.
As with the PS5, opening the box of this headset is a bit of an experience. It's nestled behind a variety of lumps of cardboard, and comes with several cables (one charger cable and a 3.5mm audio jack) and a wireless adaptor to slot into your console. There are also various booklets: a safety guide and a quick start guide to flick through to get you on your way, but they aren't really necessary as this headset is very simple to start up. All you need to do is charge the Pulse 3D up for a few hours, plug in the wireless adaptor, turn on the headset, and you're on your way.
In terms of its build and aesthetics, the Pulse 3D headset comes with black refined earpads made with leatherette, built into a frame of white plastic, with a black rubber headband that rests over your head. The rubber part of the headband is a standalone chunk of the full headband frame itself and can be adjusted to suit a variety of sizes, although it doesn't exactly offer the best fit compared to other headsets on the market. The frame on the other hand is sturdy and a little flexible, so you don't need to worry about breaking it at all.
On the left earpad is a variety of buttons and sliders that can be used to adjust volume and game-to-voice chat levels. There's also a mute button, a mic-monitoring slider to see how you sound to other people, a power switch, a USB-C charging port and the 3.5mm audio jack port. There's plenty of options to play around with - in fact, they almost stretch the full circumference of the headset - and quite frankly, it can be hard to know what button you are fiddling with. There is also a hidden mic in both earpads, so need to worry about a dangly bit of plastic in front of your mouth anymore.
Before we dive into the intricacies of the audio quality and connectivity options, I'd like to just quickly mention that the Pulse 3D headset really isn't all that easy on the eyes. Alike the PS5, it's a bit bold in its design choice, and while the two do reflect each other, they aren't exactly subtle or particularly pleasing to look at - in the same way that abstract art isn't exactly everyone's cup of tea.
Moving on, as you'd hope, the audio quality of the Pulse 3D headset is genuinely very good. Considering this headset markets for around £99.99, it is generally cheaper than a lot of wireless headsets out there, but it delivers crisp and clear audio that will make any game, movie or music track sound fantastic. It may struggle to compete with the likes of consumer products from say Bose, but for a gaming headset - produced largely for the PS5 - you get great quality surround sound audio tailored for the Tempest audio system, especially prevalent in games such as Astro Bot's Playroom.
The catch is that the Pulse 3D headset is quite heavy, in that its weight is distributed a little unevenly, and it doesn't make for the best-fitting headset. The leatherette on the earpads is comfortable, but the rubber headband is less so, and frequently shifts if you're moving around a lot. You can clearly tell you are wearing the device - and while that might sound silly - the best headsets never give off this feeling.
On a more positive note, the Pulse 3D isn't just a PS5 accessory. It may be tailored for the console, but it can be used on a PS4, with PSVR, and even with mobile devices should you use the 3.5mm audio jack that came in the box. Personally, I wouldn't be rushing to take this headset on the train, as visually it's a little much, but the option is there if you are courageous enough.
The battery life is also solid. The headset comes with a rechargeable battery and provided you keep it topped up every now and then, its battery life will get you through most gaming sessions. Sony claims that it can last up to 12-hours on a single charge, which isn't all that much compared to a lot of wireless headsets these days, but it's still reasonable for the most part - especially since you can top it back up in a fraction of the time.
One thing I did notice with using the Pulse 3D audio headset was that there wasn't a major noticeable difference between the 3D audio it offers in comparison to surround sound headsets. The Pulse 3D is tailored to benefit the Tempest audio system used in the PS5, but, it's not a vastly unique enough experience to suggest picking one of these up to a regular surround sound headset. Granted, the Pulse 3D is generally quite cheap for a surround sound headset, but it is by no means the best option out there.
Sure, it is neither the best looking or fitting headset on the market today. There are other options that will deliver a better experience, but that doesn't mean the Pulse 3D is a bad headset at all, because it isn't. If you are looking for a reliable and solid headset to experience the PS5 in the best possible way, the Pulse 3D will suffice. Just know, it isn't the top option.