My SONY PULSE Gold 7.1 PS4 Wireless Headset Impressions.

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#1 Edited by meankilleR (9622 posts) -

PULSE GOLD Impressions

Well I picked mine up today for $99.99 at ebGames in Toronto. After a painless plug and play setup, I was up and running with great audio quality. For $99.99 which is low end in terms of price for Wireless gaming headsets, these preform great, crisp audio that goes very loud without distorting.

One drawback for some people may be the lack of the PULSE Bass effect which used with the PULSE Elite headset for the PS3, which can also be used with the PS4 after Firmware Patch 1.60 which is also required for the PULSE Gold. Another drawback may be the the lack of 3.5mm jack on the USB dongle which allowed the PULSE Elites to hook up to any 3.5mm device and broadcast wirelessly, where as now you need to hook a wire directly to the PULSE Gold if you want to listen to your iPod for example.

The construction quality at a glance looks to be cheaper then the PULSE ELITES but keep in mind pretty much every PULSE Elite headset is defective and will break at its hinge eventually, its just a matter of time. Keeping the design faults of the PULSE Elites I would take these over those ticking time bombs any day, even tho the PULSE Elites look much more aesthetically pleasing.

The microphone quality is decent, you won't be recording commentaries with these but they do the job for voice chat. I was impressed on how far the headset worked in my house, I could hear and use the headset in 90% of my house, cool because I used my psvita remote play and used my headphones wirelessly from my PS4 while I was in my basement.

Should you buy? If you are a fan of the Pulse Bass feedback and the 3.5mm jack for making every device work wirelessly then no, but I would not suggest you get the Sony PULSE Elites ether. I predict they will be releasing a Sony Pulse Platinum premium headset around the summer time for an estimated price of $139.99-$159.99. If you are looking for an entry level wireless headset with great quality for its price then check these bad boys out when you have the chance.

Here is my unboxing & video First impressions - http://youtu.be/fdi7jpLaUHE

If anyone has a question feel free to ask.

#2 Edited by Jak-25 (2490 posts) -

Thank you for the review!

#3 Edited by Terrencec06 (3406 posts) -

Thx because I did want to know.

#4 Posted by Tubatica (161 posts) -

is this available yet in the US? Amazon lets you preorder it but it doesn't even have a release date yet. Not that I'm necessarily in the market because my original Pulse is still going strong, I'm just curious.

#5 Posted by FinalFighters (1315 posts) -

good job with the video review. now i wanna pick one up.

#6 Edited by jer_1 (7424 posts) -

Nice review, thank you sir!

#7 Posted by sirk1264 (5516 posts) -

Gamestop has these on sale for those who were wondering if you can buy them. Got a pair at one here in Chicago this past Saturday. Definitely recommend them if you can't afford the 150 dollar pulse elite headset.

#8 Posted by SoupyFlow (10 posts) -

My local Best Buy had over 6 of them in stock yesterday. They look nice for the price and I would be interested if I didn't just recently pick up some Astros.

How is the surround sound capabilities? I heard these new ones are weak in that category?

#9 Posted by meankilleR (9622 posts) -

@SoupyFlow Sound is great for the price, they may seem pricey but they are on the low end in terms of Wireless headsets. I do believe Sony is releasing PULSE Platnium headset which will probably be better in audio quality if they don't meet your needs.

Thanks for positive comments everyone has made it made my day. :)

#10 Edited by Murderstyle75 (4163 posts) -

@meankilleR:

Problem is, the platinum will probably still be a closed air headphone and will still be using Sonys crappy VSS technology. These products do great because a lot of people have not bothered to listen to anything better. What you can expect with the Platinum is an upgrade similar to the Pulse Elite vs the original Wireless headset. What Sony needs is to put together a gaming headset developed by Sony Japan with similarities to the Sony MDR MA900's instead of these cheap toys made by somebody else to compete with other low grade products like Turtle Beach.

#11 Posted by jer_1 (7424 posts) -

I grabbed a set about a week ago, and I have to mostly agree with the OP. They are an excellent buy for the price. Everything is good to great and they fit my head like a glove (in a good way). Sound is clean though a tiny bit less loud than I would like. On PS4 the surround effect does a great job of conveying direction but I'll have to test it out a bit more to be certain of how effective it will be. Chat quality seems pretty decent and the buddy I tested it with on PC said it sounds fine.

Good buy if you need a decent headset for PC and PS4!

#12 Posted by Murderstyle75 (4163 posts) -

@jer_1:

Unless you have heard other headphones of course. These gaming headsets are an industry scam. Your ears deserve better, my friend.

#13 Edited by jer_1 (7424 posts) -
@Murderstyle75 said:

@jer_1:

Unless you have heard other headphones of course. These gaming headsets are an industry scam. Your ears deserve better, my friend.

Don't get me wrong Im certain there are better quality headsets out there, but are they also priced at $99 and wireless? I was simply saying that for the price you pay you are getting a good headset. I can't say I feel bad about the purchase at this point. What would be a better headset to get at that price point? Have you tried this Gold headset yet?

#14 Posted by Murderstyle75 (4163 posts) -

@jer_1:

Well its not whether I tried the headset yet or not. Its about knowing the technology. Now the number 1 problem is Sony still using that same 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound they used in the Pulse. The second problem is yet another "Gaming" headset being sealed shut with a closed design. Its very apparent that whoever made the Pulse knows very little about headphone technology. Either that or the drivers are so cheap, they are using these things to hide their flaws.

Now for $130, you can get the PLYR1 at Best Buy which uses 7.1 Dolby Headphone instead of Sonys cheap VSS. While these headphones are closed as well, at least they use a real surround technology.

But on the real, you really want to stay away from Gaming Headsets to begin with, the best thing for gaming would be Reference class Studio headphones. For $40, you can get a pair of Samson SR850's. $20 more will mic them to your Dualshock. Even in stereo, these headphones blow away Sony gaming headsets using VSS, if you want 7.1 Surround Sound, you invest in the Astro Mixamp. If you want off cheap, you can buy a 1st gen Turtle Beach VSS and a chat cable and the entire setup would cost you maybe $80. The mixamp is a lot better though.

#15 Posted by MondasM (1184 posts) -

@Murderstyle75: i am neither a sony employee, nor among the designers of the product, but i can see the way it was designed (at least not aesthetically)... most of the gamers who are using this kind of headphones do it because they do want to keep the noise level down, in order not to disturb anyone in their vicinity (sleeping wife, children, parents, neighbours, people sitting next to you when you are on the go, etc.), the best way to achieve minimum amount of disturbance is using a closed cup design... this, of course as you've mentioned has the added benefit of being able to use less powerful drivers, which in return provide a longer battery life, since these headphones are wireless... the virtual surround is a given choice, since the headphones have to transmit signals via bluetooth, which have a limited bandwidth... and finally these headphones do need to be appropriately priced, not all of the gamers have big budgets and can afford 300 usd cans, that is why they tend to be less than premium models...

the look depends on your aesthetic preferences and i don't think it is a good idea to debate about them...

in order to achieve true surround sound, one does need headphones with the appropriate amount of drivers, some companies do have them but they are wired models, which have a base and have optical connections (which unfortunately supports up to 5.1 surround) and separate power sources... these naturally have a higher price but are cumbersome if one is used to wireless ones...

#16 Posted by jer_1 (7424 posts) -

@MondasM said:

@Murderstyle75:

in order to achieve true surround sound, one does need headphones with the appropriate amount of drivers, some companies do have them but they are wired models, which have a base and have optical connections (which unfortunately supports up to 5.1 surround) and separate power sources... these naturally have a higher price but are cumbersome if one is used to wireless ones...

This is exactly why I didn't like the 7.1 Tritton's that I bought last year. They were a pain in the ass to hook up, and a pain in the ass to use. The worst part about them for me is they didn't even sound all that crystal clear. I dunno, these wireless gold's certainly aren't the best but they do the job quite well, fit good, and they look quite nice. Kind of one of those YMMV instances.

#17 Edited by Murderstyle75 (4163 posts) -

@MondasM:

My point isn't about true surround sound vs virtual. My point is about Sonys virtual surround sound being a generic technology. Virtual Surround Sound is also better then true surround sound. Just not Sonys technology.

And if this very same headphone was made by another company, we wouldn't even be having this discussion because most people wouldn't have even bought it. People are just fooled into thinking the Official Product means Official Experience. I've had similar debates about the Pulse headsets and have seen naive people who own these things go as far as to call even Sennheisers, generic.

And even for people looking for wireless, isolation and a cheap price. The Skullcandy PLYR1's sound far better, use 7.1 Dolby Headphone and cost only $130 at Best Buy. People are choosing the inferior Sonys instead because of the name on the packaging. Meanwhile the people I have convinced to go with the PLYR 1's say Sonys VSS headsets don't even come close. Isn't it also interesting that Sony hides the real technical specifications of these things and replaces them with marketing buzzwords.

And other people don't care about price at all. They just don't know much about the tech and due to marketing, they think these are the going to be great. Same goes for the people wasting money on $300 pairs by Turtle Beach and Astro. None of these headsets are great nor are they worth the price. But people are deceived into thinking they are getting the best possible.

I have helped many people cut their ties with these low quality products and have helped others not make the mistake to begin with. If you visit the boards on the official playstation website, everybody will tell you that I'm the guy to talk to about headphones. And of everybody I have talked into moving from Sony Gaming Headsets to Studio Reference Class headphones, not a single person has complained about isolation. If isolation truely was Sonys intent when making these, a choice would have been offered with two seperate models like Sennheiser does with their G4ME ZERO vs G4ME ONE and PC350 vs PC360 gaming headsets. If Sony opened these up though and released an open air model, there is a very good chance that the lows no longer bleeding into the mids and highs would expose every flaw in these drivers.

#18 Edited by MethodManFTW (25390 posts) -

@Murderstyle75: They are on sale right now, MSRP is 179.99..

Those look fine but they don't work on PS4 and I don't really want to mess with a headset base..

I've been using the Pulse Elites on my iPad, Vita, PS4, PS3, and PC and they sound really good to me.

I'm not an audiophile by any means but I got them on sale for 129.99 they are super simple to use on any platform, the different game modes are cool, bassimpact is neat, sound quality is good to me, super clear voice chat, etc...

Sure they aren't an audiophile headset, but who is pretending they are?

#19 Edited by Murderstyle75 (4163 posts) -

@MethodManFTW:

They have been $129.99 since November. That's Best Buys price. And the PLYR1 isn't an audiophile headset either. But its certainly better then these Sony headsets that are cheap all around from the terrible surround sound to the plastic that cracks if you don't treat it like your grandmothers china to the cheap pleather earpads to their crappy customer support that won't even sell you a new dongle if something happens to it. The only reason you think they sound great is because you haven't ever heard otherwise. Realistically these things aren't worth any more then $60 to $70. Had the PLYR1's said Sony on them though and not Skullcandy, everybody would own those instead.

Also that headset base doubles as a headset stand and you don't have to worry about losing it and having to waste more money on yet another headset.

#20 Posted by rockinpapa (40 posts) -

I won't be using mic much so I was wondering if someone knows what should I pick Audio-Technica ATH-m50 or theese (just from gaming sound point of view).

#21 Posted by MethodManFTW (25390 posts) -

@Murderstyle75: Right, it is a clearance price at Best Buy.. MSRP is different.

I have knocked my Pulse Elites off a 4ft bed stand and they didn't break... So I haven't had any issues with durability. And the issue with the USB stick is solved by not breaking it and not loosing it..

I've liked the surround sound so far... Just finished The Last of Us + Left Behind and the surround sound was excellent there..

I work at a pawn shop and we get really nice headsets in quite commonly so I do get to test them out, granted for a really short period of time. Also, a lot of the people that reviewed that headset on BestBuy.com complain that the mic isn't loud enough.. Maybe they can't figure out basic settings but if the mic really did have a problem that would be a deal breaker to me.. Even though the base is a deal breaker for me already because that just does fit in my set up.

Totally fine that you don't like them, but they aren't garbage.

#22 Posted by Murderstyle75 (4163 posts) -

@MethodManFTW:

The mic issue with the PLYR1 is a game issue in Battlefield. Not a headset issue. The issue is there with a lot of headsets. In any other game though, the mic is loud and clear. Its also not a clearance price nor is the headset discontinued.

Also, the surround sound on those headsets really is that bad and even the tech reviews that are positive still slam the surround sound. Durability also is an issue. While you may not have had a problem yet, its a known issue in the design and the crack happens in the exact same spot. Its a stress issue that you can read up on over at Sonys support board. A lot of people are having this issue as well as getting screwed over with that stupid dongle.

And when I say these are garbage, I really mean it. Sony makes many great products from their game systems to their studios to their headphones. These headsets are not it though not are they even made by their audio team. Perhaps you have a bit of bias going on because you purchased the product. If these were good, I would say they are. I really wish I could say they were good but they are not. The PLYR1's aren't that great either but they are about 5 steps ahead of Sonys generic gaming headsets .

#23 Posted by Murderstyle75 (4163 posts) -

@rockinpapa:

From a gaming standpoint, the ATH AD700's are better then the M50's. They just don't have much bass. But if you want a good and cheap pair of headphones, look no further then the Samson SR850's. This is about $380 in audio for $40 on eBay.

#24 Edited by MethodManFTW (25390 posts) -
#25 Edited by Murderstyle75 (4163 posts) -

@MethodManFTW:

Doesn't matter what the price is on Skullcandys website. Best Buys price is $130. So is Amazons price for the black pair. This has been Best Buys price pretty much since they have been readily available. It doesn't look like this is going to change. Anybody in America can get the PLYR1's for $130. There really is no reason to buy this low grade (Generic) crap with Sonys name on it that's being marketed to people who just don't know any better. As I said. You could take those very same so called 7.1 headsets, put a different brand name on them and most of you never would have bought them. They weren't even made by Sonys audio team.

The marketing is especially funny. "How Games Were Made To Sound Like" this couldn't be any further from the truth. They even say Hi Fidelity. That's cute.

#26 Edited by MondasM (1184 posts) -

@Murderstyle75: you are right, if you have a wide selection of headphones to choose from, these sony ones may not seem to be the perfect choice and i am not implying that they are... the sony headphones have many advantages to the "uneducated" end-users, they are fairly affordable, get the job done, and they are easy to find worldwide... i live in turkey, and believe you me, that most products do not land here, nor can you import them easily (you have to deal with customs for any order worth above 100 usd, which is easy to cross), most of the world is the same...

i reckon that the sony headphones are among the go to accessories, which do serve their purpose more or less well, are not cumbersome (well at least now with the new ps4 patch they are pnp), are affordable and easy to find, that is why i think that they are a good product...

of course, if you can have a higher budget and other available products, you can find better ones... :)

#27 Edited by Murderstyle75 (4163 posts) -

@MondasM:

And I find that unfortunate because you deserve much better. Sony is also capable of so much better. The gaming headset industry in general is pretty bad. I really find it unfortunate that Sony is making products comparable to Turtle Beach rather then setting the bar. Sony is capable of so much more and makes some of the best headphones you can find. Its also possible to keep things affordable since there are very good budget cans out there.