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(Pocket-lint) - There's a subtle art to making a great headset, blending together the right materials and comfort with sound quality and value. LucidSound has been refining its own approach for a good while now, and its flagship Xbox headset is evidence of that progress.

The LS50X is a great choice if you're looking for a top-line console headset, with only a few minor drawbacks, so keep reading to find out in detail what we made of it.

Design and comfort

  • Memory foam earcups
  • On-earcup controls

In truth, it's pretty rare to come across a gaming headset that looks different in a good way, and it's therefore no mark against the LS50X that it looks pretty standard. It's clearly a premium headset from the minute you clap eyes on it, though.

Pocket-lintLucidSound LS50X headset review: As good as it gets on Xbox? photo 4

It's got a nicely designed metallic frame running around each earcup and into the headband, while there's also a faux-leather finish that makes it feel soft and comfortable to the touch. It's all pretty weighty, too, so once on your head that does mean it feels a little more present than some feather-light alternatives, but that comes with some benefits as well.

The earcups here are memory foam with cooling gel combinations that do a great job of isolating the audio passively, and are genuinely comfortable to wear for hours at a time (even with glasses on, always an extra struggle).

Smart design touches elevate it, too - not least LucidSound's trademark on-earcup controls, which let you rotate dial controls to raise the volume of your game and interact with chat functions all without needing to interrupt your game. They work swimmingly and make some other headsets that lack them look pared-back by comparison.

For comfort and for build-quality, then, we'd put this headset right in the top bracket of ones that we've tried. Touches like the fact that it comes with a sturdy storage and travel case only enhance that impression.

Sound quality

  • 50mm drivers
  • Windows Sonic Surround Sound

How does the LS50X actually sound, though? That's the key to a headset's success, after all. The good news is that this is one of the best-sounding headsets we've tried on Xbox. Playing on the Xbox Series X using the LS50X as our sound system has been a blast.

While it doesn't come bundled or play nice with optional formats like Dolby Atmos, Windows Sonic Surround Sound is more than good enough for most people and can be entirely immersive if the game you're playing uses it right.

Pocket-lintLucidSound LS50X headset review: As good as it gets on Xbox? photo 1

There are 50mm drivers at play here for bold stereo sound, and we've been really impressed by their range and subtlety. The best way to test this, in our experience, is in games where audio cues really matter - such as Hunt: Showdown, where being able to pinpoint the footsteps or grunts of an enemy player could be the difference between life and death.

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The LS50X is delicate enough to help you hear even the most subtle of noises, but when a game goes all-out and bombards you with music or just general noise, it can very much scale up to blast you on the volume front.

Another area where sound quality matters is on the input side, of course. The removable microphone here is impressive, with pretty great voice quality coming through to ensure that you don't sound muffled or obscure on your party chats.

Features

  • Wireless connection with dongle
  • Additional Bluetooth
  • 20-hour battery life

Any wireless headset has some other questions to contend with, though - not least among them the matter of battery life. Here the LS50X is in the middle of the pack, offering around 20 hours before it gives up the ghost.

That's a solid showing, and we've seen far worse, but it's an area where more affordable options tend to do better, so if you want something you can almost entirely forget about charging, this might not be the best choice.

One of the other minor drawbacks to the LS50X is that, despite being an officially licensed product for Xbox consoles, it doesn't use the Xbox Wireless standard to connect to your console, instead opting for a dongle. This doubtless has upsides, and the connection it offers is indeed impressively strong and never dropped out in our testing.

Pocket-lintLucidSound LS50X headset review: As good as it gets on Xbox? photo 2

But there's also a clear advantage to being able to use a headset without any added fiddling or bits that you could lose. Xbox's own Xbox Wireless Headset boasts this at a far lower price, but so do third-party options from Steelseries, as another example.

Still, LucidSound hasn't skimped out - it's also added Bluetooth support to the LS50X to make it genuinely versatile. It lets you connect using the dongle but also use Bluetooth to connect to another source, and to playback audio from both at once. This means you could stream music from your phone while you play, or indeed join a chat app like Discord to have party chat outside of your console - and while not everyone will use the functionality it's great that it's there.

Verdict

If you're looking for a premium headset that looks and feels classy to use, and you want to be assured that it's going to sound great as well, the LucidSound LS50X is a great option. We're really impressed by how well-made it is, and that echoes into the user experience too.

There are a couple of things we'd change, but that's the case with almost any headset, and while it's certainly not wallet-friendly, there aren't many headsets out there aimed squarely at console users that work quite this well.

Also consider

Pocket-lintLucidSound LS50X also consider photo 1

Xbox Wireless Headset

If your budget is a good deal tighter, Xbox's own official headset is a really brilliant deal, offering excellent sound at less than half the price of the LucidSound flagship, with a dongle-free connection to boot. It's not quite as well-made and the microphone could use improvements, but it's a very solid alternative that'll save you some cash.

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Writing by Max Freeman-Mills. Editing by Mike Lowe. Originally published on 25 September 2021.