We’ve been testing the PS5’s PULSE Elite wireless headset for a couple of weeks now, and you may want to think about upgrading.

Fresh off releasing its surprisingly impressive PULSE Explore earbuds, PlayStation has continued to bolster its audio line-up with the PlayStation PULSE Elite wireless headset. But while it may share a few similarities to its three-year old brother (the PULSE 3D), this upgrade is worth getting excited over because it’s an improvement on almost every level.

Aesthetically, the PULSE Elite continues the design trend first laid down by the PlayStation 5. That means you can expect the signature dual colour tones and all sorts of funky angles at play here, but the headset does well to match with the main console’s latest peripheral suite (including the PlayStation Portal, PULSE Explore and DualSense). Just don’t be surprised if you think you look a little silly when it’s actually resting on your noggin.

Personally though, I didn’t mind too much because whatever design magic PlayStation have managed here, the PULSE Elite is incredibly comfy. The refined ear cups are much wider than the older model and just feel fuller and plushier overall. That means internal drivers aren’t pressing against your ear while somehow still delivering decent level of pressure to create a seal that keeps everything locked in place. This seal also helps with noise isolation, which itself is pretty darn impressive considering there’s no additional active noise cancellation features to tout.

It’s one of a number of considered tweaks to the PULSE Elite that make it such an interesting value proposition – the updated microphone just another feather in its proverbial cap. Where the original PULSE relied on a broader placement within the earcup, the PULSE Elite, on the other hand, extends out from one of the unit’s right frame, allowing a placement that’s much closer to your mouth. Plus there’s a physical mute button on the underside of the mic and a small indicator light to tell you if you’re live or not.

The new placement allows for a noticeably cleaner audio output this time around – boosted by new AI-powered noise-rejection technology. In essence, that new tech means if you want to munch on a bag of chips while jumping on a game of Helldivers 2 with your friends, you won’t go copping any flak. Hell, some might not even notice. I say this because that’s what happened in my testing, meaning it’s bound to be a serious lifesaver for more multiplayer-focused gamers.

And when you’re not using it, the microphone neatly tucks back into its hidey hole, which is something not even Sony’s own INZONE models could manage, and is especially nice for those solo-focused adventures like Final Fantasy VII Rebirth. Speaking of which, we played plenty of that epic release with the PULSE Elite and the result was as impressive as we’d hoped for.

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Much like the PULSE Explore buds the PULSE Elite makes the most of Sony’s new Planar technology, meaning there’s a great degree of clarity that serves as the foundation for the headset’s audio output. In Final Fantasy VII Rebirth, it allowed me to hear much more of the game’s soring open world and epic score, enriching the experience from start to finish.

For Helldivers 2 meanwhile, that clarity is essential, helping me better notice each environmental detail – critical in surveying the battlefield, getting the jump on bugs and serving out handfuls of democracy. For both titles, utilising the PlayStation Link wireless tech via the included USB dongle (or completely wirelessly to connect to the PlayStation Portal), was incredibly painless and simple.

The one element that gets a bit side-lined from this clarity though is bass, which is a lot more subdued here. You’re still very able to pump the levels a little more via your PS5’s equaliser settings, but those wanting a deep, thumping bass over every other detail may need to look elsewhere. If you do want to tinker with the specific settings, PlayStation’s on-screen interface has you covered, and it’s pretty easy to mess around with the various sliders until you find a profile that best jives with you.

At $239.95, the PULSE Elite headset sits somewhere in the middle of the gaming headset price spectrum, but for this price point it’s hard to deny that it’s one of the best options for the PS5, if not the best. Even Sony’s own IZONE H9 is $200 pricier than this, while the new Astro A50X is closer to $750 and both unit lack those impressive Planar drivers.

Helping add to the value, PlayStation have even included a charging hanger in the box that’ll neatly store and charge your device provided you’re willing you pull out a drill, and I haven’t even mentioned the 30+ hour battery life or Dual device connectivity but that’s how feature-driven the PULSE Elite is.

If PlayStation continues to commit to this path I’m incredibly interested to see what comes next.

The PlayStation PULSE Elite wireless headset is available now for $239. You can grab it from JB Hi-Fi here.

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