Games Gazette Logo

  .

LUCIDSOUND'S LS-30 Headset is available in standard Black & Silver which looks really stylish or Gold and White which looks cheap and pretentious. The outer box shows the headset with red volume and muting wheels but I believe that's just to highlight the possiblities and you can't actually buy Black, Silver and Red headsets, though if they looked like they do on the box they would be really cool.

LUCIDSOUND LS-30 is also a very good family headset in as much as it is just as suitable for Dad listening to soft rock and allsorts while relaxing in his easy chair as it is for the teenager chatting online to his/her friends or playing the latest music or high action games. The controls are wheels on both ear-pieces for games playing and really bring the best out of the high and low ranges for games. When used for watching Netflix or similar on a PC these controls do not do anything, you need to use the sound control of the PC or the program on which you are watching. When used with a console the wheels have different uses; one is for your chat microphone - the mic is a separate piece that plugs into the headset and is extremely flexible - the other wheel raises or lowers (who ever lowers their gaming volume ?) bringing out the best in the bass and the background ambience.

This is one product that really (almost) does as it says on the box - it is a fully universal headset, with microphone, for the XBox 360, XBox ONE, PS3, PS4 and the PC. In all cases, except for the old style XBox 360, all the leads you need are within the box that is within the box. The cardboard outer box (shown above) is quite flimsy but that's because it isn't meant to be anything more than an eye-pleasing package for online photographs and store shelves. Inside this package is a hard walled black box with a rolling lid and this is your protective storage box (although naturally there is no harm in keeping the outer package for as long as it lasts). For the old XBox360 you will almost certainly need to get yourself an HDMI Audio Adaptor, which for some infuriating reason isn't included; which in my opinion, even though the XBox360 old style is, well, it's "old"! This is quite unforgivable really for a product that sells itself on its versatility. But then if you have one of the later model consoles, XBox 360, XBox One or either of the PS3 or PS4 machines then the fact that there isn't a lead for an older machine isn't going to bother you. I guess you have to draw the line somewhere, it's just a shame that these 'phones state the consoles they are meant for and it doesn't say "new style" anywhere near where it mentions XBox360.

  

The headset can be used plugged into a PC's headphones socket if you are watching a movie or listening to sounds from the internet and you do not wish to disturb anyone else in the house. They are used as wireless when used with a game consule, but you do need to plug the Base Station into the USB port on the console; I haven't managed to make the headset wireless when using it on a pC under any circumstances, playing games, watching movies or listening to music.

I wear glasses and they are fairly regular with arms that are curved slightly around the ear. After about 65 minutes of a 90 minute movie the headset began to feel tight on my head. I took it off and used the adjuster on either side of the bridge that goes across the head and this loosened the pressure but also allowed some of the sound to seep out. The ear pads are fairly deep and made of soft faux leather but possibly a little too soft as they tended to squash my ears rather than sit snugly. They are much better than the Turtle Beach headset my wife uses but not as comfortable as the Thrustmaster Y-350 which at £99.99 in the stores and from about £65.00 on eBay are roughly the equivalent, pricewise, as the LucidSound LS-30.

  

Still all comparisons come with pros and cons and one of the pros for the LucidSound LS-30 is that they are slimmer and more stylish than the Thrustmaster Y-350 which makes the wearer look quite similar (at least in headshape) to a Dr Who CyberMan, especially if they are wearing the White set. The LucidSound LS-30 has a nice soft inner-bridge which is based onto a hard plastic backing proclaiming the company name. The LucidSound LS-30 also has a better control method, via the wheels on the earpieces whereas the Y-350 depends on a separate control box. They are both excellent headsets, both have microphones that deliver a lovely and clear sound with neither being obtrusive to the mouth area, both run neatly alongside the cheek without obstructing the mouth in similar fashion to those worn by BBC Sports presenters.

  A cluster of input sockets and a control button

  

    

The selection of wires that come in the black box, the triangular centre of which is actually a lidden compartment. The instruction manual, which has its own little pouch within the roll-out box lid, could have, no should have, in my opinion, not been in dull greyscaleand should have been in a more legible and larger font, but at least it is easy to find the rather few instructions for each console as these are illustrated and headed, nothing about the PC though.

Do I like the LS-30? You bet I do. Would I recommend it over the Thrustmaster Y-350? probably not, but then I wouldn't recommend the Y-350 over the LS-30 either - it's horses for course as they say or as I said earlier, it's how you want to look when wearing them. If you are gaming with friends in the same room or on visual interface then most likely you'd use the LS-30 as you want to look cool and have the stylish headset, but if you are sitting all alone with your gaming friends unable to see you because they are scattered all over the world and all joined in on the same game server with only voice but no visual face-time, then there's the additional comfort of the Y-350 to consider.

  

Overall the quality of sound quality of the LS-30 is truly impressive and like anyone who enjoys cool gadgets the earpiece wheels and buttons, yes I forgot to mention that the inner centre of the wheels also have separate functions, one mutes the microphone and the other mutes the game sounds, but as I also said, through the twin mini-jack lead (supplied) from the headset to the PC's headphones input socket, none of the wheel's functions work at all. I will say that (the HDMI cable for the old XBox360 apart) you will not be disappointed with the all round quality of the LS-30 and for the money, compared to some of the headset prices, these are definitely good, very good, value.

© Chris Baylis 2011-2015