(CBS News) When it comes to gaming headsets, sound fidelity and comfort are usually at the top of the wish list. With its latest effort -- the Pulse Elite Edition for the PlayStation 3 -- Sony might have struck the perfect balance.
This wireless headset has a premium build but that doesn't mean it comes with added weight. At a little more than 11 ounces, this headset doesn't become a bother during extending gaming sessions. I played three hours of Borderlands 2 with this headset and didn't have the urge to take off the headphones.
Sony has put a lot of effort into providing an immersive auditory experience. The noise-canceling headset has 7.1 virtual surround sound and what Sony has dubbed BassImpact. The headset picked up sounds in the game that I did not pick up during my hours of playing without the headphones. From distant shouts to footsteps, the Pulse didn't miss much. The sound was crisp and rich though there was a very slight hiss when the game was paused.
Versatility is another strength. The headset has preset modes -- game, music, shooter, fighting and racing. These modes provide the optimum sound levels for each gaming genre. You can also customize the auditory experience by manually adjusting the BassImapct level. There is a slider to balance the game and voice volumes.
The Pulse discreetly handles voice chat. There is no protruding microphone. Sony has used a noise-canceling microphone that is tucked away inside the headset. I received no complaints about voice quality, and players' voices on the other end came in crisply.
But the Pulse isn't limited to just wireless PS3 gaming. Sony included a 3.5mm audio cable, and the ear pads have a jack, allowing the headset to be used with a wide-range of electronics. Anything from TVs, cell phones and MP3 players can be used with the Pulse. Sony's latest handheld -- the PlayStation Vita -- is also compatible.
The only drawback I found during my time with the Pulse was the placement of the controls. They are housed on the ear pads, and though that gives the headset a minimalistic look, it makes it difficult to manipulate the settings while in the middle of a game. It's not a major concern. I tuned the headset before my gaming sessions and had not issues.
The Pulse is a premium headset for a reasonable price. At $150, Sony is delivering a gaming-first headset that can be used on the go. The headphones' versatility allows for maximum usability, giving user the most bang for their buck. The Pulse Elite Edition will be available Sept. 25.