Our posts contain affiliate links. Sometimes, not always, we may make $$ when you make a purchase through these links. No Ads. Ever. Learn More
Sony’s size and wide range of products give it an edge over Microsoft, Nintendo, and 3rd party product manufacturers. It can mass-produce products that complement its own product line. In the case of PlayStation, we’ve already seen the Playstation 3D Display, which is not the typical gamer hardware, but the rest of Sony’s accessory line for the Playstation 3 is filled with Sony products. As the most open system (because the PS3 uses Bluetooth for wireless, compared to the Xbox 360’s proprietary wireless technology), there is plenty of 3rd party hardware, but Sony’s own internal development can put out better hardware faster, and often without compromises. Additionally, you can see what other options Sony offers with our guide on the top Sony gaming headsets.
That’s the story of the Wireless Stereo Headset. It’s also the story of the best gaming headset.
Carrying a similar design to Sony’s high-end headphones, the Wireless Stereo Gaming Headset has an ear-shaped design for maximum comfort over long periods. It’s an over-the-ear headset with leather cushions and a growing indent on the inside to leave plenty of space for the ear. The frame has a solid build with a metal band, and two heavy plastic side covers leading down to the oversized cans. If you want a little more flare with your headphones, you can read our Tritton Ghost Recon: Future Soldier 7.1 surround sound headset review to see if they sound like something you would like.
Everything is controlled on the left side of the headset. In front is a volume slider for chat or game sound (it boosts one or the other) and on the back is a standard volume slider and the USB-Mini charging port. On the front of the left band is the invisible power button (below the band frame; just press on the band itself to turn it on and off), and just above the band in the crevice between plastic and metal is the virtual sound toggle. Inside the left can is the boom microphone, which is not adjustable but extends and retracts to and from the headset, similar to the SteelSeries Arctis 7 wireless gaming headset.
Some users may be upset about it, but the Wireless Stereo Headset doesn’t use Bluetooth. Instead, it ships with a USB dongle, utilizing the 2.4GHz spectrum. This means users can’t just instantly turn on their PS3 and throw on the headset, they need to keep the dongle connected to do so. This is good and bad because it’s very easy to switch devices and set up (just plug and play on PS3 or PCs), but obviously, it requires the dongle and isn’t a standalone piece. I prefer the current design, though my PS3 has 4 USB ports, and I switch often between the game console and my PC. No Bluetooth also limits the headset to USB devices, so no phone use with this headset.
Related: For more wireless headsets, check out our review of the Skullcandy Plyr2 Wireless Gaming Headset review.
While I’ve heard from some sound experts that the ear design Sony employs for their high-end headphones isn’t as good as competitors (see Sound Quality), they are excellent for comfort. The Playstation Wireless Stereo Headset is no different in this regard. The design, shape, and weight all are expertly crafted. It’s comfortable for hours on end, gaming, media, or just blocking outside noise. Noise cancellation is minimal, but the design helps block sound naturally.
The Stereo Headset is also expertly sized and weighted; it isn’t so big that it weighs down, nor is it too large to feel overpowering or cumbersome, and by no means is it a small headset. Take a look at some of the competing models by comparison, below. Note that the models shown are not PS3 models, but are actually for PC gaming.
There are two forms of sound quality for headsets, audio quality and voice quality. With the Wireless Stereo headset, the latter is crisp and clear, with uncompromised audio performance and clarity, though there is a slightly noticeable hiss for other players. From my game time, they said it was on par with most headsets and was so quiet it felt like background noise.
For the latter, as I explained earlier, sound experts argue that the shape of the cans in Sony’s high-end headphones doesn’t reproduce audio as well as in normal headphones. Sony’s engineers obviously think differently. But one thing all audio experts do agree on is that stereo sound and surround sound is almost impossible to differentiate between using headphones, because the audio drivers are so close together and because proper directional audio can be done with smart sound design.
I’ve tested the Stereo Headset over a significant amount of time, and am impressed with the audio quality. Bare in mind that this is not an audiophile headset; it’s made for gaming. For that, the sound quality is excellent. Games sound vibrant with good bass and finely tuned audio, and for music listening, it’s both comfortable and provides good sound. More importantly, while it doesn’t have noise cancellation, the thick leather cushions do an excellent job of blocking any unwanted sounds.
Related: Also, check out our Steelseries Arctis 5 Gaming Headset review.
Gaming-grade hardware is all too often on one end of the spectrum, the bad end. The higher-quality stuff tends to be too expensive for frugal gamers, who spend $60 per game. As so many know too well, it’s an expensive hobby. That’s perhaps the biggest reason why Sony has done something exceptional with the Stereo Headset. It’s only $100 retail, and much cheaper with just a little digging.
Price is always the most important factor, yet the Wireless Stereo Headset is an exceptional audio device. It has great sound quality, a very solid build, and a simple control scheme, and it’s also one of the most comfortable gaming headsets on the market. The combination of all these things and an excellent price just screams one thing: excellence. If you are still not sold on which headset to choose, you can read our comparison of the Sony Pulse 3D vs Astro A20 to see if either of those is right for you.
Put simply, the Wireless Stereo Headset is the best wireless gaming headset you can buy. It matches excellent pricing with great quality and comfort. There is no comparison on those fronts.
Bottom Line: Excellent stereo headphones offering digital surround sound. Extremely comfortable, solid 6-8 hours of battery life per charge, and great sound quality, all for an amazing price.