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PlayStation 5 3D Audio - Few Questions and a Headset To Get?

Elder Legend

Yoir Aee Member
Hello Gaf,

I heard a lot of good things in regards to the 3D audio that PlayStation 5 provides. However, I am a bit confused about it and how exactly it works and when does it actually work.

Is the 3D on by default if you have a headset that supports it?

Does the 3D audio exists in every single game that is played on PlayStation 5 including third party titles? Or is it only exclusive to 1st party games?

What is the best headset to buy for 3D audio? Please throw me some links (preferably Amazon)

What is the difference between a regular surround sound to 3D audio?

Does it really make a obvious difference? If so, what games do the best job of representing this feature?

Let me know please, thanks!
 
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There was a previous firmware update for the PS5 that enabled the 3D audio through TV speakers if you wanna test it. Personally I use a 7.1 system so the 3D audio doesn't work at all for me yet most of the time unless I attach some headphones to the PS5 controller.

Something like Returnal makes great use of it
 

Kuranghi

Gold Member
When your sound output is set to "Headphones" or "TV speaker" in the PS5 audio settings then the 3D Audio option will be available and you can configure the effect.

Don't know the technicalities of how its different from surround sound. I think right now there are only a handful of games that properly utilise it, Returnal, Demon's Souls and Astro being 3 that come to mind.

I tried it in Astro on my Sony WH-1000XM3 and I didn't really like it overall tbh, gave an interesting increase in perceived height of audio sources and being able pinpoint them around you, but it makes everything sound tinny to me and the surround effect wasn't nearly as good as just using my 5.1 surround system (Seems obvious).

I have a feeling it wasn't working properly* because I was connecting wired into the Dualsense to make it work, BT connection wouldn't work with 3D Audio so I may get a Pulse 3D set to see if its any better when using the wireless USB adaptor.

If you don't have a 5.1(+) surround sound system its probably going to be better for you than just using your headphones in stereo mode, as long as they're a decent set.

*My WH-1000XM3's sometimes do this thing where they go to "headset mode" when it detects its being used as a communication device rather than just headphones and I have to force it back to the other mode in Windows sound settings. I think this could be what was causing it to sound tinny so I won't write it off until I can try it out on my 5.1 system or get supported headphones with a USB wireless adapter that goes in the PS5.
 
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rofif

Gold Member
It works on any headphones connected to the controller.
WIth dongles I am not sure but I am using Sony Pulse 3d and I highly recommend it !!!

I is very comfortable, sounds fantastic and the integration with ps5 is good. You see volume, can change eq and see battery level.
They sound open and directional. Really good headset. I even use it on pc.

Anyway - I have 3d always on in system settings. Some games like Returnal will know you have sony pulse 3d connected and configure the sound.
Others like tlou2 will recognize as 3d heaphones.
God of war recognizes as surround sound system.
In all games the sound is great. I have no complaints and didn't had to turn off 3d audio in system yet.
It can be a bit confusing if game have it's own other 3d audio.. then does 3d is set on top of 3d?! Not sure.

Edit: Returnal and Demons souls sound significantly better than other games. I've not tried many yet though.
 
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Con-Z-epT

Gold Member
Any stereo headphones will do but the better the overall quality of the headphone the better the 3D audio effect will be. The game has to support it and not every game does. I think every first party title has it. You can activate 3D audio it in the settings on the PS5.

The prime example still is Returnal which features an immensely satisfying effect through typical stereo headphones which will enable you to precisely locate the position of the sound and therefore the enemie. I couldn't believe it when i heard it.
 
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Swift_Star

Member
It works on any headphones connected to the controller.
WIth dongles I am not sure but I am using Sony Pulse 3d and I highly recommend it !!!

I is very comfortable, sounds fantastic and the integration with ps5 is good. You see volume, can change eq and see battery level.
They sound open and directional. Really good headset. I even use it on pc.

Anyway - I have 3d always on in system settings. Some games like Returnal will know you have sony pulse 3d connected and configure the sound.
Others like tlou2 will recognize as 3d heaphones.
God of war recognizes as surround sound system.
In all games the sound is great. I have no complaints and didn't had to turn off 3d audio in system yet.
It can be a bit confusing if game have it's own other 3d audio.. then does 3d is set on top of 3d?! Not sure
Do you use glasses? I have glasses with thin frames, you know round raybans? That one. And it gets uncomfortable after a few hours. Granted I rarely play games for more than two hours at once at any given day. I still rather use my Samsung soundbar than any headphones for gaming, though. Phones only at night.
 
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rofif

Gold Member
Do you use glasses? I have glasses with thin frames, you know round raybans? That one. And it gets uncomfortable after a few hours. Granted I rarely play games for more than two hours at once at any given day.
I don't. The only uncomfortable part for me is the top rubber. It can get a hotspot after few hours but nothing too bad I suppose.
 

Con-Z-epT

Gold Member
If you don't have a 5.1(+) surround sound system its probably going to be better for you than just using your headphones in stereo mode, as long as they're a decent set.
Jup, it is a nice feature but since i have a proper 5.1 setup i rarely use it. Still mindbending since it is just a stereo signal.
 

The Cockatrice

Gold Member

rofif

Gold Member
You can get the 3D audio on PS5 on any headset. Dont bother with the Sony PULSE 3D headset, it's not very good. And dont bother looking at generic gaming/"journalists" sites with top 10 headsets to get or whatever, all of them are just full of shit like IGN's. Look at some actual in depth tests done by experts: https://www.rtings.com/headphones/reviews/sony/pulse-3d-wireless

check out some actual good headsets https://www.rtings.com/headphones/reviews/best/by-usage/gaming
This offends me.
Pulse 3d sounds pretty fantastic. Compared to real wired headsets on fiio e10k... and it's wireless. That is convinience
 

TrebleShot

Member
Ah here we go, yes, I have been experimenting with different headsets and configurations and understanding some of the nuances.

Top line, the PS5 Pulse 3D headset is the best way to go, they are very very comfortable and are extremely good quality for the price, there are enhancements on the software such as real-time EQ swapping and presets which you can change via the PS button and other software nice to haves.

I originally got the SteelSeries Arctis 7P with my PS5, the build quality is better, the ear pads are softer and the sound Is initially boomier or more "bass heavy" however they sound significantly more muddy and also have less directional clarity. The Pulses with the EQ adjustments just about edges it.

If you end up getting the pulses do your ears a big favour and get these replacement ear pillows!

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08T9L4KWL/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

As for the 3D sound...

It is extremely impressive in the games that support it fully, for example Demons Souls, Returnal which both have object based 3D audio via tempest.

There is another type of "3D Audio" which Uncharted 4 Remaster uses which recreates 5.1/7.1 in a simulated way via the headphones which is technically 3D audio however it it not object based like many first party games - this isn't always clear and most third party games that support 3D audio are doing the same thing (AC Valhalla for example).

Lastly my experience is nothing will beat the presence of a real atmos or 5.1/7.1 with sub system, it just sounds better however the detail and immersion of the Pulses is hard to beat and 3D tempest audio is the real deal, the other 3D headphone surround sound is very good too.

It does work via the controller jack but the best results are via a dongle headset which uses 2.5ghz transmission, the quality is higher as bluetooth is unable to transmit high fidelity audio. Think MP3 vs FLAC for instance.
 

rofif

Gold Member

You can find them for about 400 if you look around. Highly recommended in terms of value and sound quality. Cheaper is also fine. More expensive even better.
Really?! 400usd wired high ohm headphones... for ps5.... REALLY ?!
You need usb amp+dac for that... and that means compatibility issues with ps5 and playing wired to a fucking console.
You will end up spending 500-600 total for a sound that's not really SO MUCH better and is on wire.

Elder Legend Elder Legend Beyers are great headphones but believe me - pulse 3d sounds fantastic compared to "real" wired headphones... but sound is one thing and wireless convenience + system integration is another.
There is no hiss, no lag, no white noise, 3d works great. Why bother spending 4 or 5 times more and then get a dac... and play wired?

I am not saying pulse 3d is end all, be all. There are many wireless headsets cheaper and more convenient than real stupid headphones. I've been down that hole... it hurts.
Pulse 3d is on par with koss porta pro level sound wise which is an extremely high price when it comes to wireless and closed headphones. And it got more bass.

edit: and forget about bluetooth audio. it's crap
 
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Con-Z-epT

Gold Member
Really?! 400usd wired high ohm headphones... for ps5.... REALLY ?!
You need usb amp+dac for that... and that means compatibility issues with ps5 and playing wired to a fucking console.
You will end up spending 500-600 total for a sound that's not really SO MUCH better and is on wire.
Sure you can't blow through your eardrums with 250 Ohm but it still has reasable loudness. No amp required in my eyes and i said you can get them cheaper. I would never recommend wireless headsets. Wired is the way to go.

It is a matter of priority and the ones i use are much more expensive but to each their own.
 
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rofif

Gold Member
USB dongle otherwise forget it, don't buy into the 3.5mm bs audio quality is traaaaaash
the controller 3.5mm is not too bad... if you use low ohm headphones - at least below 60ohm.
But yes - I much prefer the 2,4ghz dongle too now that I've tried it
 

Topher

Gold Member
USB dongle otherwise forget it, don't buy into the 3.5mm bs audio quality is traaaaaash

Agree. I've tried many many headsets for both PlayStation and Xbox and the ones with USB dongles are the best, imo. For PlayStation, I'm using Razer Blackshark V2 wireless.


By far the best sounding, most comfortable headset I've tried.

For Xbox, I'm using HyperX CloudX flight


Again, great sounding and very comfortable. Both have USB dongles

I also tried the Audeze Penrose which sound amazing, but they are just too uncomfortable for long use.
 
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rofif

Gold Member
Sure you can't blow through your eardrums with 250 Ohm but it still has reasable loudness. No amp required in my eyes and i said you can get them cheaper. I would never recommend wireless headsets. Wired is the way to go.
Controller could barely drive even my 60ohm koss porta pro loudenough.
You loose dynamic range too if you dont feed headphones enough.

You would never recommend wireless headset?! Why is that?! There is no lag, no hiss, no difference. Just... no cable
 

rofif

Gold Member
Agree. I've tried many many headsets for both PlayStation and Xbox and the ones with USB dongles are the best, imo. For PlayStation, I'm using Razer Blackshark V2 wireless.


By far the best sounding, most comfortable headset I've tried.

For Xbox, I'm using HyperX CloudX flight


Again, great sounding and very comfortable. Both have USB dongles
blackshark v2 pro is fantastic. I ended up with pulse 3d myself but friend got razers and it's for sure more comfortable but hotter on the ears after a while. Not as well integrated with ps5 too but it's not a big deal
 

Con-Z-epT

Gold Member
You loose dynamic range too if you dont feed headphones enough.
True.
You would never recommend wireless headset?! Why is that?! There is no lag, no hiss, no difference. Just... no cable
If your absolute top priority is the best possible sound, then there is no way around the cable. A connection via Bluetooth always means a (decreasing) loss of sound quality.
 

rofif

Gold Member
True.

If your absolute top priority is the best possible sound, then there is no way around the cable. A connection via Bluetooth always means a (decreasing) loss of sound quality.
bluetooth yes.
2,4ghz... not too bad and not laggy.
Of course cable is better but it's an ass on ps5 to do properly. If you are connecting to controller.. you really are wireless anyway but on the same stream as controller. So why no have separate dongle
 

Bo_Hazem

Gold Dealer
No need to look further than Sony's Pulse 3D. The audio is very clear, bass is perfect and not overdone. You can as well choose presets like Shooter or Extra Bass or manually adjust the EQ and save the profile in 3 slots.

3D audio should be on by default, but how good it is depends on the studio.
 

Topher

Gold Member
True.

If your absolute top priority is the best possible sound, then there is no way around the cable. A connection via Bluetooth always means a (decreasing) loss of sound quality.

Wired is always better, but personally I can't stand wired headsets. Not even connected to the controller. That's just personal preference though. If it doesn't bother you then makes perfect sense.

Either way, wired and wireless headsets should be judge as separate categories because they have different use cases.
 

CobraAB

Member
You can get the 3D audio on PS5 on any headset. Dont bother with the Sony PULSE 3D headset, it's not very good. And dont bother looking at generic gaming/"journalists" sites with top 10 headsets to get or whatever, all of them are just full of shit like IGN's. Look at some actual in depth tests done by experts: https://www.rtings.com/headphones/reviews/sony/pulse-3d-wireless

check out some actual good headsets https://www.rtings.com/headphones/reviews/best/by-usage/gaming
I beg to differ regarding the Sony Pulse 3D. Oh yeah, you can spend more for sure. Probably better for other things but not a huge difference when it so es to using Sony’s PS5 3D audio.
 

Kuranghi

Gold Member
Are there actually that many wireless USB dongle headphones that support 3D Audio on PS5?

Arctis 7 seems to be the suggested best wireless headphones for PS5 on rtings:


Astro A50 has good review but isn't even on the list and talks about reduced audio quality when connected with USB which is exclusively how I'd use them given I want wireless + 3D Audio.

I'm getting flashbacks to looking at this before and deciding my WH-1000XM3 through LDAC BT to my soundbar (HDMI in from PS5 to the soundbar) is probably better overall quality than the Pulse 3D USB wireless to the PS5, even with the loss of 3D audio. So its spend £170-260 purely for gaming use or just stick with what I have and I'm in a position where I can play games on the 5.1 system most of the time anyway so headphones won't get used enough to justify that price.

I think the bottom line is how good are your ears at telling the difference between really really good sound and really good sound. I have the eyes of an eagle-owl hybrid that can spot the difference between 1944p and 2160p but when trying £400 vs. £1200 fancy cans (Listening to DSD files with a DAC) wasn't nearly a big enough difference to me to make me ever consider spending money like that. So probably Pulse 3D is fine for people like me.
 
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Luipadre

Member
Sonys 3D audio is just a fancy word that makes your sound muffled and worse. Positional audio is better than without it but the sound quality takes a huge hit. You can hear it better with better headphones
 
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Topher

Gold Member
I have the Arctis 7, is that good enough for 3D audio on PS5 compared to the Pulse 3D?

You should be good.

"Can I use third-party headsets with PS5?

Officially licensed headsets from third-party manufacturers will be available after the launch of PS5. Some headsets licensed for the PS4 console may work or may require a device firmware update. Please consult with your headset’s manufacturer for compatibility questions.

Wireless headsets from third-party companies that use a Bluetooth connection will not be supported on PS5, though most USB and analog headsets will be supported.

Headsets that can connect to a 3.5mm jack, USB-A, or USB-C will work for 3D Audio."


Sonys 3D audio is just a fancy word that makes your sound muffled and worse. Positionel audio is better than without it but the sound quality takes a huge hit. You can hear it better with better headphones

Actually it sounds really good.
 
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Bo_Hazem

Gold Dealer
Sonys 3D audio is just a fancy word that makes your sound muffled and worse. Positionel audio is better than without it but the sound quality takes a huge hit. You can hear it better with better headphones

You can turn it off and use 7.1-channel and the difference is day and night. It's just vastly superior to 7.1-channel.

Early on yes 3D audio was kinda muffled, but with 2nd or 3rd update since launch that was gone. Now you can even modify it as you like but I prefer the standard/default profile.
 
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Luipadre

Member
You can turn it off and use 7.1-channel and the difference is day and night. It's just vastly superior to 7.1-channel.

Early on yes 3D audio was kinda muffled, but with 2nd or 3rd update since launch that was gone. Now you can even modify it as you like but I prefer the standard/default profile.

Dunno man it sounds way worse to me still than normal audio. Sounds muffled with way less clarity
 

Kuranghi

Gold Member
Dunno man it sounds way worse to me still than normal audio. Sounds muffled with way less clarity

Are you wiring into the controller to get 3D Audio? It sounded like shit for me when I did that with WH-1000XM3s and they're known for good sound quality. I want to try it with a USB dongle to fully judge it.
 

Nikana

Go Go Neo Rangers!
Sonys 3D audio is just a fancy word that makes your sound muffled and worse. Positional audio is better than without it but the sound quality takes a huge hit. You can hear it better with better headphones
jeff bridges opinion GIF
 

rofif

Gold Member
Sonys 3D audio is just a fancy word that makes your sound muffled and worse. Positional audio is better than without it but the sound quality takes a huge hit. You can hear it better with better headphones
It is absolutely not muffled and that surprised me
 

kyliethicc

Member
Just get the Sony Pulse 3D headset if you want value & wireless.

Otherwise, get a great pair of headphones like the Sony WF-1000XM4s and just plug them into your controller.
 

ABnormal

Member
There was a previous firmware update for the PS5 that enabled the 3D audio through TV speakers if you wanna test it. Personally I use a 7.1 system so the 3D audio doesn't work at all for me yet most of the time unless I attach some headphones to the PS5 controller.

Something like Returnal makes great use of it
3d audio doesn't work through the controller. You just get bluetooth 5.1 (which is good in itself, but not 3d audio). For 3d audio you have to use the pulse headset or another compatible headset capable to connect properly.
 

Hoddi

Member
Are you wiring into the controller to get 3D Audio? It sounded like shit for me when I did that with WH-1000XM3s and they're known for good sound quality. I want to try it with a USB dongle to fully judge it.
I can recommend this dongle for AptX headphones like the Sony ones. It gives far better audio quality than standard BT audio and works transparently between different devices.

Also, you don't need any special headphones for 3D audio to work. It's just standard stereo audio that has been processed by the console before output. It doesn't matter if it's wired or BT or something else.
 

Mr Moose

Member
3d audio doesn't work through the controller. You just get bluetooth 5.1 (which is good in itself, but not 3d audio). For 3d audio you have to use the pulse headset or another compatible headset capable to connect properly.
On the PS5, you’ll be able to experience 3D Audio with the headphones that many of you already own, either through USB connection to the console, or by plugging your headphones into the DualSense wireless controller’s 3.5mm headset jack.
 

ABnormal

Member
Bluetooth is not able to carry the full signal, so it's either a dumbed down quality version, or a pr bluder. It was even analized before in some official presentation, tough I don't remember where.
Maybe even a dumbed down versione is considered 3d audio, if it's able to give proper locality, even without full audio quality.
 
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Bo_Hazem

Gold Dealer
Dunno man it sounds way worse to me still than normal audio. Sounds muffled with way less clarity

Try Shooter preset, it might be for you or check youtube for the best/recommended EQ adjustments and see how it fits your flavour.
 

Bo_Hazem

Gold Dealer
3d audio doesn't work through the controller. You just get bluetooth 5.1 (which is good in itself, but not 3d audio). For 3d audio you have to use the pulse headset or another compatible headset capable to connect properly.

Nope, it works on DualSense, maybe that's why it has RealTek audio chip onboard. I actually struggle to tell the difference between wired to the DS and 2.4GHz wireless through the dongle. The 2.4GHz should be better theoretically, but it'll be hard to tell the difference which is a great job by Sony. I only use the Pulse 3D on the DS when my gaming session exceeds 12 hours and the battery dies, which is not so often as I have some breaks usually in between to recharge the headset a bit.
 

Chukhopops

Member
Bluetooth is not able to carry the full signal, so it's either a dumbed down quality version, or a pr bluder. It was even analized before in some official presentation, tough I don't remember where.
Maybe even a dumbed down versione is considered 3d audio, if it's able to give proper locality, even without full audio quality.
It works through the controller jack and with other headsets because the signal you receive is stereo - it’s virtual surround.

There’s no « full signal » to carry.
 
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