The sub-$100 gaming headset category is a fiercely competitive space. Some manufacturers go with a lively colorway to stand out like Turtle Beach, others go the incredibly lightweight and comfortable path like SteelSeries, while some go barebones but with convenience features such as the detachable cords you find on Astro headsets. LucidSound, meanwhile, with the LS10P has opted for a feature-rich headset that still somehow includes 50mm drivers for a hair under $60 USD at $59.99 MSRP. In such a crowded space, can LucidSound make a case for its latest wallet-friendly headset this holiday season? Find out in our LucidSound LS10P review.
What’s in the Box?
In the box is the LS10P headset, detachable boom mic, cover for the mic port when the boom mic is not in use, user guide, the obligatory handout that practically shouts instructions about not returning the headset to the retailer if there are issues and to give support a call first, and a LucidSound sticker. While setting up a wired headset is ridiculously easy (you just plug it in), the user guide does include single-panel instructions for plugging in the boom mic, setting things up on the PS4, and using a mobile device with the LS10P. There is also a QR code that links to more complete instructions for using the headset on the PS4, which includes the important steps of outputting all audio through the DualShock 4 and setting the volume to 100% since actual volume can be controlled via the headset.
That volume control is a gamechanger that makes the LS10P a serious contender for gaming headsets in this reviewer’s opinion. Whereas other headsets that do include volume controls use a knob on an earcup or dial on an included audio extension cord, LucidSound made the entire left earcup a giant volume knob. (Editor’s Note: This is a staple feature for LucidSound headsets, from this budget-friendly model to the flagship LS50X.) Simply turning this left decreases the volume and to the right increases the volume. Pressing the center of the left earcup mutes the mic. If the boom mic is installed (and the headset is plugged in), a red LED glows at the tip to indicate that mute is actually engaged.
Not having to fumble around and feel for a small bump or knob while gaming means you’ll spend less time adjusting and more time playing, and it seems like such an obvious solution for volume control that other methods seem quaint by comparison. Unfortunately, the right earcup was not used for microphone levels adjustment—a feature the more premium LucidSound headsets have—due to all audio coming in through a single port/cable. It seems tweaking for that level will need to be done on-device. But adjusting audio volume is done much more often than mic levels, so this isn’t as big of an omission.
Light, Booming, Functional
The LS10P comes in at the lighter end of the weight scale, weighing only 256 grams / 9 ounces. I’ve only reviewed one headset lighter than this—the SteelSeries Siberia P300—which was only six grams lighter. Those six grams make no difference, as the LS10P is easy to wear for all-day gaming. After even an eight-hour session, it’s unlikely anyone will feel any sort of pressure or pain point. While there are no slots in the earcups for glasses like what Turtle Beach incorporates, the lightness of the headset will work in its favor to ensure glasses wearers can also go for several hours before feeling the need to remove the headset.
A nice, but completely secondary and optional feature, is that the earcups feature removable and supposedly customizable tags that are held in place via magnets. I say supposedly customizable because despite this claim by LucidSound, going to their website shows no entries for replacement tags available for purchase.
Perhaps this is because of a low likelihood of people purchasing such a niche accessory for what is already a gaming accessory, and not even seeing the tags available for purchase instills low confidence that they will be offered in the future. (Editor’s Note: We reached out to LucidSound, and they’ve told us that, if lost, the default tags are replaceable with a call or email to LucidSound at no cost. Custom tags are coming “VERY VERY soon” on LucidSound’s site, as well as the standard black ones.)
The LS10P is an over-ear headset, and as mentioned features 50mm neodymium dynamic drivers. These pads have an average frequency response range of 20 – 20,000 Hz. This translates to booming bass and responsive mids. No noticeable distortion can be sensed at normal volume levels, though certainly, this isn’t the type of headset designed to be driven by any sort of amp–the DualShock 4, your phone, and really any other device has plenty of output power to drive these without a problem. A lot of gaming-geared headsets at this price point only use 40mm drivers, which can lower the frequency response or increase distortion at higher volumes. This is about as big as headset earpads come, and the fact that LucidSound included them while still producing a light headset is impressive.
LucidSound LS10P Review - Feature-Packed, Wallet-Friendly | PSLS
Careful With That Cord
The detachable boom mic is also a solid addition. It’s lengthy enough that you won’t pick up any echo from the headset and sensitive enough that you’ll probably be the best-sounding player in your squad. An LED on the tip glows red when the mic is muted, which as mentioned is activated by simply pushing the mute button located in the center of the left earcup. Obviously, playing with the boom mic installed is the best use of the LS10P, but if you hate boom mics or want to talk to someone on your phone out in public without looking like a displaced pilot, then the built-in mic that takes over when the boom mic is uninstalled is also a good choice. Other people will be able to hear you on the other end without issue.
With all these features packed into a sub-$100 headset, something had to give. In this case, the only real detractor to be found on the LS10P is the cord. It’s labeled as being long, but at only 1.2 meters (just under 4 feet), it’s best used with a controller or plugged into a lengthier extension cord for receivers. The cord is also not braided, nor particularly thick, and doesn’t appear to have any sort of protection near the tip to protect against accidental bending. But the worst offender of all when it comes to the cord is the fact that it’s non-detachable from the headset itself. So you’ll need to handle this cord with care, as it’s the only one the LS10P will ever have!
LucidSound LS10P’s innovative volume control may be worth the price of admission alone. A decent sound stage and frequency response make these good daily drivers, while convenience features such as a mute indicator LED on the boom mic and a built-in mic for phone calls add plenty of value for a budget-friendly headset. Priced right at an MSRP of $59.99, the LS10P seems like a better deal than similarly-priced competitors.
LucidSound LS10P review unit was provided to PlayStation LifeStyle by LucidSound. For more information, please see our Review Policy.