Luxury is a concept that rarely used to come up when discussing headsets. In the early days of gaming, it was mostly seen as a necessary evil, a way to play Call of Duty at 3:00 AM without disturbing your roommate who has to wake up in a couple of hours.
Times have changed since then as headsets have entered the luxury sphere, with pricier entry points and more features cropping up on the regular. Enter Lucid Sound, an emerging headset maker whose goal is to fit right into this luxury sphere. While they haven’t been around for very long, their new LS41 flagship headset is a triumph that very much puts them on the map with crisp sound quality, comfortable design, and intuitive features.
Right off the bat, the biggest—and basically only—issue that I had with the LS41s involved the actual setup process. On PS4 and Xbox One, there are clear instructions included that tell you how to set the headset up, but for PC players there’s simply a QR code that redirects you to Lucid Sound’s website. That wouldn’t really be an issue, except for the fact that the place where it redirects you has no setup instructions for the LS41s either. I ended up stumbling on the pairing options accidentally after a couple of hours of scouring the site and watching various YouTube videos. To get them set up for PC you need to plug the USB dongle into your PC, use a paperclip to hold a button for three seconds, turn your LS41s on via the power button on the left side, and then hold the power button for seven seconds more to connect. It seems like a strange choice to not include the PC setup instructions in the actual instruction booklet, and the fact that the QR code doesn’t lead to any answers is a frustrating oversight that makes the immediate out of box experience a bit of a chore.
That being said, once you do get setup out of the way you’re in for a real treat. The LS41s feature a comfortable cloth liner, complete with memory foam and cooling gels built in. Most headphones tend to get uncomfortable after an hour or so of gaming, but the LS41s felt good, even after three hours of being stuck on the same battle in Fire Emblem: Three Houses. Visually they’re sleek and minimalist, with an all-black colour palette and the Lucid Sound Logo emblazoned on the ear flaps and connector port.
The LS41s sport 7.1 DTS Headphone:X Surround Sound that manages to bring an impressive layer of immersion to gaming. While playing, I regularly noticed sound cues that I don’t normally hear on my standard headset. As a result, I felt even more immersed in the world of the game, and it made for a truly cinematic sound experience.
My favourite part of the LS41s, however, is how little you have to think about them while in game. If you want to mute the mic all you have to do is tap on the right ear flap once and a red light will turn on, indicating that it’s on mute. If you want to adjust your volume mid-game, it’s a simple matter of moving the volume wheel on the right ear flap, and if you want to mute all audio you can tap the left ear flap. There is a real sense of intuitiveness that comes with the LS41s, and the fact that they’re wireless means that you don’t have to worry about taking them off when you go to refuel in-between games.
While they’re nowhere near the recording quality of a dedicated mic, I was able to record a couple podcast episodes without any sort of clipping or background noise being picked up. Also, the LS41s are a breeze to connect, and since they are wireless, they have a distinct ease of access advantage over my standard RODE mic that I normally use. All you have to do is simply plug in the USB dongle, hold down the connector button on the headset for three seconds, and the headset is ready to use. They’re advertised as having a 20-hour battery life, and I regularly got around 18 hours on a single charge—which is still quite good. Charging is rather fast and uses the included Micro USB, which thankfully is long enough so that you can continue to use the headset while you charge it.
The LS41s are rather pricey, clocking in at $200.00 USD, and are no doubt out of many gamers’ peripheral budgets. That being said, if you do have the money and are interested in a great wireless headset that packs impressive sound quality and comfort then the LS41s are a great choice.