PS5 Pulse 3D Wireless Headset vs. Xbox Wireless Headset: Which is better?
PS5 Pulse 3D Wireless Headset(opens in new tab)
Sony's Pulse headset is built to be affordable and comfortable, but it leans into the PS5's 3D audio featureset to punch above its weight in quality. The microphone is noticeably subpar though, bringing down what is otherwise an easy choice.
PS5 Pulse 3D Wireless Headset
Designed for 3D Audio
Xbox Wireless Headset(opens in new tab)
Microsoft packed a ton of advanced features into this headset, so for the price, you're getting very advanced Bluetooth integration. The audio quality is mixed though, leaning heavily into the bass at the expense of other sounds.
Xbox Wireless Headset
Made for Dolby Atmos
With the launch of a new console generation through the PS5, Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, there's also a new wave of headsets to consider. Both Sony and Microsoft are offering an entry level headset and while the price is the same, there are some interesting differences to consider.
PS5 Pulse 3D Wireless Headset vs. Xbox Wireless Headset: What's the difference?
Sony's first-party headset is the PS5 Pulse 3D Wireless headset, while Microsoft recently introduced the official Xbox Wireless headset. These two headsets are both $100 and while they aren't perfect, they offer a slate of features fully designed around taking advantage of the respective companies' hardware and software.
While both of these are wireless headsets that compete with the best PS5 headsets and best Xbox headsets available right now at similar price points, the PS5 Pulse 3D Wireless headset does include a 3.5 mm jack connection, while the Xbox Wireless headset does not. On the other hand, the Xbox Wireless Headset has Bluetooth capabilities, which the PS5's headset does not have.
|Header Cell - Column 0||PS5 Pulse 3D Wireless Headset||Xbox Wireless Headset|
|Frequency response||Unknown||20Hz to 20kHz|
|Battery life||12 hours||15 hours|
|3.5 mm support||Yes||No|
PS5 Pulse 3D Wireless Headset vs. Xbox Wireless Headset Audio quality
The PS5 Pulse 3D Wireless headset is (as you might surmise from the name) designed to take full advantage of the PS5's 3D audio technology. Not only is the range of sounds great, but it works to emmulate what audio would sound like coming from every direction. For example, you can hear if footsteps are coming from behind you in-game.
With this enabled, you'll get great sound quality in games balanced around proper surround sound, especially in the games that have custom audio meant for this system, which includes titles like Marvel's Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon's Souls and Resident Evil Village. Overall, you can expect around 12 hours of battery life on a full charge.
The microphone however is a different story entirely. The mic included with the PS5 Pulse 3D Wireless headset is sub-par at best, with a muddled, somewhat distorted sound the best-case scenario. While it's OK to use if you just want to chat with in a party on your PS5, don't expect anything great, and especially don't use it for streaming.
As for the Xbox Wireless Headset, the audio quality is good but it may not be incredible straight out of the box. This headset heavily slants towards bass at the cost of drowning out some of the other sounds. You'll want to use it tandem with Dolby Atmos to get the most balanced sound quality possible. You can also toggle the EQ settings to get the correct sound. While the microphone isn't the best, it is better than what is offered with the PS5 Pulse 3D Wireless headset, which is something to consider. The overall battery life is also slightly superior, at around 15 hours.
PS5 Pulse 3D Wireless Headset vs. Xbox Wireless Headset Bluetooth functionality
The PS5 Pulse 3D Wireless headset does not include Bluetooth support. Instead, the headset connects to your console through a USB wireless adapter. This does mean you can also use it with the PS4 and some PCs.
However, the Xbox Wireless headset does use Bluetooth. It even includes the ability to seamlessly pair your phone to your headset through Bluetooth and take a phone call while you're playing a game, no interruptions or quickly switching things out. This kind of feature is usually only found in headsets that are far more expensive.
PS5 Pulse 3D Wireless Headset vs. Xbox Wireless Headset Supported platforms
This is pretty simple to break down. You can use the PS5 Pulse 3D Wireless headset on an Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S through the 3.5 mm connection, but it won't support the same 3D audio and you can't adjust the volume, so we wouldn't recommend connecting this way. Meanwhile, the official Xbox Wireless headset can't be used on the PS5 at all. Since it uses Bluetooth, you can use it with certain PCs.
PS5 Pulse 3D Wireless Headset vs. Xbox Wireless Headset Which should you buy?
To put it bluntly, if you only want to spend $100 on a headset, buy the one for the console you own. If you're looking for just one headset to use across all your platforms, you'll need to look in a different place and browse through some of the best wireless PS5 headsets and best wireless Xbox headsets available to find something that'll suit your needs across both consoles.
Unlike many product comparisons, there isn't quite an objectively correct answer, simply because each headset is heavily designed around being used with its matching first-party platform. In terms of getting the most for your money, the Xbox Wireless Headset is arguably the winner, with its sheer number of high-end features pushing it ahead of practically any other headset in its price range. With that said, if you're just going to be playing on your PS5, then you can't use it, so you should go for the PS5 Pulse 3D Wireless headset instead.
Grab for PlayStation
A solid choice
If you just want to enjoy great audio in your PlayStation games without breaking your bank, the Pulse 3D Wireless Headset is the way to go. Just don't expect anything great from the microphone.
For Xbox owners
Great sound, with some caveats
Microsoft packed in the special features on the Xbox Wireless Headset at a low cost, but you'll need to tweak your audio settings to get the best results.
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Samuel Tolbert is a freelance writer covering gaming news, previews, reviews, interviews and different aspects of the gaming industry, specifically focusing on PlayStation on Android Central. You can find him on Twitter @SamuelTolbert