While the availability of cutting edge consoles might leave something to be desired, even now, the LucidSound LS15X expands on the ever-increasing number of audio options for anybody looking for a new audio option for the latest consoles.
The LucidSound LS15X is the newest of the LucidSound lineup, landing somewhere near the sub $100 mark and packing in wireless connectivity, solid sounds, some ingenious control features, and a lightweight option that should keep going all day. For owners of team blue’s boxes, the LS15P is a PlayStation compatible version but we got our hands on the Xbox iteration for this review.
Compatibility: Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Mobile (wired)
Connectivity: Wireless, 3.5mm Jack
Color: Black / Blue
Battery Life: Up to 15 hours
Characteristic SPL: 97 +/-3dB
EQ Modes: Signature Sound, Bass Boost, Flat EQ
Headset Inputs: 3.5mm, Micro USB (charging)
Sound Space: DTS:X, Amplified Stereo Sound, Surround Sound using Dolby Atmos, Surround Sound using Windows Sonic
Speaker Size: 50mm
Wireless Range: 30ft
Out The Box
Like many of LucidSound’s range, the LS15X comes in a thoughtfully minimal cardboard packing. While the eye-catching outer wrapper effectively keeps things in place with a little flair, the LS15X is held in place by a mostly moulded pulp interior meaning the headset is both adequately protected and there’s very little landfill here. Inside the box is the LS15X, a detachable boom mic, a USB cable, a 3.5mm jack cable, and the accompanying USB wireless receiver.
Design And Dials
Just like the packaging, there isn’t a whole lot to the LS15X. This Xbox compatible headset weighs in at just 282g / 9.95oz. The shock blue color that we got can be exchanged for a simpler black, but I’m loving all the attention this headset has been getting over the last couple of weeks. Overall construction is entirely plastic, including the core of the headband, which gives the LS15X a mix of flexibility and comfort that other heavyweights might struggle to replicate. While the memory foam padding on this doesn’t look like much in pictures, the lightweight materials mean it is barely necessary and the LS15X turns out to be a surprisingly comfortable fit.
The LS15X is a primarily wireless device designed to combine solid sound with wire-free gaming. Despite this, there are a few features that give it some definite flexibility. Along the left-hand speaker, a 3.5 mm input jack allows anybody looking to get on the go to plug directly into the few mobiles that still have this option included. Accompanying this added extra on the left is a port for the detachable boom mic, which I’ll discuss later, the power button, and LucidSound’s signature quick dial control dial. Keeping the earcup free from too much minutia, LucidSound also employs a dial around the outer edge of the left earcup that controls volume and can mute the audio output with just a press of the carbon fibre styled plates. This feature continues on the opposite side, where the right-hand dial modifies the game/chat balance and a quick press of the right earcup mutes the microphone.
Much like the materials chosen for the LS15X, the control scheme has some earnest thought behind it. While many manufacturers focus almost singularly on the drivers in their cans, LucidSound’s decision to move volume and mute controls off to the side makes accessing everything on the LS15 series a pleasure for something at this price point.
The only other button hidden at the base of the earcups is the built-in EQ selection, including an added Bass Boost and LucidSound’s own Signature Sound mode. Without the EQ modifiers, the raw sound of the 50mm Neodymium dynamic drivers in the LS15X are custom tuned by LucidSound and do a decent job. They have good clarity with a pleasingly clear mid-range, but do hit some limitations surrounding this. Bass has a disappointingly lack of dynamic response and punch behind it. While on-screen explosions are still present and perfectly distinguishable, there’s no getting away from how flat this can make more complex environments feel. Especially when using LucidSound’s signature sound EQ mode which should, in theory, make footsteps easier to hear the loss of definition across the rest of the audio spectrum is noticeable. Despite my criticisms, the LucidSound LS15X audio is a world away from $50 headsets. Given the right audio input, they fare a whole lot better when getting into battle. Turning on Windows Sonic For Headphones before shooting up Apex Legends or logging into Warzone provides solid positional data and elevates the whole experience when using the Signature Sound EQ to highlight enemy footsteps and gunfire.
Much like the audio output of the LS15X, these microphone options on the LS15X are a balanced affair. The detachable boom mic provides good clarity to the human voice with some caveats and the red LED that glows when the device is muted is a nice touch. As before, the LS15X does make compromises with the audio input. When my colleagues and teammates expressed a definite preference for the bright blue boom mic, I expected to be blown away by this budget offering. After recording some samples, and listening to the sidetone, I concluded that it does a great job at translating the human voice but it does end up feeling somewhat robotic.
Quick dynamic changes can feel subdued and while the LS15X does an acceptable job of noise suppression in our tests, that is largely down to the physical construction of a boom mic that suffers from a lack of any discernible pop filter.
An additional internal mic does allow you to remove the boom arm and go mobile, but it also takes the more minor issues of the main mic and amps them up, struggling to make much of an impact. I’m not entirely sure that the inclusion of an internal mic makes a lot of sense for these. I do not expect this headset, with its bright blue color scheme and LucidSound branding, to be going mobile much.
In the end, the LS15X microphone reflects a great deal about the rest of this headset. It manages to do most things well with some compromises. The sound quality is solid. It is a strong competitor in big-budget shooters but does fade somewhat when it comes to more complex or dynamic situations. The battery life is solid with between 12-15 hours depending on use, and connectivity is on par with what the in box documentation advertises. The control setup is a highlight and everything feels incredibly comfy, leaving players to concentrate on the action in game. If you’re looking for comfort and control then the LucidSound LS15X should be in your basket. The LucidSound LS15X is available now via major retailers and the LucidSound website.