• Great built quality
• Neat and elegant look
• Good equalizer options and sound quality
• Combined wired and wireless options
• Weird design flaws on the controls
• Passive headphone functions when used wired
• Cheap boom microphone with standard quality
Nowadays, gaming headsets are like everywhere, and even the big boys of audiophile equipment like Sennheiser are making their own kit enhanced for players. While most of them fit all the needs that you would expect, it’s up to brands to focus on something new and different, their selling points, and in the case of newly founded LucidSound, they are banking hard on style and previous expertise. Founded by Chris Von Huben, creator of the brand Triton and ex-Vice President of MadCatz, he set off to launch LucidSound with a main goal to create innovative Gaming Headset designs, and so after their first product launch, they are back at it with the LucidSound LS30 Universal Wireless Gaming Headset.
The review unit I received from LucidSound is the black and silver edition most of you can buy in stores (a white and gold-ish version is also available but I’m thankful for a darker color), which nicely packs the LucidSound LS30 Universal Wireless Gaming Headset, a simple one-pager instruction manual, two simple 3.5 to 3.5 mm cables, a mini USB charging cable, a removable headset microphone, optical cable and finally the wireless USB dongle. Simple and easy, and everything you need to connect your LucidSound LS30 to all major gaming consoles such as the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch but also PC and other devices that uses dual-channel 3.5 headphone jacks.
At first, you’re confused with the fact that there’s so many wires in the box, but then for someone who saw all 4 generations of the Astro Gaming A50 Wireless Headsets, I was glad that it was down to just 3 wires. You see, the LucidSound LS30 Universal Wireless Gaming Headset is a smart piece of technology because on the contrary of most wireless headsets, this one can be switched to a wired solution. While this sounds simple enough, a lot of headset makers aren’t giving that option, either going for full wireless with a dock/dongle, bluetooth powered or just wired, and having both options makes the LucidSound LS30 Universal Wireless Gaming Headset a true universal option for all of your devices. Sadly it’s not a perfect option to opt for if you want to replace all of your previous headsets, as there’s no wireless option for tablets and mobile devices, forcing you to used the wired option which also cancels the wheels/buttons that are on the earcups which control volume and other key function. This basically reduce the LucidSound LS30 into a passive headphones, powered by the mobile itself, instead of using both wireless and wired technology to give you maybe an active noise cancellation combo.
Still, LucidSound’s selling point is the design and material quality, and they don’t joke about this. The head strap of the LucidSound LS30 headset is enrobed in synthetic leather, stitched in a diamond pattern on the inside, and smooth on the outside with the company logo. The earcups are held in place by two elegant matte aluminum hooks, which are a big change from the usual plastic and PVC options in the market with metallic paint coats, and can also be adjusted in length if necessary. The ear cup cushions are made of artificial leather as well, and fit over the ears of most people, which makes the entire support system nicely comfortable instead of irritated after hours of wearing the LucidSound LS30. Yet, do note that this was tested in early Spring here, and temperature in and out of my house are still rather cool, so this synthetic leather might become a sweat magnet in Summer. Finally, note that the ear cups can twist roughly 30% out, so that it can rest on your shoulder when you’re walking around for example, but I wished that it was more than that, with maybe a complete folding solution for a more compact transport solution.
On the outside of the shells are two large plastic and LucidSound marked push buttons, which can be used to mute the sound and microphone. On the underside of the cups are two plastic rings, which help you control the volume of both the sound and the microphone/chat party. There was a slight confusion though on that front, which could be fixed with a simple updated design: While the right wheel controls the microphone volume, the adjacent button mutes the game sound. On the other hand, the left wheel controls the game sound while the left button mutes the microphone. Maybe there’s a design decision, but for me, I find it counter-intuitive. Finally at the bottom of the left ear cup you’ll find a power button (when used wirelessly of course), a mini USB port to charge the built-in batteries (which lasted around 10 hours with me), the jack input to used the LS30 wired and finally a slot to attach the supplied microphone (on top of built-in microphone). On that front, the microphone itself doesn’t win a design award, which in comparison to the rest of the headset is only a mere flexible piece of plastic and its quality is something that needs a big upgrade.
On the front of actual wireless functionality, things are actually not bad. The USB dongle – although a bit too large for my taste – was plugged on my laptop, and the headset was instantly recognized and blasting music through my ears. Compared to passive use as a headphone, this is pleasingly uncomplicated, but things are a tiny bit more complex with consoles. Console users will need to plug the LS30 dongle to their consoles, then route an optical cable to between both devices to just get sound wirelessly. No biggie I guess, but this also forces you to connect the headset with your console controller with one of the 3.5mm jacks, so that you can use the voice chat function, which kind of removes the “wireless” factor. In the end, let’s all remember that it took Astro Gaming more than 4 different versions to fully remove the controller to headset wired design factor for voice chat, so I can understand the constraint here.
The sound quality is great whether used wirelessly or wired with your devices. With the wireless option, the headset can be used up to roughly 5 meters away from the dongle, which is pretty decent, and since it’s not a bluetooth powered device, the sound quality is constant. On the equalizer front, the LucidSound LS30 Universal Wireless Gaming Headset has a decent balanced treble and crisp bass, but the mid could use a little bit of kick, but it’s bearable. My last comment is that while the ear cups are over the ear and seems noise proof, you’ll still hear people around you talking, or the whistling sound of the wind if you’re on the road.
When it comes to the mic quality, it’s a bit of a letdown. The LucidSound LS30 Universal Wireless Gaming Headset has two options for microphone input, one being a built-in mic which obviously fits the needs of mobile devices or phone calls, and the removable boom mic. Logically, the quality is better with the boom mic, and you’ll need to perfectly align the flexible plastic arm so that you are closer to your mouth. If not, then mic will end up catching lots of ambient noise, including the ear cup sound, which can become an annoying echo for other players in your game chat.
Nevertheless, the looks and the sound quality of the headset convinces me for the price point. If your budget allows it and do not already own a gaming headset, you can go for the LucidSound LS30 Universal Wireless Gaming Headset without hesitation, or maybe cough up $50 more and go higher in the range with the LucidSound LS40 Universal Wireless Gaming Headset which has DTS Headphone X surround sound audio and even memory foam ear cups.
The LucidSound LS30 Universal Wireless Gaming Headset was reviewed using a review unit provided by LucidSound. The headset is available now in all major retailers and compatible with PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. We don’t discuss review scores with publishers or developers prior to the review being published.