Official PS3 Wireless Stereo Headset Review
Written by Cole Burton Monday, 19 September 2011 11:00
The latest accessory to join the PlayStation family has arrived. At an attractive price of $99.99, the Sony PS3 Wireless Stereo Headset is selling like crazy. That having been said, they sold insanely during Amazon’s $65 pre-order sale as well. It is still unknown whether that was a mistake or not, but chances are another good sale like that won’t come along for a good, long time. But do not fear. $99.99 is still a very fair price for the Sony PS3 Wireless Stereo Headset.
Right out of the box, you will see that there are very few contents to mess with. You will have the headset, its USB receiver, and a manual. One thing the package is missing that most of us expected is a USB charging cable. The headset uses an internal battery, so no need for a long cable or a million AA batteries. Even without this cable, you probably have several others to use. They come with controllers, consoles, and other accessories. They can even be bought alone for a very low price.
The setup is simple: Plug the receiver in one of the PS3’s USB slots and power the headset on, by holding the power/mic button at the top of the left side of the headset. This should be done after first charging the headset, although some or all come pre-charged. Next, you can go to System Settings>Accessory Settings and configure the headset. You can turn output to the headset only to off and on and adjust the volume of the mic. The headset itself has two types of volume controls on it. The front left has a slider for chat-game volume. You can find a spot in between the chat of team mates and the sound of the game itself. It has a middle area that holds it into place should you want the two balanced out. On the other hand, if you team is annoying you, you can listen solely to the game. Or, you can do the opposite and just chat with your friends. The other slider is on the back left, and is just for volume output in general. You can blare the audio, or have it whispering in your ears.
Also, unlike any other headset I have owned, the mic is retractable. When you want to use it, you can simply extend it outward. It will remain on even if you choose to leave it in, however. If you prefer, you can leave it in while talking to your team, but I prefer it out. To mute it, just push the power/mic mute button. It will then turn from blue to white. To unmute it, repeat the process. The only other button on the headset is one of the most important: turning on and off virtual 7.1 surround sound. All you have to do is hold the silver button at the top right of the headset. Most people, me included, leave it on virtual 7.1 most of the time.
The retractable mic does the job well, as my friends tell me my voice comes over loud and clear. This has been tested with Resistance 3 and Call of Duty: Black Ops. I am also glad to report I can hear them perfectly well through the great speakers in the earpads.
Speaking of the earpads, they are oversized, which just makes them all the comfier. They also fit just fine when wearing glasses. You will forget they’re even there. The audio that is outputted through the earpads is phenomenal. I’ve used all sorts of speakers and headsets in my gaming career. From old SD TVs, new HD TVs, Turtle Beaches, Surround Sound systems, you name it. Upgrading from the Turtle Beach PX21s most recently, I can say I’ve heard things in games I never could before. I could make out some of the disembodied voices in Dead Space better, I could hear the galloping in Red Dead: Redemption clearer, and more.
Also, the onscreen status of the headset is very handy. It can show the battery level, whether the mic is muted or not, and whether virtual 7.1 surround sound is on or not. A fun, trivial feature of the headset -- that is both handy and cool -- is what happens when you press the power/mic mute button twice. The light at the end of the retractable mic will start to blink. One red blink means the battery is low, two means medium, and three means full. It is another way to see the charge without prompting an on screen pop up.
Lastly, the headset is pretty lightweight and does feel a little cheap. But if feeling cheap can keep this amazing value below $100 I say great move Sony, great move. Besides, you won’t be massaging the headset or anything, you will be wearing it, and probably alone in your home. So, who cares about the style and feel, just put it on already!
The Sony Wireless Stereo Headset is serving me well with games and Netflix, and I am glad to have pulled the trigger on such an excellent product. Order yours today and prepare for Battlefield 3 next month, and Modern Warfare 3 after that. Not to mention the upcoming Silent Hill Collection, Uncharted 3, Metal Gear Solid HD Collection, Assassin’s Creed, and more. What are you waiting for? Immerse yourself in games in a whole new way now!