They sound as good as they look.
You may not have heard of LucidSound, but if the quality of this headset is any indication, you will be hearing more about them soon. The hardware manufacturer is relatively new to the market, and it specializes in high-end gaming headsets. At $179.99, the LS35Xs (See them on Amazon) are LucidSound’s newest high-end model. The headset’s list of features is a mile long, but most importantly it offers Xbox Wireless connectivity—making LucidSound one of the only third-party manufacturers that are licensed for it. LucidSound’s not content with just the Xbox crowd however; it’s also looking to capture the “lifestyle” audience, with support for mobile gaming and a design that’s stylish enough to wear in public.
LucidSound LS35X – Design and Features
Style is subjective, but I’ve come to find the garish lights and crazy colors that pass as “gamer gear” increasingly obnoxious. Thankfully, there is nothing obnoxious here. While the over-ear cups are a bit larger than I’d prefer, the headset’s look is pretty much perfect. The sleek, gunmetal grey metal frame and cushy black quilted headband are nondescript in the best way. This is a headset that’s just as likely to be found by your briefcase as it is by your battle station. In fact, these are the first gaming headphones I’ve ever taken on a trip with me—and it was a business trip at that (I had to get some gaming in on the plane.)
At .89 pounds, the LS35Xs are definitely not lightweight due to the metal headband that also wraps around the ear cups (I’ve tested plenty of headphones that are half as heavy). But they’re so perfectly balanced that they didn’t fatigue my ears or head, even after long sessions. My longest single session lasted for more than five hours (!) and only after about four hours did I experience the slightest discomfort around the band. As someone who usually lasts about 45 minutes before needing a reprieve, that’s a huge accomplishment.
That’s thanks in part to the comfortable memory foam lining in both the headband and the ear cups, which molded perfectly to my head and ears. The cups rotate to fit flat against your chest when you’re taking a break, and also feature a cooling gel which I swear I could feel the first time, and then never again.
The volume knobs are hidden in the two rings that encompass the ear cups. When connected to an Xbox One or Windows 10 you can spin the dial on the left cup to adjust the game volume, while the right controls the chat mix. Pushing the center of the outer ear cup on the left mutes game audio, and pushing it on the right mutes the mic, which will illuminate a bit-too-bright red light at the end of the boom mic to indicate it’s muted. Holding the right button for three seconds toggles mic monitoring on and off, which unfortunately only works when connected to Xbox Wireless.
For chat and calls there’s a dual-mic system. One mic activates when the boom mic is unplugged—letting you take calls, talk to your phone’s voice assistant, and more without the need for an extremity poking out from the headset. The other microphone is at the end of a boom, and its activated when the boom is plugged into the headset via its very own 3.5mm jack. This mic captures crisp and audio clear both when connected to Xbox Wireless and also when the headset is plugged directly into your phone’s 3.5mm headphone jack (provided, of course, that your phone has one).
While the LS35Xs boom mic system sounds undeniably better than the built-in one, the position of the microphone in relation to your mouth actually makes the biggest difference. Thankfully, the LS35X’s microphone is super flexible, yet firm enough to stay in place.
You can press the left ear cup button to control supported devices. In my testing, this worked on a variety of devices. On an iPhone, for instance, holding the left button activates Siri, pressing it once during music pauses music, etc.
The LS35Xs come with a USB cable for charging, a mic port cover (in case you decide you’d like to cover the hole left when the boom mic is removed), a 3.5mm male-to-male audio cable to connect with your phone or consoles, and a travel case (the one we received was a hard case, which the box said is a limited-time offer.)
LucidSound LS35X – Gaming and Performance
On my Xbox One, the LucidSound 35Xs were super easy to connect. I just had to press the sync button on the Xbox One, then press the sync button on the headset, and voila! Five seconds later I was synced up. There’s no fiddling with optical audio cables, no base stations, and no proprietary audio cables (they are charged with an included mini USB cable). Unfortunately, this is where I ran into my only technical problem with the headset. On three separate occasions the headset froze while I tried to connect to my Xbox. Nothing except time could get them to reconnect, which was—to say the least—extremely annoying since it was intermittent.
Despite the connectivity hiccup, these headphones exceeded my expectations in nearly every other way. They boast stellar audio, for gaming, music, and movies—with sharp treble, distinct mid tones, and more than adequate bass. I tested them on a slew of games—from FIFA to Overwatch to PUBG—and they sounded fantastic with all of them. They’re certified for Dolby Atmos and the already stellar stereo capabilities are undeniably richer with it enabled, with some pretty fantastic positional audio.
The LS35Xs are billed as a headset for Xbox One, Windows 10, and mobile gaming, but if you’re on a different console, there’s good news: though not billed as headphones for Nintendo Switch or Playstation 4, they make a surprisingly capable audio-only headset. Unlike on Xbox One, they don’t need to be charged either—you just plug them in with the included 3.5mm aux cord and you’ll be rewarded with the same superb audio that’s available in wireless mode.
As an Xbox headset, they’re just about perfect. You could spend much more for a pair this good. But as a mobile headset, they’re not quite as drool worthy for two reasons. First, mic monitoring doesn’t work when using the 3.5mm jack (it only works when connected with Xbox Wireless). Second, in a time when every major phone manufacturer is abandoning the audio jack, it’s the only way to connect the headset to a phone or tablet. Down the road, and even now to a large extent, they will need a standard they don’t have to be truly cross platform—Bluetooth. However, this headset is going to be snatched up by customers that want Xbox wireless connectivity—and that’s where the LS35Xs really excel. Mobile gaming works, but it could be considered more of an additional perk than a selling point.
The LS35X is available online for $179.99.