The LS20 Amplified Universal Gaming Headset is the second headset from LucidSound, aiming to “redefine what gamers can expect at a sub $100/(£80) price point.” So, is the LS20 the headset to buy if you’re looking for one around the £80 mark? Read our review below to find out..
Follow on from the success of the LS30 (You can read our review here) LucidSound have produced their second headset the LS20. Although the LS20 is at a lower price point it doesn’t mean that the quality that we saw in the LS30 has diminished any, in fact it’s on par. The build quality is superb, from taking it out of the box the first thing you see is the metal touch points of the headband, this part of the headset is the most susceptible to wear and tear as it encompasses the majority of the moving parts, so should stand up to heavy usage.
The top part of the headband feels like some form of plastic, that provides the clamping force to keep the ear-cups firmly on the head, this is wrapped in faux leather with LucidSound embossed across the top, and a memory foam underside that’s cross-stitched giving a look, and feel of luxury. The ear-cups also have the same faux leather with memory foam inside. Now for an on-ear headset the ear-cup cushioning, and the clamping force of the headband have to be spot on, and I have to say the LS20s are just that. I’ve seen other headsets in the past that have been too hard on the ears, and have in fact caused sore spots after long gaming sessions. The LS20s are really comfortable with the only down side being that after an hour or 2 the faux leather does cause some sweating around the ears.
The LS20 is a wired headset but does feature an Amplification mode that does require power, this comes in the form of built-in batteries that can be charged via the supplied USB cable. the power from the battery is used for the bass boost function which can be turned on/off by pressing the button on the rear of the right ear-cup, as well as the headset’s built in volume and mute controls. although the headset can be used passively (without power) should the battery die whilst in the middle of a gaming session. The power mode also has 3 setting which can be changed by pressing and holding the power button (found on the rear of the left ear-cup), each setting indicated by a different coloured LED light. Purple for Xbox One, blue for PS4 and red for PC and mobile devices.
Setting up the headset for amplified use is fairly simple, the instructions provided are straight forward and easy to follow, there’s a couple of steps in setting it up for each device to optimise its performance, but will take no longer than 2 minutes. There’s instructions for setting up with both types of Xbox One controller too (with and without built in 3.5mm jack) A separate audio adaptor will be needed if you are using the older Xbox One controller. Using the headset passively is even simpler and is as straight forward as inserting the 3.5mm jack in to your device.
On to the previously mentioned built in controls, so the LS20s feature the same ear-cup controls as the LS30s, although they are scaled back a little. On the right ear cup you have the outer wheel which controls the overall volume of the headset, and the centre button of the ear-cup mutes the audio completely, while the right side only features a mic mute button in the centre of the ear-cup, this also illuminates an LED on the mic letting you know that it is muted.The sound of the headset is just fantastic, from the bass to the treble it’s perfectly balanced, and while not as ‘bassy’ as the LS30s (There’s a speaker size difference to take in to account here) the LS20s are on a par in overall audio quality. I also did a little stress test with the speakers. I turned on the bass boost, and also plugged it in to a turtle beach headset adaptor and turned the bass boost (x2) on, on that too, and there was no distortion. Good to know for those that like to increase the bass.
The mic boom is removable too, and the headset does feature a built in mic should you wish too use it, also handy if you’re out and about using the headset to listen to music on your phone, you can easily take a call using them. The microphone was testing in a party on Xbox One and just like the LS30 mic, it was noted that I was coming through nice and clear, just less bass in my voice compared to my usual headset.