What constitutes a gaming headset? Current vendors would have you believe its the Tron-like aesthetic or the "unfair advantage" it (somehow?) gives you over other gamers. But we need to ask ourselves, "What do we want in a gaming headset?"
Keyboards and mice are one thing; we know their aggressive looks and shiny lights aren't leaving home. On the other hand, headphones can be taken everywhere, but few want to be caught dead wearing what appears to be a robot on their head. Another issue turning gamers away is that gaming headsets are plagued by distorted bass. Clean aesthetics and quality audio shouldn't be difficult for vendors to deliver.
When LucidSound released the LS30 Gaming Headset, it claimed that gamers can have it all: a headset that offered excellent audio and ergonomic gaming controls with a socially acceptable appearance. Everything about its ergonomic design is meant to cater to a gamer’s needs. The game and chat volume rockers are located on the left and right earcups, respectively. Game and microphone mute are set up similarly, with buttons in the center of the left and right earcups. The simple design means no fumbling around for volume and chat controls on the headset’s wire.
LucidSound LS20 Universal Gaming Headset, The LS30's Smaller Sibling
The LS30 seems like an attractive option, but at a $150, gamers might look for a cheaper solution elsewhere. This is where the LS20 Amplified Universal Gaming Headset comes in. The LS20 is meant to bridge the gap between entry-level and high-end gaming headsets. LucidSound found that the best selling headsets currently on the market are sub-$100, so it had to deliver the same quality and ergonomics with a feature set fitting for the price.
The tradeoff for lower price results in less robust volume and chat controls, which are both integrated on one cup in this case. The LS20 is clearly meant to be used for gaming while also remaining portable, so it works both passively and while amplified. In fact, the LS20’s controls work seamlessly while connected to a mobile device.
LucidSound LS40 Wireless Surround Universal Gaming Headset; Same Looks, But With 7.1 Surround
On the other end of the spectrum, LucidSound hopes to deliver a more robust gaming and audio experience with the LS40 Wireless Surround Universal Gaming Headset. Taking design cues from the already elegant LS30 results in an attractive headset without the cable mess. The LS40 implements DTS Headphone:X to deliver 7.1 surround sound. Additionally the LS40’s drivers are tuned in-house by LucidSound's audio engineers.
I had the opportunity to see the LS20 and LS40 myself, and the production samples shown still lack polish in comparison to the already available LS30. For example, the volume rocker on the LS40 wasn't as smooth as the LS30's. Even so, it’s great to see that LucidSound has come a long way in such short time, and the LS20's and LS40's production units should better reflect the LS30's current quality.
Pricing and availability for the LucidSound LS20 Amplified Universal Gaming Headset and LS40 Wireless Surround Universal Gaming Headset aren’t set in stone yet. The LucidSound LS40 Gaming Headset is available now.
|Product||LucidSound LS40 Wireless Surround Universal Gaming Headset||LucidSound LS20 Universal Gaming Headset|
|Volume Controls||Mute Game Volume, Mute Chat Volume, Game Volume Adjustment, Chat Volume Adjustment||Mute Game Volume, Mute Chat Volume, Game Volume Adjustment, Chat Volume Adjustment|
|Microphone||Detachable Boom Microphone, Integrated Microphone||Detachable Boom Microphone, Integrated Microphone|
|Mobile Integration||Works passively when not connected to console, Answer and End phone calls||Works passively when not connected to console, Answer and End phone calls|
|Battery||Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery, 15 hour battery life||Rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery, 20 hour battery life|
|Colors||Black and Silver with Brown Earpads||Black and Silver, White and Gold|
Alexander Quejado is an Associate Contributing Writer for Tom's Hardware and Tom’s IT Pro. Follow Alexander Quejado on Twitter.