Tech Review: Sony Pulse Elite Edition is easily one of the best on the market
While I didn't officially get my hands on the first iteration of the Pulse headphones, the general concensus was that despite being convenient, they had a few annoyances. Sony heard, and decided to tweak their headset a bit, and as a result, produced an updated headset now branded as the Elite Edition. Let me tell you right off the bat, it is an absolute joy to use and to listen to, and has become my favorite wireless headset to date.
So what do we get in the Pulse Elite Edition box? Turns out, not much. Sony kept this package completely clutter free. Inside the box you'll find the headset, a USB receiver and a 3.5mm audio cable to hook these bad boys up to any portable player. I appreciate the simplicity, however I was dumbfounded as to how to actually charge the device at first. Sony opted to not include a USB to mini USB charger, which to my knowledge isn't all that expensive (it's no HDMI cable after all). Luckily though, many households most likely have tons of these laying around, be it from digital cameras, MP3 players, or other similar peripherals.
Aside from the odd inclusion of the charger cable, you have pretty much everything you need to immediately put them to good use. While the headphones are Sony branded, I was happy to see that they worked on my PC as well, but I'll get to that later.
The headphones function on bluetooth technology, meaning they have to be paired up with the included USB receiver. To use them with your PS3, it's as simple as plugging it in, setting up bluetooth connection and you're ready to go. The plus side to using them with your PS3 is that you get an accurate battery reading on your TV screen. When using them on your PC, you get no such indicators.
The headset itself is rather bulky, but not too heavy. The headphones perfectly enveloped my ears with their soft cushions and I'm glad to say they're immensely comfortable. What's interesting is that you don't get any sort of retractable microphone this time around. Instead, the microphone is hidden on the side of the headphones, without any sort of protrusion, which means if you're rocking these bad boys in public, no one would even suspect that it's a headset. It has a sleek, black finish that looks great, and not cheap whatsoever.
All of the controls for the headset can be found on the headphones themselves. A convenient and easy to reach Volume slider, a Bass slider (which I'll get to later), the On/Off switch, the Voice / Audio slider and the Presets button are all instantly accessible. It'll take a bit to remember where each one is, but after a few hours of use, you'll know exactly where to reach when you want to turn the volume down or change a preset.
Of course the headset is completely wireless, which means you'll have the freedom to get up and grab a snack out of the kitchen, without ever needing to take the headset off or worry about tangled cables.
What good would the headset be if it didn't produce great audio. From all my various uses, whether it was playing a few games such as Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 and Journey, or listening to music, everything sounded crisp and clean. The bass had good range as well.
Speaking of Bass, the headphones have a slider which determines Bass Impact, which is a bit more involved than just setting the level of bass you desire. Bass Impact actually has a bit of force feedback, making the headphones tremble or shake during intense levels of bass. Sound strange? Think of it as a rumble feature but for your headphones, but not as intense. This makes gunshots, jetfighters, magic blasts, engine revs, and pretty much any sort of sound with some 'oomph' behind it make you feel it. Don't worry, it doesn't cause headaches, and if you find it uncomfortable, you can set it to a lower setting, or completely turn it off, though trust me, it's an awesome feature.
The microphone however doesn't fare too well. When put to the test alongside my Tritton headset, the Tritton had superior mic clarity over the Pulse. That's not to say the Pulse mic is terrible. It works for what it's intended to do, and that's to communicate with other players. For voice over work, stick to other headsets or condenser mics.
The headset also boasts a 7.1 channel virtual surround sound. Will it help you accurately tell locations of enemies or other sounds? To a certain degree, but obviously virtual surround sound is not real surround sound, so it would be foolish to think that a headset can truly replicate 7.1 surround sound.
They may be Sony branded, but they'll work on a variety of devices thanks to the included 3.5mm jack. They work great on a variety of handhelds, such as the Vita, the 3DS (blasphemy!) and various Apple products such as an iPhone and iPad. Of course what sealed the deal for me was the fact that they also had PC compatibility.
Making them work on your computer is virtually painless. Simply plugging in the USB receiver will have your PC identify it in a matter of seconds, and you're set. Whether you'll want to play some PC games, make a Skype call, or just open up Spotify to listen to some tunes, the headset performs admirably, and with superb quality.
The Sony Pulse wireless headset Elite Edition is hands down one of the more comfortable headsets I've gotten my hands on, and they sound absolutely great. They're a bit bulky so if you're a fan of smaller, more compact headsets, you might want to stay away from the Pulse. However the easy to use design, the intense sound of Bass Impact and added PC compatibility make this headset a winner in my book.