PC & Console Peripherals

PlayStation PULSE Elite Review: Powerful wireless headset for PS5 fans

In addition to Sony’s Inzone series, which has already scored with the impressive H9 (our test) and the more affordable H5 (our test), the Japanese company also offers suitable peripherals under the PlayStation brand, which are primarily designed for the PlayStation 5 console. The outdated PULSE 3D headset is finally getting a successor and it has a lot to offer, as our PlayStation PULSE Elite test proves.

Technical data

The product PULSE Elite Wireless Headset
Design Over-ear
Driver Planar magnetic drivers
Connectivity Wireless (USB dongle / Bluetooth); Wired (3.5 mm jack)
Microphone type bidirectional, with AI noise reduction
Range (wireless) Approx. 10 meters
Battery life Up to 30 hours
Charging time 2.5 hours
Weight 343 g
Compatibility PC, Mac, PlayStation 5, smartphone, tablet
Special features PlayStation Link technology; dual audio
Price € 137.99 *
€ 137.99
€ 149.99
Auf Lager
Buy now* Amazon
€ 124.95
Sofort lieferbar, Lieferzeit 1-3 Werktage
Buy now* Pollin Electronic
€ 131.00
Auf Lager, sofort versandfertig Lieferzeit 1-2 Werktage
Buy now* playox.de
€ 136.00
Lieferzeit: 1 Werktag
Buy now* Coolblue

PlayStation PULSE Elite review: design and build quality

  • attractive design
  • (Too) much plastic
  • excellent wearing comfort

Black base with white, curved details. The PlayStation PULSE Elite undoubtedly picks up on the console’s design language and is a perfect visual match for the PS5. With its thin, curved frame and thick imitation leather pads, the wireless gaming headset looks great.

Unfortunately, the workmanship can’t quite keep up. Unfortunately, we look in vain for aluminum or other metals. Plastic dominates the scene here. Although the workmanship is robust, Sony unfortunately cannot match the quality of some of its competitors in this price range.

The headset feels quite wobbly, especially during fast movements, but once you put it on you don’t notice much of this.

With a weight of 343 grams, the PULSE Elite is also quite heavy, especially considering the high proportion of plastic. Nevertheless, the wireless gaming headset scores with its excellent wearing comfort.

On the one hand, this is due to the really generous, around 2 centimeter thick and pleasantly soft imitation leather ear pads, which also provide enough space for larger ears. On the other hand, the headphones owe this to the pleasantly flexible rubberized headband, which adapts to your own head size.

PlayStation PULSE Elite
Thanks to the soft ear pads, the headset is extremely comfortable to wear

The ear cups themselves are significantly more flexible than their PULSE 3D predecessor. They can be maneuvered in all directions, which may seem a little wobbly, but significantly improves wearing comfort, especially for those who wear glasses.

Operation and practical test

  • unusual but intuitive operation
  • no companion app
  • Unfortunate placement of status LED

The PlayStation PULSE Elite Wireless headset is operated via the elements directly on the underside of the handles at ear cup level. Here we find the power button on the right-hand side at the very front, which is also used for pairing via Bluetooth.

In conjunction with the PlayStation 5 (and PS5 Slim), tapping the power/pairing button three times also opens the console’s equalizer menu, where you can customize the sound.

The buttons for increasing or decreasing the volume are located at the very back, approximately at the level of the other end of the ear cup. These are framed by a USB-C port for charging and a 3.5 mm jack connection for pairing with other devices.

It’s just a shame that a suitable jack cable is not included in the scope of delivery. However, it can even be used in analog mode when the battery is empty. Hardly any other wireless headset offers this nowadays.

Admittedly: The operating concept is a little unfamiliar at first, but with a little familiarization it works very well. At least on the PlayStation console, because the buttons don’t work when using Bluetooth. In this case, control is exclusively via the smartphone or the source.

A welcome innovation of the PlayStation PULSE Elite can be found on the left strap, where Sony has positioned an extendable microphone boom. Unlike the PULSE 3D, this can be placed in front of the mouth and should theoretically ensure better speech intelligibility.

The four contrasting PlayStation symbols – triangle, circle, X and square – on the top and bottom of the microphone boom make it easy to pull out, although the flexible boom could have been a little longer with a length of 10 cm.

It also has a mute button on the inside with an orange status LED. An unusual position, but extremely practical. Muting is also possible via the mute button on the DualSense controller.

I find the status LED on the right headband, which lights up towards the front and is therefore sometimes visible in the field of vision, somewhat unfortunate. It’s also a shame that the headset doesn’t come with a mobile app for making settings. Here you have to rely on the standard sound, especially on a smartphone.

Wireless connection via PlayStation Link and Bluetooth

  • two wireless connection options (simultaneously)
  • impressive range
  • PlayStation Link for lossless wireless sound

The PlayStation PULSE Elite Wireless Headset relies on Sony’s PlayStation Link technology. This is a specially developed wireless audio standard that is based on 2.4 GHz radio technology and therefore requires a USB dongle as a receiver.

However, PlayStation Link should be able to transmit the sound wirelessly without delay (latency) and without loss of quality (lossless). In fact, the new codec does an excellent job, but we were unable to detect any real differences to the wireless technologies of other manufacturers.

In addition, the PULSE Elite can also be paired via Bluetooth to play music on a smartphone or take phone calls, for example, while the sound comes from the PS5 during gaming. This also works excellently in practice and proves to be a practical additional feature.

PlayStation PULSE Elite
Spatial audio and AAC are available via Bluetooth

The range and connection quality of both standards are also impressive. I was able to move around the entire apartment without any sound dropouts or problems. Top!

Up to 30 hours of battery life

  • around 30 hours runtime
  • Fast Charge: 10 minutes for 2 hours of use
  • practical charging cradle included

According to the Sony website, the PlayStation PULSE Elite has a battery life of up to 30 hours. The packaging, however, claims up to 20 hours. In reality, the wireless gaming headset is more in line with the website claim, even with a dual connection via PlayStation Link and Bluetooth:

When gaming on the PS5 and listening to music from a smartphone via Spotify at the same time, the PULSE Elite lasted a whopping 31 hours. A significant increase compared to its predecessor and a really good result. Although some competitors such as the HyperX Cloud III Wireless (our test) are of course clearly ahead with 120 hours.

And if the juice does run out, the headset is fully charged again in around 2.5 hours. Thanks to Fast Charge, enough energy for two hours of use is pumped into the headphones in 10 minutes via the power cable.

Another practical feature is that the headset can be powered via USB-C via the connection directly on the headband or via the included charging holder. This is screwed into a wall or vertical surface using a screw and connected via a USB-C cable to serve as a headset holder and charge the headphones via the appropriate ports on the upper headband.

Impressive sound thanks to planar magnetic drivers

  • impressive, detailed, spatial sound
  • pleasing sound even with music
  • Bass is in the background; treble a little sharp at maximum volume

The earphones of the PlayStation PULSE Elite produce such finely nuanced sonic details that I have never heard in any other gaming headset. This begins in the PS5’s dashboard, where the headset teases out even the tiniest acoustic details, and extends to a wide variety of games.

In Rise of the Ronin (our test), I suddenly hear thunder in the distance and the rustling of grass. In Marvel’s Spider-Man 2, even the footsteps of passers-by several meters below me can be located with pinpoint accuracy as I swing through the canyons of Manhattan.

The PlayStation PULSE Elite sounds simply outstanding, which the headset owes primarily to the planar magnetic drivers and Sony’s Tempest 3D audio engine.

The former are the latest craze in the headset sector, but are normally only used in much more expensive headphones from the hi-fi segment. I won’t go into detail about how the technology works and the advantages over classic dynamic transducers. Just this much: the precision and speed of the sound transmission is impressive.

However, these advantages are not limited to gaming. Listening to music with the PULSE Elite is also a pleasure. Complex arrangements in particular benefit noticeably from the increased level of detail and bring to light details that I have never been able to perceive even in songs that I have listened to hundreds of times.

However, the sound is not free of flaws. The bass in particular is noticeably in the background, which means that explosions lack a certain oomph and corresponding music genres lack a kick.

PlayStation PULSE Elite

However, this doesn’t bother me personally, as the detailed mids and airy highs are more in the foreground here. This makes the overall sound a little cooler, but proves to be an advantage, especially in competitive shooters.

At maximum volume, however, the treble tends to be slightly exaggerated, which can lead to unpleasantly shrill sounds. However, reducing the volume by one or two levels has completely eliminated this problem.

Nevertheless, we are talking about a sound quality that is clearly superior to even some 300-euro headsets. And this applies not only for use on the PlayStation, but also on the PC. The audio quality drops noticeably when listening to music via Bluetooth. Nevertheless, I still really liked the PlayStation PULSE Elite with their unagitated, analytical sound.

Microphone quality with compromises

  • average microphone quality
  • AI noise reduction too aggressive

It’s a shame that the microphone quality can’t quite keep up. It is actually also at a good level, but Sony’s AI-supported noise suppression intervenes a little too much, which means that individual syllables or sentence endings are often swallowed up.

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Your own voice also sounds a little scratchy and a little too smooth. The voice transmission could also be a little louder. This is particularly noticeable when using the PC, but we were almost always able to understand the voice chat on the PlayStation 5 quite well – despite dogs barking in the background. For communicating with friends and other players in the chat, however, what is on offer is definitely sufficient.

PlayStation PULSE Elite review: Conclusion

For the asking price of around 150 euros, it would be difficult to find a wireless headset for gaming that sounds better than the PlayStation PULSE Elite. And not just on the PlayStation 5, but also on the PC.

The reason for this is the planar magnetic drivers, which conjure up an incredibly detailed and clear sound. Although it is not entirely flawless and tends to have slightly unattractive peaks in the highs or lacks low bass, the sound as a whole is simply overwhelming.

Another practical feature is the ability to pair the headset with two devices simultaneously via the PlayStation Link dongle and Bluetooth, allowing you to play music on your smartphone while gaming, for example.

The battery life and high wearing comfort are also pleasing. Nevertheless, the PlayStation headset also has its flaws. The choice of material with a high proportion of plastic seems unfortunate, although the workmanship is absolutely fine. However, the microphone quality in particular lags far behind most of its competitors.

If that doesn’t bother you, the PlayStation PULSE Elite Wireless Headset is a headset that shines where it really matters. The sound, which surprised me positively several times.

PlayStation PULSE Elite Test: Silver Award

PlayStation PULSE Elite

Workmanship
Comfort
Sound Quality
Recording Quality
Ausstattung
Value for money

88/100

The PlayStation PULSE Elite scores with an enormously detailed sound image, convincing battery life and high wearing comfort. However, the microphone and workmanship could be better.

€ 137.99
€ 149.99
Auf Lager
Buy now* Amazon
€ 124.95
Sofort lieferbar, Lieferzeit 1-3 Werktage
Buy now* Pollin Electronic
€ 131.00
Auf Lager, sofort versandfertig Lieferzeit 1-2 Werktage
Buy now* playox.de
€ 136.00
Lieferzeit: 1 Werktag
Buy now* Coolblue

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In addition to Sony’s Inzone series, which has already scored with the impressive H9 (our test) and the more affordable H5 (our test), the Japanese company also offers suitable peripherals under the PlayStation brand, which are primarily designed for the PlayStation 5 console. The outdated PULSE 3D headset is finally getting a successor and it has a lot to offer, as our PlayStation PULSE Elite test proves. Technical data The product PULSE Elite Wireless Headset Design Over-ear Driver Planar magnetic drivers Connectivity Wireless (USB dongle / Bluetooth); Wired (3.5 mm jack) Microphone type bidirectional, with AI noise reduction Range (wireless) … (Weiterlesen...)

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