With the recent release of Microsoft’s Xbox Series X, a brand new generation of gaming is now available for your front room. While upgrading your display to accommodate stunning 4K visuals might be an obvious choice, it can be all too easy to overlook the audio side of things. For those lucky enough to finally grab an Xbox Series X, LucidSound is betting on the new LS50X gaming headset to help usher your ears into a new generation of adventures.
Already available in the US and coming very soon to EU retailers, the LS50X is the top end Xbox and Windows 10 compatible headset in the LucidSound gaming range. Coming in at an RRP of $249.99 / £239.99, it presents a definitive step or three up from the LS10X that we tested last year.
Speaker Size: 50mm
Stereo sound – Surround sound on Xbox One using Dolby Atmos or Windows Sonic
5 EQ Modes:
Frequency Response: 20 – 20,000 Hz
Characteristic SPL: 97 +/-3dB
Console Game Audio: USB
Console Chat Audio: USB
Mobile: 3.5mm, Bluetooth 4.2
Inputs [Headset]: 3.5mm, USB-C (charging/updates)
Inputs [Base Station]: USB
Wireless Range: 30ft
Omni-directional, removable with LED mute indicator + active noise and echo cancelling + built-in mic
Out The Box
If nothing else, the LS50X certainly makes an impression right from the moment it hits the desktop. The words “Best Xbox Headset” feature prominently on the outer wrapping and with expectations set, the presentation of the LucidSound LS50X certainly doesn’t disappoint. Strip back the protective sleeve and this pair of headphones comes neatly enveloped in a smart black and green presentation box, that will either play to the premium aura that Lucidsound is looking to build, or possibly just seem wasteful.
After slipping open the rather swish looking cardboard box, there’s still another layer between your earholes and the LS50X. To ensure that this investment isn’t destined to rattle around the back of the sofa, Lucidsound also includes a rigid carry case to keep everything in pristine shape. This fairly utilitarian protective case is functional enough, mixing a rigid body with a soft feel velvet feel interior to make sure that the included headset doesn’t suffer any unintended scratches. Once unzipped, there is also plenty of room for the Lucidsound LS50X, wireless receiver, the included boom mic, 3.5mm jack, USB A to C cable and even the included instructions if you feel like it.
Look & Feel
When the LucidSound LS50X isn’t snuggly tucked away, this headset balances a premium feeling build with an understated design, at least for gaming headsets. The audio focused manufacturer has titled away from the white and rose gold accents of the Snoop DOGG LS50 collaboration and opted for a mix of gunmetal greys and black. The majority of the LS50X builds on the signature LucidSound aesthetic and manages to strike a good balance of flair and style. You will not find any RGB or flashy lighting here. Instead, chunky features, some fine stitching, and a two tone color scheme give the LS50X an upmarket air and a distinct personality that should allow it to perform beyond your bedroom door. Even the obvious branding on each earcup isn’t particularly problematic when compared to other major lifestyle audio brands, although I’m not a huge fan of the brand name etched across the headband.
While the LucidSound LS50X features a mix of black and gunmetal grey components, the device features a mix of metal and dense plastics. With this sturdy metal frame at the core of the LS50X, everything feels solidly put together. The headband, earcups, and scaffolding that surround them never feel like they are in any danger of creaking and the core headband has a good amount of flex to it, without feeling like it will come flying off your head. The triple layered earpads allow for a firm but well-distributed grip underneath the memory foam, cooling gel and fabric cover, while the leatherette covered foam padding, at the crest of the headband, never has much work thanks to the well-balanced ear to ear grip. Unless you require something as light touch as a Steelseries, then this should be good for hours of gaming when you plug in the USB base station, turn on, and go.
Brilliant Battery Life and Reception
Thankfully, the LS50X gaming headset is easily capable of outperforming most of us on even the longest raids. Whether you’re still working your way back through WoW Classic or you’ve taken some time out to power through Outriders early stages, the LS50X will still be good to go when you are done for the day. In real world testing, I found the wireless action lasted almost exactly as long as the 20 hour specification. Even when connecting and utilising a simultaneous Bluetooth connection, this is going to outrun many of the more midrange headsets on the market.
The LS50X battery doesn’t just go further than many of its competitors either. The Wifi reception is surprisingly strong. While the LucidSound Wifi USB base station, on paper, uses the same 2.4Ghz frequency as devices like the Corsair Void and the Audeze Penrose, the LS50X managed to power past these and across a 22ft test that included 2 doors, while the advertised 30ft range is easily achieved with line of sight. This impressive wireless performance is coupled with added functionality, via Bluetooth 4.2 that can even run parallel to the wifi connection, meaning you’ll be able to move discord off to your phone or let your fire team know you’re about to take a call with minimal interruption.
Ports And Control
Should the battery run all the way down to near zero, this untethered audio is backed by a 3.5mm jack along the bottom of the left ear cup, just beside a port for the removable boom mic. These inputs come flanked by the power button, with a multi function Bluetooth / EQ control nestled on the bottom of the alternate earpiece. At first glance, there is a distinct lack of volume controls, but LucidSound has this covered. In a customary move, the LS50X incorporates a volume dial right into the left faceplate, with a similar dial dedicated to the in game chat balance on the right earcup. Pressing the centre of these faceplates also adds a ton of extra control with the LS50X, allowing owners to mute the mic, switch between Bluetooth and Gaming modes, check the battery level, play, pause, hangup, or skip tracks depending on what combination of presses you use. It all sounds a bit overwhelming, and it is at first. However, it doesn’t take long to understand given a few days of use and this configuration makes the LS50X far more intuitive than other competitors, where scratching around for volume dials is far too common.
How Does it Sound?
With all this functionality, it can be easy to get distracted from the core component of any headset, how it sounds when wrapped around your lugholes. Packed with sizeable custom tuned 50mm dynamic drivers, the Lucidsound LS50X shouldn’t have any difficulty recreating the sweeping audio soundscapes of Final Fantasy or warning of approaching players in Apex Legends. Thankfully, it does perform admirably. Whether it’s recreating the thud of a Peacekeeper shotgun or the footsteps of incoming opposition, the LS50X manages these without breaking much of a sweat. ‘
Across gaming and other media, the overall tone of the LS50X headset is relatively neutral with great mids. With gaming headsets, there’s all too often a tenancy to lean heavily into the bass. The LS50X is not particularly aggressive at low-end frequencies, even with the in built gaming EQ enabled. This can mean that you won’t feel the shock of a mortar shell quite the same as other headsets but it does provide great overall clarity and consistency to everything going on. This makes games like Apex legends, where virtual surround sound is a key component for situational awareness, a great match for the LS50X. While busying myself at the start of Apex Season 8, audio was impressively clear and virtual surround sound support was precise enough that I was easily able to tell where my imminent death was coming from, using both Dolby and Windows Sonic systems. This consistency and also makes the LS50X great for immersing yourself in the sweeping orchestral tracks that are the background to fantasy RPGs and atmospheric encounters like The Medium. In general, this might not be the headset for you if you’re looking to feel combat unfold around you, but the tuning provides an excellent balance across a range of titles.
Where the LS50X does manage to really set itself apart is the microphone. Coming with a pair of noise cancelling mics, integrated into the headset and via a removable boom arm, the LS50X provides a clear, concise, and consistent response across a range of frequencies. We are mostly concerned with the LS50X ability to reproduce a natural tone and as you will find from the sample below, it is one of the better plug in and go solutions available.
The addition of an in ear monitor level is another nice touch that you’re not likely to find on every other headset meaning you won’t end up shouting to make yourself heard in action, and reducing the amount of clipping in our sample significantly when used.
The LucidSound LS50X is a very capable headset, and much like my feelings on the LS30 series, the LS50X manages a good balance between gaming flair and aesthetics that won’t look too out of place on your daily commute. The construction quality and bewildering level of connectivity mean that once you have it in hand the LucidSound LS50X is the only headset you’ll ever need. Audio performance, similarly, seems set to fit several roles rather than being the perfect pair for any particular type of gamer. In some regard, this can leave the LS50X feeling like a very expensive when compared to the dynamic response and audio prowess of the power hungry Audeze Penrose. However, if you have the budget and want a single set that can do everything across PC, Xbox, and Android, and iOS then the LucisSound LS50X is a compelling piece of kit.