PlayStation Pulse Elite Wireless Headset Review

The PlayStation Pulse Elite is an exceptionally well-designed headset with crisp, reliable audio.
playstation pulse elite headset review

The PlayStation Pulse Elite Wireless Headset is immediately striking. It doesn’t quite look like any other headset on the market – rather, like something you’d see in Johnny Mnemonic or in our far-off future. With a curved structure, ingeniously implanted microphone, and rounded earcups, it’s a novel and stylish gaming companion. Beyond its looks, it also delivers solid, crisp, and reliable sound that should serve users well.

In my time with the headset, I largely used it for playing through Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, Metal Gear Solid V: Ground Zeroes (my first taste of Metal Gear), and replaying the underrated 2019 MediEvil remaster – a mix of experiences, one might say. Each highlighted a strength of the Pulse Elite Wireless Headset, and its value for money as a mid-budget offering.

Audio clarity

Playing Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth, I was impressed by the audio clarity of the PlayStation Pulse Elite off the bat. In imagining this clarity visually, I like to think of sound as have multiple levels, in the same way a building has floors. A good headset is able to separate a bulk lot of sounds into these levels, allowing each unique sound to exist clearly, simultaneously in its own space, while being part of a greater cacophony.

playstation pulse elite wireless headset
Image: GamesHub

One scene in Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth sees Cloud wandering a hotel with coins in his pocket, and a sword at his back. The Pulse Elite was able to well-define and enunciate these sounds in their own levels. As Cloud walked, the headset detailed coins clinking, footsteps falling, and the vague swing of Cloud’s movement through the hotel space. Each sound was crisp, clean, and un-muddied. All this, while music played softly in the background.

Read: Final Fantasy 7 Rebirth – Review

This separation was particularly handy while playing Ground Zeroes, a game that relies largely on stealth. As I traversed a quiet, tense battlefield filled with roaming guards, the Pulse Elite painted a very accurate sound map of enemies and obstacles. Hiding behind a shelter, I could hear enemies roaming on all sides – behind me, in front, and in the distance. With each layer of sound delivered in crisp tones, and with a neat sense of direction, I was able to better plan my route through the game.

Meanwhile, playing the MediEvil remaster with the headset allowed the orchestral, gothic soundtrack plenty of room to shine, haunting in its peculiar choral melodies. It also lent itself well to zombie jump scares, as the rumble of coffins and the sudden cacophony of moans from the headset shocked me out of complacency.

As far as aiding my adventures, the PlayStation Pulse Elite performed solidly throughout this testing.

I did note a lack of meaty bass while playing – sounds are crisp and clear but not particularly emphatic – but in active gameplay, it wasn’t a notable bugbear. It’s also fair enough to chalk this up to price point. At AUD $239.95 RRP, you can expect decent, clear sound, but spending a smidge more will get you those deeper, more atmospheric bass notes and more well-defined tones. If you’ve never experienced high-end audio, the difference is less likely to be noticed – if at all.

Charging and connectivity

Another boon when using the headset is its multi-modal connectivity. Using the headset connected to the provided USB-A dongle and standalone Bluetooth, I had zero issue with latency, or with hooking up my phone to receive messages while gaming. Having the option of using the dongle or not is also very appreciated, and made setup simple and quick.

In regards to battery life, the Pulse Elite is also a goer. According to Sony, the headset will last around 30 hours in active use before needing a charge – and that seemed accurate, in my experience. After more than a week using the headset every day (for around two hours), I still haven’t had to stick it on charge.


playstation elite wireless headset
Image: GamesHub

That’s not to say the headset is perfect – as I did have a significant issue with the overall adjustability of the Pulse Elite. The inner headband of the headset does expand to account for larger heads, but you can’t actually change the size or length of the band. I have a relatively small head, and I found the inner band fairly tight. Paired with suction-like earcups, the Pulse Elite felt like a very snug, somewhat claustrophobic fit.

After hours of gameplay, the headset remained comfortable, largely as the upper band sits away from the top of my head (which is usually quite sensitive), but I would feel more comfortable with roomier earcups, and a properly adjustable headband.

The ultra-plush earcups aided use – they’re soft to touch and don’t heat up too much – but I can also see them being an issue in future, particularly as I have a number of sharp earrings which threaten the integrity of the material. The softness is great, but the earcups seem like they could tear easily, so they’ll need to be treated with care.

Final verdict

Despite these bugbears, I largely found the Pulse Elite to be a great, budget-friendly headset with an array of features that well serve the audio experience. There’s clearly been a lot of thought put into the headset’s design – I particularly enjoyed its neatly retractable microphone – and this is well paired with strong, dynamic audio drivers for a great all-rounder gaming companion. The fit of the headset is a fair concern, but other features help to overcome this unique quirk.

Performance-wise and looks-wise, the PlayStation Pulse Elite Wireless Headset is a particularly tantalising option in its price category.

Four stars: ★★★★

PlayStation Pulse Elite Wireless Headset
Release Year: 2024
Price: AUD $239.95 RRP

PlayStation Pulse Elite Wireless Headset
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05/18/2024 07:07 am GMT

A PlayStation Pulse Elite Wireless Headset was provided to GamesHub for the purposes of this review. GamesHub reviews are rated on a five-point scale.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.