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HolidayBuyer's Guide

LucidSound LS20 gaming headphones

LucidSound LS20 gaming headphones

LucidSound LS20 gaming headphones

LucidSound LS20 gaming headphones

LucidSound LS20 gaming headphones

LucidSound LS20 gaming headphones

LucidSound LS40 gaming headphones

LucidSound LS40 USB dongle

LucidSound LS40 gaming headphones

The LucidSound LS20 doesn't look like your average gaming headset. No garish lighting, no deep blacks. It looks...comfortable! Stylish! And it is. We got to check it out at the Electronic Entertainment Expo this year.

Caption by / Photo by Sean Hollister/CNET

In fact, you don't even need to carry that white boom mic around. When you're not gaming, it pops right off, and there's a second mic underneath so you can make smartphone calls. Oh, and that ring around the speaker cup is the volume control.

Caption by / Photo by Sean Hollister/CNET

Here's where things get a little confusing. There's actually a battery inside the LS20, which lets you activate an internal EQ that provides a bass boost and enhances the sound. The volume control only works when it's on.

Caption by / Photo by Sean Hollister/CNET

At US $99, the LS20 is cheaper than the company's original flagship, the $149 LS30. But there's no wireless connectivity -- you'll need to plug in the 3.5mm cable to your phone, PC or console controller to get sound.

Caption by / Photo by Sean Hollister/CNET

The memory foam padding is pretty comfortable, and the metal arms feel strong. There's definitely a little creaky plastic in the prototype we tried, but it's not bad for $100.

Caption by / Photo by Sean Hollister/CNET

The boom mic lights up blue, and you can activate a "mobile" mode where the hidden button underneath the LS logo can play or pause tracks on your phone.

Caption by / Photo by Sean Hollister/CNET

For $199, the LS40 is LucidSound's new flagship. It's much the same as the LS30 -- wireless, larger and more comfortable than the LS20 -- but now it adds a convincing surround-sound mode.

Caption by / Photo by Sean Hollister/CNET

Here's the USB dongle you'll plug into a game console to get wireless surround sound from the LS40. Note that you also need to plug it into the console's optical audio port with a second cable.

Caption by / Photo by Sean Hollister/CNET

One last shot of the LucidSound LS40.

Caption by / Photo by Sean Hollister/CNET
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