If you’re a dedicated PS4 gamer, the Sony PlayStation Platinum Wireless Headset has your name written on it. It’s a wireless gaming headset designed specifically for the PS4, with a comfortable fit and some intriguing virtual surround features. Its $159.99 price tag is reasonable for a high-quality wireless headset, but since it can only work wirelessly with a PS4 or PS4 Pro, it won’t appeal much to PC or Xbox One users. That said, Sony fans should definitely give this headset a look.
The Platinum Wireless Headset is slim and simple in its circular design. The headband is a flexible arch consisting of metal on the top and plastic behind the earcups. It’s light and springy, with a rubber strap running under the metal of the headband to provide basic padding and lift the top of the headset above your scalp. The plastic mounts of the earcups connect to the rest of the headband on wide hinges that let the headset fold inward when not in use.
The earcups themselves are circular black plastic discs with plush memory foam pads covered in black faux leather. Blue fabric inside the earcups cover the headset’s drivers, and provide the only color on the device. All connections and most controls sit on the edge of the left earcup, and include a micro USB port for charging, a 3.5mm auxiliary port for wired use, a volume rocker, a mute button, a three-way power switch that sets the headset to one of two different EQ modes (more on this below), and a Game/Chat balance rocker. The headset lacks a boom mic, but a pinhole microphone rests on the bottom of the left earcup to offer the voice communication that defines a gaming headset. The right earcup holds only a single slider switch for enabling the 7.1-channel simulated surround and 3D audio features.
Thanks to the flexible headband and the plush earpads, the headset feels very comfortable to wear for hours at a time. It sat on my large head snugly, and I didn’t feel any distracting weight or pressure while playing with it.
Instead of Bluetooth, the Platinum Wireless Headset uses a dongle-based 2.4GHz wireless connection. The included adapter is a small, black USB device with a rounded diamond profile. It plugs easily into the recessed USB ports on the front of the PS4, where it needs to stay for you to use the headset as intended. Besides the adapter, the headset also comes with a micro USB cable, a 3.5mm cable, and a cloth carrying pouch. Because the headset isn’t Bluetooth and the adapter is designed solely for the PS4, you can’t wirelessly connect it to mobile devices or your PC. However, the included 3.5mm audio cable lets you use it as a wired headset.
Sony states that the Platinum Wireless Headset has an “extended-life battery,” but it doesn’t specify specifically how long it can last between charges. Fortunately, you can plug it into your PS4 with a micro USB cable to use while it charges (though the included two-foot cable is a bit too short for this).
Headset Companion App
The free Headset Companion App on the PS4 lets you load a variety of preset and custom EQ modes to the headset wirelessly. The app offers a choice between a handful of different game, movie, and music genres with their own tweaked EQ settings, plus a few modes designed for specific games like The Last Guardian and Uncharted 4. You can also create three different custom EQ settings with a three-stage (Bass, Mid-range, Treble), six-step equalizer. The headset can only hold two EQ presets at a time, assigned to the 1 and 2 positions on the power switch. Fortunately, it only takes seconds to load new presets onto it.
The current selection of EQ presets betrays the Platinum Wireless Headset’s decidedly un-musical focus. The three music presets are Bass Boost, Hip Hop, and Techno, while the two movie presets are Action and Horror. The non-game-specific gaming presets are limited to only Fighting and Shooter, though in fairness those are the two most common console gaming genres that require a headset.
The Platinum Wireless Headset features a 50mm driver in each earcup, and incorporates virtual surround sound processing to produce the impression of positional imaging by mixing different sounds between each driver. The virtual surround sound can simulate up to 7.1-channel audio for games and movies that support it, like many high-end gaming headsets. Sony goes a step further by adding 3D audio, the sound mixing technology used in the PlayStation VR’s headset passthrough that adds height to the surround simulation to give the impression of audio sources above and below you. 3D audio is much more limited in its availability than standard surround sound processing; games must be individually updated to add it, and currently the only game with the feature is Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End. Days Gone, MLB The Show 17, and Uncharted: The Lost Legacy will also get 3D audio support in the future.
I often denigrate virtual surround sound as fairly useless, since headphones physically can’t produce the audio imaging necessary to give the sense of a real surround sound system. While this continues to be the case, the Platinum Wireless Headset makes a good attempt at it. I played Let It Die using the headset, and the virtual surround provided accurate left-to-right audio imaging, letting me follow the hiss of enemies as they crept around corners toward me. I didn’t get a good sense that sounds were located directly in front of or behind me, but I could hear attackers approach from the sides and as they moved in front of me, with the mixing letting me follow their general direction at all times.
Besides the virtual surround sound, Let It Die simply sounded very good in testing. The dank, atmospheric sounds of the sewer and subway floors of the Tower of Barbs were clear, and gave a sense of the spooky ruins of the game. The music was crisp and clean when it picked up during the action. Uncle Sensei’s voice was a bit hard to make out in the mix using a flat equalizer setting, but the Shooter and Horror settings helped fix that.
See How We Test Headphones
The Spotify app on the PS4 offers ample opportunity to listen to music on the Platinum Wireless Headset without using a cable to connect it to your smartphone. The headset is quite capable for playing music, though its bass feels surprisingly underpowered. I listened to our bass test track, The Knife’s “Silent Shout,” and while it didn’t distort at all, both the bass synth notes and kick drum hits lacked the deep low-end response necessary to give them much force; the headset seems to drop out before reaching into subwoofer levels of bass. Even the Bass Boost EQ setting doesn’t improve this much.
Outside of the sub-bass realm, the headset provides a great deal of finesse and clarity, with enough low-mid and high-mid force to give songs energy. The texture of the strings of the acoustic guitar in the opening of Yes’ “Roundabout” come through clearly, and while the thumping backbeat of Boom Boom Satellites’ “What Goes Round Comes Around” doesn’t have quite as much thump as I’d like, the rest of the mix sounds full and exciting.
Sony’s Platinum Wireless Headset for the PlayStation 4 is a premium-feeling gaming headset that offers very good sound quality and a comfortable fit. It doesn’t have quite as much low-end power as it could, and its platform-specific design means you can’t easily use it with many other devices, but as a high-end headset targeting devoted PlayStation fans it’s a solid pick. Our current top-of-the line favorite remains the Astro Gaming A50, but while it’s much more flexible, it’s also much more expensive. The Logitech G933 is another excellent multi-platform gaming headset, and if money is no object for a wired alternative, the Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament Headset remains the most comfortable model we’ve tested.