One of the essential features of VR is becoming fully immersed in the experience. When I first tried the PlayStation VR at a demo booth, I quickly realized that a good pair of headphones would be necessary. While the PSVR does come with a complimentary set of earbuds, they’re far from the ideal accessory when using VR. Bionik’s new PSVR Mantis headphones are exactly what should have come with the VR headset instead. Created exclusively for PSVR, these detachable headphones are almost perfect and feel like an essential part of the PlayStation VR starter kit.
If I didn’t know better, it would be easy to mistake Bionik’s Mantis headphones for a first-party product. Both the design and white colour scheme match the PlayStation VR perfectly. The headphones aren’t that big either, so they won’t add much extra weight or bulkiness to the headset itself.
Installation is extremely simple as well. All you need to do is clip the headphones onto each side of the headset by pulling the clip open until it fits around the device. While the clips themselves felt completely sturdy when I used them, I couldn’t help but worry about the possibility of one of them breaking.
Because the headphones are clipped onto the headset, they’re very comfortable to wear and rest gently over your ears. If you do find a problem with the way they feel, however, the headphones are completely adjustable. As versatile as this design is, it does create a small problem when dealing with VR. With the headphones resting on your ears rather than covering them, it’s easy to find yourself having to readjust the headphones if you’re doing a lot of movement. I talked about immersion being a big factor when it comes to VR and there’s nothing less immersive than having to fidget with accessories after too much activity.
Sound quality for Bionik’s Mantis headphones isn’t a problem at all. At maximum volume, there is a noticeable amount of audio leak but this shouldn’t be an issue if you’re by yourself or with people who will be focused on the TV that’s playing the same sound anyway.
My biggest complaint about these headphones is hardly a major one. The headphone’s cable is a bit on the short side, barely reaching the audio port. While a longer cord would fix this problem, I wish the Mantis headphones were completely wireless. It’s slightly annoying to have not only the PSVR cable but to also have another wire rubbing against your arm or shoulder that tethers you down to the console itself. I’d love to see a wireless version of these headphones in the future.
After using Bionik’s Mantis headphones, I couldn’t believe that Sony themselves didn’t create an accessory like this. The PSVR Mantis headphones are perfect because they’re specifically designed for PSVR, and while it might not be the best fit for movement heavy gameplay, these headphones are a definite must-have for all PSVR owners.