Sony's Pulse 3D headset dramatically improves immersion with PSVR 2
Playstation VR 2's in-ear headphones are good enough? Sony's wireless headset taught me better.
The Playstation VR 2 has no built-in speakers, instead relying on in-ear headphones that attach to the bottom of the headband.
I played with these in-ears for a month and was happy with them. To me, they sounded similar to the Meta Quest 2's built-in speakers: far from outstanding, but good enough for everyday use.
What bothers me about the in-ear solution is that it makes passing around and showing off my Playstation VR 2 a nasty affair. I also read that Sony had designed the headphones with the VR headset in mind. So I bought the accessory to try it out.
An impressive audio upgrade
The Pulse 3D Headset works wirelessly. A small USB adapter plugs into the front or back of the PS5 and allows for almost latency-free audio transfer. When I turned it on, the headset was instantly recognized, and I was ready to go.
After two years of low-fi audio with Meta Quest 2 and a month of Playstation VR 2 in-ear headphones, the headset blew me away. Incredible what a higher quality audio solution can do for immersion!
I was particularly impressed with the sound of the VR game Thumper, which really takes on a new dimension with these headphones. Incidentally, the in-ear headphones support the same PS5 proprietary 3D audio technology as the Pulse 3D headset, but with the latter, the surround sound sounds more nuanced and the source of sounds is easier to locate.
Another advantage of the wireless headset is that it has a hardware volume control on the left ear cup. This is something Sony shamefully left out of the Playstation VR 2: without the Pulse 3D headset, you have to fight your way through menus to adjust the volume, as if Sony wanted to put obstacles in your way and make you buy its headset.
It's just a shame that it's not as easy to adjust the volume on the headphones, as the control is sandwiched between another button and a switch. All three are thin and tiny. Easily accessible controls? No way. It takes some time to get used to this.
The headset can improve comfort
The headset was also designed for Playstation VR 2 and should easily fit over the Halo head mount. I write "should" because my MIXED colleague Josef did not get along with this combination at all. You'll have to try it before you know.
The headphones fit me well and also have a positive side effect that I did not expect: Because the ear cups fit under the side brackets of the Halo headband, the PSVR 2 is supported by the headphones, which slightly improves comfort.
I can't make a final judgment on comfort yet because I haven't worn the VR headset and headphones for more than an hour at a time. In general, the wireless headset encloses the head even more than the in-ear headphones, which may be uncomfortable for some people for long periods of time.
Conclusion: PSVR 2 and Pulse 3D - a perfect match
Because of the much better sound and the integrated volume control, I am quite happy with my purchase. The Pulse 3D headset was a powerful reminder of how much audio can contribute to immersion.
What annoyed me was that the original black and white design, which perfectly matches the PS5, PSVR 2, and other official accessories, is no longer available in my region. So I was forced to buy the new all-black version of the headset.
You can also connect the headphones to other devices, a 3.5-mm jack audio cable is included. I haven't tried the microphones or 2D gaming yet, but there are plenty of reviews for that on other websites.
The headset is charged via a USB cable. Sony says the headset lasts up to 12 hours. It charges via a USB cable, which is included as well. Fully charging it takes approximately 90 minutes.