As we all know gaming headsets are big business and can set you back hundreds of pounds, so I’m always on the lookout for something a bit more in my price range but offering the quality and versatility of a top end headset. So I was super excited to be allowed to try out the new LucidSound LS20 Amplified Universal Gaming Headset.
Reading the literature enclosed with the headset I was amazed by just how much they had packed into it, multifunction capability, 40mm speakers, bass boost, active and passive modes and dual mic’s, to name a few features. This was exactly what I was looking for but the truth would be in its use. I had high hopes for this headset though, as if it was anything like its bigger brother the LS30’s then I’m sure the quality would be amazing but also LucidSound has a solid background in gaming headsets as the team was the original founders of Tritton.
When it came to unboxing I could instantly see the quality, the headset felt solid but surprisingly light in weight and at first glance it looked more like a professional pair of Audio headphones that I would use for listening to my music rather than a gaming headset. This was further reinforced by the black and silver finish on the cradles that moved with ease but didn’t give you that feeling that they would snap off in your hand. The box contained everything I needed, Headphones, small instruction booklet, 3.5mm jack, USB cable and the complimentary LucidSound sticker and after approx. a 30 minute charge via the USB cradle I was ready to go.
Now to be honest I’ve always found finding a suitable pair of over-ear headphones problematic as after an hour or so they get uncomfortable and never feel truly snug, but this wasn’t the case with the LS20’s. The whole headset fits nicely on your head with the earbuds and leather covered crown resting comfortably making wearing them for long periods of time a real pleasure. This is reinforced by the use of memory foam in the ear cushions, like that used in its bigger brother the LS30’s, which mold to the user. The longer you use them the more comfortable they get.
Functionality and control I have to say is amazing for the LS20 headset. Inheriting again the LS30’s ear-cup controls, everything you need is within natural and intuitive reach on the side of the cups. On the left ear you have the power and mode selection, boom mic jack and usb charging socket underneath the ear bud and on the actual ear itself the volume is on the outer rim of the ear-cup and can be easily be adjusted by rotating, and by pressing the side of the cup you can mute the audio. Then like the audio mute the right side has the same mute function but for the mic. The mic can be easily connected (for gaming or chat) with a healthy click when it plugs in, and removed just the same. Again the quality comes out here as you feel comfortable doing this and not that you are going to break it after 10 or 15 times and once connected it can be easily adjusted for the perfect distance from your mouth. Also another nice feature is that a blue light on the end of the boom mic shows if the mic is muted or not.
Paring with the Xbox One was also so easy, just plug the 3.5mm jack into your headset and then in to your controller, (if you have one with the new 3.5mm jack port) or into your headset adapter. Then change the volume setting in the Xbox devices control panel and that’s it, game and chat to your hearts content. Voice chat is crisp and auto mic leveling ensures you are not shouting and can hear your friends nice and clear. Selection from Xbox One to PS4 to PC / Phone is achieved by selecting one of the modes of the headset represented by the appropriate power LED color, Red for PC, Blue for Xbox and Purple for PS4 and once selected the headset does the rest.
Sound Quality is sharp and clear, even if you use it in powered or unpowered mode and the bass boost when activated brings that extra grunt that a lot of sub £100 headsets just fail to deliver. I was even finding sounds in games that I just didn’t realise existed and even though it wasn’t surround sound I was getting a truly immersive experience.
The thing that makes the LS20 a solid competitor in the market is that it’s a true hybrid of a headset. With the ability to multifunction between Xbox One, PlayStation 4, iOS or Android smartphone, PC and mobile gaming devices such as Nintendo 3DS or PS Vita. Add to this the huge selection of on-board headset controls and features, whilst also looking cool to wear while out and about, makes this the perfect headset for someone who’s looking for something that it not only used for gaming but can be used every day. Also I forgot to mention that is has an inbuilt mic too, meaning you can take phone calls etc. without the need for the boom mic to be attached, what more could you ask for.
Is there anything wrong with the LS20’s? To be honest, no, I haven’t found one yet and I have been wearing them nonstop for gaming and also personal audio use for over a week now. I can’t even complain about the battery life from the in built rechargeable battery, on average you get approx. 20 hours of use and even when the battery is low you can still use the headset in unpowered mode with little impact to the quality of the sound.
The LS20 is an amazing headset that has brought style, grace and versatility to the low-price entry market. Currently available at just under £80 at Argos, this headset sets the bar very high for all the others competing in this area. If you are looking for a good priced entry headset that in my opinion competes and even beats other headsets in this range for gaming, but also looks cool enough that you can walk outside wearing them, then this is the headset for you. It will be money well spent, I assure you.