If you’re going to play video games, you should be doing so with a gaming headset at your disposal. It’s no longer a premium addition to your setup, but one that maximises both your enjoyment and your ability to interact with other people – I’m not counting the rude DMs people send you when you’ve beaten them at FIFA. LucidSound have been part of the conversation for a few years now, offering slick design and even slicker audio, and their latest, the LS15X, is an Xbox specific headset that offers both wired and wireless options. Priced at £79.99 it’s also the right side of £100, making it a cost-effective way to upgrade your experience.
Our review unit for the LS15X came in a rather lovely vivid blue, and it’s a gorgeous match for the official blue Xbox controller that you can pick up. It’s just the right side of eye-catching, while the white headband cushioning and LucidSound logos on each earpiece set it off nicely. Wirelessly you’ve got a USB-A dongle to sync everything up, and it’s as simple as sticking it in any of your Xbox USB sockets for it to be recognised and connected. There’s also the excellent inclusion of a good old 3.5mm connection, though the elderly connections extend to the charging port here, with a micro-USB rather than the increasingly common USB-C.
Controls are streamlined, with a power button on the edge of the left earpiece, and an EQ one on the right. Besides that there’s the LucidSound trademark volume and chat dials on the outside of each earpiece, and it remains a lovely piece of design work that’s completely unobtrusive and genuinely enjoyable to use. There’s never any fumbling around for a tiny volume dial on a LucidSound headset.
One of the more disappointing aspects of the LS15X is that you can’t use it in a wired set up while it’s powered on, removing the ability to use its in-built EQ settings or onboard controls. That’s not the end of the audio world; the 3.5mm wired audio is clear and offers a noticeable level of low-end depth. It is less precise than the wireless audio though.
Weight-wise the LS15X sits somewhere in the middle of the headset pack, being neither feather light nor worryingly weighty. Thanks to the gentle leatherette cushioning of the headband and the two plush memory foam ear cushions any weight is dispersed perfectly across your head, and I’ve been able to wear them for hours and hours of gaming and movie watching without them becoming uncomfortable.
There’s a removable mic – thanks be to the headset gods – and I think manufacturers have finally come around to the fact that owners of gaming headsets might actually go outdoors. The LS15X looks smart and trendy enough for that to be a reality, as long as you don’t mind being wired up. There’s a pin-hole mic to ensure you can keep talking without the tank commander vibes.
The downside to being in a noisy environment will be the weak passive noise cancellation. Without any audio being shot through them, the LS15X provides the same amount of noise cancellation as a paper bag. I’ve popped them on my head now, and I can hear every single thing my family is doing, and every typed tap of this review on my keyboard. I could argue the positive that you’ll be aware of your surroundings, but we both know that’s stretching isn’t it?
How do they sound when there is some audio though? The LS15X is a great sounding headset that’s excellent value at this price. There’s plenty of definition to their output, with warm mids and clear trebles ensuring you don’t miss out on anything important. I’ve been playing the phenomenal Dragon Quest XI as well as indulging in a spot of Overwatch after watching the Overwatch 2 trailer this weekend. Both of these very different games benefitted from the detailed output of the LS15X.
There’s a pleasant amount of bass too, though if you’re hunting for something truly bombastic you’ll want to look in Razer’s direction at this price point. The EQ button lets you switch between the signature sound and a brighter, FPS focussed setting, and while it’s disappointing not to have the option of more nuance, the signature sound will suit pretty much everything.
One of the LS15X’s main competitors here will be Corsair, who offer similar feature sets amongst their sub-£100 lineup. However, the Official Xbox Headset is the clear elephant in the gaming room here, bringing the addition of Bluetooth to the table, as well as being dongle-free to leave you with an extra socket to… well, plug something else into. The LucidSound does feel slightly better built though, and while Bluetooth would have been nice they still represent good value for money.