Sony Pulse Elite Headphones Quick Take

PRICE $149

Detailed sound
Low latency
Good voice pickup
Long battery life
Wired option
No noise canceling
Lacks deep bass

A versatile and comfortable headset option for PlayStation owners, the Pulse Elite combines the detailed sound of planar-magnetic drivers with a high-quality microphone, which makes it great for gaming.

As much as I love playing video games on my main audio system, I recognize that, unlike music, a video game soundtrack filled with sound effects is not one that a non-gamer will enjoy. So when I dive into a Grand Theft Auto V Online session, unless I'm alone, I rely on headphones when using my PlayStation 5. And with its acquisition of Audeze, Sony's PlayStation-branded Pulse Elite headphones promise to do more than just look the part; they offer planar-magnetic driver technology that translates into a high-fidelity listening experience.

The Pulse Elite is a sealed over-ear headset featuring a short boom mic and a sci-fi aesthetic that matches the PlayStation's look. It can connect via Bluetooth and includes a dedicated PlayStation Link USB adapter with ultra-low latency and high-quality two-way audio. This latter function makes these gaming headphones more than merely futuristic-looking Bluetooth headsets. The USB receiver also works with PCs, appearing as a sound device in settings.

Unbox and Setup
Setup for each model involved a quick firmware update upon first connection to the PlayStation 5 using the USB adapter. Once complete, the console recognized each as an audio device.

You can also connect to Bluetooth devices by holding down the power button until the blue light flashes rapidly. Sony allows simultaneous connection to USB and Bluetooth, so you can play games and take phone calls simultaneously. When you connect the earbuds or headset to the PlayStation, you can adjust settings, including EQ, to fine-tune the sound.

Audeze's experience with planar-magnetic drivers comes through in the Pulse Elite's sound. When you use the USB adapter, the wireless sound is lossless (16-bit, 44.1/48kHz), so basically CD quality. CDs still sound amazing on million-dollar stereo systems, so that level of quality should be good enough for a $150 gaming headset.

Sony's choice of sound profile for these headphones is surely informed by gamers' needs, as precise imaging is prized for creating an immersive, enveloping soundscape. Add to that the crystal clarity of planar magnetics, and you will have a combo that suits video games well. It ensures you can hear the faintest sound effects and discern distance and direction. It is a highly dynamic headphone that adds impact to percussive sounds. The crisp dynamics render explosions and gunshots realistically. However, they don't play particularly deep; bass rolls off significantly below 30 Hz.

Like any closed-back headphones, bass performance will vary depending on fit and seal. I got a good seal, and the perception of tight, strong bass was consistent but this is one area where "your mileage may vary." The same qualities that recommend the Pulse Explore and Elite for gaming apply to movies: Detailed, directional sound that's crisp and punchy. Dialogue clarity is also a highlight along with detail rendition that lets you hear deep into the mix, while teasing out the tiniest of details.

Because I do not need noise reduction at home, this is one pair of headphones that can serve all my needs. Whether playing a game, listening to music, or talking on the phone, the extendable boom mic makes the Pulse Elite much better at picking up voice than any earbuds or full-sized non-gaming headphones I have tried.

The primary drawbacks of the Pulse Elite headphones are their lack of noise cancellation and limited deep-bass performance. Due to poor passive noise blocking, they are unsuitable for airplane use and are best suited for home environments.

Realistically, nobody will buy PlayStation headphones if they don't already own a PlayStation. But if you do, the Pulse Elite headset is a slick accessory that will work seamlessly with other devices. They are comfortable, attractive, and sound great with games, music, and movies. I have enjoyed using a pair of Sony WH-1000XM4 headphones for combined office and gaming duties for years, but the more affordable Pulse Elite has what it takes to earn a spot on my desk. It is easily a Top Pick.

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rosiewilsonnsjh's picture

This suggests the low-end response may not be as powerful or impactful as some gamers may prefer, especially for games with a lot of low-frequency rumble or explosions. drive mad 2

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komail's picture

I have this device and I really enjoy to use this while playing my favourite online games. It gives me more entertainment, if you have the same device and want to play online games for your excitement check now 3 Pati Blue APK Android online game.