Gaming peripherals—and headsets in particular—don't have the best reputation when it comes to design. Typically they have sharp, angular lines, a bulky form factor, and enough lights to make a Christmas tree jealous. That's hardly the pinnacle of style.
Well, Lucid Sound is looking to shake up the game with its debut LS-30 Gaming Headset (MSRP $149.99). Not only does it pack the features gamers need, but it does so in a sleek package that you won't be afraid to take out on the town.
In today's market, headphone design has quickly become almost as important as sound quality. While high-end headphones are often sleek and stylish, gaming headsets have a style that's all their own—one that's definitely not to everyone's taste.
While you could simply remedy this problem by purchasing two pairs of headphones—one for gaming and one for daily use—you really shouldn't have to. At least that's how Chris Von Huben and Aaron Smith, the duo that helped found Lucid Sound, explain the concept behind the LS-30s. If you're going to drop serious cash on a headset, they reason, it should cover all aspects of your music-listening needs.
The LS-30s are still a beefy pair of over-ears with cups that completely enclose your ears in soft padding while housing the headset's impressive tech. The left earcup has a port for a removable boom mic, which is easy to detach when you've finished your latest match and need to run some errands outside of the house.
A sleek design is all well and good, but that doesn't mean much if it lacks the features gamers require. Luckily, the folks from Lucid Sound have made sure to pack the LS-30s with everything gamers need to get their game on in style.
The LS-30s are compatible with all current and last-generation consoles, your PC, and any device that takes a 3.5mm jack. But you won't have to stay tethered the entire time if you'd rather take advantage of a wireless play option through a dongle connected to your device.
While I wasn't able to get a complete sense of how the LS-30s sound—a busy trade show floor is a far cry from our quiet labs—I was surprised by how bass-rich the audio was. I spent some time playing Halo 5: Guardians, and each shot fired and melee that connected had a satisfying auditory weight to it. Combine that with a surprising amount of spatial awareness and you have a gaming headset on par with some of the best out there. It's the perfect recipe for full video game immersion.
A gaming headset just wouldn't be the same if it wasn't loaded with special features. The right and left earcups are packed with easy-to-use controls. On the right you have a control ring to handle game volume and a single button that mutes everything. On the left, a dial controls chat volume and a button can be used to mute the mic. While most consoles offer these same functions, it's no small boon to be able to tone down chat volume without diving into some sub-menu.
Lucid Sound claims that the headset has a 15-hour battery life, which should be enough to take you through a solid day of gaming. It might not be as feature-heavy as other gaming headsets, but it packs all of the necessities and does so at a reasonable price.
In a world that's filled with gaming peripherals of all kinds, finding a headset that hits all of the major features without sacrificing design can feel like a Herculean task. Lucid Sound might be a new name in the headphone game, but if my time spent with the LS-30s is anything to go by, they'll be here to stay.
Gamers will be pleased to find that the LS-30s are comfortable to wear for long periods of time, with good bass response and excellent directional sound. The mic (as well as independent chat/game volume controls) also works well, and the universal wired/wireless compatibility is fantastic.
However, when you're not gaming, the LS-30s should also serve well as an ordinary pair of headphones—especially from a design perspective. Take the mic off and the LS-30s wouldn't look out of place on the train during your daily commute.
We're optimistic about performance, but we'll have to hold off on making definitive judgements until we get them into our labs for testing—and a gaming session or two. Until then, the LS-30s—available for pre-order at Best Buy—are certainly worth keeping an eye on.
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