Gaming headsets have become a bit of a thing over the past 10 years, with several companies coming out of the woodworks to create and sell their own style of gaming headsets. With so many headsets to choose from—inside and outside of the gaming sphere—it can be difficult to determine if one is worth the asking price, especially when companies start asking for a nice roll of cash to pick them up. I recently had a chance to spend almost two months with the LucidSound LS41 7.1 surround sound wireless headset, as well as the LS25 wired esports headset. Here’s what I learned.
Breaking down the goods
LucidSound is no stranger to making gaming headsets, and we got a chance to take a look at their lineup at this year's E3 conference back in June. Before we start talking about comfort, style, and all that, let’s first talk a little bit about the headsets themselves. A pair of LS41s offers wireless 7.1 surround sound capabilities, complete without any kind of silly software to keep up to date. On top of that, the headset also features several convenient ear cup mechanics, like two volume knobs, mute buttons, and even a button that allows you to quickly change between EQ settings.
The LS41 also includes a dual-mic system, which allows you to monitor your own voice, so that you can hear exactly how loud you’re being. On top of the built-in mic, though, you can also attach a standard microphone piece to the headset, which allows you to talk more clearly to your teammates. Coming in with a price tag of $199.99, the LS41 is by far the more premium headset of the two that we’re talking about.
On the other hand, the LS25 wired headset offers regular stereo audio, a built-in mic, as well as an additional attachable boom mic. This headset also offers a few of the features that are seen on the LS41, like the volume nob built into the ear cup, as well as a mute button that can quickly be pressed on the side of the headset to disable all incoming sounds. With a much more budget-friendly price of $74.99, it really makes you wonder if the extra bells and whistles on the LS41 are worth the extra cash.
Sound and mic quality
When it comes to picking up a new headset, there’s one thing you’re going to want to do, and that is to verify the sound quality that you’re paying for. While the LS41 offers some nice bells and whistles, if you aren’t set up to make use of the 7.1 surround sound, there really isn’t much point in picking it over the LS25. Both headsets offer a crisp sound quality, which allows you to pick up on small sounds within games like Destiny 2, Grand Theft Auto, and so on down the list. Of course, as with most gaming headsets, the sound quality you’ll find here isn’t quite audiophile levels, though both sets offer a good sound for their price.
When it comes to mic quality, though, both the LS25 and the LS41 are lacking compared to normal microphone setups. While the mics don’t offer the highest quality of voice communication, the mic on both the LS25 and the LS41 work perfectly well for normal gaming adventures and should be perfectly fine for those who wish to talk with their friends while they game. The built-in mics aren’t nearly as usable, though, and while the voice monitoring feature on the LS41 is nice to have, the quality of sound being played back into the cups just isn’t worth the headache.
Style and comfort
Nobody wants to wear a pair of ugly headphones and both The LS41 and LS25 offer a pretty sleek appearance that’s appealing to the minimalist inside of me. The black on grey of the LS41 is especially nice looking, while the red and black of the LS25 don’t stand out too much and draw an insane amount of attention to your head, either. Both headsets offer a good look that’s easy to get behind. The only thing to take into account here is that both of these headsets are fairly large—both the cups and the headbands themselves—so people with smaller heads may find them slipping off, especially the LS41s.
Comfort is also a very big part of finding a good headset, and the padding of both the LS25 and the LS41 make for a solid level of comfort that stands for a good few hours. During testing, I made sure to wear at least one of the headsets throughout my workday, which usually ranges anywhere from 8-14 hours, depending on what I'm doing. Obviously, I’d take small breaks in between for food and the like, but I never really noticed any extreme discomfort from the headsets during that time.
Of course, both sets offer leather ear cups, which tend to be on the hotter side. During testing, I noticed some sweat building around my ears; however, this tends to be pretty normal no matter what pair of headphones you’re using. I didn’t notice this issue all that often, though, so I’d definitely say that LucidSound has done a good job of making something that looks good, but also offers comfort and enough breathability for your ears to not become drenched in sweat during a normal playing session.
When it comes to gaming headsets, the LS41 and LS25 aren’t bad picks at all. LucidSound definitely knows what they are doing, and the items they’ve created here offer good sound quality for the asking price. Of course, there are a couple of big notable differences to be aware of between the two sets, most notably the 7.1 surround sound capability, and the optional wireless setup for the LS41. Both headsets can easily be connected to your PC, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, or PlayStation 4, though some of these connections will require secondary wires that are included directly in the packaging.
Looking back on the past two months, I’ve been very impressed with both the LS41 and the LS25. While I’m not a huge fan of wireless things when it comes to gaming, the long-lasting battery life of the LS41 has made for a nice change and has helped eliminate any wires I might need to worry about hanging down from my head. Of course, this does come at a price, and sometimes the headset’s audio does pop a little as it tries to keep things connected. This wasn’t a huge issue that I noticed throughout my testing, though, so it was more than bearable. The included 3.5mm cable also makes it easy to plug directly into your device, which eliminates the need for the wireless sensors altogether. I did notice that the LS41s do not have a great connection range, though, and putting any kind of wall between the headset and the Bluetooth sensor at your computer will immediately cause some beeping and disconnects.
Overall, LucidSound has done a solid job creating both the LS41 and the LS25 headsets. I love the fact that I can quickly mute sounds with the click of a button, and the easy-to-use volume controls that are built right into the ear cups are a nice addition. The compatibility with pretty much every available console right now is also nice, though some Xbox controllers will require an additional adapter be purchased and used. The only complaint I really have about either headset is that they are a bit big on me, and I wish that the microphones on offer here were a bit better.
If you’re looking to pick up a new gaming headset, then both the LS41 and the LS25 are solid options. Depending on your budget, and what you’re looking to do with the headset, though, I really don’t see much reason to go above the $74.99 of the LS25, unless you just really want the wireless and 7.1 surround sound options.
These impressions are based on two products which were provided to us by the company. You can purchase the LucidSound LS41 or LS25 by heading over to lucidsound.com. Both headsets are openly available right now.