Between Bluetooth and the 3.5mm headset jack on the DualShock 4 controller, the PlayStation 4 platform offers a whole lot of options for gaming headsets. This hasn’t stopped Sony from offering its line of headsets, just like the excellent Platinum Wireless Headset we tested this past year. The business recently refreshed its Gold Headset, that includes a similar design and less $99.99 price. It generally does not feel quite as luxurious or sound quite as effective as the higher-end model, but if you wish to remain wireless without spending much money it’s an extremely solid choice.
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The Gold Headset is comparable in design to the Platinum Headset, but slightly simpler and without exposed metal. It involves two thick, circular earcups linked by a one-piece horseshoe-shaped headband. The headband is wrapped in black faux leather, and the lightly padded over-ear earpads are covered in the same material. Rather than using telescoping arms at each end of the headband, the earcups are mounted on an interior mechanism that enables you to slide them along on the headband without expanding or contracting the headset. Plastic L and R marks on the headband indicate each earcup, though if you change the earcups on top of the headband they’ll block the markings.
The headset is fairly comfortable, however the light padding of the circular earcups can feel a lttle bit cramped for larger ears. Both less costly wired headsets just like the Astro Gaming A10 and pricier wireless headsets just like the PlayStation Platinum Headset and Astro Gaming A20 are much easier to wear for longer intervals.
Each of the connections and controls take a seat on the edge of the left earcup. Leading edge holds a thin rocker switch that adjusts the total amount between game and chat audio. Following that edge down toward the trunk certainly are a pinhole microphone, a power/mode switch that toggles between standard and bass boost modes, a 3.5mm jack, a micro USB port, a mic button, a volume rocker, and lastly a button to activate virtual surround sound at the top of the trunk of the earcup.
Unlike most gaming headsets, the PlayStation Gold does not have a boom microphone. It uses pinhole mic on the left earcup. That is like the microphone on the Platinum headset, and on the 1More Spearhead gaming headset for PCs. For a pinhole mic it sounds reasonably clear, and is reliable for in-game voice chat. However, if you wish to record or stream your games on the web and also have clear commentary, you should think about a wired headset with a boom mic for a clearer sound, just like the Astro Gaming A10.
Rather than connecting right to the PlayStation 4 using Bluetooth, the Gold runs on the USB dongle for an improved wireless connection. The dongle is a straightforward black USB stick that plugs in to the front of the PS4 or PS4 Pro, with a blue light on leading to point when the headset is connected. The headset comes pre-paired with the dongle, and can automatically hook up to your PS4 when you transform it on. The USB adapter means you don’t need to fuss with Bluetooth and the headset can accept top quality music than Bluetooth allows, nonetheless it does use up among the two USB ports on the PS4. If you too have PlayStation VR, that’s both USB ports accounted for and none designed for charging your controllers or with them with a wired connection.
While Sony evidently designed the Gold Headset for use with the PS4, it could use other devices. It arrived as a generic wireless headset whenever we plugged it right into a Windows 10 test computer, and worked correctly fine in this manner. PC use isn’t formally supported, but we didn’t have any problems. The 3.5mm port also enables you to utilize the headset wired, connected to your DualShock 4’s headset jack or any other device that works together with a 3.5mm connection, despite having the headset switched off. Sony doesn’t specify how long the Gold’s battery lasts, but we tested it for many hours without having to charge it again.
For a gaming headset, the Gold is surprisingly underwhelming regarding bass. It handles low frequency sounds very conservatively, not wanting to reach in to the sub-bass range. This implies our bass test track, The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” comes through at maximum volume without distortion. It also signifies that it generally does not sound particularly powerful as well as borderline unsafe at top volume levels, which we be prepared to see in headsets and headphones to supply wiggle room for comfortable listening at lower volumes.
Despite the insufficient deep bass, the Gold Headset does not have a thin or tinny sound. It handles low-mids capably, and treats higher frequencies with finesse. The opening guitar notes in Yes’ “Roundabout” show adequate string texture, even though the electric bass doesn’t get much power, the track manages to sound fairly rich.
The Gold Headset has simulated 7.1-channel surround sound when linked to a PS4. Because it has only two drivers (one for each and every ear), the simulated surround effect won’t offer you particularly good directional imaging, and won’t provide a lot of a tactical advantage. However, the mixing used to create the effect is great at making games sound superior to stereo mixes, making the illusion of a wider soundstage even though you can’t pinpoint the resources of those sounds.
Nier: Automata’s superlative soundtrack sounds very good on the Gold Headset. The game’s excellent score comes through clearly, with a good amount of low-mid existence to provide the music weight. The high-mids and high frequency-heavy sound files and voices could be easily heard through the headset, neither fighting amidst themselves or with the score for your attention.
While simulated surround can’t offer you a good impression of whether an music source is before or behind you, it could produce a common sense of lateral imaging, because of the mixing of the left and right drivers. This comes through in Warframe, where in fact the poppy and punchy high-mids of gunfire are mixed sufficiently that left-to-right positioning could be made out.
The Sony PlayStation Gold Wireless Headset is a good and affordable accessory which makes some concessions in comfort because of its $100 price. It is rather appealing if you wish an able wireless PS4 or PC headset and you do not want to spend a lot more than $100, though you will get better-feeling and better-sounding headsets if you are ready to go with a wired option or spend more for an improved wireless model. The Astro Gaming A10 continues to be an outstanding choice at $60, and even wired it’s simple to use with a PS4 by simply plugging it into your gamepad. The Steelseries Arctis 7, the Astro Gaming A20, and Sony’s own PlayStation Platinum Headset all feel nicer and provide better sound without wires, but you will be spending nearer to $150 for any of these options.