Video games weren’t the only thing I got to demo at PAX South this year. I had a chance to discuss the latest and greatest in audio technology from Lucid Sound and learn about the headsets available now, and the history of the company and the products.

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Lucid Sound’s LS30 Over Ear wireless headphones

As I first entered the booth, I saw several headsets attached to various rigs and consoles. They didn’t look like typical gaming headsets, there were much sleeker and as I started speaking with the CEO of Lucid Sound, Chris VonHuben I learned why. Their focus was to make a solid headset focused on the console first, but with a good enough design that it can be a fashion statement outside of the living room. VonHuben discussed many of the different aspects that went into the design and build of their products, and made sure to illustrate that Lucid Sound would be leaning much heavier to console side of the Gaming Audio market. Each of their three unique headsets are all are PC compatible, but the company’s core competency is console as they have more experience with that side.

Gaming headsets today are seemingly following a similar “geeky, mech, chunky plastic, cheap, fisher price” style, as described by VonHuben. Because of this, Lucid Sound has taken a look at lifestyle side of of the audio market. Even lifestyle headsets, those designed to look good and be fashionable, are a bit limited on actual audio quality. This leaves a significant gap for a high quality, yet fashionable headset that can be “a mix of class and style to gaming.” This design philosophy helps Lucid Sound not to look like typical headset and that’s by design. They’re focusing on making a hybrid product that is designed to be used outside the living room, not only as a great gaming headset and mic. This means that all of Lucid Sound’s products can answer/end calls and has track forward and track back via a 3.5 cable into the phone. When it is being utilized for gaming, the headsets do have a boom microphone which Lucid Sound determined was a requirement. It also includes voice feedback so you can hear how loud you are in game. VonHuben made sure to highlight this so as the user, you odn’t get in a situation where you don’t know if your sound output is the cause of teammates being unable to hear you. However, once the hours of gaming are complete, the user can remove the boom mic for outside of the house and use the secondary mic to take phone calls.

Many times the control-ability was highlighted. Lucid Sound is very proud of the simplicity of the controls for adjusting EQ, volume up/down, and to mute the microphone. Many times with wireless headsets, they can be difficult to control. With the LS40’s, everything is simple to touch on the headset. This simplicity is a focus for all their headsets though, as volume can be twisted to dial up/down on one side of the earcup. This simple twisting motion was described by VonHuben to be “super intuitive and super simple for the consumer to learn.”

I was encouraged to lightly bounce it in my hand, which showed the device to be solid yet lightly flexible. It’s not floppy, but firm with just a bit of give to help be comfortable on the head of the consumer. Comfort was a major priority, since no matter how good it sounds, comfort matters. To finish, all of Lucid Sound’s headsets leverage the headband to offload the weight instead of clamping on your ears.

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Entry level LS20, On Ear solutions

LS20

Lucid Sound’s entry level device are the LS20’s. These are On Ear Headsets, and the primary concern is comfort. These headsets are nice due to their small size, and are a comfortable on ear headphone that lightly sits and provides a solid audio experience. The LS20’s are a wired headset, and can be wired to the PS4, PC, or XBox One, but it’s still powered by an internal battery. This unique system is so that Lucid Sound can control the level of audio and balance the output. VonHuben was very proud that they aren’t relying on the limited power from the controller to provide power and sound. This is primarily highlighted due to the fact that the output on PS4 is lower than XBox One. Because of inconsistent settings on each controller, there are multiple settings on the headset depending on which system you are using it on.

LS30

Available in black/silver and white/gold, Lucid Sound’s LS30’s are a wireless audio and wireless chat solution. For communication on XBox, a 3.5mm cable is still required to plug into the jack on the XBox controller. If no communication with friends is needed, or you’re playing Single Player, you don’t need the cable and the LS30’s are a 100% wireless solution. With a large, lightweight aluminum frame, controls fit elegantly. The same features as the LS20’s are here, with the rotational volume and built in mute and other controls. Once again, the design focuses so that the consumer doesn’t have to think, but everything is solid and functional.

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LS 40 – Wireless and full 7.1 DTS Surround

LS40

On December 30th, 2016 Lucid Sound launched the LS40. Sporting a smoked grey electroplated finish, the headset dosen’t feel painted. Compared to a car’s paint job, the whole headset is built to be beautiful and elegant. Volume controls are the same again, but this headset comes with a slick carrying case to keep it protected. Another way it’s set apart from the LS30 is that it’s now true surround with DTS 7.1. When it comes to standards for surround sound, there are Dolby Headphones and DTS headphones. According to VonHuben, Dolby Headphone technology is much older, while DTS is much more modern and better. He’s ensured that if Lucid Sound is goign to put out the best of the best headphones, they’re going to have the best surround technology.

About The Author

Bobby C
Director, Editorial/Reviews

Bobby C is a veteran FPS and adventure gamer, starting with the NES and Super Mario Bros. The game that really started his love for the FPS Genre was Goldeneye for the N64. Since then, the love grew. From casual, to semi-pro COD with Modern Warfare 2 and 3, and back to casual, it’s a bad week when there isn’t at least 15 hours of games played.