During the reveal of the PlayStation 5, Sony assured us that the console would come with an improved 3D audio engine, known as Tempest. As something of an audio nerd myself, I was keen to put Sony’s new Tempest engine to the test and what better way to do that with a headset created for the console?
This particular headset was snakebyte’s HEAD:SET 5. The contents of said headset required a foldable HEAD:SET 5 with a detachable microphone with a pop filter and a headset holder. The cable is 1.2 meters (3.9ft) and allows both volume adjustment and a switch to mute the microphone.
I tend to find headsets that are foldable feel flimsy, but the HEAD:SET 5 is certainly a sturdy beast. There’s a satisfying click when opening or closing the headset, indicating that the headset has been correctly folded. The device is small overall, which makes it easy to fold away but the size may cause issues for some adults. Irritability began occurring after around an hour of continuous use, so it’s not the perfect device for the longer gaming sessions but would likely be fine for younger audiences.
Despite being a little on the quiet side, the audio quality is pretty good. Trying it across several games and for the PlayStations 5’s voice chat, everything comes through clear. Unfortunately the mic tends to pick up the headset volume in the background when the volume is set to a high level. I found I had to turn down the volume significantly to prevent others in a chat party from hearing an echo, making it difficult to hear the conversations as clearly as I would like. Microphone quality is pretty good though, with my friends being able to hear me clearly once the echo issue had been sorted. It’s just a shame it can only really be used with low volume.
The wire length feels really nice. It’s long enough that you can comfortably relax your hands on your lap with no tug or resistance. Additionally, it’s not too long that it causes an annoyance by being caught under legs or arms. The volume control is easy to use too. It’s a good size, meaning it’s easy to find when the user is still looking at the screen or playing in a dark room. Muting is snappy, being able to flip the switch quickly, however the switch is rigid enough to prevent you from accidentally muting yourself without realising.
It’s hard for me to recommend the snakebyte HEAD:SET 5. The audio quality is good, yet the overall performance when in voice chat combined with comfort issues unfortunately make for a lacklustre experience on the PlayStation 5.
snakebyte HEAD:SET 5 for PlayStation 5 Review
Good quality but quiet audio, which has to be turned down to prevent others from hearing themselves echoing in a voice chat. The snakebyte HEAD:SET 5 is also uncomfortable for long gaming sessions.