Two hours into my Furi play session, the music is pounding through the LS20 LucidSound Amplified Headset, my eyes fixated on the screen in attempt to conquer the challenges that lie ahead. The headphones have immersed me so much that I fail to notice my mother entering my room to tap me on the shoulder… Looks like I need a new pair of pants to go with this headset.
The LS20 is the latest headset to come from the recently formed LucidSound. We’ve reviewed their other product, the LS30, and we were rather fond of it. So hopes were high for this one, but they were most certainly met.
The LS20 is a multi-purpose headset in that it’s compatible with all your devices. Xbox? Check. PlayStation? Check. PC? Checky McCheckerson. You can even use your headset to listen to music or podcasts through your phone on your morning commute, before plugging in to your Xbox when you get back. If you’re looking to get your money’s worth from a headset, you can do no wrong with the LS20.
That being said, there were a few teething problems in trying to set up the headset. Despite following the provided instruction manual to the letter, the headset refused to work. Only upon inspecting the LucidSound website did it become clear that my controller might need updating and I should power cycle my Xbox One. From then, however, the LS20 has worked like a charm.
The sleek, minimal design of the headset is worthy of merit. The dial to control volume is located on the left headphone, and the buttons to mute the microphone or the headphones are on either side of the headset. It’s certainly an improvement over other headsets with in-line dial control attached to the mic cable. Even better, is that these same controls can be used to take or mute calls from your ‘phone when you’re on the move.
The detachable microphone is also a masterstroke, especially when it comes outdoors use. No one wants to be walking around with a headset that looks ripped straight from the set of Top Gun. You’d get more than a few funny looks on the bus.
It’s just the little things in the design that add up to huge quality of life improvements. The leather padding on the headphones themselves allows for more comfort during extended play sessions. Sure, your ears will get sore after a while, but that’s just the LS20 telling you to take a break for 10 minutes.
The audio quality is fantastic, with you being able to listen to party chats and game audio simultaneously. Naturally, some experimentation is needed in fine tuning the volume balance between game audio and chat, but that’s the same with every headset on the market. That being said, certain games had to be turned down via the in-game settings. The intro to Payday 2 was a particularly bad offender.
What was particularly impressive and really helped to aid the immersion was the directional audio tracking whilst in game. There’s fantastic stereo separation that really helps identify where sound is coming from, even if that was to just find where the Jukebox was in my GTA Online clubhouse. Again, those little touches really help bring together the complete package.
Sound quality can’t be faulted – in fact, given that the source is compressed stereo audio, sound quality is remarkably close to that delivered by the more expensive LS30, which streams uncompressed audio from the console. We’d go as far as saying this is one of the very best stereo headsets of this type, and certainly the best in this price bracket.
Pick up the LucidSound LS20 Amplified Gaming Headset for just £79.99 (currently discounted by £10) at Argos, where it’s available in black and silver, or a very classy white and champagne gold.
Another brilliant headset from LucidSound.
If the LS30 left us in any doubt that LucidSound know what they are doing, those doubts were dispelled once we got the LS20 Amplified Gaming Headset up and running. Measured against other stereo headsets that stream compressed audio, there’s no doubt the LS20 offers a level of detail and clarity we haven’t heard elsewhere. Again, the LS20 is at the top end of the price range, but it’s clear you’re investing in a quality product. Other than some slight niggles on set up, we can’t fault it.