It’s been more than a month since LucidSound sent us one of their LS30 gaming headsets for review, and in that time I have put it through it’s paces, both at home with my PC and consoles as well as while on the go with my PS Vita and mobile phone.
It’s like the Rolls-Royce of headsets!
Short Version: Though this is sold as a gaming headset, the LS30s are capable of being your daily driver for almost everything audio related “that is near your computer or home console”. The audio quality this headset offers is almost second to none. I’ve used a lot of other headsets in the past including Tritton, Turtle Beach, Logitech, & HyperX, who all offer great gaming headsets but, I have to say this it probably the best sounding one I’ve used, especially when listening to music with lots of bass. Accompanying that great sound, you get some of the best build quality in the industry. LucidSound made some high claims about this particular headset, and without a doubt they achieved them. The headset has a really nice premium look and feel to it. It’s like the Rolls-Royce of headsets. It’s not too flashy or too plain, it’s elegant.
The only ways this headset didn’t live up to “my” expectations were in it’s range, and mobile use departments. It’s not possible to use it too far away from the device it’s connected to, neither can be used while charging, and it’s not small enough for use while on the go. Add to that, the fact that when using the 3.5mm jack which is required for use with mobile devices, the audio quality takes a significant dip in quality. So really, what you get from the LS30 is headset that is exactly what the manufacture promised. A well build, amazing sounding “Gaming Headset”.
Long Version: Ok so here’s the thing, I have a little secret to tell you. I had a lot of huge expectations for this headset when I found out we were receiving one for review, expectations that were on my part a bit misguided and ill informed. You see I assumed the LS30s were capable of more things than they were, and thus it shocked me when I found out that they were not the holy grail of headsets.
Let’s start with the connectivity and range: These were the two most misguided of my assumptions when I first approached this device. For one I assumed the device connected via a bluetooth dongle, and that it would be possible to use it with a mobile device like phones and the PS Vita via bluetooth. That turned out to not be the case. The headset does use a dongle, however it is not bluetooth. This meant that while using them I was not able to connect them to mobile devices unless I used the 3.5mm jack that came included in the box, which was not a problem, however it was not the ideal way to use them when considering that most of the features that make this headset unique are not enabled when using it in this configuration. The range also suffers due to the type of wireless dongle it uses, which was not capable of keeping a quality connection further than 20-25 feet (this is a rough average). Taking into account that my room is surrounded by pretty thick concrete walls, I would like to assume that it may be capable of keeping connection over a longer range, but I was not able to put it to that test during my time reviewing it.
My method for testing the rage was pretty simple. I put on a podcast to play on iTunes ( PS: Shameless plug, “check out our podcasts“ ), and proceeded to walk to my kitchen. By the time I got to the sink (20 or so feet away) I started to hear some distortion in the audio, then it would disconnect, enable the mic, and start making a beeping sound to inform me that I was no longer connected to the dongle. One of the nice thing about it however is that as soon as i stepped back into range it would automatically reconnect (sadly iTunes breaks when it disconnects and I needed to restart it to continue listening).
About the sound quality: Within that bubble of connectivity range that the LS30 dongle offers, you are able to get some of the best sounding audio possible out the box, and further enhance it by the use of a built in one button equalizer, for adjusting treble and bass. Just to reiterate, that’s using the wireless dongle, “AND NOT THE 3.5MM JACK”. When using the headset in cable configuration it sounded plain when compared to the wireless audio which sounded clear and rich, as good as listening to audio via a high quality headset that used a cable, and if there is any difference between the two, I certainly couldn’t tell.
During my time with it, I found that the LS30’s were really well suited to listening to music. This was especially apparent to me when I started listening to songs like; Future – Low life (feat. The Weekend), and Justin Bieber – Been You. Both songs sounded richer on the LS30s, so much so that when given the choice between using my Logitech 5.1 surround sound speakers with sub or the LS30s, nine times out of ten I ended up listening to music on the LS30. As for gaming, the thing this device was designed to be used for, it’s everything you’d expect. Games sounded very atmospheric on the LS30. It shocked me a bit with some titles fooling me into believing that I was using a 7.1 headset, which had me occasionally finding the box to re-confirm to myself that I was infact using a stereo headset.
Some of the titles I tried with the LS30 include; FIFA 16, One Piece: Burning Blood, Hue (buy this game now), Tales Of Zestiria, and Final Fantasy XV: Platinum Demo. They all sounded exceptional while playing them using the LS30, especially Hue, which has some of the most beautiful music in any game to date.
Included with the headset is a detachable mic that emits a warm blue colored light when it is switched off. The mic is one of the aspects of this headset that I found most useful, due to my work with recording podcast on a weekly basis. When using this mic, you are able to hear yourself in the headset, and you can easily adjust the loudness of your voice so that you are able to monitor your vocals, and any excess sound from your surroundings while at the same time hearing whoever you’re talking to on the other side of your call. I didn’t use the headset for voice chat in game, because I don’t usually play online multiplayer type titles, and when I do, I usually keep my mic off and mute the other person, however there really shouldn’t any difference between recording a podcast over skype and voice chat in game, I’m sure of it.
The build quality and comfort: These are two things that this headset does well. The headset has a nice mix of metal & plastic with leather covered earcups. This makes for a really sturdy build that gives the LS30 its premium look. You’re probably not gonna find a better looking gaming headset on the market suited towards the more mature gamers among as of the writing of this review. It’s not too flashy, and I like it that way, because it really fits in with the minimalistic style I’ve started adopting as I go up in age.
As for comfort, the cups fully cover your ears like some leather covered marshmallows to allow for extended use, which for the most part it achieves, however when compared to the HyperX Cloud II, it’s very noticeable that the cloud II is much more comfortable during extended use, probably due to it not having the added weight that the LS30 has. That was however not an issue for me, but I thought I’d mention it for those that care a lot about the comfort over time due to weight of their headsets. for me the extra audio quality and wireless freedom was well worth the extra weight.
Concerning the Battery life and controls: They were superb. The headset we got lasted pretty much all day during use, I think I’ve only charged it a few times a week during use. On paper you get up to 15 hours of battery life, which is more than enough for me, given that most active hours in the average person’s day is about that.
During those active hours I was able to control the audio I heard via the use of the unique controls that LucidSound incorporates in their headsets. They’re pretty much hidden in the cups, but once you are aware of where they are, you’ll find them to be the most user friendly control scheme ever. There’s no need to see what you’re pressing to raise or lower the audio, because that is handled by turning some turntable styled dials on the cups, while mute is achieved by pressing down the cups. On the headset you get two controllable cups, One handles the playback audio while the other controls the mic. The only other buttons on the headset is the power and the equalizer button I mentioned above.
I think its safe to say that after using them for more than a month, the LucidSound LS30 gaming headset is currently my favourite headset to use when using my PC or gaming. LucidSound promised a great device and they delivered on that promise in spades. Though I wish it had a few more features including a smaller lighter build, and bluetooth so that I can use it wirelessly on the go, I do understand that this is version one of the LucidSound line of headset, and that the future models will possible have some of these features and more.
The LucidSound LS30 used for this review was provided by LucidSound.