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Feb 14 2014
By: da1writer MVP Support 6026 posts
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[Review] Da1writer's Playstation Gold Wireless Stereo Headset

[ Edited ]
21 replies 14689 views Edited Sep 7, 2015
    

Well here we are again , a new PlayStation headset has come out , at an affordable price range for the masses. At $99 , are they worth your hard-earned cash ? I'm sure that is what you're asking yourself and I am here to help! As a person who has tasted a variety of headsets made for gamers, whether bought or borrowed from friends , I can tell the difference between a good , average, or bad headset. Each headset mind you can be approached at a different manner of perspective whether that is from someone who wants a full surround sound experience or just a very good stereo headset, not the status quo but wholly dependent on the user , this is the direction I will be proposing with this review of the PlayStation Gold Headset. Be forewarned I will be comparing this to other headsets that I have had for critiquing purposes, not too deeply so not to dilute the review itself. All focus will go on three main key areas that are the most important ; design , features , and what we all came here for - sound. So with this in mind , let's delve into the PlayStation Gold headset, with the obvious first thing you look at, the Design. 

 

 
 

Once brought home, observing the box shows that it’s quite simplistic and clean but is obviously on purpose in order to get to the point. The PlayStation Gold STEREO Headset title is plastered all over the box [as a reminder to something we will delve into later], with one side explaining what’s inside the box while the other side has their pitch in what you’ll be able to experience with the new PlayStation Gold headset as well as what PlayStation devices it’s compatible with.

 

 

 

The front shows off what will be placed over ones head shortly but the back is the most descriptive portion to look at on the box, explaining what each button on the headset does and it’s feature set (which again, we’ll go over later).

 

 



 

Sliding the sleeve off the box reveals the the actual container holding the headset inside with the top cover showing Sony’s new slogan.

 

 

Lifting up the cover shows off the first glimpse of the actual physical PlayStation Gold Headset resting in a mold, wrapped in plastic to show it’s in pristine condition for whoever buys it.

 


 

Underneath the mold holding the headset is a bunch of accessories not limited to :

A small 1 Foot Charging cable, 4 Foot 3.5mm Audio Cable, Warranty pamphlet, Quick Start Guide, Travel Pouch, and Wireless Adapter.

 


 

Pulling out the headset, just like it’s box, the overall design is simple but at the same time a big step up from the prior headsets in the PlayStation line. A pure matted Black headset lined with blue inside, which really compliments the color scheme similar to the PS4 black finish with it’s blue light bar striking across the middle. The cups make it a very unique headset already as most headsets rely on it’s adjustments of length [in order to fit your head size] from the headband. Problems arise from other headset when doing adjustments to headbands due to poor or average quality from the maker as it’s also been thoroughly voiced happening to the prior PlayStation Headsets cracking or snapping off on one side of the arm band. With the PlayStation Gold, that is a thing of the past as the Earcups are the ones that adjust up and down within the headband itself, each side has the PlayStation symbol as well btw, which is a nice added touch.

 


 

Speaking of the headband, due to there being no construction of adjusting to one’s noggin with them, they instead allow you to fold in the cups for easy travel, which is where the included Travel Bag comes into play. The hinges for folding them are a solid construction like the rest of the headset, so no worry of snapping it off unless you force it to do so. I have a son who apparently likes to lob my things around and the headset has received enough thrashing already while I was at work, yet still function well and look fine. So Durability is a plus in my book, the PlayStation Gold headset passes that test.

 


 

The PlayStation Gold’s headband has a slim profile this time around compared to the prior headsets but also has customizable faceplates which currently default with the classic Triangle, Circle, X , and square well known in the PlayStation world. They come off and on easily but when different ones come out is unknown at the moment as this just came out a few days ago.

 

 
 

PlayStation headsets so far in regards to comfort are hit and miss if that makes any sense. Normally the cups were always comfortable but the underside at the top of the headband often caused headaches due to very little padding or poor padding. They rectified this by encompassing the entire headband in a lot of plush material which is quite comfy. Mentioning the cups earlier, they are soft like I mentioned before but have the love it or hate it pleather material which causes ones ears to either sweat or get hot due to no breathability (mesh material is used on other headset makers normally to alleviate this minor issue). Otherwise the headset is very light so not to strain one’s neck from wearing for those who have long play sessions. With that said, it’s great that the PlayStation Gold headset doesn’t clamp tightly around your head like the previous headsets. Overall, a very light, comfortable, and simple design choice by Sony, it has been done so well this time around that these could very well pass as a normal looking headphone if you so choose to use this around town. Now I know, I’m sure everyone is curious about the buttons and ports on the headset that I’ve glossed over so far, so let’s talk about the features of the PlayStation Gold Headset.

 
 

To keep with Sony’s simple approach of the headset, every port and button is placed on one ear cup, the left one, in order to avoid some confusion unlike some headsets where buttons and ports are all over both cups - so Good on Sony for that as the Elites often were confusing at times. In regards to ports, the charging port is the same type used on the DualShock 4, so if you want a longer cord compared to the very short one they included, you can use the DS4 cord. Doing this results in being able to charge and play (you can also purchase longer usb cords if you want further distance of course) but I’m sure with such a short cord they included, Sony expected for those who buy the PS Gold Headset to charge them overnight (battery life is about 6 - 8 hours).

  

Now beside that port is the headphone jack for hooking up the headset across different devices passively unlike the jack found in the Dongle of the PS Pulse Elites (this does result in the Gold’s dongle to stick out the usb port of the PS3/PS4 much less than the Elites btw). Some may find that a bit of an odd change as it results in removing the function of being able to make any device wireless through the dongle of the Elites but convenience played a role here, these PlayStation Gold headsets can now be practically hooked up to anything as a normal wired headset (even to a Astro Mixamp to slyly gain Dolby Surround sound).

 

  
 

Now on the right of the charging port is the Mute button that also is your sidetone feature that allows you to hear yourself when you speak through the mic. Holding the Mute button down for a few seconds will alert you with a beep - one time for low, doing it again for high, and one last time to turn off the feature, you can cycle through the three effortlessly. The volume rocker is right above the mute button as well as the VSS - which we will get to in the Sound portion of the review but in layman's terms it’s Sony version of Virtual Surround Sound - Holding it toggles it on or off. The headset also adds a feature to the PS4/PS3 once you do this as a little notification at the top right corner of the screen will tell you if you turned the VSS off or on, as well as if you muted the mic or changed the volume. Quite handy of Sony to give you a slight visual in what you’re are doing in regards to the headset settings but their other headsets did the same job, glad they continue to roll that feature across platforms and their headsets.

 

 

The other side of the cups houses a rocker that allows you to determine how much chat or how much of the game audio you want to hear. You can’t control them independently but if you want to hear your buddies while doing party chat or what not more clearly, you are given the option to raise the chat volume which in turn lowers the game audio level automatically and vice versa if you want to focus on your game but want to slightly hear what your buddies are talking about. The final item on the headset resorts to the most interesting part of the headset - the on and off switch.

 

 

What’s so special about the switch. Well after placing it to 1 or on, right above that is a 2 setting. At first, it’s merely a bass boost, but once you install the Official PlayStation Headset Companion app on your PS3 or PS4, the headset turns into a different experience due to presets by developers of your favorite games unlike other headsets. User defined settings and preset profiles are available when using the app but the selling point is to see what game developers choose to have the headset sound to exponentially benefit the owner of the headset in a uniquely tailored audio experience.

   

Which now rolls us into the last portion of this review, the one I’m sure all have been waiting for - the Sound.

 

 

As stated by what is stamped all over the box, these are a STEREO headset and what a great sounding one at that! I’ve tested these wired with my Vita and Samsung Galaxy S4 (but can be plugged into practically any device with a 3.5mm port, like I’m doing on my PC currently) and what a difference it makes when the stereo mix is done well and outputted through a headset like these. Everything is balanced well in a way for pure enjoyment and for the $99 price point, it can’t be beat in my opinion. The highs are well rounded, Mids/treble are crisp (and definable with the PlayStation Headset Companion app), and the Bass can be quite impactful at times (with the bass boosted especially on the PS3/PS4), no matter if wired or wireless it sounded great. These also have excellent range regarding the prime wireless aspect of the PlayStation Gold headset, I was quite impressed that I could walk all around my house and not a single distortion or drop of the signal ever happened (of course that depends on how large your house is).

 

If you are purchasing this in order to have better voice chat and were using the included earbud before hand, this a step up in sound quality, especially since these are wireless. While the mic may be hidden and somewhat small, Mic quality is much better than the PS4 earbud. Sadly, there are other headsets out there with much more clear and precise voice quality, especially since I was told I sounded like I was speaking from a distance with the PlayStation Gold headset (some even mentioned there’s a bit of a crackle and cuts in and out from time to time). Other PlayStation Gold headsets may not have this problem but once you get the Headset Companion app, a firmware update will be installed into the headset before being able to use the app, which I found to fix my mic issue somewhat.

 

  

While we have talked about the Excellent sound quality in regards to the stereo aspect of the headset (for $99, you can’t beat that!), how is the surround? Well, dependant on how Sony angled the speakers, improved the VSS quality, or has something to do with AMD and Sony making the audio chip together this time around, the surround is much better than the previous PlayStation headsets. While the Elites were somewhat difficult to tell if the VSS was on or not, you can now tell it has been improved on the PlayStation Gold Headset as you can pinpoint where sound is coming from at different angles like surround sound is suppose to be. This should be a good thing but the soundstage and distance is almost non-existent as everything sounds extremely close to one’s ear.

 

 

I fully understand why Sony keeps choosing to use their proprietary surround sound tech, the VSS, as it saves them licensing fees with regards to it’s competition (Dolby, DTS) but it’s just not up to snuff of what an optical output can only provide (or the Dolby encoding that is using the optical output). Most headset manufactures use Dolby Surround sound, which has been proven to sound excellent if the headset is at least of good quality. Dolby provides by default an open and spacious surround field that only DTS’s recent efforts could only dream of. While profiles made by game developers and tweaks made by the user from the PlayStation Headset Companion app does improve ones audio enjoyment, it doesn’t really improve the surround that much. Sony needs to either continue to try to tweak and improve their VSS tech or dump it for superior models in their next headsets. Here’s to hoping that is the case with maybe a Platinum Headset model that may come in the future.

 

 

Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the surround sound isn’t there or it’s bad, I’ve just experience headsets with a much better surround sound experience. While Surround sound is mentioned in the promo and the back of the box of the PlayStation Gold headset, no doubt about that, but Sony knows better to even categorize this as a surround sound headset - which they don’t, it is after all the PlayStation Gold Wireless STEREO headset, a keypoint in what some are actually looking for. Some don’t even care about surround but a pure stereo audio (mix unprocessed).

 

 
Conclusion

 

Which is where this headset excels at, a fantastic Stereo headset that can not be repeated enough times in this review. These are a superb value at a fraction of the cost as an entry level headset at $99. It has somewhat good mic quality, excellent stereo sound with a surround sound option that is much better than the previous PlayStation headsets, and a much improved build and slimline design - I’d say give these a try to see if you like it. If you haven’t had a headset before and are looking to buy one, I would recommend these as a great starter set into the world of gaming headsets!

 
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Treasure Hunter
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Re: [Review] Da1writer's Playstation Gold Wireless Stereo Headset

Feb 14, 2014

Heh.  Just about as long as my two-part video review (which ended up totalling twenty-eight minutes, put together), and you managed to not swear once (I did twice). Smiley Embarassed

Grindhead_Jim

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Re: [Review] Da1writer's Playstation Gold Wireless Stereo Headset

Feb 14, 2014

Very nice and in depth review. I plan on getting myself one in the very near future so that I can enjoy games like Battlefield 4 and Outlast, which I can't wait to experience seeing as how it already scares me wirthout them.

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Re: [Review] Da1writer's Playstation Gold Wireless Stereo Headset

Feb 14, 2014

RxVenomFox12 wrote:

Very nice and in depth review. I plan on getting myself one in the very near future so that I can enjoy games like Battlefield 4 and Outlast, which I can't wait to experience seeing as how it already scares me wirthout them.


Thanks, tried to be as honest and helpful as possible, I really like the headset all in all (especially with Vita). The horror preset from the PlayStation Headset Companion app works well setting the mood for Outlast and they do have a shooter preset.

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Re: [Review] Da1writer's Playstation Gold Wireless Stereo Headset

[ Edited ]
Feb 14, 2014

Just watched your part 2, and with now seeing both, our views on the headset are almost pretty much identical. ESP? Lol...

 

You're more comfortable talking via video and obviously by name I'm more comfortable writing.

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Re: [Review] Da1writer's Playstation Gold Wireless Stereo Headset

Feb 14, 2014
Wow that was long.....
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Re: [Review] Da1writer's Playstation Gold Wireless Stereo Headset

Feb 14, 2014
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Re: [Review] Da1writer's Playstation Gold Wireless Stereo Headset

Feb 14, 2014
Oh yes it was very helpful and thank you for making it!
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Re: [Review] Da1writer's Playstation Gold Wireless Stereo Headset

Feb 16, 2014

Excellent review. I agree with you completely, especially the part about Dolby Digital/DTS vs VSS. The gold wireless has better VSS compared to the Pulse Elite and Wireless Stereo Headset. Sony would have to pay a licensing fee to use it in their next gaming headphone and also they would have to get rid of the usb dongle and use the optical digital port behind the PS4 if the next gaming headset was to use Dolby/DTS. I really want sony to use Dolby Digital and DTS but I know they would want to keep the price down. Sony knows that they will sell a lot of headset at the $100-$150 price range but who knows they might surprise us with their next gaming headset. If they continue to use their own proprietary VSS then hopefully Sony gets it on par with Dolby Digital with the next gaming headset.

 

It seems that Sony is releasing a new model headset every year. I wonder if next years model will be the Plantinum wireless stereo headset.

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Lombax Warrior
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Re: [Review] Da1writer's Playstation Gold Wireless Stereo Headset

Feb 16, 2014

Excellent review. Thank you.

 

Over the past three weeks I've purchased a pair of the Pulse Elites, & yesterday, the new Sony Gold headset.

 

Played Battlefield 4 last night for about 3 hours & I must say, the new Gold Headset out shines the Elites in the sound, & comfort area. They feel lighter on the head & seem to have a fuller sound than that of the elites. Better, maybe not. Just seems richer to me.

 

I wish it was able to hold more than one pre-set at a time, but that's not really a big deal...& the battery life is way better that the Elite edition.

 

I love both sets, very pleased with my purchases. I'm loving headset gaming now as where in years past, I hated the experience.

 

Anyhoo...for moderately price point head phones,  well done in my book.

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