Mantis PSVR Headphones Hardware Review – Virtual Convenience
Earlier this year, I reviewed a set of over-ear headphones made for use with PlayStation VR, featuring narrower earcups and a color scheme that comfortably fits with Sony’s virtual reality headset. While they ended up being a great solution for VR audio, what if you never had to reach for a separate set of headphones whenever you use PSVR? Enter bionik’s Mantis, the headphones made specifically for the PlayStation VR headset.
The Mantis headphones are extremely simple to use. They clip on to each side of the VR headset and almost become part of the entire unit. Once I put them on, I never bothered to take them off again. It’s convenient having them available and ready to go without fumbling blindly for another piece of hardware. The ear pads flip out slightly to make putting on and taking off the headset easy, and they press gently against your ears when you flip the hinge down. This hinge is also a great way to easily flip the headphones out of the way if you need to listen for something outside of the game, whether it’s pets or a spouse who isn’t too happy with you being off in your own little virtual world. With any other headset, you would need to remove them entirely, though with the way Mantis sits on your ears, sound will be leaking in naturally anyway.
The sound quality isn’t going to blow away audiophiles looking for nuance and specificity in their audio mix, but that’s what absurdly high end headphones are for. The Mantis VR headphones definitely surpass most of the cheap ones that you can pick up in the electronics bargain bin, and even give some sub-$100 headphones a run for their money. As far as over the ear headphones go, I’m happy to use these over any of my other headphones, and the convenience of being attached directly to the headset certainly doesn’t hurt.
Simple and Sleek
That convenience is a huge selling point for the Mantis VR headphones. PSVR has a mic built right into the visor, so it doesn’t need to worry about having one itself. The simple and sleek design that matches the PSVR’s aesthetic looks like Sony could have packaged these right in with the headset themselves. The ergonomic function of the earphones is such that once you’ve got them clipped on, they never need to leave. The minimal design is even compatible with the charge and display stand that I’ve got the rest of my VR accessories on, and it would probably be more work to unclip these and stow them somewhere else every time I was done playing.
While I’m glad that Sony offered players the option to use any earphones that they would like with PlayStation VR, it’s nice having a semi-permanent solution that takes away one of the steps when getting in to virtual reality. I’ve found that the biggest barrier to playing VR more often is the fact that it seems like a chore to get everything set up (yes, I know realistically it all takes about 30 seconds, but it’s a psychological thing). Knowing that I don’t have to go digging for headphones helps on some level to make playing VR just a little bit easier. The Mantis VR headphones are a must buy accessory for anybody with a PlayStation VR headset that wants to make their audio set up just a little bit more convenient.
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