LucidSound LS15X review: Budget priced with budget sound… and a dongle

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Techaeris Rated 8.9/10

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.

Specifications

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 couplingOver-ear (circumaural)
Speaker size50mm
Sound spaceAmplified stereo, surround sound using Dolby Atmos, DTS:X, or Windows Sonic
EQ modesNatural (Flat EQ), Signature Sound (Footsteps Mode), Bass Boost
Frequency response20 -20,000Hz
MicrophoneOmni-directional, removable with LED mute indicator + built-in mic
Boom mic sensitivity-35 ±3dB
Characteristic SPL97 ±3dB
Inputs3.5mm, micro-USB for charging
Connectivity3.5mm, USB
Wireless range30 feet
BatteryRechargeable Lithium Polymer with micro-USB charging port
Battery lifeup to 15 hours
CompatibilityXbox Series X|S, Xbox One, Mobile/3.5mm audio devices
Weight282 g (9.95oz)

What’s in the box

  • Wireless Headset
  • Removable Boom Mic
  • Micro-USB Charging Cable
  • USB Wireless Transmitter
  • Quick Start Guide
What's included with the LucidSound LS15X gaming headset for Xbox
What’s included with the LucidSound LS15X gaming headset for Xbox.

Design

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.

The LucidSound LS15X gaming headset for Xbox
The LucidSound LS15X gaming headset for Xbox.

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.

The controls on the right earcup of the LucidSound LS15X gaming headset for Xbox
The controls on the right ear cup of the LucidSound LS15X gaming headset for Xbox.

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.

Sound Quality

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 — especially in the bass department. 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.

The earpads on the LucidSound LS15X gaming headset for Xbox
The earpads on the LucidSound LS15X gaming headset for Xbox.

When using Windows Sonic on the Xbox Series X, the sound was better with the added spatial awareness and better bass, but still not quite as good when 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 and improve the sound quality.

Reception

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.

Microphone Quality

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.

The detachable boom mic on the LucidSound LS15X gaming headset for Xbox
The detachable boom mic on the LucidSound LS15X gaming headset for Xbox.

Battery Life

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.

Price/Value

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.

The top of the headband on the LucidSound LS15X gaming headset for Xbox
The top of the headband on the LucidSound LS15X gaming headset for Xbox.

Wrap-up

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.

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Last Updated on March 1, 2021.

LucidSound LS15X

US $99.99

Design

8.5/10

Ease of Use

10.0/10

Sound Quality

8.5/10

Reception

9.0/10

Microphone Quality

8.5/10

Battery Life

9.0/10

Price/Value

8.5/10

Nailed it

  • Comfortable design
  • Decent sounding with Windows Sonic enabled
  • Easy on-ear controls
  • Mic monitoring
  • Decent battery life

Needs work

  • Uses a dongle, not Xbox wireless
  • Micro-USB charging
  • 3.5mm audio cable not included
  • Subpar audio over wired connection
LucidSound LS15X gaming headset for Xbox
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