Lucid Sound to introduce the LS-30, the latest gaming headset from industry vets (exclusive hands-on)

Gaming audio industry vets have combined to form Lucid Sound, a new gaming peripheral company. The brand's first multiplatform headset, the LS-30, is debuting at CES 2016.

Jeff Bakalar Editor at Large
Jeff is CNET Editor at Large and a host for CNET video. He's regularly featured on CBS and CBSN. He founded the site's longest-running podcast, The 404 Show, which ran for 10 years. He's currently featured on Giant Bomb's Giant Beastcast podcast and has an unhealthy obsession with ice hockey and pinball.
Jeff Bakalar
2 min read
Lucid Sound

Calling the gaming headset marketplace overcrowded is a bit of an understatement. Recently, I wrapped up a handful of the options out now and barely scratched the surface.

While CES isn't usually the forum for significant gaming-related product announcements, a new company made up of some familiar industry faces is here to do just that.

The founder of Tritton, Chris Von Huben, as well as one of the company's product development managers, Aaron Smith, have formed Lucid Sound. The new brand is on the ground here in Las Vegas debuting the LS-30, the first of what I'm told will be several models released this year.

No strangers to the world of gaming audio peripherals, the LS-30 is a wireless headset compatible with all current and last-gen consoles, as well as PC and whatever device with a 3.5mm jack you want to throw at it.

I was able to get my hands on an early production unit last week and put the headset through its paces in Black Ops III multiplayer. Switching over to the LS-30 from my go-to Astro A40 TR was mostly seamless, and overall I was impressed with the fidelity of the new cans.

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There's significant bass and richness to the sound of the LS-30s, and I found spacial awareness to be on point even though the LS-30s don't use any kind of surround-sound decoding.

Setting up the LS-30s is arguably the most inelegant notion of the whole experience. An optical audio cable must be snaked back into a USB dongle, which then broadcasts the wireless signal. I had concerns that this would delay the audio signal, which products like the A40 claim to reduce to nearly zero, but during a full week of (admittedly unscientific) testing I could not discern a significant difference.

Jeff Bakalar/CNET

My favorite feature of the LS-30 has to be its boom mic. Sure, it's standard operating equipment on gaming headsets, but the LS-30's flexibility, discreteness, and performance really excited me. It reinforces the overall focus of the product, a combination of style, function and comfort.

We'll likely run a full review of the LS-30 as its release date nears. The headset will go for $150 and be available at major retailers.

Some of the LS-30's specs and features are below:

  • Independent game and chat audio wheels on each ear cup
  • 50mm speakers
  • Three EQ presets
  • Mic monitoring with LED mute notification
  • 15-hour rechargeable battery
  • Wireless chat compatible with PS4 and PS3; wired connection needed for Xbox One and Xbox 360