Sony and Microsoft had to rush to get their new consoles on the market late last year. Unfortunately, the hurry has been reflected in the early software but even more so in the hardware peripherals. When the PS4 launched it didn't have any proper headsets and the mono earpiece that came along with the console was nothing but a joke. Needless to say the demand for good headsets was high from the get go. Finally, after months of waiting, Sony has answered that call.
The PlayStation Gold Wireless Stereo Headset is a solid set and definitely worthy of at least one gold Trophy. The headphones work wirelessly with the PS4 and the PS3, and, with the 3.5-millimeter jack, it works well with the PS Vita as well. The wireless function is handled via an inconspicuous USB-dongle, and getting everything set up and started with your systems is so easy that even a child can manage it.
Device support deserves a tip of the hat; with the USB-dongle one can enjoy the wireless feature on PCs and Macs also, and nothing prevents using the headset with mobile devices with that 3.5-millimeter jack.
From a design standpoint the headset is a really nice piece of work. Like the PS4 console itself, the headset has a simple and minimalist appearance, and the matte black exterior with deep blue highlights creates an elegant impression. The materials may not be the highest of quality, but they are certainly not bad either. The assembly feels well put together and strong enough to stand up to even rougher use. The headset can also be conveniently folded together for easy transport. It's also possible to change the outer faceplates if you get bored with simple black ones (sold separately).
Design aside the most important thing is how the headphones fit and how comfortable they are to use. In this respect, it may not offer enough adjustments for everyone. Still, while I usually struggle with the overly small size of a headset, the Playstation Gold ear cups covered my ears really comfortably.
The headset is also suitably lightweight and well-balanced, so that it's fine even during hours of continuous use. After some time I did notice the interior leather starting to cause some friction and heating up, but all in all I had no problems with having the headset on for hours at a time.
Therefore it's nice that the Gold Wireless does not disappoint on audio quality either. I admit that I am not a hi-fi expert, but the headset's virtual 7.1 surround sound did impress me. Even if the surround is artificial it really helped to locate where the sounds were coming from while playing. The audio feed was also surprisingly clear and didn't feel as flat as you might expect. It takes off the meanest edge from the deepest bass sounds, but I felt fine using it with both movies and games. In music I did prefer the 2.0 stereo - this can be switched on and off by a simple flick of a button at any time.
Interestingly the microphone is completely hidden inside of the headset. Perhaps for this reason it doesn't seem to offer the best possible quality while chatting online. It does its job adequately in games but my friends did notice that you need to keep your speaking volume pretty high in order for the mic to pick it up. Then again the noise cancelling seem to work well.
A couple of minor points of critique come from the placing and texture of the buttons. Even though there's an audio cue when pressing them, they are not very intuitively placed. They also feel shallow, which makes them a little hard to locate. The headset is powered by an internal battery that take about 3 hours to fully charge. One charge lasts about 7-8 hours, but it is smart to remember to turn the headset off after use since there is no proper energy-saving stand-by mode. Also there is no charging stand included so you need to use a simple USB-wire, which while included is pretty short.
Let's talk price. The headset's retailing for over one hundred quid - but its quality reflects the higher end of the price range. Even though it's possible to find better audio quality in wired headsets, it is very hard to match Sony's new headset's balance between comfort, style and sound quality.
I also love that you can use the headset easily on other devices without complications. The USB-dongle is handy, the headset folds up nicely for the road and everything is super straightforward to use. If these are important factors for you then the Playstation Gold Wireless Stereo Headset might be the best headset for the PS4 at this moment.