In just a short amount of time, the LucidSound brand has covered a lot of ground. Its early headsets managed to set a new standard in quality audio for a good price, ranging from the LS30 to the new LS20 and LS40 models. But now it’s stepped up its game with an Xbox One-compatible LS35X headset, one that wirelessly syncs with the system -- giving it a big-time feature that stands out from other models. But is it enough to justify its biggest price to date, sitting at $180?
Well, if it’s quality you’re after, I’ll say yes. While there are some slight issues with syncing up the headset at first, once you’ve got everything connected, you’ll find that the LS35X headset lives up to its name, delivering comfort and convenience in one unit and providing you with the kind of booming sound you’ve been looking to get out of your Xbox One library. It may take a little bit of adjustment if you’re using it for other devices, but if it’s gaming with the likes of Gears of War 4, Halo 5 and other titles that you’re after, this is definitely the headset for you.
As with previous models, the controls are built right into the headset itself -- and not across a bunch of buttons, either. Volume and chat controls are actually utilized via dials that are built into the headset, so you can adjust without having to mess around with other knobs. That kind of feature alone makes LucidSound a hassle-free brand, once you figure out where everything is.
You can also press in the buttons on the sides of the ears for muting your microphone or shutting off certain volume, either chat or in-game audio. It’s a convenient build, and one that’s fairly easy to use, even if you’re a newcomer to the brand.
Plus, the headset is built very sturdily, but also keeping comfort in mind. The foam-based ear cups are amongst the best in the business, fitting over your ears without putting that much pressure on them in the least. They also don’t get too hot during prolonged game sessions, as I learned with my marathon sessions of Forza Horizon 4 and Hydro Thunder Hurricane, as well as Radiant Silvergun. (Hey, I like the classics as much as the next player.) It might take a bit getting used to working with notches to find the right fit for you, but we’re talking a few seconds, tops, and then you’re set to go with where it’s at.
As for the microphone, it’s a plug-in model that actually lights up, so you can see whether or not your audio is muted. This is a convenient feature, and you can unplug it whenever it’s not in use. The headset does have a second mic if you don’t feel like using the plug-in, but it’s a little lower in quality, built more for mobile play. You’re better off using the plug-in for general, though you can try both out to see what’s right for you.
The design of the headset is sleek as well, as the headset comes in a solid black color. What’s more, its metal frame doesn’t crush against your skull like other headsets, thanks to its adjustable build. As I said, you can keep it on your head for some time without worrying about a headache -- well, unless your rival players give you one. Nothing can fix that unless you block them out, obviously.
When it comes to pairing the headset with the console, it’s a matter of pressing the pair button on the LS35X, and then on the console. It works just like a controller -- kind of. It took about three attempts for me to connect it with my Xbox One, even when I was right next to it.
However, once it connected, you’re given an indication on your console that it’s set to go, with the quality sound not missing a beat. I took on several sessions in the games above, as well as Gears of War 3, Horizon Chase Turbo (an indie favorite) and even the Atari Flashback games, and the quality of the sound didn’t fail me once. There wasn’t an accidental disconnect, either. Once I shut everything down and started it up again, the headset didn’t miss a beat getting set up.
As for that sound, you’ve got top notch musical playback, along with booming sound effects that surround you in whatever game you’re in. This is an ideal headset for hearing footsteps in first-person shooters (looking at you, Black Ops 4) or perhaps detecting something sneaking up behind you. The quality level on this headset is impressive, to say the least. It’s also nice being able to adjust chat quality with it as well, so you can continue to hear the in-game audio and your friends, should you feel the need.
There’s also an included 3.5mm cable if you want to use the LS35X on a mobile front, or as a general listening headset. The quality is still quite good, but this headset was really built specifically with Xbox One in mind. Anything else is kind of secondary. There is PC compatibility as well, though you’ll need a Wireless Adapter to get the best connection. Those can be found online fairly easy, but it might be a pain to some avid PC gamers out there.
The headset also works fine with the Switch and PlayStation 4 when it comes to game audio, via the 3.5mm, as well as with music on your mobile devices. So don’t fret if it’s not hooked up to the Xbox One all the time. (Just mostly, yeah?)
And that brings us back to the price. This is probably LucidSound’s most expensive headset to date, possibly due to the idea of reaching out specifically to elite Xbox One players. Again, it works in other places as well, so it’s not a one-and-done sort of usage. But it seems to cater to those that are more serious about their gaming. Otherwise, there’s always the LS20, which is available at a lesser price, with similar functionality.
But if it’s the top-tier performance you’re looking for, or a headset that will really deliver every ounce of oomph you’re looking to get out of the likes of Halo: The Master Chief Collection or Forza Horizon 4, there’s no question that the LS35X lives up to -- and sometimes exceeds -- the hype. Slight connectivity issues at first aside, the headset works wonders alongside your Xbox console; and it has a sleek and comfortable build that’s fit for all players after very mild adjustment. Plus its audio levels are off the chart, whether you’re blaring tunes over Spotify or kicking competitive butt in the likes of Split/Second. On top of that, it comes with a very cool carrying case, if you don’t just feel like wearing the headset around your neck.
If price is no object, this headset is well worth the money -- and will hopefully set the standard for LucidSound going forward. Which leads me to wonder...will we see specific headsets with other consoles in mind down the road? These guys would probably make a kick-ass model that utilizes the Nintendo Switch specifically.0comments
WWG’s Score: 4 out of 5.
(Disclaimer: A review unit was provided by the publisher.)