PlayStation is launching its inaugural pair of gaming-specific wireless earbuds – and to give Sony its due, they’re beautifully matchy-matchy with your PS5. The rounded driver housings are black while the white wraparound top plate is white and angular, with a swoosh-type flourish. But is that enough?
During Sony's PlayStation Showcase on May 24, Sony unveiled its first ever set of Bluetooth-enabled ‘buds that can be used with the PlayStation 5, your PC, and of course with the PS5’s new elongated Project Q handheld controller – which has been making post-show waves thanks to its DualSense-but-stretched-out-with-a-screen design. The “next-generation audio immersion” earbuds can also, says Sony, simultaneously connect to your smartphone via Bluetooth.
So what are the specs for PlayStation’s new gaming ‘buds? Bluetooth 5.3 or Bluetooth 5.2 with LE Audio? A 32-hour battery for particularly epic sessions? Voice-isolating mics? Multi-point pairing in case your phone rings? An auto-off sensor so the action pauses when you remove them? That could make them some of the best gaming earbuds of 2023 – but we simply don’t have that information yet.
Take a sneak peek at new accessories revealed at today’s Showcase — the Project Q device for playing games installed on your PS5 and streamed over WiFi, plus our first official wireless earbuds offering lossless audio on PS5 and PC.More details to come in the months ahead. pic.twitter.com/0nzemSWSCVMay 24, 2023
What Sony has said is that the earbuds will feature “new wireless technology developed by SIE” that will arrive later this year, and furthermore that this tech will make them capable of delivering lossless audio with low latency. And that is big news, because as many of us know only too well, the trade-off for low latency in your earbuds’ gaming mode is top-tier audio quality, range, plus that rock-solid connection we love. Certain ‘regular’ earbuds, such as the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, have a dedicated gaming profile, but there’s always a (slight, but perceptible) compromise in sound.
Sony didn’t reveal much else about the incoming earbuds – in fact the company was positively tight-lipped about them – but did add that additional details will come “in the months ahead.”
Analysis: winsome looks and promises aren’t convincing, until you remember that this is Sony
So, it’s another pretty set of earbuds in a matching white envelope-type case. And that light-up feature on the inside of the case is a lovely touch considering that many of us, including many of the TechRadar team, prefer gaming in low-level lighting. But is it enough to get us excited? No. Or at least not until you remember that this is Sony.
The tech giant has form in the headphones arena and then some. Take the Sony WF-1000XM4 and Sony WF-C700N earbuds and WH-1000XM5 over-ears, for starters; all stone-cold winners for sound, comfort and features.
Those first two products are some of the best earbuds in existence (in fact, the newest Sony WF-C700N made it into my top three earbuds picks for 2023) and the slightly older Sony WH-1000XM4 (upon which the XM5s are based) remain one of our top recommendations in the best over-ear headphones category.
Are these PlayStation earbuds about to become one of the best PS5 accessories we’ve ever tried – and can they better Sony’s own PS5 Pulse 3D wireless headset to become the must-have audio accessory for your PS5? It’s hard to say right now, but watch this space.