311 of 330 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
These are really incredibly nice headphones. They have a feeling of quality that reflects their price.
I take off part of a start however for two things:
1) It's not possible to charge the headphones out of the box as a mini-USB cable is required and none is included. Grated, these are sold primarily as a PS3 peripheral and so you should be able to use the same cables you charge the regular controllers with, but as the headphones are advertised as working with Windows and Vita platforms, it is very disappointing to find that, for the price, they can't actually include the cable you need to charge them up and use them.
2) Documentation is terrible. It's a typical folded up sheet of cheap paper with tiny type that gives only a vague description of how all the controls work. Yes, this is on par for other game console accessories, but these headphones have so many controls and so many usage scenarios, that a little more in-box description would actually be useful here.
Ok, with those minor things out of the way, let's talk about what's great about these things.
Wireless. It's not standard Bluetooth unfortunately but it works well and is bi-directional. The headset DOES include a mic (something not obvious from the photos since it's built into one of the ear cups and there is no "boom" etc.
Can be used wired as well. A 3.5mm standard mini four-conductor cable (straight plug on one end, right angle on the other) is included which will plug into an iPhone or similar device and into a similar jack on the headphones. The headphones will work passively without power in this mode (in case the batteries are flat), but power is required to get the rest of the features to work (volume control, impact etc.)
There's interesting stuff going on with an iPhone in wired-mode. When you power them on, the iPhone changes to a different volume level (which seems to be remembered), and then goes back when you power them off. I'm not sure if this is the headphones or the iPhone being clever. The headphones seem to want the phone to be putting out full volume which can then be attenuated using the volume control on the headphones (and they seem to work best this way).
Note that while there is a mini-USB jack, it is only used for charging as far as I can tell (the documentation of course says nothing).
They feel good on my head. They fit reasonably tightly providing pretty good isolation from the surrounding environment, and while definitely not light, they have good balance and comfort (no goofy suspension system for the headband etc. like some). In warm environments over the course of a few hours they can get a bit sweaty though.
There are controls for everything. You have three large sliders for Volume, Bass Impact, and a fader for Sound to Voice balance (PS3 only). Slide switch for power (with a blue led on indicator) and momentary push-buttons for Mic Mute, Mode, VSS On/Off (PS3 only).
The ear-cups pivot a bit to fit your head, and the headband has a conventional pull-out size adjustment. They do not otherwise fold, rotate, etc.
The audio sounds first-rate, and even when used for music with an iPod, the Bass Impact slider lets you adjust from no effect to full cranium-thumping impacts. Will add a whole new dimension to gaming experiences (at the possible risk of your hearing and/or sanity.
They're fully closed ear cups which, again, provide pretty good isolation between the listener and the surrounding environment (in both directions). Don't expect to hear the phone, your parents/kids, the dog, or that oncoming train while wearing them. But on the other hand they probably won't be able to hear your tunes (or nuclear explosions) either.
The Mode button cycles through the following sequence, each of which is announced by a female voice: Game, Music, Movie, Shooter, Fighting, Racing. While listening to music I can't tell the difference between the different modes, so there's a chance this is also PS3 only, but of course the documentation is silent on what the MODE button does.
For wireless use, either with the PS3 or Windows, a two inch long USB dongle is included. It worked on Windows without any drivers. The dongle has a mini-plug input to allow TV audio to be fed in allowing you to listen to other (non-PS3) audio (so, TV audio out / headphone mini jack -> cable -> jack on wireless adapter which is itself plugged into the PS3 (or maybe Windows, haven't tested it).
My main Windows system has a USB Wireless Lan adapter which prevents me from using any USB audio devices (constant dropouts of audio) and these headphones are no different. On another Windows system they worked great, and the experience is wonderful.
So the overall experience is really five-stars, but the terrible documentation and the lack of a cable to charge them means I can only justify giving them four on this review.
The fact that they can be used in so many ways with so many different devices, ranging from quality music listening to full-impact enhanced skull-shaking gaming is going to make these hugely popular I think.
UPDATES: per one of the commenter's suggestions, I tested and discovered that you can use the wireless dongle as a standalone wireless transmitter to use the headphones without a computer. THIS IS VERY COOL!
As long as the wireless adapter has power, it will link to the headphones and you can plug a cable into the audio jack on the adapter and it will broadcast that to the headphones. I just plugged the adapter into a USB power outlet that's part of a wall-mount power strip, and used the included mini-plug cable to go from my iPhone to the wireless adapter, and the iPod signal from the phone was broadcast to the headphones and sounded great! The range was excellent, working 40' away through walls, etc.
So that's yet another cool way to use these anywhere you have USB power available.
BATTERY LIFE IS TERRIBLE
I'm getting approximately 4-5 hours on a charge, which means they frequently bit the dust in the middle of a gaming session. You get five loud beeps as a low battery warning, and then only a couple minutes later five beeps followed by a long beep and they flat power off and will not come back on until you plug in the mini-USB cable with power.
This isn't the end of the world on a PC, where you can easily have a cable long enough to reach from the computer to the headpnones (though now the "wireless" advantage is out the window), but with the PS3 you may have a harder time arranging for power on the couch. If you do have power to plug in you can immediately turn them on and continue using them. I think they're charging while in use, but have not confirmed that yet.
The sudden (announced) power cut out suggests the headphones have a fairly active and conservative battery management controller which is probably good for long term reliability of the batteries, but the around four hours between charges is pretty annoying.
168 of 181 people found the following review helpful
- Published on Amazon.com
Let me start off by saying if you're planning on buying these to listen to music with or not use with a PlayStation 3. Then you might want to reconsider your purchase. However, if you bought these to have the best experience with your PS3, then by all means add to your cart and buy. I'll break down what each button/slider does and my personal experience with this headset. And before anyone goes off, i'm not a Sony rep or anything. Just a fan of PlayStation. (not a fanboy)
Volume: On the backside there's a volume slider. These things can get pretty loud. When used with the PS3, and the proper settings applied, all the sound comes straight through to the headphones. Perfect for late night gaming with other people in the house, or simply gaming in silence to block out all other sound.
Mic Mute: Located on the back lower end. This is self explanatory. Toggle's your mic on/off. When the mic is toggled off, the LED on the front end turns purple. Nice little indication, even if you can't see the LED.
On/Off: Located just opposite of the Mic Mute. Simple slider to turn the headphones On/Off. I recommend having your PS3 on first. Also gives a reaffirming beep when there on, and when they connect.
Voice Chat/Game Sound: Located on the front of this earcup, oppsite the Volume slider. Sliding it down fades In-Game voice chat to the dominant sound. Sliding it up makes the game volume dominant. Very useful when trying to coordinate attacks in BF3 or Ghost Recon: FS.
BassImpact (BI): At first you may think, "That's just a gimmick. Vibrating headset? Pssh!" But let me clarify. They don't vibrate as the Dualshock 3, they Pulse. Hence the name. When I played Battlefield 3, each gunshot sent a slight pulse through the headset. This is adjustable via the slider on the rear side. I recommend keeping it pretty low, as a high setting gets a bit ridiculous. Especially when a tank is creeping up alongside and you `feel' the rumble of the tracks along the pavement. Or a helicopter hovers above and you can `feel' the thunder of its propeller's tearing the air.
Mode Select: This isn't advertised much. Located on the lower backend. Pressing the button toggle's 6 different modes that optimizes BassImpact depending on your media choice. The modes are: Game, Movie, Music, Shooter, Fighting, and Racing. I tested each one of these extensively. For Game i played Uncharted 3, Batman Arkham City, and Assassin's Creed Revelation. The 7.1 surround sound emulation is amazing. Of course it doesn't beat a real home audio system. For a $150 headset, it exceeds expectations. For Movie i watched Transformers 3. As you can imagine Michael Bay's explosions in every corner came through without flaw. And i could tell where each explosion was. For Music i listened to some Dub-step and Hip-Hop. It does well at translating the low frequencies into "Pulse's". I wouldn't recommend these for audiophile's when it comes to music. However, they fare better than your average headset. Shooter i played Battlefield 3, Ghost Recon: Future Soldier, and Modern Warfare 3. Gameplay was exceptional. Every explosion was heard exactly in relation to my soldier. Even hearing the footsteps from an enemy about to knife me has saved me numerous times. For Fighter i played Tekken Tag 2. I "felt" every blow and quick combo around my head. Turning the BI all the way was a bit too intense though. And for Racing i played Need for Speed Shift and Burnout Paradise. The roaring of every car as i passed by, or took me down was incredible. I'm not exaggerating either. Sony did a great job at Pulsing for every crash, punch, and explosion.
Virtual Surround Sound (VSS): Opposite of the Mode select. Holding this button toggles 7.1 VSS on/off. As i stated before, it won't beat a true 7.1 home audio system. But as most of those range in the thousands of dollars. A $150 headset does an excellent job and providing that sense of immersion. This is something you can't really experience through my review. You have to hear it to believe it.
That's basically it for the hardware tour. Now here's my two cents.
These headsets work with pretty much anything with a USB port or a 3.5mm headphone jack. I don't have my Xbox at the moment so i can't really say if it works with that or not. But i've read that if your TV has a USB port, you can plug the adapter in there and all the sound going through the TV will go to the headset wirelessly. If you plan on using these portably. An auxiliary cable comes bundled to use with an iPod, PS Vita, or smartphone. Note that none of the features work when the aux cable is plugged it. So using it you have standard, less than average, headphones. However, using these headsets with the adapter in your PC provides a great experience. The only thing i've been able to find out that doesn't work with the PC is the VSS. However, they still sound great listening to music and watching movies. I don't game on my PC so i can't really speculate there. Best of all it's wireless. Yup. Wherever you plug in the USB adapter makes these wireless. I no longer have my Android Tablet so i can't say if it'll work with that. However i'm going to try with my Galaxy Nexus and a USB adapter. Not an ideal setup but i'll update if it works.
Where this product really shines is when used with a PlayStation 3 system. After all, that's what it's designed for. With the BassImpact exceeding expectations, 7.1 VSS sounding incredible, the mode select enhancing the BassImpact experience, the crystal clear mic and sound fading ability, and the added on-screen information about battery, VSS, and mic mute. There really is no alternative for a PS3 gamer.
My only gripe, is comfortability. I have regular 4-6 hour gaming sessions with a variety of games. Around-the-ear they're exceptional. But the top piece, over-the-head, gives an uncomfortable pressing on the top of my head after about an hour or two. I plan on putting a memory foam pad on them, but in the meantime, I'm forced to use a washcloth. It looks a bit ridiculous but it works.
Verdict: If you've read this far I'm sure you've already made your decision. But if you just scrolled down looking for the conclusion. Scroll no further. These headphones perfect for any PS3 gamer. Even a PC gamer can find everything they need here. I don't recommend using with, say, an iPod or a PS Vita. Yes it works, but the sound quality is lackluster at best. BassImpact isn't a gimmick, and the VSS works very well. All in all i'd give these a 9/10. Losing 1 point just for the over-the-head piece being slightly uncomfortable. For $150 these are a steal. Even if you're not a hardcore gamer like myself, if you use the PS3 as your primary entertainment/gaming center. These are a must buy.
Hope this, lengthy, review helped and gave you all the info you needed.