It takes some major cojones to come into the crowded gaming peripherals market and make an impact, but that was exactly what LucidSound did a short couple of years ago. They immediately distanced themselves from the pack by crafting some seriously attractive, premium-feeling headsets, and the new esports flavoured LS25 (which sells for under £80) is no different.
In fact, its bold use of red and black components may make this their best looking set yet. The pillar box red metal frame ties in with the delicate red stitching that appears across all of the padded surfaces, with the LucidSound logo stretching stylishly across the headband and contrasting gloss surfaces of each earpiece that look fantastic.
Whether venturing out or staying resolutely attached to your sofa, the LS25’s are a very comfortable headset, with the ultra-soft earpiece cushioning amongst the best out there. I thought at first that the headband’s intricately stitched padding was a touch too thin, but after hours of wear the headset stayed in place without causing any uncomfortable spots to appear.
They are huge though, so it’s going to be a question of how much of a statement you want to make if and when leaving the house with them. Personally I like how distinctive they are, and they fold out to rest on your shoulders far more comfortably then many other headphones do, while their finish helps them sit towards the premium end of the spectrum. I can still see that for a lot of people they’re just going to be too big to be seen with in the street.
For a pair of closed back headphones the LS25’s soundstage is surprisingly wide, lending everything a pleasingly aerated tone. They are definitely keen on the bass, and anyone searching for a pair of unamplified headphones that is still capable of making it seem as though the on-screen explosions are actually in your head, then the LS25 could well be the headset for you. There’s plenty of definition to the top end as well, though, and the highs cut through with some zip despite the 50mm driver’s propensity for the low end.
Besides some Black Ops 4 and the terrifying sounds of nearby footsteps in Blackout mode, and Final Fantasy XIV’s beautiful soundtrack while meandering around Eorzea, I had a hell of a lot of fun just listening to music, and my common test tracks from Deadmau5 and A Perfect Circle sounded great through the LS25s. They won’t match a dedicated pair of hi-fidelity headphones like Philips’ Fidelio series, but they are a hell of a lot of fun, offering a similar response to Beats Studio headphones without the head-crushing weight.
Thanks to Dolby Atmos and Windows Sonic, pretty much any pair of headphones can now proclaim to feature surround sound and the LS25 is no different, though it’s obviously limited to PC and Xbox One where the software technology is featured. Both systems will turn in a surprisingly effective approximation of surround sound, and when paired with the LS25 it’s hard not to be impressed. If you want to pinpoint where your attackers are in Black Ops 4 or PUBG then there’s definitely an edge to be had here, and it’s likely where they’re hoping the esports tag is going to stick.
The drivers seem as though they’ve been suitably tuned to serve anyone well that’s looking for clear and well-defined audio, but as an unpowered headset it’s worth noting that there’s no alternative profiles to be found here – if you don’t like its bass heavy response, there’s not much you can do about it.
There’s some great versatility with the microphone set-up though, with two options available to you. If you’re on the go – or you’ve hopped online unexpectedly – there’s a built in microphone that, while basic, will do the trick. The alternative is to bust out the detachable boom mic that slots straight into the earpiece. It’s a great sounding mic, though the foam pop filter feels like the cheapest solution. The cabling feels similarly low budget, including the PC splitter extension, which is a shame when the headset itself looks and feels fantastic despite a price under £80. The benefit at least of its simple 3.5mm connectivity is the fact it’ll marry up with anything remotely good you’ve got.
If you’re looking for a well-tuned, premium-feeling gaming headset, the LucidSound LS25 is a bold and beautiful choice that will set you apart from the crowd, whether at home, in the street or the esports arena.