There is no lack of gaming headsets on the market today, especially since Fortnite sparked a surge in demand. While third-party headsets are available for PlayStation systems, Sony has developed its own devices in recent generations that are simple, well-integrated with the consoles, inexpensive, and well-designed.

This trend continues with the Sony Pulse 3D Wireless Headset. The Pulse 3D, which was released alongside the PlayStation 5 but is also compatible with the PS4 before it, has the sleek contours of the new console and allows players to easily connect and chat with friends. However, as the name implies, there's a bonus in the form of 3D audio on PS5 thanks to Sony's Tempest 3D AudioTech, which enhances immersion in select games. Is this the headset that every PS5 owner should have?

Sony Pulse 3D Wireless Headset

Sleek and straightforward design

The Sony Pulse 3D Wireless Headset from Sony offers a more dynamic design than the Gold Wireless Headset for PlayStation 4. The headband is made of thin plastic that gets thinner as it links to the enormous black cans, evoking the curviness of the PlayStation 5's striking (but uncomfortable) design. The earcups are large enough to entirely encircle your ear, with soft cushioning that rubs against your skull and snaps back into shape when you remove it.

The cans are a little loose to accommodate each user's unique contours, but they do not slide up or down, nor does the headband extend or retract. Instead, a tensile rubberized band lays underneath the real headband. When you put the headset on your head, it gives you a little resistance to keep the Sony Pulse 3D in place. It's simple to find your perfect fit since it happens as soon as you put the headset on your head.

On the left earcup, you'll find the power button, volume rocker, a separate rocker for balancing game and conversation audio, a microphone mute button, and a monitor on/off button if you want to hear what your mics pick up. A USB-C charging port is located between the controls on the left headset, and a USB-C to USB-A cable is included.

The accompanying wireless USB dongle connects the Sony Pulse 3D Wireless Headset to the PlayStation 5 or PlayStation 4, and fits neatly into the front of either system. It may also be used to connect the headset to a computer or a Mac. The accompanying 3.5mm cable may be used to connect the headset to practically any device for wired use; that connector is located on the left can.

Comfort: It's loose, but it's not uncomfortable

There's no need to fidget with earcup positioning to get comfortable thanks to the tensile band: the headset automatically adjusts to fit your head size. On the downside, because you can't adjust the position of the earcups or the band to make it tighter, the headset doesn't feel as secure as others I've used in the past.

The Pulse 3D remained securely in place while seated and played games. It may move out of place a little if you get up and about or move your head a lot while playing. Because the headset isn't too tight, it doesn't push too hard against your skull, allowing you to play for longer periods of time. That's also true of glasses, as I played for hours without feeling any extreme pressure from the cups.

Sound Quality: In 3D, it's much better

The Sony Pulse 3D headset provides excellent sound for a $100 gaming headset, but there's an obvious distinction between games that support 3D audio and those that don't. Only a few early titles, like Sony's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon's Souls, and Astro's Playroom, explicitly support it as of this writing.

Surprisingly, throughout my testing, Astro's Playroom—a free pack-in game meant to demonstrate the PlayStation 5's new DualSense controller—provided the most dramatic 3D audio. The effect was instantly evident when missiles flew at the screen at some points: it sounded like they continued going through the screen and passed my ears. Astro's Playroom is a feast for the senses in interesting and unexpected ways, thanks to beautiful music and accurate haptic input from the DualSense controller.

The effect wasn't nearly as strong in Spider-Man, but it did make the ambient sounds of the city (including dialogue) feel more present. In Fortnite, the audio's spatial fidelity provided a modest edge in quickly detecting adjacent threats. Games like Rocket League and Final Fantasy VII Remake, which don't support 3D audio, sounded clear on the headset, but with a more limited soundscape. It left me wanting something a little more substantial. The 3D audio effect isn't always a huge plus in games, but it's noticeable when it isn't.

With the 3.5mm connector, you can connect the Pulse 3D headset to almost any other device. I tested it with my MacBook Pro and a Google Pixel 4a smartphone and found the treble to be a little lost in the mix, with the low-end little over-emphasized. I wouldn't use the Pulse 3D headset as headphones on a regular basis, but they'll suffice in an emergency.

Rather of having a mic sticking out from the earcup, the Pulse 3D features a pair of microphones incorporated right into the design. It works fine for in-game conversation, although it sounds slightly muffled when compared to headsets with a microphone that extends out in front of your mouth.

Features: Designed only for PlayStation

The battery life of the Sony Pulse 3D is estimated to be around 12 hours, which fits up nicely with my own testing estimations. That's less time than many other headsets on the market, with some hovering around the 20-hour mark and others topping out at over 30-hours. Even so, given that the DualSense controller lasts just under 10 hours, they're not far off. Both can last a full day of gaming before needing to be recharged overnight, or they may last a few shorter sessions before needing to be recharged.

The PlayStation 5 system software is well-integrated with the Pulse 3D Wireless Headset. When you turn on the headset, the screen displays a battery life indicator, as well as mute on/off and volume details when the buttons are tapped. Five height choices in the system settings may also be used to change the location of the 3D audio effect. It starts at the middle setting, but you may adjust the effect's centre point based on how it sounds to you.


The Sony Pulse 3D Wireless Headset costs $100, which is the same as Sony's previous entry-level PlayStation headsets, such as the Gold Wireless Headset. Given the offered features, build, and audio quality, that's a decent price for a mid-range gaming headset. There are many cheaper third-party headsets (starting at roughly $25) and others that will cost you hundreds of dollars, but it's worth the money for a PlayStation 5 user who wants something that is easy to use, works well with the system, and has the official Sony stamp.

The Final Word

The Pulse 3D Wireless Headset, like Sony's previous PlayStation headsets, reaches a sweet spot in terms of quality, functionality, and pricing. It's unclear if 3D audio will be extensively supported outside of Sony's first-party games at this time, but even in early PS5 games, the impact may be significant when properly employed. Although there are many more high-end gaming headsets available, the Sony Pulse 3D headset is an obvious suggestion for the vast majority of PS5 owners looking for a high-quality, simple-to-use headset.