Sony Platinum Wireless PS4 Headset Review

I really like this headset.

The $160 Sony Platinum headset is the follow-up to the generally well-received $99 Gold headset. For an addtional $60, you get brand- new 3D audio processing, a metal suspension headband design, improved dual-microphone voice capture, larger 50mm drivers, and softer ear cups. (And the same stupid carrying bag).

It’s everything the Gold Headset had…plus more. More comfort, more sound quality, better materials in everything but the bag…

It’s great and worth the price if you’re a PS4 owner.

The headset is just subtle enough to use in a coffee shop, which I am doing here in this picture I took while writing this article.

Sound

The big new thing here is the 3D audio processing. This works only on a PS4, with the help of a new wireless dongle. The dongle has a slight bulge in the middle of it, and it’s a fair bit larger than the old Gold Wireless dongle. This extra space holds audio processing hardware that allows this headset to take a big step up over the Gold’s already-great virtual surround sound.

Many reviews out there have focused on how these sound with Uncharted 4, the only current game that fully takes advantage of the 3D audio processing. In Uncharted 4, you’ll hear sounds from all directions, thanks to a virtual sphere of 100 different virtual speaker positions.

However! The standard 7.1 virtual surround sound system is also enhanced by the presence of the new 3D audio hardware in the dongle, and if you’ve used the Gold headset before, the effect here is even better. It’s a clear difference. The Gold headset provided accurate positional data and reasonable natural audio. The Platinum kicks everything up, with a more dynamic, wide soundscape. It’s like going from small living room speakers to a movie theater.

The box for the headset even proudly calls out this new “Enhanced 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound,” so don’t feel like you’re missing out if you don’t own Uncharted 4. You’re still getting an amazing-sounding 7.1 experience in all your PS4 games here, and that’s great.

The first game I actually tried out was Tomb Raider Definitive Edition, a personal favorite of mine. I was startled at how good the surround implementation was. It really feels like being in a room full of large speakers. I might have to redo this list.

By default, the headset ships with two EQ modes: standard, and bass boost. They’re assigned to the two positions on the power switch. You can use the Headset Companion app on the PS4 to upload new presets to these switch positions. Plus, the Platinum can do this wirelessly, without the need to attach to the system via a USB cable. Great!

The sound signature is punchy, visceral, and clear. All frequency ranges are well-represented, with slight boosts in the lows, mids, and highs. It’s a little like the popular M50X, or a slightly less bassy version of Sony’s MDR-1A. Gone is the sometimes- hollow sound of the Gold Wireless, replaced by a big powerful sound that’s hard to dislike unless you’re the purest of audiophiles.

If you don’t have a PS4…well you probably wouldn’t want this as you lose most of the cool sound features, but you can still connect this to anything with a 3.5mm jack. The audio cable included is a bog-standard TRRS connector, so you could replace it with any cable you’d like. The 4-pole plug means you can still use the built-in microphone with your phone, Xbox, or PC. (PC users can also use the dongle for wireless connection, but there’s no 3D audio). The sound is in standard stereo over the cable…but the pleasant, slightly sculptured sound signature compares pretty well to other consumer headphones. Vocals in music remain clear in spite of the subtle colorations here, and everything still has a natural tone.

The only thing I might consider a deficiency sonically is the slightly withdrawn soundstage in wired mode. It’s not nearly as thin as the sound of something like the M50X, and imaging is pretty good. Just don’t expect anything better than average in the soundstage department…unless you’re using the virtual surround on a PS4.

Overall, this is a huge win on sound quality and I have no complaints. If you like a brighter headphone, a wide soundstage, or a neutral/analytic sound, you might hate it. But then, you probably also already own something like the MSR7 or a Sennheiser. Wink.

Comfort

Comfort on the Platinum headset is great; a complete must for gaming headsets. Long sessions require high comfort, and the Platinum delivers. The suspension head strap is a very cushy piece of rubber, and while it’s not as cool as the Arctis head strap, it still does the job well. The ear pads are big and plush, with plenty of room inside. Clamping force is a little firm compared to the Gold wireless, but still okay. The beefier construction of these compared to some other all-plastic headsets makes them a little heavier than average, so they don’t quite disappear on the head…but they never become annoying. At least for me.

I have a large head, but I could wear the Gold headset with two extra clicks of adjustment on each side. I can wear the Platinum headset with two extra clicks as well, so they’re almost identical as far as overall size goes. Keep that in mind if you’re worried about the fit: if the Gold Wireless fits, the Platinums will work for you.

Design/Build

The basic design of the Platinum headset is very similar to the Gold headset, right down to the weird way the pads fit around the ear cups. They look a little more subtle on the head than the Gold headset did. The ear cups are made out of a polished plastic instead of a weird rubbery material, and the headband now uses a suspension strap and a metal support.

Ear cups still adjust by floating up and down on a fixed head band. The headset collapses down, but doesn’t fold flat.

Build quality is significantly improved. The headband in particular feels very satisfying. It’s made out of a really solid metal. The pieces holding the ear cups still use some plastic, but they’re thicker and sturdier than the Gold headset, and they don’t have the removable faceplates of that model. I never replaced those faceplates, so that doesn’t bug me.

Extras/Headset Features

Sony includes a USB cable for charging, a 3.5mm cable, and a carrying bag in the box, along with the PS4 3D audio wireless dongle.

The bag is nearly identical to the cheap, basic bag included with the Gold headset. This is a little disappointing. The only difference is that the Playstation logo printed onto the side of the bag is nicer. Otherwise, it’s the same thin cloth thing. Oh well. Everything else about the headset is a big bump up, so it’s kinda weird that they used the same bag.

The headset includes control buttons for volume up and down, game/chat audio balance, mic mute, and a switch to turn the 3D audio off…but I honestly don’t know why you’d ever want to do that other than to see how much better it is switched on.

The microphone is good and uses a new dual-mic system to cancel out more background noise. I already thought the mic on the Gold was decent in spite of not using a boom, so improving that slightly here is a nice bonus.

Battery life is a bit improved over the Gold wireless, lasting a couple hours longer. Sony doesn’t really give a good estimate other than saying it’s “better,” and I…I’ve been so busy using it I haven’t timed it. That probably makes me a bad reviewer. But just know that it’s longer.

Now please Sony go put a bigger batter in the controller please oh god why don’t you do this please go now.

Conclusion

This is a great product that’s priced well. Sony set out to create a better PS4 headset for $60 more, and then delivered in spades. I’m more than happy with the premium they’re charging for the improvements here. The Gold wireless is still a great choice if you want a good basic headset with decent surround sound, and this Platinum model is excellent for those that would like to kick it up a notch to truly premium surround audio.

Unless you hate their aesthetics, there’s no real reason to buy any other headset if you’re primarily a PS4 gamer. If you’re on other platforms…well there’s the rub. I can’t really recommend the Platinum unless you’re a PS4 owner. That system is the only way to use the 3D audio features, and wireless is limited to PS4 and PC. So this isn’t for everyone, but it’s perfect for PS4 gamers.

If you need something multiplatform in the same, or slightly cheaper, price range…perhaps check out this article I wrote recently.