The Sony PULSE 3D Wireless Headset is a gaming headset designed primarily for PS5 consoles. It delivers low wireless audio latency on all compatible systems and is fully compatible with PC as well as PS4 and PS5 consoles, whether you're using its wireless USB receiver or the included 1/8" TRRS cable. It's also fully compatible with Xbox One and Xbox Series X consoles when using the 1/8" TRRS cable. The Tempest 3D Audio feature compatibility is a unique selling point and is advertised as being able to generate a more immersive listening experience, though it's only available on a couple of games. Unfortunately, the headset isn't very comfortable and while it has EQ presets and a graphic EQ, this feature is only available on PS5s. Still, if you're looking for a distinctively-styled wireless headset with a spatial audio feature to match your PS5 console, it's a solid option.
Note: We don't currently test for the quality and performance of virtual surround audio like the PS5's Tempest 3D Audio feature due to the limitations of our current test bench.
The Sony PULSE 3D Headset is okay for neutral sound. Its sound profile is lacking a bit of low bass, which may flatten the thump and rumble of sound effects in action-heavy games, but its well-balanced mid-range yields clear and present dialogue as well as vocals and lead instruments in music. Unfortunately, its uneven treble-range can give a slightly dull, veiled quality to some notes. While it has a graphic EQ and presets, these features are only available on the PS5. It also has virtual 3D audio, but this is only available in some games.
The Sony PULSE 3D Headset is bad for commuting, though it isn't designed for this purpose. It lets in a lot of ambient noise, especially the low rumble of bus and plane engines and the chatter of other commuters. It also isn't very portable or comfortable. That said, it should have enough battery life to get you through long trips. While it isn't Bluetooth-compatible, you can listen to audio and use its mic by plugging the included 1/8" TRRS cable into your phone.
The Sony PULSE 3D Headset is middling for sports and fitness, though this isn't its intended use. While it's relatively lightweight, it's also quite bulky and doesn't have an especially stable fit. You need to use its included 1/8" TRRS cable to use it with your phone, which can get snagged on something while you're on the move, and pull it from your ears.
The Sony PULSE 3D Headset is inadequate for office use, though it isn't meant for this use case. It does an awful job of blocking out the chatter of coworkers and isn't very comfortable. It also can't connect to your computer over Bluetooth, so it doesn't support handy features like multi-device pairing. Thankfully, it doesn't leak very much audio and has enough battery life to easily get you through a day at work as well as the commute back home.
The Sony PULSE 3D Headset is adequate for wireless gaming. Using its wireless USB receiver, it transmits audio without too much disruptive audio latency on PCs and PlayStation consoles. If you're gaming on PS5, you can also access EQ presets as well as a 5-band graphic EQ to help you adjust the headset's sound to your liking. Unfortunately, its integrated microphone can make your voice sound a little muffled, and it may struggle to isolate speech from loud background noise.
The Sony PULSE 3D Headset is decent for wired gaming. It comes with a 1/8" TRRS cable that allows for full audio and microphone compatibility with PlayStation as well as Xbox consoles and PCs. However, people on the other end of the line may hear your voice as being very quiet while using it on a wired connection with PCs. It can also be a little uncomfortable to wear for extended periods.
The Sony PULSE 3D Headset is sub-par for making phone calls, though it isn't really meant for this kind of use. It blocks out very little background noise, which can be very disruptive during a call. The integrated microphone makes your voice sound relatively natural, but also a little veiled, and it struggles to isolate your voice from even moderately loud ambient noise.
The Sony PULSE 3D are unique-looking headphones. They're heavily inspired by the Sony PS5 console, and share the same white-over-black color scheme, accented with blue indicator lights. The two-piece headband, with a white outer edge and a padded adjustable inner band, isn't entirely dissimilar to the ski-band design found in other gaming headphones like the SteelSeries Arctis 9X Wireless.
The Sony PULSE 3D are passably comfortable. The ear cups offer little in the way of adjustment and don't form a good seal against your ears, giving them a somewhat unnatural, floaty fit. Thankfully, they're relatively lightweight and don't clamp very tightly. Their adjustable headband also lets them fit on a variety of head sizes.
The Sony PULSE 3D Headset has a passable control scheme. There are dedicated controls for volume adjustment, microphone muting, and enabling talk-through, but no call or music management buttons. Unfortunately, it can also be hard to tell if your mic has been muted or not without feeling for the button. The buttons themselves hard to tell apart, which isn't helped by the fact that they're all located on the left ear cup. That said, they do mostly offer a good mix of physical and audio feedback.
The Sony PULSE 3D Headset isn't very portable. It's quite bulky overall, and it can't be folded into a more compact configuration when putting it in a bag.
The Sony PULSE 3D don't come with a case or pouch.
The Sony PULSE 3D are decently well-built. The ear cup padding is lined with faux leather while the inner headband is made of rubber. The plastic outer structure feels fairly solid, but the mounting points between the cups and headband feel slightly flimsy, as does the connection between the inner and outer bands.
The Sony PULSE 3D are reasonably stable. You can tilt your head at a steep angle without fear of the headphones falling off, even if you wear glasses, but shaking from side to side can cause them to slip off completely.
These headphones have a somewhat well-balanced but warm sound profile. Their flat, even mid-range should yield clear and present vocals and lead instruments. Unfortunately, their underemphasized low-bass range may rob some sound effects of sufficient thump and rumble. Also, their uneven treble range can veil the details of some higher notes. On the upside, if you're gaming on a PS5, once you've updated your console to the most recent firmware, you can access three EQ presets as well as a graphic EQ to help you adjust their sound to your liking.
These over-ears have satisfactory frequency response consistency. Only their treble delivery varies noticeably based on their fit, seal, and positioning.
The bass accuracy is decent. The underemphasized low-bass range can slightly dampen the thump and rumble of sound effects in your favorite action games, but their fairly well-balanced mid and high-bass range should result in sufficient warmth and body.
This headset has amazing mid accuracy. The entire range is quite flat and balanced, resulting in clear, present, and detailed vocals and lead instruments that are mostly free of harshness.
The treble accuracy of these headphones is poor. The range is wholly underemphasized, resulting in a loss of clarity for vocals and lead instruments as well as lispy and dull sibilants. That said, since their treble delivery can vary depending on their fit, seal, and positioning, your experience may vary.
The Sony PULSE 3D Headset has decent peaks and dips performance. An extended bump across the bass range generates some boominess while a slight dip in the low through mid-mids thins out vocals and lead instruments and nudges them toward the back of the mix. A bump in the high-mids and low-treble gives a harsh quality to some vocals and lead instruments. The alternating drop and rise in the mid-treble can make sibilants sound alternatively dull and piercing.
The Sony PULSE 3D have great stereo imaging performance. Their weighted group delay falls entirely beneath the audibility threshold, resulting in tight bass and transparent treble. The L/R drivers are also well-matched in regards to phase, frequency, and amplitude response, so objects like footsteps and voice should be accurately placed in the stereo image. That said, these results are only valid for our test unit, and yours may perform differently.
The Sony PULSE 3D have a middling passive soundstage, which is normal for closed-back headphones. It's a small and fairly closed-off soundstage, and sounds may be perceived as coming from inside your head rather than speakers placed around you.
The Sony PULSE 3D Headset is compatible with a 3D virtual sound feature, but only on PS5 consoles and on some PS4 games. Using this feature, you can select the effective center point between your ears, which effectively raises or lowers where the main sound comes from. It should be noted that we don't test this feature, and the score for this section is only based on the feature's presence.
The Sony PULSE 3D Headset has a decent weighted harmonic distortion performance. There aren't too many spikes aside from a peak in the low to mid-treble range at moderate volumes, which shouldn't be too noticeable overall. Audio reproduction should be mostly clean and pure.
These are the settings used to test the Sony PULSE 3D Headset. Our results are only valid in this configuration.
Note: Unfortunately, while the headset could connect to both PS4 and PS5 consoles, we were unable to manually update its firmware or check the current firmware.
These over-ears have terrible noise isolation capability. They filter out almost no ambient noise in the bass or mid ranges, so you're likely to hear both the low rumble of buses passing by an open window as well as the chatter of people in a nearby room. They do a slightly better job of blocking out high-pitched background noise, like the hum of a loud AC unit, but their performance in this regard is still mediocre.
The Sony PULSE 3D Headset has satisfactory audio leakage performance. The bulk of the escaping audio occurs in the low-treble range, giving it a somewhat thin quality. That said, it isn't too loud overall, and shouldn't be disruptive to people nearby.
This headset has an integrated microphone.
The microphone has okay recording quality. Your voice should sound fairly natural and mostly free of distortion, but also somewhat veiled and muffled. If you're looking for gaming headphones with a better recording quality, consider the SteelSeries Arctis 7P Wireless.
The noise handling performance of the microphone is unremarkable. Online teammates may struggle to understand you if you're calling from an even moderately loud or crowded environment.
The Sony PULSE 3D deliver a decent battery performance. They supply over 13 hours of continuous playback, which exceeds the advertised claim of 12 hours, but falls some way short of other wireless gaming headsets like the Corsair HS75 XB WIRELESS Gaming Headset. Thankfully, they can be used while they charge via the included USB-C cable. The included 1/8" TRRS cable allows you to use their mic and listen to audio passively.
Update 11/10/2021: The PS5 received firmware update 21.02-04.03.00.00-00.00.00.0.1 which offers EQ presets and a 5-band graphic EQ to help you adjust the headphones' sound to your liking. To access this, you need to press the 'PlayStation' logo on the controller and then click the 'Sound' tab. We have updated our review to reflect these changes.
The Sony PULSE 3D have a decent app. Once you've updated your PS5 to the latest firmware, you can access a 5-band EQ plus three EQ presets: 'Standard', 'Bass Boost', and 'Shooter'. You can see a comparison of the EQ presets here. Note that we played our calibration file through a USB connected to the console and could only get a maximum of 95dB. We also level-matched our original curve measured on our PC (tested at 100dB) to the 'Standard' preset (tested at 95dB) and you can see that graph here.
The Sony PULSE 3D Headset isn't Bluetooth-compatible.
The Sony PULSE 3D Headset has great non-Bluetooth connectivity. The included USB wireless receiver allows you to use it wirelessly with PC as well as PS4 and PS5 consoles. Audio latency is just over 60ms on both PC and PS5 systems, which shouldn't be too disruptive.
These headphones come with a 1/8" TRRS cable that allows for full microphone and audio compatibility with devices that have an AUX port. They also come with a USB-A to USB-C cable for charging.
Update 11/10/2021: These headphones have been updated to test bench 1.5. In this test bench, we now test PlayStation compatibility separately from PC compatibility. We've updated our results.
These headphones have full compatibility with PlayStation consoles, either by using their analog cable or connecting them via non-Bluetooth wireless. If you're gaming on the PS5, you can also access EQ presets and a 5-band graphic EQ to help you adjust their sound to your liking.
Update 01/25/2021: We originally reported that these headphones only received audio when you plugged their 1/8" TRRS cable into an Xbox One controller. However, they have full audio and microphone compatibility with both the Xbox One and the Xbox Series X when using this connection. We've updated this box to better reflect these results.
The Sony PULSE 3D have full audio and microphone compatibility with the Xbox One and Xbox Series X when you plug their 1/8" TRRS cable into the console's controller. However, they aren't compatible with the Xbox One or Xbox Series X when using a wired USB connection. If you're looking for a headset that supports Xbox Wireless technology, consider the Xbox Wireless Headset.
The Sony PULSE 3D Headset is only available in one color: 'White'. If someone comes across a differently equipped variant, let us know in the discussions so we can update our review.
The Sony PULSE 3D are gaming headphones compatible with PCs and PlayStation consoles. They have a sleek, distinctive look and low wireless audio latency on both PS5 consoles and PCs, not to mention a unique 3D audio feature. Unfortunately, they're quite bulky, don't offer much in the way of sound customization features, and have a mediocre integrated microphone, especially compared to the boom mic found in other gaming headsets. If you're looking for alternatives, take a look at our list of recommendations of the best PS4 gaming headsets, the best wireless gaming headsets, and the best gaming headsets.
The Sony PULSE 3D Wireless and the Xbox Wireless Headset are two gaming headphones, and depending on your usage, you may prefer one over the other. The Sony have a more neutral default sound profile, which some users may prefer, and they can be used on PC, PS4, and PS5 consoles with full compatibility using either their analog cable or USB wireless dongle. They also have low non-Bluetooth latency. You can customize their sound using their graphic EQ and presets too, but this feature is only available on updated PS5 consoles. However, the Xbox are better-built and more comfortable. While some users may find their sound profile to be very bass-heavy, you can adjust it to your liking using their companion software's graphic EQ and presets. They also have a longer-lasting battery life than the Sony. Since they're designed for the Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S, they offer full compatibility with these consoles using their USB cable or by using Xbox Wireless.
The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Wireless are more versatile than the Sony PULSE 3D Wireless. The Turtle Beach are more comfortable, better-built, have a superior microphone, and have a companion app with a graphic EQ and audio presets. They're also Bluetooth-compatible. Meanwhile, the Sony headphones have a better-balanced default sound profile and can be used on a wired connection courtesy of their included 1/8" TRRS cable. They also have lower non-Bluetooth wireless latency. You can customize their sound using their graphic EQ and presets too, but this feature is only available on updated PS5 consoles.
The SteelSeries Arctis 7P Wireless are better gaming headphones for the PS4 and PS5 than the Sony PULSE 3D Wireless. The SteelSeries are more comfortable and feel better-built. They have a better performing boom microphone, a longer-lasting continuous battery life, and support SteelSeries Engine so you can tweak their sound using this software's graphic EQ or presets. However, the Sony deliver audio more consistently. While you can also customize their sound using their graphic EQ and presets, this feature is only available on updated PS5 consoles.
The SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition Wireless are better for wireless gaming compared to the Sony PULSE 3D Wireless. The SteelSeries are comfier, more sturdily-built, and have a considerably longer battery life. They're also compatible with the SteelSeries Engine companion app, which offers a fairly broad range of configuration options. That said, the Sony deliver audio more consistently and leak a little bit less audio.
The Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless 2019 are better for wireless gaming than the Sony PULSE 3D Wireless. The Astro are far more comfortable, better-built, and have a better-balanced sound profile that's delivered more consistently. They also have a companion app with a graphic EQ, lower non-Bluetooth wireless latency, and a better overall microphone. However, the Sony can also be used on a wired connection. They also leak less audio and charge faster, though they do have slightly shorter battery life. That said, while they can access a graphic EQ and presets, this feature is only available on updated PS5 consoles.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9 Wireless are better overall headphones than the Sony PULSE 3D Wireless. The SteelSeries are more comfortable, better-built, and have a better microphone, not to mention longer battery life and a feature-rich companion app. However, unlike the Sony, they can't be used on a wired connection. The Sony also exhibit lower non-Bluetooth audio latency and deliver audio more consistently.
The HyperX Cloud Flight S are better overall headphones than the Sony PULSE 3D Wireless. The HyperX are comfier, feel sturdier, and have a superior detachable boom microphone along with much longer battery life. They're also compatible with a companion app that offers functions for control remapping and surround sound support. However, the Sony can be used on a wired connection via their included 1/8" TRRS cable and deliver audio more consistently.
The Sony PULSE 3D Wireless are more versatile gaming headphones than the Xbox Stereo Headset. The Sony have more consistent audio delivery, their sound profile is more neutral, which some users may prefer, and they have low non-Bluetooth wireless latency. However, the Xbox Stereo are more comfortable and have a better build quality. Their boom mic also offers a significantly better overall performance.