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Retail price $99.99 US Dollars Street price $72.00 to $99.99 US Dollars
These headsets were released on 9/6/11. I preordered mine from Overstock.com for $75.00 including S&P.I received them on 9/9/11 because they would not ship them out till the actual release date.
Appearance First Impressions out of the box were pretty favorable. The headset is very lightweight probably because other than the earpads themselves it is 100% plastic. I think Sony did a decent job in designing these. They are very attractive and you can tell they took design cues from the Playstation 3 slim. The two side pieces holding the Earpads are the same black matte brushed plastic finish as the Playstation Slim and the font style and logo are identical. The headband has a silver gray brushed metal appearance that corresponds with the area of the PS3 slim where you insert the game discs. If you like the look of the console,you will like the appearance of these headsets. If you don't like the appearance of the slim at least it is obvious they were meant to be a set.The controls are plainly marked and clustered on the left side of the headset where the retractable microphone is also located. 8/10
Build Quality The headsets build quality is in line with the $99 dollar retail price. The large soft earpads are a decent faux leather and suprisingly comfortable even after several hours of use.They pivot about 15 degrees and stayed snug but not too tight.One nice touch was the interior of the pads themselves. Sony angled the 40mm drivers so they aim directly in your ears. The headband adjusts with a plastic ratchet adjuster on the left side of the headband. It was easy to fit it on my head and stayed where I set it. The top of the band that fits on your head is well padded also. The two slider controls, one for volume and the other for sound chat moved easily and stayed in the positions I put them in. One component I feel could have problems is the retractable microphone. It's plastic seemed a bit flimsy to me and I could imagine it breaking if you hit it or dropped it hard when it was fully extended. 8/10
Set Up Set up for this headset is incredibly easy. I felt Sony really did a great job. You simply plug in the wireless USB adapter and hold the power/mute button for one second and you are done. You will hear a beeping noise and a status indicator will appear in the upper right hand corner of your screen. I was a little dismayed when I first learned Sony was not using Bluetooth for this headset but it seems they made the right choice. 10/10
Controls Sony has made a very basic headset with fewer control options then some of the more expensive headsets on the market.All the controls are located on the left side. On the front top there is a Virtual Surround button that you press to toggle between the 7.1 surround sound or basic stereo. Directly below that is the power/mike button which is more like a pad than button. You press and hold it for a second to turn the unit on and off and when the power is on you tap it once to turn the mike on and off. The front is where the mixer slider is located. If you want more game sound you slide up,to adjust the relative volume of chat you slide it down. There is a slight click felt when you are halfway in between the two to aid in adjusting them. Directly to the back is the volume slider. It took me about 20 minutes of gameplay to be making adjustments without thinking about it. Although there are no separate controls for bass, treble,chat volume or game volume I didn't feel like I couldn't get the headset to sound like I wanted. Every time you make an adjustment the status display flashes onscreen for a second or two to let you know exactly how you changed things.The status display never got in the way of gaming, it is very similar to other messages you get from the Playstation 3.The retractable mike has a small LED light near its end. It flashes blue ,red or purple to let you know what mode you are in pairing, charging, mike off and connection standby. I haven't really used this feature because that info if on the status display indicatior. In any event all the different colors and flashes are well documented in the instructions if you want to use this feature. Some reviewers were distracted by the small LED light near the end of the mike. I personally had no problems with the mike extended or not. I never noticed it unless I wanted to look at it.The simple controls made it very easy to manipulate and game at the same time. 9/10
I set the headset to 7.1 virtual sound and played Uncharted 2 MP since I've been playing it lately and I'm very familiar with how it sounds. I was very satisfied with the sound, game and music were blended well and the virtual 7.1 sound was accurately defined. I could tell when sounds were coming from behind, to the side or in back of me. I could also pick up some sounds like footsteps,or reloading more clearly than from the television speakers. All sounds were accurately reproduced and the bass for explosions were nicely reproduced. The 40mm drivers sounded much bigger to me than I thought they would. I felt more immersed in the game than usual.... more like I was in it rather than observing it. I switched over to stereo for a few games and the experience was not as enjoyable. While most of the sounds were there,it was harder to define what direction they were coming from. The subtle sounds were more obtuse and I had to strain to hear them. The chat feature of this game seemed to be fine. You can't hear yourself speak, but my teamates all said I was crystal clear through out the 4 hours I was playing. I never fully extended the retractable mike and had no problems. Other player's chat were more clear than the bluetooth I was using previously. I loved the ease with which I could turn chat on or off and a simple slide of the game/chat control would mute the other team. 9/10
I use PS3 Media Server to access my music collection on my hard drive. I use mp3 files and the songs are anywhere from 192 to 320 kbps. I decided to use only 320 kbps songs to listen to since the higher bitrate reproduces sound more accurately to me. I started out using the 7.1 virtual sound. I tried a few different songs and I really wasn't pleased. It sounded like the treble was turned way up and the bass wasn't effective. The directional sound seemed to detract from the songs rather than enhance it. Stereo was even worse I felt as if I was listening to the music with cotton in my ears. Sound stage was minimal and lows,mids, and highs were diminished. Compact discs sounded the same in 7.1 and stereo. I think the headset was designed for gaming more than music even though Sony markets it as a music headset. I've always saved up and bought the best sound equipment I could afford so I might be a bit of a music snob.I would use these headphones for very casual music listening only. The wireless aspect of the headphones is convienent so I could see myself cleaning the house while using them if I needed to keep the sound low. 5/10
Value While I can't compare this headset to more expensive gaming headsets I do feel that Sony has done a good job on this headset for the price. The gaming sounds were way better than I expected and the controls and setup were very nice also. Being able to walk 30 feet or so to the bathroom without unplugging or worrying about losing your connection is a big plus if you are used to a bluetooth like I am. It uses a LI-Ion battery like the Sony Six-Axis controllers do. It also uses the same mini/USB cable to hook it up to the PS3. The cable is not included with the charger. Sony must figure you have one if you have a PS3. Sony says a charge will hold for around 7 hours. I played for 4 hours and it was still at medium charge.The retractable mike is less of a worry than I thought especially since you don't have to fully extend them for chatting. I think they will last longer than the year Sony warrantees them unless you abuse them. I would not hesitate to purchase them again. 8/10
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