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We've recently released our Test Bench 1.7 update for Headphones! Read the Noise isolation R&D Article to learn more.

Sony PULSE Elite Wireless Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.7
Reviewed Apr 12, 2024 at 10:28 am
Latest change: Retest Apr 26, 2024 at 08:42 am
Sony PULSE Elite Wireless Picture
7.1
Neutral Sound
6.0
Commute/Travel
6.4
Sports/Fitness
6.5
Office
7.2
Wireless Gaming
7.2
Wired Gaming
7.5
Phone Calls

The Sony PULSE Elite Wireless are Sony's first over-ear gaming headphones equipped with planar magnetic drivers, following their purchase of Audeze in 2023. They feature a closed-back design, a retractable boom mic, and a nifty charging hanger. Visually, they're the most elaborate yet of Sony's PULSE gaming headsets, with an ornate, dual-headband design that wouldn't look out of place in one of the Tron movies. They're aimed primarily at PS5 users, who can adjust a range of settings via the PS5 interface, although there's support for PS4 and PC users, too.

Our Verdict

7.1 Neutral Sound

The Sony PULSE Elite are decent for neutral sound. They have a somewhat bright sound profile that's rich in high bass but lacks some boom and slam in the low bass. While their mids are quite balanced, the erratic treble response can dull sibilants and render them very harshly, depending on their pitch. Fortunately, if you're a PS5 owner, you can access the graphic EQ and presets through the PS5 interface. While their passive soundstage is disappointing, it's still better than other closed-back headsets. Their sound is further hampered by their sub-par frequency response consistency, though, so you'll need to frequently re-adjust to get consistent audio, especially if you wear glasses or have a larger head.

Pros
  • Very good, 53-hour continuous battery life.
  • Graphic EQ and presets via the PS5 interface.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation performance.
  • Tough to achieve consistent audio delivery.
6.0 Commute/Travel

The Sony PULSE Elite are mediocre for commute and travel use, though they're not designed for this purpose. They're decently comfortable, have a long continuous battery life, and you can use them via Bluetooth for a transmitter-free wireless experience. However, they're not very portable and provide very little attenuation against ambient noise. They'll struggle to block out conversations nearby, let alone the roar of bus engines. They also have some weak points in their construction that could be damaged on daily commutes, and their control scheme isn't formatted intuitively, so it can be difficult to input controls on the go.

Pros
  • Great mic recording quality and noise handling.
  • Very good, 53-hour continuous battery life.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation performance.
  • Clunky, unintuitive control scheme.
6.4 Sports/Fitness

The Sony PULSE Elite are passable for fitness, although they're not designed for this purpose. While they're decently comfortable and have a long continuous battery life, they're quite bulky and don't have the stability required to stay on your head during jogs. They also have some physical controls but can be finicky to input, especially on the fly. It's possible to use them via Bluetooth without bringing the transmitter around, which is a bonus.

Pros
  • Very good, 53-hour continuous battery life.
Cons
  • Clunky, unintuitive control scheme.
6.5 Office

The Sony PULSE Elite are okay for office use. They're decently comfortable and don't leak much audio, which is great for quieter office settings. Their 53 hours of continuous battery life will also get you through the entire workweek without a recharge. Their disappointing noise isolation performance means they won't attenuate against chatty co-workers and other office noises.

Pros
  • Very good, 53-hour continuous battery life.
  • Simultaneous pairing via the transmitter and a Bluetooth device.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation performance.
  • Clunky, unintuitive control scheme.
7.2 Wireless Gaming

The Sony PULSE Elite are decent for wireless gaming. They're reasonably comfortable and have a long, continuous battery life that's perfect for gaming marathons. They have a low-latency wireless performance using their dongle, while their boom mic has a very good recording quality and excellent noise handling, so you'll be crystal clear on the comms. That said, they have some caveats. The sub-par frequency response consistency means they struggle to reproduce audio in the same way between gaming sessions, especially if you wear glasses or have a larger head. They also lack low bass, which can rob cinematic sequences of some intensity. Depending on your unit, there might be some planar crinkle present during everyday listening, which can be frustrating to deal with.

Pros
  • Low latency performance via the transmitter.
  • Great mic recording quality and noise handling.
  • Very good, 53-hour continuous battery life.
  • Simultaneous pairing via the transmitter and a Bluetooth device.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation performance.
  • Tough to achieve consistent audio delivery.
  • Clunky, unintuitive control scheme.
  • Bulky and not very well-built.
7.2 Wired Gaming

The Sony PULSE Elite are decent for wired gaming. You can connect them to PCs via an analog 1/8" TRRS connection, as well as PlayStation and Xbox family consoles, for a low-latency performance. They're decently comfortable, and their mic performs very well in terms of recording quality and noise handling. Their 53 hours of continuous battery life is perfect for gaming marathons, too. However, they're let down by their poor frequency response consistency, lack of low-bass, and very uneven treble response. This means that, even if you can achieve a solid fit, your audio lacks rumble and slam and features sibilants that alternate between dull and piercing.

Pros
  • Low latency performance via the transmitter.
  • Great mic recording quality and noise handling.
  • Very good, 53-hour continuous battery life.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation performance.
  • Tough to achieve consistent audio delivery.
  • Bulky and not very well-built.
7.5 Phone Calls

The Sony PULSE Elite are good for phone calls. Their boom mic has a very good recording quality and excellent noise handling, so you'll be easily understood during phone calls, even in noisier environments. They're also decently comfortable, and you can wear them during longer calls. However, their noise isolation performance is poor, so external sounds, especially bass-heavy noises like construction drilling, will make their way into your audio. They do a marginally better job of isolating against higher-pitched frequencies, like the sound of your PC cooling fan, but these sounds will still be noticeable. They also lack an intuitive control scheme that's optimized for call-related commands.

Pros
  • Great mic recording quality and noise handling.
  • Very good, 53-hour continuous battery life.
  • Simultaneous pairing via the transmitter and a Bluetooth device.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation performance.
  • Clunky, unintuitive control scheme.
  • Bulky and not very well-built.
  • 7.1 Neutral Sound
  • 6.0 Commute/Travel
  • 6.4 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.5 Office
  • 7.2 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.2 Wired Gaming
  • 7.5 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Apr 26, 2024: We found an issue which affects the Passive Soundstage and Leakage scores in this review. The microphone used in this test produced a response lower than expected, artificially boosting the scores. After investigating the issue, we've retested this affected product and updated our review.
  2. Updated Apr 19, 2024: We've updated this review to fix some technical errors in the 'Build Quality' test box. We've also added a mention of the disconnection issues many users have encountered when connecting these headphones via their dongle in the 'Wireless Connection (Dongle)' box.
  3. Updated Apr 17, 2024: We've made a minor change to the 'Style' test box. Previously, our results mistakenly indicated that these headphones are truly wireless, but we've updated them to indicate they are, in fact, wireless.
  4. Updated Apr 12, 2024: Review published.
  5. Updated Mar 29, 2024: Early access published.
  6. Updated Mar 20, 2024: Our testers have started testing this product.
  7. Updated Mar 01, 2024: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  8. Updated Feb 26, 2024: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The Sony PULSE Elite come in one color variant: 'White,' which features a black inner headband and ear cups with white accents.

If you encounter another variant of these headphones, let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The Sony PULSE Elite are Sony's first foray into planar-equipped over-ear gaming headphones. They feature a retractable boom mic, 53-hour continuous battery life, and a low-latency performance via their wireless transmitter. A natural comparison can be made with the planar-equipped Audeze Maxwell Wireless, especially considering Sony acquired Audeze in 2023. While the Maxwell have a higher retail price, they're much better all-around gaming headphones with better bass extension. They deliver well-balanced audio very consistently; they're more comfortable and better built. Sony also make the Sony PULSE 3D Wireless, a cheaper alternative to the PULSE Elite. While they're also closed-back and have a similar monochromatic design, they lack a retractable boom mic, opting for an integrated one instead. As a result, their mic recording quality is worse, and the noise handling performance isn't as good. However, they deliver audio more consistently and have better build quality.

If you're looking for more alternatives, check out our list of recommendations for the best PS4 gaming headsets, the best PS5 gaming headsets, and the best gaming headsets.

Sony PULSE 3D Wireless

The Sony PULSE 3D Wireless and the Sony PULSE Elite Wireless are both closed-back gaming headsets that share the same monochromatic aesthetic that's borrowed from the PS5. They both have similar sound profiles, too, with a roll-off in the low bass, balanced mids, and inconsistent treble accuracy. The PULSE 3D can deliver audio more consistently. They're also better built and have a more intuitive control scheme. That said, the PULSE Elite have a few features that help them stand out. They have Bluetooth connectivity and a dedicated retractable boom mic with great recording quality and excellent noise handling. They're also more comfortable and have a longer continuous battery life.

Sony INZONE H9 Wireless

The Sony INZONE H9 Wireless and the Sony PULSE Elite Wireless are closed-back gaming headphones with slightly different feature sets that will cater to different uses. While they both feature support for non-Bluetooth wireless and Bluetooth connections simultaneously, the Sony PULSE Elite Wireless can be used with a wired connection, making them a more versatile choice. They also feature an ANC system that helps them attenuate against far more ambient noise than the PULSE Elite. They also have different default sound profiles; the INZONE H9 have a boomier bass response at the expense of the PULSE Elite's more detailed mids. The PULSE Elite are a natural choice for users who value microphone quality or want to take calls with them, though, as their retractable boom mic has a great recording quality and excellent noise handling.

Audeze Maxwell Wireless

The Audeze Maxwell Wireless are better gaming headphones than the Sony PULSE Elite Wireless, and they're better for most uses, too. Although both use planar magnetic drivers, the Audeze are better built and have a more neutral default sound profile. They also have a more intuitive control scheme, a longer continuous battery life, and feature Bluetooth multipoint connectivity. That said, both headphones are similarly comfortable and have similarly performing microphones. The Audeze retail for quite a bit more, though.

Sony PULSE Explore Truly Wireless

The Sony PULSE Explore Truly Wireless and the Sony PULSE Elite Wireless are both designed for gaming and are equipped with planar magnetic drivers, but the similarities end here. The PULSE Explore are in-ear buds with a more stable and portable design. They have a balanced sound profile, with prominent bass and detailed mid and treble response. They also deliver audio very consistently across different gaming sessions. By contrast, the PULSE Elite struggle with audio delivery consistency. They have an over-ear design, which is too bulky to be portable, and they have a very unbalanced sound profile with an underemphasized low-bass and uneven treble accuracy. They have an excellent microphone, and their continuous battery is almost ten times that of the PULSE Explore. You can also use them with a wired connection, which gives them greater versatility.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Transducer Planar Magnetic

The Sony PULSE Elite share a similar look to the Sony PULSE 3D Wireless, drawing from the same visual cues as the PS5 consoles. They have a striking design, with black ear cups and a black padded adjustable inner headband. It's accented by a white, Möbius strip-like outer band that wraps over and around the rest of the structure. You can adjust the fit using the ski-band design. It's only available in the monochromatic 'White' colorway.

7.0
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.75 lbs
Clamping Force
0.83 lbs

These headphones are decently comfortable. The padding on the ear cup feels supple and pleasant, and the headset overall feels flexible. Their frame is relatively lightweight and doesn't clamp your head with too much force. While they're very comfortable to wear while sitting down with your head stationary, moving your head too much or walking around causes a loud rattling sound that could be mistaken for faulty drivers.

5.6
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Decent
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control No
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control Mute/Unmute
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls Bluetooth + Multi function

The control scheme is disappointing. There's a limited number of buttons that have multiple functions, so inputting basic controls (like powering the headphones on) can be ponderous and time-consuming. The buttons themselves are small, easy to miss, and don't provide a great deal of tactile feedback to indicate if commands have been registered. Many of the functions you'd expect to have physical controls can only be adjusted via the PS5 interface, like channel mixing, talk-through, and mic gain. Also, when paired to a Bluetooth device, the volume function on the headphones is disabled and defaults to the volume level on your device. Fortunately, there's audio feedback in the form of a tone that sounds when you input a command. The mic mute and link buttons also have an LED indicator to show their status.

PlayStation Link Button (found on the right ear cup):

  • Quick Press: Power on.
  • Quick Press three times: Sound controls (PS5 only).
  • Press and hold for two seconds: Connect to previous BT device/ PS link device.
  • Press and hold for four seconds: Power off.
  • Press and hold for eight seconds: Pair to new PS Link Device or BT Device.
  • Press and hold for eight seconds, release button, press and hold for eight seconds again: Wipe all paired connections.
  • Press and hold for ten seconds: Reset headset (does not wipe wireless connections).
  • Mic mute button (found on the mic):

  • Quick Press: Toggles mic on/off.
  • Volume up/down buttons (found on the right ear cup):

  • '+' Button: Increases volume.
  • '-' Button: Decreases volume.
  • 5.2
    Design
    Portability
    L 8.4" (21.3 cm)
    W 6.1" (15.5 cm)
    H 5.1" (12.9 cm)
    Volume 259.90 in³ (4,258.94 cm³)
    Transmitter Required No

    These headphones aren't very portable. The frame is bulky, and their unique design means they take up quite a bit of space in a bag. Fortunately, if you want to pair them with a Bluetooth device on the go, you won't need to lug the transmitter around.

    0
    Design
    Case
    Type No case
    L N/A
    W N/A
    H N/A
    Volume N/A

    While these headphones don't come with a case to help transport them, they do come with a charging hanger that you can use both to charge the headphones and keep them off potentially dusty surfaces. You can see what this looks like here.

    6.0
    Design
    Build Quality

    The PlayStation PULSE Elite's build quality is mediocre. The frame and yokes are constructed entirely of plastic, with a silicone inner headband and ear cups covered entirely in faux leather. Overall, the quality of the construction is okay, although there are some obvious weak points. Both the pivots and hinges are made of weak plastic. The yokes also make a scraping noise when they collide with the main body, which can be unpleasant to hear. Despite these weaknesses in their construction, none of the parts are replaceable. The USB-A to USB-C cable that comes with the headset is made of a soft yet stiff plastic. There's no IP rating for protection against water or dust, although this is common for gaming headphones.

    6.2
    Design
    Stability

    These headphones have mediocre stability. They'll stay on your head during light movements, but any jerky movements in fits of gamer rage will cause them to shift off your head, and you'll need to re-adjust their positioning.

    Design
    Headshots 1
    Design
    Headshots 2
    Design
    Top
    Design
    In The Box

    • Sony PULSE Elite headset
    • USB dongle
    • USB-A to USB-C cable (1.46 m or 4'7")
    • Hanger (with charging contact and USB-C female input)
    • User manual

    Sound
    Sound
    Sound Profile
    Bass Amount
    -4.38 dB
    Treble Amount
    0.54 dB

    The PlayStation PULSE Elite have a bright sound profile that lacks low bass. This is surprising, considering they feature planar drivers that tend to have more linear low-frequency extension compared to conventional dynamic drivers. Their lack of low bass is somewhat compensated for by a boosted high bass that can help bring out the detail in low-frequency sound effects, like engine rumble in racing games, just without any of the oomph.

    The mid-range is relatively neutral, though there's a slight boost to the low-mids that can add boxiness to sounds like snares in game soundtracks or the cursor sound effects in Final Fantasy VII. A similarly-sized boost to the mid-mid helps bring the detail in vocals and lead instruments. The treble range is the more inconsistent: while there's some emphasis in the low-treble that adds some character to the upper harmonics of vocals, the mid-treble response is extremely uneven, resulting in sibilants that sound either dull or extremely shrill, depending on their pitch. There's also some audible planar crinkle in this frequency range that can be distracting. Thankfully, a graphic EQ and presets are available via the PS5 interface, which can help tame some of these inconsistencies.

    5.2
    Sound
    Frequency Response Consistency
    Avg. Std. Deviation
    2.22 dB

    The Sony PULSE Elite have poor frequency response consistency. Audio delivery varies hugely based on various factors, including head shape, hair, and whether you wear glasses or not. We conducted a large number of tests to first determine whether different connection methods caused this inconsistency. However, we ran passes with all three connection types, and while there were slight differences in audio delivery, they weren't significant at all.

    We ran hundreds of passes on both our testing head and on a range of human heads. We found that most deviations were caused by physical factors, with glasses and larger heads drastically reducing audio consistency (visible as purple and yellow lines on the graph). As a result, this headset is extremely temperamental regarding placement and fit, and even slight changes in these factors could result in noticeable bass roll-off and deviations in treble response.

    Sound
    Raw Frequency Response
    7.7
    Sound
    Bass Accuracy
    Std. Err.
    3.22 dB
    Low-Frequency Extension
    40 Hz
    Low-Bass
    -5.19 dB
    Mid-Bass
    0.03 dB
    High-Bass
    3.39 dB

    The bass accuracy is good. There's a bit of roll-off in the bass range, which means low-end rumble is lacking. As a result, cinematic sequences in games won't sound as intense and captivating. That said, a bump in the high-bass compensates for this somewhat, ensuring that bass frequency sounds are still present, though they lack substance. This means that instruments like kick drums and bass guitars are clearly audible, as are enemy footsteps.

    However, it's worth noting that our results represent an average response based on multiple passes due to the inconsistency in how these headphones deliver audio, so your experience may vary.

    8.2
    Sound
    Mid Accuracy
    Std. Err.
    2.34 dB
    Low-Mid
    0.9 dB
    Mid-Mid
    1.78 dB
    High-Mid
    -0.29 dB

    The mid accuracy is great. The response is generally balanced across the entire range, resulting in mostly accurate reproduction of vocals, speech, and lead instruments. The low-mid are slightly accentuated as an extension of the boosted high-bass, meaning instruments like snares sound a little boxy. There's also a peak in the mid-mid that can help bring out the detail in dialogue-heavy cutscenes. There are some inconsistencies between the left and right drivers in the high-mid, which means that higher-pitched voices sound clearer and crisper in the right driver than in the left. However, when playing games like The Witcher 3, dialogue is still understandable and easy to follow when receiving quests.

    6.0
    Sound
    Treble Accuracy
    Std. Err.
    5.79 dB
    Low-Treble
    2.51 dB
    Mid-Treble
    4.46 dB
    High-Treble
    -0.99 dB

    The treble accuracy is passable, though there are some significant deviations in the response across the entire range. The low treble is slightly emphasized, meaning that the upper harmonics or vocals have some high-end sparkle. However, this is followed by a dip at the bottom of the mid-treble that dulls lower-pitched sibilants, rendering S and T sounds lispy and lifeless. This is followed by a significant peak at the top of the mid-treble that adds excessive brightness to metallic sounds, like cymbals or the clink of swords sparring. Overall, this results in an overly-bright treatment of higher-pitched sounds that will be fatiguing to listen to for extended periods.

    However, it's worth noting that our results represent an average response based on a few passes due to the inconsistency in how these headphones deliver audio, so your mileage may vary.

    6.4
    Sound
    Peaks/Dips
    Peaks
    2.42 dB
    Dips
    1.76 dB

    The peaks and dips performance is mediocre, meaning they don't control their own sound profile too well. There are significant peaks in the low and high bass that can bloat mixes and muddy already-boomy sounds like explosions and 808s. A dip across the low and mid-mid can make vocals and speech sound hollow and recessed. A further dip in the high-mid also means these sounds lack brilliance and transparency in their upper harmonics. Finally, there's a massive dip in the mid-treble, followed by a sharp rise to a significant peak. This can result in sibilants that alternate between sounding dull and extremely shrill, depending on their pitch.

    5.7
    Sound
    Imaging
    Weighted Group Delay
    0.47
    Weighted Phase Mismatch
    14.67
    Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
    4.13
    Weighted Frequency Mismatch
    3.67

    The imaging performance is disappointing compared to other headphones we've tested from Sony Electronics, who manufacture the PULSE and INZONE lines of gaming headsets. Good imaging is usually an indicator of solid ergonomics and good quality control, which we've come to expect of this manufacturer. However, given that this is the first over-ear headset from Sony to feature planar magnetic drivers, our unit's lackluster imaging may be a byproduct of the increased complexity involved in manufacturing planar drivers.

    Group delay mostly falls beneath the audibility threshold, except for the bass range, where high group delay results in noticeably loose-sounding bass. However, our unit's L/R drivers are badly matched in phase, frequency, and amplitude. We ran tests using every input method (wired, via the transmitter, and via Bluetooth) and found that these issues persisted regardless. While there are some phase mismatches in the mid-range, the mismatches in the treble range are most noticeable. Higher-pitched vocals, for example, appear to shift to the left as they ascend in pitch, which will be clearly audible when listening to real-life content.

    6.7
    Sound
    Passive Soundstage
    PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
    4.11 dB
    PRTF Size (Avg.)
    4.41 dB
    PRTF Distance
    14.2 dB
    Openness
    7.3
    Acoustic Space Excitation
    4.7

    The PlayStation PULSE Elite's passive soundstage performance is alright, as is expected from closed-back headphones. Although it sounds spacious, it's also unnatural sounding and lacks the immersive, out-of-head quality you get with open-back headphones. That said, because of how they interact with your outer ears, they're somewhat open-feeling for closed-backs.

    2.0
    Sound
    Virtual Soundstage
    Head Modeling
    No
    Speaker Modeling
    On/Off
    Room Ambience
    No
    Head Tracking
    No
    Virtual Surround
    Yes

    The Sony PULSE Elite is compatible with Sony's Tempest 3D AudioTech—this feature is available natively with the PS5. Integration will vary from game to game, and some PS4 games are even supported. This feature can create a more immersive gaming experience by using a virtual soundstage.

    7.2
    Sound
    Weighted Harmonic Distortion
    WHD @ 90
    0.506
    WHD @ 100
    0.175

    The Sony PULSE Elite's weighted harmonic distortion performance is decent. There's a spike in the low-bass range, especially in the low-bass region, though this range can be difficult to hear with real-life content. Otherwise, there's some perceptible planar crinkle—a kind of crackling noise that's audible with some planar magnetic headphones. This crinkle was audible during subjective listening and will likely be audible when you listen to real-life content. It's represented on the graph by the spike in the mid-treble range at both regular and high listening levels. However, it's unlikely that all units will be affected, so your experience may vary.

    Sound
    Test Settings
    Firmware
    0136
    Power
    On
    Connection
    Wireless (Proprietary)
    Codec
    PCM, 16-bit, 48kHz
    EQ
    No EQ
    ANC
    No ANC
    Tip/Pad
    Default
    Microphone
    Boom

    These are the settings used to test the Sony PULSE Elite Headset. Our results are only valid in this configuration.

    Isolation
    3.4
    Isolation
    Noise Isolation - Full Range
    Noise Cancelling No
    Overall Attenuation
    -7.80 dB
    Bass
    4.00 dB
    Mid
    -7.92 dB
    Treble
    -21.95 dB

    The Sony PULSE Elite's full-range noise isolation performance is poor. These headphones don't have any ANC feature, so they isolate passively. That said, they provide no isolation in the bass range. Unusually, our results found that they accentuate bass range noise. We compared our results with another headset to see if there was an issue with our setup. However, this second headset performed normally. We also subjectively evaluated the PULSE Elite's performance and found that, when playing bass-heavy music next door, basslines and kicks sounded louder and more muddy across the entire range. As a result, sounds like construction work outside your window will be audible and even slightly amplified. We're unsure what's causing these strange results, but we're looking into it.

    They also provide almost no isolation in the mid-range, so you can hear conversations around you. They're a little better at shielding you from high-frequency noises, like fridge hum, although the level of attenuation is still quite low.

    3.2
    Isolation
    Noise Isolation - Common Scenarios
    Airplane Noise Attenuation
    -5.77 dB
    Airplane Noise Isolation Audio
    Office Noise Attenuation
    -6.47 dB
    Office Noise Isolation Audio
    Street Noise Attenuation
    -6.87 dB
    Street Noise Isolation Audio

    These headphones have difficulty isolating you from common scenarios. Everything that's going on around you will make its way into your audio, and bass-range sounds like the rumble of passing bus engines will even sound slightly louder with these headphones on.

    Just like in our full-range tests, we found that these headphones accentuate the response of bass frequency sounds. We're currently looking into these results.

    Isolation
    Noise Isolation - Voice Handling
    Female Voice 1
    Male Voice 1
    Female Voice 2
    Male Voice 2
    Isolation
    ANC Wind Handling
    ANC Wind Noise
    N/A
    5.9
    Isolation
    Leakage
    Leakage Audio
    Overall Leakage @ 1ft
    45.46 dB

    The Sony PULSE Elite have middling leakage performance. Escaping audio is mostly concentrated in the treble and midrange, and while it sounds fairly bright, it's also rather comprehensive. You can hear lead instruments, vocals, and percussion well at ambient office volumes, while bright frequencies are loud enough to interrupt nearby conversations. How audible your leaked audio is relies on variables like how loud you set the volume.

    Microphone
    Microphone
    Microphone Style
    Integrated
    No
    In-Line
    No
    Boom
    Yes
    Detachable Boom
    No
    Mic Yes

    These headphones feature a flexible, retractable boom mic that you can bend to accommodate different angles.

    7.9
    Microphone
    Recording Quality
    Recorded Speech
    LFE
    113.14 Hz
    FR Std. Dev.
    0.99 dB
    HFE
    6,736.4 Hz
    Weighted THD
    1.821
    Gain
    8.46 dB

    The boom mic's recording quality is very good. Your voice sounds relatively natural and will be easily understood by whoever's on the other end.

    8.8
    Microphone
    Noise Handling
    SpNR
    63.8 dB
    Noise Gate
    Always On
    Speech + Pink Noise Handling
    9.0
    Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
    Speech + Subway Noise Handling
    8.5
    Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

    The boom mic's noise handling performance is amazing. It does a fantastic job of separating your voice from moderately noisy environments, so if you're gaming with a fan on in the summer, your voice will still come through loud and clear. Even at higher levels of background noise, it does an excellent job of ensuring your voice is still clear and understandable, even if some noise can still be heard.

    Active Features
    7.9
    Active Features
    Battery
    Battery Type
    Rechargable
    Continuous Battery Life
    53 hrs
    Additional Charges
    0.0
    Total Battery Life
    53 hrs
    Charge Time
    2.5 hrs
    Power-Saving Feature
    No
    Audio While Charging
    Yes
    Passive Playback
    No
    Charging Port USB-C

    The Sony PULSE Elite have a very good battery life performance. The manufacturer advertises 30 hours of continuous battery life, but we measured 53 hours of playtime while using the dongle. Sony possibly tested these headphones using their Bluetooth connection or both connection types simultaneously, which would explain our differing results. As always, battery life will vary depending on your usage. They also have a quick charge feature that gives you two hours of battery life from a ten-minute charge. You can charge them using the included headphone hanger.

    7.0
    Active Features
    App Support
    App Name PS5 Inferface
    iOS No
    Android No
    macOS No
    Windows No
    Equalizer
    Graphic + Presets
    ANC Control
    No
    Mic Control Adjustable Level
    Room Effects
    No
    Playback Control
    No
    Button Mapping No
    Surround Support
    Yes

    The Sony PULSE Elite use the PS5's interface as a companion app, where you can adjust a variety of settings. You can also connect them to a PS4, but you won't have access to certain features like the 5-band graphic EQ, custom EQ presets, and control over the headphone and mic volumes. While there's no support for Dolby surround sound formats, you can enable the Tempest 3D audio feature on your PS5 and adjust the settings to create a more immersive gaming experience.

    Connectivity
    8.4
    Connectivity
    Wired Connection
    Analog Audio
    Yes
    USB Audio
    No
    Detachable
    Yes
    Length
    N/A
    Connector
    1/8" TRRS
    Latency - Analog
    3.8 ms
    Latency - USB
    N/A
    Recorded Latency
    Recorded Latency Connection Analog

    You can use the PlayStation PULSE Elite headset with a 1/8" TRRS cable, although it isn't included. Latency is extremely low when using this connection type, so you don't need to worry about audiovisual lag. They also come with a USB-A to USB-C cable for charging.

    7.4
    Connectivity
    Bluetooth Connection
    Bluetooth Version
    Unspecified
    Multi-Device Pairing
    Bluetooth + Console/Non-BT Wireless
    Quick Pair (Android)
    No
    Quick Pair (iOS)
    No
    Line Of Sight Range
    334.65 ft (102.00 m)
    Latency - SBC
    325 ms
    Latency - aptX
    N/A
    Latency - aptX Adaptive (High Quality)
    N/A
    Latency - aptX Adaptive (Low Latency)
    N/A
    Latency - LDAC
    N/A
    Recorded Latency
    Recorded Latency Codec SBC
    AAC Support
    No

    The PlayStation PULSE Elite have an okay Bluetooth performance. There's no multi-device pairing via Bluetooth, though you can connect another device via the dongle while keeping a Bluetooth device paired. They have high latency when using a Bluetooth connection, though, so if you use them to watch videos, you'll notice some lip-sync issues. It's unlikely to be a factor for gaming use, though, as you'll want to use the dongle to connect your PlayStation.

    8.6
    Connectivity
    Wireless Connection (Dongle)
    Line Of Sight Range
    104.99 ft (32.00 m)
    Latency - Dongle
    26 ms
    Recorded Latency

    The Sony PULSE Elite have excellent connectivity via the included wireless dongle. Latency is very low when using this connection method, so you won't experience any lag between your audio and visuals when gaming. That said, the wireless connection becomes spotty at around 30m (98.4ft) and cuts out entirely at 32 m (105ft), which is quite a short range compared to other gaming headsets. However, this won't be an issue if you're gaming at home and are close to your console.

    It's worth noting that many users online have experienced issues with this headset randomly disconnecting while using the wireless dongle. If you've experienced issues like this, please let us know in the forums. While we didn't experience any connection issues during the testing process, this issue does seem widespread, and you can see some of the user reports on reddit as well as YouTube.

    Connectivity
    PC Compatibility
    Analog
    Audio + Microphone (Not Included)
    Wired USB
    No
    Non-BT Wireless
    Audio + Microphone

    These headphones are fully compatible with PCs via a wireless dongle or an analog connection. As you can use them wired via a 1/8" TRRS cable, you can even send audio to communicate with teammates. If your PC supports Bluetooth, you can connect to it this way, though latency will be noticeably higher.

    Connectivity
    PlayStation Compatibility
    PS4 Analog
    Audio + Microphone (Not Included)
    PS4 Wired USB
    No
    PS4 Non-BT Wireless
    Audio + Microphone
    PS5 Analog
    Audio + Microphone (Not included)
    PS5 Wired USB
    No
    PS5 Non-BT Wireless
    Audio + Microphone

    These headphones are optimized for PlayStation family consoles, so you can connect them to both PS4s and PS5s via the Wireless dongle, analog connection, or even Bluetooth for full audio and microphone support. However, you can only access features like the graphic EQ, EQ presets, and mic/headphone volume if you have a PS5.

    Connectivity
    Xbox Compatibility
    Xbox One Analog
    Audio + Microphone (Not Included)
    Xbox One Wired USB
    No
    Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
    No
    Xbox Series X|S Analog
    Audio + Microphone (Not Included)
    Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
    No
    Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
    No

    The Sony PULSE Elite are compatible with Xbox family consoles via analog connection only; you plug a 1/8" TRRS cable into your controller. You can send and receive audio using this method.

    3.4
    Connectivity
    Base/Dock
    Type
    Wireless USB Dongle
    USB Input
    Yes
    Line In
    No
    Line Out
    No
    Optical Input
    No
    RCA Input
    No
    Dock Charging
    No
    Power Supply
    USB

    The Sony PULSE Elite come with a wireless USB dongle you can use to connect these headphones wirelessly without using Bluetooth. However, you'll need to charge them using the included charging hanger.