New kids on the block, LucidSound have sunk their teeth into the gaming headset market with their latest offerings becoming available around the world.
Although the company is brand new, the founders of the company are by no means amateurs. In fact, Chris Von Huben and Aaron Smith aren’t only the founders of LucidSound, but were two of the core founding team members from Tritton who have been a powerhouse in the pro gaming headset scene for many years. Since Tritton’s acquisition by Mad Catz, the duo wanted to revitalize their mission statement by making LucidSound’s goal “To enhance the gaming lifestyle and invoke passion in every product.”
Although the LucidSound headphone series are aimed at console gamers, the team have made sure to express their desire to allow a universal experience for every device. For this reason, the LucidSound LS30 can easily be used on not just consoles like the PlayStation 4, PlayStation 3, Xbox One and Xbox 360, but for PC, phones and other handheld devices. The headphones come with all the cords and devices necessary to facilitate the various uses.
The package also comes with a simple manual that shows the various components in the box and the headset, how to charge it, and a quick step-by-step guide to plugging the headphones into the various devices. It’s worth noting that although the review unit I received did not have a PC driver in it, and so I couldn’t check out how it works on PC, the retail copy will have inbuilt PC support. That said, I’ve tested the device on the Xbox 360, PlayStation 4 and iPhone 6s.
Currently, the LucidSound LS30 is the only model available in the American market. Since then, the team have shown off the LS20 and LS40 models at E3, earlier this year. Each device is suited for any player needs. The LS20 is a cheaper alternative, LS30 is a wireless model and the LS40 has 7.1 surround sound.
The LucidSound series introduces some interesting features including independent game and chat volume controls, the option to use the inbuilt mic or a boom mic and an easy-to-change EQ mode button. The volume controls are simple to use; each side of the earphones can change the volume of either game sounds or voice chat sounds by turning the outer rim dial, or the sound can be muted by clicking on the outer cover. The boom microphone mentioned earlier is an extension that can be detached if the player would rather use the inbuilt microphone. Finally, the EQ mode has three presets that can be toggled through by simply pressing the small EQ button on the device. These are general features included on all three models. It’s important to note, these features will not work on the phone except for the microphone due to the headset only being usable in passive mode (turned off).
Talking about the LS30 specifically however, being a step up from the LS20 series, the device enables the user to play games with a wireless headset. The headphones have 2.4GHz of uncompressed sound, which promotes fantastic, unfiltered sound quality. The device also contains its own proprietary channel which prevents any sort of interference.
The battery charges through a USB wire and can hold up to 15 hours of wireless bliss. The speakers in each ear are custom designed 50mm speakers with Neodymium magnets, which help resonate a high range of sound. It’s easy to get lost in the crystal clear sound. It’s worth noting that the volume threshold in which a person can hear the sound from the headset is quite low. While this is not too big of a deal at home, when used outside, the headphones can emit quite a lot of noise, especially on public transport.
Design-wise, the LS30 looks sleek and simple. This design philosophy reinforces the company’s desire to put in quality instead of flashy gimmicks. Every bit of the headset is built for purpose. From the functionality of the buttons and jacks, to the cross stitching and memory foam ear cushions for comfort, every part of the design is necessary.
In regards to the ear cushions, it is worth noting that, due to the over ear design, there is an excellent level of sound isolation. But that still does come with an issue of potential sweating and heat build-up around the ears. On the plus side, it’s been perfect as a thermal earmuff on a cold evenings in my native Melbourne.
The LS30 is an excellent and relatively simple headset to use, both on consoles and on the go. Despite the very minimal issues that arise, including heat build-up and external sound permeating out of the device, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the incredibly detailed sounds and a clear, audible microphone.
Fortunately, the LS30 is already available in American distributors such as Gamestop and Bestbuy for $149.99 USD. Australians will be able to purchase the LS30 now at various distributors such as JB Hi Fi, Bluemouth Interactive and Mighty Ape from $249 AUD. The LS20 will also be available in Australia at the same time, and as mentioned, is a cheaper, smaller, wired alternative for the LS20, and will run for $179 AUD. In most European countries, the headsets can be purchased from Amazon for roughly £129.97.
The price may be steep, but if you have the money to burn, and you take sound quality seriously or want a fantastic pair of headphones that can be used universally, the LucidSound LS30, or even the LS20, is a suitable piece of hardware. With a lovingly developed set of headphones, the LucidSound series looks to be a strong contender for quality home gaming and on-the-go headphone experience.