Due to the timing of the release of the PS4, the biggest letdown of the previous console was the lack of support for native 4K resolution gaming. While it was later integrated into the PS4 Pro, 4K gaming never met its full potential on the previous generation of consoles. Luckily, 4K gaming has become somewhat necessary as the ubiquity of 4K televisions and monitors has come to the forefront.
Sony has announced that the PS5 will have native 4K support for all titles, but they have also gone as far to say it will support 8K gaming a few years down the road.
With higher resolution, an overhaul of the console’s hardware is necessary. The PS5 hasn’t come up short, seeing massive improvements in computing power, memory, and high-speed storage. Featuring an AMD Zen 2 3.5 GHz processor at a variable frequency, you’ll get eight cores of supercharged gaming performance.
In addition to the brand new graphics architecture, the PS5 features 10.28 teraflops of graphics processing power with 16 GB of GDDR6 memory. Another mainstay of the PC gaming world, solid-state drives have officially become the standard storage system, with the PS5 boasting a custom 800 GB drive with top-tier speeds to significantly minimize loading times.
Graphics and visuals aren’t the only aspects enhanced on the newest console, with the brand new Tempest 3D audio engine creating immersive and realistic audio. Surpassing the virtual surround sound technology featured in current-generation titles, the Tempest engine will integrate directional audio effects into a game’s sound design. This technology will result in realistic ambient sounds and a greater sense of relative distance to the audio effects you experience in-game.
Luckily, this massive upgrade in audio will be supported out of the box, since the console will still be compatible with most standard headphones via a wired connection to the DualSense controller. While the Pulse 3D headset can further enhance these effects, it shouldn’t stop you from experiencing the impressive audio design with your gaming earbuds.
Below, we will touch on some of the best gaming earbuds for the PS5, as well as their key features for in-game voice chat, in-ear comfort, and audio performance.
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1. Turtle Beach Battle Buds $19.95
The Turtle Beach Battle Buds are a remarkably versatile pair of wired gaming earbuds fully compatible with the current and next generation of consoles.
These earbuds ship with six different sizes and shapes of ear tips, ensuring comfort regardless of the user. Available in two colors, the standard black comes with matching ear tips of the same color, while the white variant ships with white and blue ear tips.
In addition to the usual in-line microphone found on most earbuds, the Turtle Beach Battle Buds also features a removable microphone attached to one of the earbuds. Not only is the microphone more sensitive than those on other alternatives, but the placement also enhances overall voice clarity. The in-line controller allows you to control the master volume and microphone muting. It also houses a multi-function button for supported devices.
2. Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Bluetooth Gaming Earbuds $64.99
Another company known for producing high-quality gaming peripherals, Razer has been at the forefront of developing gamer-friendly keyboards, mice, and headsets for over 20 years. The Hammerhead wireless earbuds are specifically designed for gaming. With the charging case, these earbuds boast up to 15 hours of playback. The case also acts to protect your earbuds when not in use. Additionally, the water-resistant design is IPX4 rated, allowing for worry-free use during exercise or outdoor activities.
While the earbuds have an impressive set of 13 mm drivers for deep bass and sharp treble, the most important feature for gaming is low latency. The headphones offer a 60 ms response time, so you can hear and react to the action in real-time.
Although these headphones are great for gaming, they also have features that make them ideal for everyday use. They have touch-enabled controls for changing tracks, adjusting volume, or managing phone calls. They also support voice assistants for smartphones, including Siri and Google Assistant.
3. Razer Hammerhead Pro v2 NZ$149.95
The Razer Hammerhead Pro v2 wired earbuds are a flashy alternative to the wireless pair previously mentioned. Built with large 10 mm dynamic drivers, it provides excellent sound quality in a small form factor. It features a 3.5 mm headphone jack compatible across all console generations and most smartphones. You will find an in-line microphone and control panel, giving you access to three quick action buttons for volume and calls.
The Hammerhead Pro v2 scores points on build quality above all else. The bright green cable features a flat tangle-free design, so it can be neatly stored in your bag or pocket. Additionally, these earbuds are shipped with three ear tip options to ensure a comfortable and snug fit.
While this iteration of the Razer Hammerhead line may have slightly fewer frills than its counterparts, it provides high-quality audio gaming in a compact form factor.
4. Sennheiser CX 300S Earbuds $ 49.95
The Sennheiser CX 300S is a sleek and powerful pair of earbuds for everyday and gaming use. While it may not be geared specifically towards the gaming audience, its exceptional sound profile should garner the attention of anyone looking for a rich and detailed audio experience.
The CX 300S features the standard earbud form factor, with an in-line microphone and controller. Additionally, you will receive a compact carrying pouch and four different sets of ear tips (extra small, small, medium, and large) to ensure a comfortable fit. The shape of the ear tips is designed to maximize noise cancellation in loud conditions.
Available in three colors (black, red, and white), the CX 300S is a great option for those looking for high-quality audio for immersive gaming.
5. Razer Hammerhead Duo Wired Earbuds $59.99
The Razer Hammerhead Duo is an alternative to the aforementioned earbuds from the same manufacturer. Having many of the same features, these earbuds come in a slimmer form factor for those who want a more comfortable listening experience. Instead of the flat cable found in the Hammerhead Pro v2, the Hammerhead Duo features a slim but durable braided cable.
In terms of audio quality, the Hammerhead Duo has a custom-tuned dual driver setup, giving you deeper bass and higher frequency detail for dynamic and superior clarity. It comes with the standard 3.5 mm headphone jack and in-line microphone/controller for connectivity. You’ll also receive three sets of ear tips for a custom fit.
The Hammerhead Duo is in two colors, namely green and black. They also offer a special edition release for the Nintendo Switch.
6. KLIM Fusion Earbuds €19.97
A budget option on the gaming earbuds market, the KLIM Fusion is a versatile pair of earbuds that offer exceptional value. The biggest selling point of these earbuds is its customizability. Coming in black, blue, green, red, and orange, you have a wide range of color options to suit your preferences. They also offer a multi-colored set of replaceable ear tips as a separate purchase. The ear tips are made of memory foam and shipped in three sizes to ensure a comfortable fit.
You will find all of the usual features on these earbuds, including an in-line microphone and controller for phone calls and music. Additionally, you’ll get a carrying case and a 3.5 mm splitter, giving you the option to have a separate microphone and audio connections for PC.
7. Sound Panda SPE-G9+ $59.99
A slightly less-known brand in the audio market, Sound Panda has released a surprisingly high-quality and multi-functional set of earbuds with the SPE-G9+. Not only does it feature rich and immersive audio, but it is built with all of the attachments and controls for gaming, music, and hands-free calling.
In terms of audio quality, the SPE-G9+ earbuds are built with triple 6 mm dynamic stereo drivers, providing deep bass and a rich surround sound experience. In addition, the standard in-line microphone and controller are great for on-the-go music and phone calls.
The SPE-G9+ features a detachable microphone for clear in-game communication. Built with the universal 3.5 mm headphone jack, it will seamlessly function with most console gaming controllers.
Available in two colors (black and red), these earbuds are shipped with three different sizes of ear tips and a carrying pouch. Sound Panda promises a snug and comfortable in-ear fit, allowing for prolonged gaming sessions with their lightweight form factor.
How the Pulse 3D Headset Will Change PS5 Gaming
In addition to the announcement of the PS5, Sony has also unveiled the Pulse 3D headset. Coming in a sleek and futuristic white design that matches the console’s overall aesthetics, these will be wireless over-ear headphones that focus on the newly-implemented “3D audio.”
Although the details are sparse as to the specs and feature set of the Pulse 3D headphones, Sony has announced that they will feature dual noise-canceling microphones. The 3D aspect of the Pulse headphones is the most desirable feature, as it allows for a much more immersive audio experience beyond the typical virtual surround sound in previous console headphones.
The Pulse 3D headset will also feature the usual accommodations, including easy-access controls for microphone muting, master volume, and in-game audio chat mixing. It can endure up to 12 hours of continuous wireless use on a single charge. The headset will also ship with a3.5 mm headphone adapter, allowing you to use it on other supported devices.
While the full list of features and technology that power the brand new headset from Sony is yet to be seen, you can be sure that it will complement the PS5’s hardware.
What Does the Tempest 3D Audio Engine Do for In-Game Sound?
As previously mentioned, the Tempest 3D engine is the core functionality behind the enhanced audio that you will experience when playing PS5 games. While you may assume that 3D audio is similar to surround sound (simply panning audio left to right within the headset itself, it is actually much more complex.
The Tempest engine has developed a true “3D” sound space, allowing game developers to make directional sound adjustments, proximity sound adjustments, and audio level adjustments for the various sound effects.
For example, if you are in a dark and gloomy dungeon, the sound of water trickling down the walls will not only be directionally accurate but as you move closer or further from the object, it will fade and adjust to the sound space. Once all of the sound effects are combined, every aspect of the audio will be completely accurate and immersive.
Because the Tempest 3D audio engine is implemented into the games’ design and subsequently supported by the hardware, all of these sound effects will be supported by standard headphones. However, they will be optimized for the Sony Pulse 3D headphones, which will be launched alongside the console.
Why Bluetooth Audio Will Be Necessary on the PS5
The biggest omission from the last generation of PlayStation consoles was the support for Bluetooth audio and voice devices. While these are standard features among laptops, smartphones, and tablets, it was inexplicably missing on the PS4. It was especially tragic for many casual gamers, as Bluetooth earbuds, such as the Apple AirPods, were not supported natively. It would require either wired 3.5 mm headphones to be plugged directly into the controller, or a full-featured headset that plugs into the console itself. The lack of universal support for Bluetooth audio devices resulted in one of the most frustrating shortcomings of the previous console generation.
While nothing is guaranteed with the PS5, one of the safer assumptions would be support for Bluetooth devices. Due to the nearly-universal availability of Bluetooth on almost every piece of tech on the market, it would be a blatant disregard for gamers if they choose not to integrate the technology into the PS5.
The 3.5 mm Headphone Jack on the PS5 DualSense Controller
As with any new console, the PlayStation 5 will feature a brand new iteration of the long-standing DualShock/Sense controller. Sporting a color scheme complementary to the new console, the futuristic and stylish design is only the surface level improvement shielding the advancements under the hood. With built-in haptic feedback, adaptive triggers, built-in microphone, and larger battery capacity, DualSense is truly the most advanced controller Sony has ever released.
The big question was whether or not it will include the standard 3.5 mm headphone jack. Luckily, it has been confirmed that it will include the headphone input, allowing for your current earbuds or headphones to retain their functionality on the new controller. While you may want to consider upgrading your headphones for the new Tempest sound engine, it will still support all basic headphones.