LucidSound have been a breakout brand ever since they emerged with their flagship LS40 gaming headsets last year; an entry-premium first impression that surprised me with audio quality that could’ve been certified by THX themselves. I gave it pretty high praise among the competition at the time, and when the opportunity gave to review the LS25 eSports Gaming Headset I instantly jumped on it.
Compared to its contemporaries, LucidSound has treated styling a bit differently by shunning the brawny angles and aggressiveness for the fashion-conscious. Instead, you get a curvaceous shape with large closed-back earcups, completed by a padded headband with red cross stitching on the interior.
The appearance is unmistakable and physically fits within the family, just a little less refined in some of its minor details. The biggest giveaway are contrasting swatches of loud red-and-black which is meant to be expressive, at the sacrifice of elegance similar to the step-up LS30.
The LS25 is cleverly integrated with volume controls, audio inputs, and secondary built-in microphone for convenience (or a backup if you lose the detachable boom mic). The main volume dial is on the outer left cup itself that can be rotated forward to makes thing louder, or backward for quieter. Likewise, the right cup toggles the mute option for the microphone.
For owners of the LS30, the LS25 will basically be the same thing with a wilder color scheme and a lower price. For the accessible cost you lose the wireless capability in favor of wired connections, and have to make do with a regular 3.5mm cable and another 3.5mm cable which splits headphone and mic sources to their respective PC jacks.
Fortunately this doesn’t make the LS25 any less comfortable, and has a close fit with minor adjustments. One nitpick of that they do appear oversized and are just a bit too gaudy to wear outside. Either way, I never had a problem with these wrapped around my big head after a four hour stint but I reckon women may think otherwise.
There are advantages to the LS25 being wired: You’re good to go for all current devices whether it’s on PS4, Xbox One, or PC; even handhelds like the Nintendo Switch or mobile are no problem. The mic operates just fine with or without the split 3.5mm cable and latency is a non-issue since you’re dealing a direct connection. I tested it extensively with on all the aforementioned consoles and it simply works no matter if your aiming for headshots or clearing your head with Spotify.
But there are varying degrees of performance and the best results come from the PS4/Xbox One, the sound profile is clean with excellent direction for a natural tone. It’s balanced like stereo headphones should be, although it lacks many of the bassy characteristics that made me love the LS40 so much — mostly down to the fact that the LS25 are intended for competitive gaming and/or eSports. I’m actually not disappointed by most of this since it serves its purpose in a straightforward manner, or at least handled to agreeable effect for output. The action and chat parties come in clear for games such as Call of Duty: WWII, Overwatch, or H1Z1.
The microphone range is where performance sinks from good to merely passable. I strongly recommend sticking to the boom mic, despite the fact that voice output can sometimes sound distant and occasionally hollow depending on what you use it on. For video games is good enough for casual multiplayer but it was apps like Google Voice or Skype where the LS25 became mildly distorted with pronunciation pops before returning to normal. Consequently, we appreciate the built-in mic but it is a less viable option since it picks up a tremendous amount of background noise and is only acceptable when at home or a quiet office.
It may lack some of the niceties that make the LS30 and LS40 so appealing, but the LS25 is still a dedicated gaming headset that doesn’t cost a fortune. Without the wireless features these aren’t a bad choice for acceptable sound, but the sporadic microphone performance does drags behind for eSports duty. Nevertheless, you still get a well-rounded headset for the dough.