There are plenty of options for console gaming headsets, from the expensive to the more affordable. Most companies that manufacture these headsets offer up a range for all budgets. Almost two years ago, I reviewed the LucidSound LS35X, which won an Editor’s Choice Award. To this day, it’s still one of my favourite Xbox headsets.
Our LucidSound LS15X review looks at a more affordable option from the company, which features surround sound support and more. Read on to see if it lives up to the LucidSound name.
The LucidSound LS15X has the following features and specifications:
- The clearest, strongest wireless signal even in high-traffic network areas
- Super comfortable memory foam padding
- Powerful 50mm drivers deliver surround sound with Windows Sonic
- Convenient dual-mic system for crystal-clear team chat
- Choose your sound profile with 3 EQ Modes
|Ear coupling||Over-ear (circumaural)|
|Sound space||Amplified stereo, surround sound using Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, or Windows Sonic|
|EQ modes||Natural (Flat EQ), Signature Sound (Footsteps Mode), Bass Boost|
|Frequency response||20 -20,000Hz|
|Microphone||Omni-directional, removable with LED mute indicator + built-in mic|
|Boom mic sensitivity||-35 ±3dB|
|Characteristic SPL||97 ±3dB|
|Inputs||3.5mm, micro-USB for charging|
|Wireless range||30 feet|
|Battery||Rechargeable Lithium Polymer with micro-USB charging port|
|Battery life||up to 15 hours|
|Compatibility||Xbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Mobile/3.5mm audio devices|
|Weight||282 g (9.95oz)|
What’s in the box
- Wireless Headset
- Removable Boom Mic
- Micro-USB Charging Cable
- USB Wireless Transmitter
- Quick Start Guide
If you’ve read one over-ear headphone review, this section will be familiar as the design is pretty standard, apart from the materials used and the fit. Being a more affordable headset, the LucidSound LS15X is constructed mostly of plastic. It does feel pretty sturdy and still looks decent enough — especially with its carbon fibre look inlays.
The headband has the LucidSound wordmark stamped into the top, and a fairly comfortable faux-leather covered memory foam padding underneath. On either side of the wordmark, the headband splits, allowing users to adjust for different head sizes. It is at this break where the middle of the headband is inset with the carbon fibre design. Further down, where the headband connects to the ear cups by way of an inverted u-shape, is another split that allows the ear cups to swivel. On the inside of the bottom headband piece is an L or R, depending on which side you are looking at.
Oval in shape, the ear cups have a circular center piece with the LucidSound logo in the middle. Surrounding the logo is more carbon fibre accent finish to complete the look. The center piece on both ear cups is actually a button. The ring around the center is a dial used for volume and chat control.
On the outer shell of the right ear cup, near the back, is an EQ button. On the left ear cup, starting from the back and going towards the front, you’ll find a power/charging LED light, power button, Micro-USB charging port (where’s my USB Type-C?), 3.5mm audio jack, and a 3.5mm microphone port.
The earpads are relatively thick and nicely cushioned. They are covered in the same smooth faux leather as the underside of the headband. Weighing 282 grams, the headset is pretty lightweight and is comfortable for longer gaming sessions.
Roughly 6 3/4-inches in length, the detachable boom microphone has a thin, flexible arm and the last inch or so is the actual microphone. The microphone arm is nice and flexible, allowing for fine-tuning your placement. When placed where you want it, the microphone stays in place fairly well without constantly needing to re-adjust it. There is an LED around the tip that glows red when the microphone is muted.
While many Xbox wireless headsets use Xbox Wireless technology to connect to the console, unfortunately, the LS15X uses a USB dongle. I found this to be a very interesting choice as the LS35X features Xbox Wireless connectivity. Sadly, the dongle only works on the Xbox One or Xbox Series X|S, so you can’t use it on a PC outside of by using a 3.5mm cable. Which, coincidentally, isn’t included. The dongle itself is about 2 1/4-inches long, 3/4-inches wide, and about 3/8 of an inch thick.
Ease of Use
The LucidSound LS15X is super easy to use. Put the USB dongle into a free USB port on your Xbox One or Series X|S, then turn on the headset. To get even better sound, you should go into the Settings > Volume & audio output menu on your console and under Headset audio select Windows Sonic or Dolby Atmos for Headphones.
As far as controls are concerned, the on-ear controls work rather well. Tapping the left ear cup button mutes or unmutes the audio. Pressing and holding it for three seconds tells you the remaining battery life of the headset. Turning the outer dial on the left ear cup adjusts the volume.
Tapping the right ear cup button, on the other hand, toggles your microphone. Holding it for three seconds toggles mic monitoring. Turning the outer dial here adjusts your game/chat balance. Finally, pressing the EQ button on the back of the right ear cup toggles between natural, bass boost, and LucidSound’s Signature Sound modes.
Given the LucidSound name and the sound quality on the LS35X, I expected big things from the LS15X. Unfortunately, the sound on this more affordable headset from the company was somewhat lacking. Even when toggling from natural to bass boost, the increase in bass was barely noticeable. In the Signature Sound mode, footsteps were easier to hear in games but came by sacrificing bass and other levels, usually the case for modes like this.
When using Windows Sonic on the Xbox Series X, the sound was better but still lacking compared to other headsets in the same price category. Jump back to the LS35X, and the sound difference was night and day, even though both use 50mm drivers.
As the company’s website mentions, the headset is compatible with mobile gaming. I scrounged around and finally found a 3.5mm to 3.5mm cable and tested the headset on the Nintendo Switch. I also tested the wired connection on a laptop. I was pretty underwhelmed in both cases as there is no Windows Sonic or surround sound to take advantage of with the headset.
The USB dongle provides decent reception while gaming. Given my setup, I sit about 12 feet away from my console, and I had no issues with the headset cutting in and out. When I did get up to walk around or get a drink, it started to cut out about 20 to 25 feet away.
The microphone on the LucidSound LS15X is pretty crisp and clear. However, there is no noise cancelling on it, and other members in my party could hear background noise like people talking, typing on a keyboard, or other distractions. The mic monitoring feature is a welcome one, and it was nice to be able to toggle it on and off with the on-ear control.
LucidSound claims up to 15 hours of battery life with the LS15X gaming headset. During my time using it, I got pretty close to the 15 hours with each charge. Given my gaming habits, the headset easily lasted a week before having to plug it in with the included Micro-USB cable for a recharge.
The LucidSound LS15X is priced at US$99.99, which is reasonable when it comes to budget Xbox wireless headsets. Unfortunately, there are other headsets for the same price that do sound slightly better.
It’s not the worst by any means, and it is on sale for $89.99 currently on Amazon. That being said, the LS35X is on sale for $125.99 and offers a much better sound stage and value for the current selling price. If I had to choose between the two, I’d definitely shell out the extra $35 for the LS35X.
Unfortunately, even given the lower price point, the LucidSound LS15X falls short due to the sound quality. Besides, it really only works best with an Xbox One or Series X|S and requires a dongle, taking up one of the available USB ports on your console. In a crowded market of affordable headsets, I expected more out of the LS15X.