There are gaming headset lines out there that have the kind of visual appeal that encourages their owners to take them outside of their house. SteelSeries did this with their Arctis line and LucidSound did this with pretty much their entire brand. So, it was always a treat to check out new LucidSound headsets that pack in some interesting features and controls behind those attractive looks. Here, we take a look at the latest Xbox One product from LucidSound, the LS50X Hybrid Wireless Headset.
What does the LS50X bring that is different from the LS35X we reviewed some time ago? Let’s dive in to find out.
LucidSound LS50X Headset Specs
|Frequency Response:||20 – 20,000 Hz|
|Characteristic SPL:||97 +/-3dB|
|Weight:||408g / 14.4oz|
|Battery Life:||Up to 20 hours|
|Connectivity:||Wireless (Via USB Dongle), Bluetooth 4.2, 3.5mm|
The LucidSound LS50X headset comes with a hard shell carrying case, a wireless USB dongle for the Xbox One, a 3.5mm cable for using the headset with a wired audio source, a USB-C to USB-A charging cable, a removable boom mic, and a cover for the boom mic slot for when the boom mic is detached.
Build and Comfort
The LucidSound LS50X Hybrid Wireless Headset keeps true with the aesthetic DNA that the brand is known for. From a visual standpoint, LucidSound goes with a “don’t fix what is not broken” approach, sticking with the same attractive headset build they have been using for years.
You have a retracting headband with leatherette cushioning along the bottom and the LucidSound logo on the top. Each ear cup features that LucidSound “LS” logo on the side buttons, with a unique vinyl record-like design and appearance. The ear cup cushions are removable, featuring a leatherette skin around the outside and a cloth liner on the inside, where the cushions meet your head. Within those ear cups, you have a cooling gel layer over memory foam for cushioning.
Along the bottom of the left ear cup, you have the main power button, the USB-C charging port, a 3.5mm jack for using the headset in wired mode, and a slot for connecting the headset’s removable boom mic. There is also an onboard mic on the front of this ear cup. Meanwhile, the right ear cup simply houses the Bluetooth pairing and EQ toggling button.
The LS50X is a lightweight and comfortable headset. While the headset comes across as stiff in your hands, it is actually pretty flexable, maintaining a sturdy yet quite gentle hold on your head. I particularly favor the continued implementation of fabric and leatherette hybrid ear cushions across gaming headsets. Ear cushioning like this gives you the best of both worlds, the breathability of fabric surfaces with the level of sound isolation that leatherette provides. With the LS50X, LucidSound takes that ear cup design even further by layering cooling gel over the memory foam cushioning within the cups. This kept the LS50X from getting too warm in my three to four hour playing sessions. This headset truly excels in comfort in long playing sessions, offering only negligible fatigue after hours upon hours of gameplay.
Controls, Features, and Ease of Use
What makes the LucidSound LS50X a “hybrid” wireless headset is its ability to connect to the Xbox One and a Bluetooth sound source simultaneously. The LS50X can maintain 100% wireless connectivity with the Xbox One via a wireless USB dongle while being paired to a mobile device. The headset can playback sound from both sources simultaneously, allowing you to play your favorite music tracks while still hearing in-game sounds. If it is a mobile device that you are connected to, then you can use the LS50X to control your phone’s media just as you would with any mobile Bluetooth headset. You can even use either of the headset’s mics to conduct phone calls.
What makes the LS50X versatile while being practical for outdoor use is its removable boom mic. When you remove the boom mic on the LS50X, the headset’s onboard mic takes over. You can then opt to cover the exposed boom mic hole with the included cover, and you have yourself a proper mobile headset. If you have an audio source that connects via a 3.5mm cable, LucidSound has you covered as well. Just use the included 3.5mm cable, plug it into your source and headset, and you are off to the races.
The LS logo on each ear cup is actually a button surrounded by twistable dial, with each controlling various functions. When the headset is in Game Mode, the left side button toggles the muting of all inbound sound from the Xbox One while the right button toggles mic muting. The left ring dial handles the LS50X’s master volume while the right ring tackles inbound game and chat balancing. If you have the boom mic attached to the headset, its LED will illuminate in red when you are muted.
When the LS50X is in Bluetooth Mode, the headset’s controls then affect the media on your Bluetooth-connected mobile device. The left button controls calls and media play/pause while the right button continues to control mic muting. The left ring dial continues to control master volume while the right ring now handles forward and back track.
These controls go even further. Holding down on the left button swaps the headset between Bluetooth and Game modes, which allows you to quickly hop between controlling Xbox One and mobile media straight from the headset. Tap then hold the left button to toggle Mic Filtering, the headset’s active background noise and echo cancellation. Double-tap the left button hear a voice prompt indicating the headset’s battery level. Hold the right ear button to toggle the Mic Monitor function, which allows you to hear your own voice play back though the headset.
In terms of ease of use, the LS50X has a surprising intuitive set of controls, despite the nice chunk of features that is packed into this headset. In Game Mode, reaching up to manage volumes is quick and easy, since those dials are as large as they are. It is even easier when it comes to muting where simply pressing in the side of the headset can mute either your mic or Xbox sounds. In Bluetooth Mode, controlling your music, videos, and phone calls are just as easy. Pressing the left logo button to play and pause media or handle phone calls is straightforward. Using the right dial to control forward and back tracks was a good play by LucidSound.
There is no searching or prodding about when it comes to main headset functions on the LS50X. As long as you remember which side controls which, the headset will be very easy to use. These large and accessible controls have been a staple for the bulk of their headsets. The fact that they were able to make controls this accessible without sacrificing the headset’s visual style continues to impress. The fancier features like Mic Monitoring and Mic Filtering are not features you are going to jump between often. Therefore, you do not have to break your back trying to remember how to access them all the time. Chances are you will figure out whether you want them on or off, where you will stick with whatever choice you make once you make it. As to how those features performed, I will leave for later, in the Performance section.
LucidSound stuffed a lot of functionality into the LS50X. So, it is quite refreshing that they were able to do this while ensuring the headset remained attractive and easy to use.
LucidSound’s LS50X headset sports a solid and enjoyable sound presentation. Off the bat, sound is immersive thanks to the passive sound isolation provided by the headset’s ear cups. Fabric or mesh ear cushions may excel in comfort and breathability, but they suffer somewhat in sound isolation when compared to leatherette cushions. LS50X’s hybrid cushioning gives you the best of both worlds, allowing you to focus on the game, music or both.
The LS50X offers five EQ settings, where you can use the EQ toggle button to hop between different sound presentations when the headset is powered on. As you press the EQ toggle button, a voice prompt tells you verbally which sound setting you are on.
No EQ – This is the “vanilla” sound presentation of LS50X’s drivers. At its base, the LS50X’s default presentation features crisp highs and a deep immersive bass (lows). Mid-range does not come as strongly as the highs and lows, but it is still a good mid-range presentation. Vocals in game, chat, and music are still clear. This is not only the most balanced but also the loudest of the EQ settings. It also happens to be my favorite presentation out of what is selectable. Sound just felt the most vibrant here, both in game and music.
Signature Sound – This is an EQ with crisp highs and strong mids, with softer yet present lows. I do see what LucidSound was going for here. You want clear and crisp highs if you want to clearly hear footsteps or gunshots. You also want strong mids for clear vocal communication. Having lows or bass in Call of Duty, for example makes explosions and ground rumblings feel more immersive. However, in a first-person shooter and even more so in PVP, you care more about hearing enemies and team chatter than nice rumblings. While I generally liked the “No EQ” presentation the most, this is a nice competitive gameplay EQ.
Bass Boost – Here, you have a deeper bass, but with softer highs and mids. The bass and lows are more vibrant but not so much so that bass comes across as muddy. The bass in “No EQ” was plenty vibrant enough for me, but this EQ offers a good option for those who want even more bass.
Music Mode – In this EQ, I felt stronger mids, good highs, and a softer bass. So, if you like percussion and lyrical music, with not as much of a lean towards the bass. This might be for you.
Movie Mode – This EQ came across as a lighter version of Bass Boost but with better mids and highs. It was ok, but not for me.
While it is nice to have EQ choices for different user preferences, I appreciate that the “No EQ” setting was the most enjoyable. I love bass, but not at the heavy expense of the clarity of highs. That goes for both gaming and music. In gaming, specifically Call of Duty and Destiny 2, footsteps and gunshots were clear to the point that picking up enemy sounds were not an issue. However, thanks to that already vibrant bass, rumblings caused by explosions or passerby vehicles kept the experience immersive. While not as strong as highs or lows, mids (i.e. vocals) were still prevalent enough to be heard clearly and without issue. When it came to listening to music on the go, clear percussion/drums coupled by a vibrant bass allowed for a very enjoyable experience. As far as inbound sound presentation goes, the LS50X does a great job as headset that doubles as a gaming headset as well as an on-the-go music enjoyment one.
The “hybrid” aspect of the LS50X worked pretty well. Being able to be connected to your mobile device and Xbox One simultaneously worked nicely. Need to look up an instructional vid on Youtube without breaking away from the Xbox One? Just pull out your Bluetooth connected device and start playing your video while still managing inbound and outbound sound with the Xbox One. Both audio sources will play simultaneously on your headset. Being able to hop between Game and Bluetooth control modes on the fly allows you to control the two different sound sources straight from the headset.
The mic projects your voice clear enough to be understood by others. However, it leans a little on the bass-y side when it is sending your voice out. I had teammates comment that I came across a bit muffled but I was still easy to understand. The boom mic worked well at filtering background sounds, especially when backed by Mic Filtering. The onboard mic, in contrast, did not filter out background sounds as well as the removable boom mic. However, it was still very handy to use and a welcomed feature to have when using the LS50X outside on walks. It was manageable for phone calls and allowed you to use the headset without having to use a boom mic outdoors.
Built-in Mic Monitoring and Mic Filtering were both welcomed features for the LS50X. I am a naturally loud talker when I am gaming, and this is even more the case in PVP. The LS50X’s Mic Monitoring (aka Sidetone) feature worked especially well. It played my voice back at a volume that kept me aware of my volume without being distracting. I also liked how the Mic Filtering feature was able to be toggled. Mic Filtering kept the headset focused on my voice and while mostly ignoring background sounds. However, if you need to use the LS50X with a chat client like Discord, which already has a Mic Filtering featuring of its own, you can opt to turn off the LS50X’s filtering so that it does not clash with Discord’s.
At $250, the LucidSound LS50X Hybrid Wireless Headset is a solid purchase for anyone that wants to game wirelessly on their Xbox One but also have a solid Bluetooth headset for their mobile device. It delivers nicely in the sound department and has a respectable load of features to validate its price point. LucidSound even added a no-nonsense shell carrying case to help you protect your investment. While the mic’s outbound performance was a bit of a chin-scratcher, it was not so bad that I would refrain from suggesting this headset to anyone looking for a new Xbox One audio solution.
LucidSound did a good job with this one. If you are in the market for a wireless headset for both your Xbox One and your mobile device, definitely check out the LucidSound LS50X Hybrid Wireless Headset for yourself here.
† As usual, there are no affiliate links contained within this post. We were provided a LucidSound LS50X Hybrid Wireless Headset for review purposes and were not compensated for this review.