LucidSound's Approach To Gaming Headsets Blends Simplicity With Clear Uncompressed Sound
The gaming audio marketplace is crowded, but as long as there are companies innovating, it isn't saturated. LucidSound, a company made up of Tritton and Turtle Beach alumni, has opted to focus first on clear sound over bells and whistles.
The company's inaugural product, the LS30, is billed as a universal wireless gaming headset. It uses a USB dongle plugged into a console or PC to transmit uncompressed audio wirelessly from the digital optical connection. Simulated surround sound wireless headsets use compressed audio by necessity.
The LS30 headset features a 50 mm driver in each year, pumping out stereo sound. Despite the larger speaker in each cup, which usually leads to heavier bass at the cost of muddiness at higher frequencies, the audio is clear across the full range.
Controls are designed with simplicity in mind. There is a game volume dial on one ear and a chat volume dial on the other. Tapping one side mutes your mic, with the other silencing the speakers.
The unit is fully rechargeable, with LucidSound claiming 12 hours of battery life and a 2.5-hour full charge time. The cups are heavily padded with memory foam, and while there is no noise cancelation technology in the unit, the design allows for impressive isolation that cut off most of the loud PAX East show floor.
One of the aesthetic decisions inherent in the LS30 is that LucidSound wants people to feel comfortable using these in a variety of settings. This headset doesn't scream "gaming," and with a removable boom mic, they give off a strong Beats vibe.
It works with mobile phones, too. Tethering via a 3.5 mm cable slaves the headset controls to the phone. You can't use the dials or tap muting, but the sound quality more than makes up for it. A built-in, hidden secondary mic lets you take calls on the go without needing the boom.
LucidSound has priced the LS30 to move. The company's pilot product sells for $150 ($120 if you happen to be at PAX), compared to other wireless options that sell for as much as $400. If simulated surround sound or programmable equalizer settings (the LS30 ships with three baked in choices) aren't must-haves for you, it's worth giving these a listen.
Update: Some clarifications have been made regarding volume dials and audio transmission technology.