Published on December 17th, 2023 | by James Wright
PlayStation PULSE Explore Wireless Earbuds Review
Summary: The PlayStation PULSE Explore Wireless Earbuds are a fantastic solution for those looking for a wireless audio experience on their next-gen console using earbuds
The PlayStation PULSE Explore Wireless Earbuds are exclusively designed for the next-gen PS5 to deliver an immersive and lifelike 3D audio experience. They also come with the latest ultra-low latency and lossless PlayStation Link wireless technology that providers PS5 gamers with a lightning fast cordless audio connection so that the sound matches the in-game cues. Additionally the PlayStation PULSE Explore Wireless Earbuds are compatible with other PlayStation Link compatible devices that also includes the PC, Mac and new PlayStation Portal, including smart devices via Bluetooth.
Further supporting your PS5 wireless audio, you can also take calls and listen to music from your smartphone while you play thanks to its dual-device connectivity. Also your friends, enemies and frenemies will appreciate that the earbuds come with two concealed microphones equipped with AI-enhanced noise rejection technology to remove background sounds to hear your trash talk better. I also tested this feature at Sydney airport and my friend and wife were amazed at how much background noise was removed when I was talking them on my smartphone.
- PlayStation Link™ wireless connection for:
- PlayStation®5 consoles
- PlayStation Portal™ remote player
- Bluetooth 5.0 for:
- Mobile devices
- PlayStation Link™ wireless connection for:
- Approx. 6.1 g (0.2 oz.) – both earbuds with medium size earbud tips
- PlayStation Link™ USB adapter:
- Approx. 4 g (0.1 oz.)
- Charging Case:
- Approx. 71 g (2.5 oz.)
In terms of design, the PlayStation PULSE Explore Wireless Earbuds mirrors the style and colours of the PS5 and controls are well placed which easily allows you to control the volume levels on the go. The case (again drawing inspiration from the colours of the PlayStation 5) is quite large and unlike the smaller cases of Bose or Sony, you will definitely not lose the charging case for the PlayStation PULSE Explore Wireless Earbuds.
In order to connect them to your PS5, you need to use the included PlayStation Link USB adapter that plugs into the spare USB port on the PS5 which establishes the high speed audio connection once you press the link button on the charging case. The connection to your PlayStation is achieved by opening the case with the earbuds inside and then pushing the button in the case. For Bluetooth devices, you simply hold down the same button for 8 seconds and then you need to search for the PULSE Explore Wireless Earbuds in your Bluetooth settings on your smartphone. While Linked devices can only have one connection at a time, you can use a link device (e.g. PC, PS5) and have a simultaneous connection with your phone.
The battery charge of the PlayStation PULSE Explore Wireless Earbuds offers up to 5-hours of play and the charging case provides you up another 10-hour of battery life. If they do go flat, a quick 5-minute charge will give you one hour of charge which is handy if you forget to charge your earbuds. Both earbuds have controls to manage volume and they are located on the top which are easy to access and more importantly don’t fall out. You can also adjust the volume control through the PlayStation 5 system that brings up an audio box while you are gaming so you don’t need to hunt for it on your console UI. There is also a link button on the earbuds as well, just under the volume controls.
It’s all about gaming and the PlayStation PULSE Explore Wireless Earbuds deliver! Games such as Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora, Assassin’s Creed Mirage, Marvel’s Spider-man 2 and Call of Duty Modern Warfare III delivered a very strong audio gaming experience with noticeable levels and a decent amount of bass, especially when the gunfire commenced in COD. Fortnite II and Gran Turismo 7 equally produced a noticeable audio experience and what surprised me was the proprietary 3D audio technology that successfully created that pinpoint audio precision.
Clear best sum up the audio quality for gaming – but you actually hear a whole lot of the sounds with these earbuds as well that I missed on my TV, especially with Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora. This quality is achieved via the planar magnetic drivers that does create a clearer and less distorted audio. Further, streaming shows via Netflix or Disney+ from the PS4 again delivered strong wireless audio. Also the ability to take calls while playing a game is a useful feature as you don’t miss out on your gaming time but your concentration may suffer.
What’s missing? There are some elements missing from the PlayStation PULSE Explore Wireless Earbuds which similar priced products come with – unfortunately the earbuds don’t come with ANC that would of course reduce the battery life and for the most part, the exchangeable tips an okay job to minimise background sounds. Also if you using the earbuds on your smartphone, you need to use the volume control on the device as the earbud controls don’t work and when you remove them from you ears, the audio keeps playing both on your phone and the PS5. The Bluetooth connection to my phone was good and that included streaming music, videos and Android gaming. Another missing element is that there is no software to tweak the settings as the according to PlayStation, the earbuds do all the tweaking on your behalf.
The PlayStation PULSE Explore Wireless Earbuds are a very easy solution for those looking for a high quality audio connection with earbuds… more importantly without the cords. While I would not recommend it for gym or getting out and about, as gaming earbuds they succeed and really delivery that immersive 3D audio experience and Avatar: Frontiers of Pandora sounds astounding with the PlayStation PULSE Explore Wireless Earbuds.
PlayStation PULSE Explore Wireless Earbuds Key Features
- Planar magnetic drivers
These studio-inspired drivers reproduce sound with near-perfect accuracy along the entire audible spectrum, so you can hear games exactly how the developers intended. Immerse yourself in soundscapes packed full of rich, subtle details, while deep bass lets you feel each epic, in-game encounter. Enhance your perception in 3D-Audio-supported PS5® games, as audio cues are positioned with an incredible degree of accuracy across all three dimensions. Pinpoint the exact origin, location and identity of different sounds for split-second reactions in the heat of the moment.
- PlayStation Link™ technology
Never miss a beat, as new ultra-low latency and lossless PlayStation Link™ wireless technology delivers sound at lightning-fast speed, without losing a single audible detail in the process. Easily connect and switch between PlayStation Link compatible devices, including your PS5® console, PC, Mac and PlayStation Portal™ remote player. You can even purchase additional PlayStation Link USB adapters to effortlessly switch from your PS5 console to PC or Mac.
- AI-enhanced noise rejection
Be heard loud and clear with microphone noise-rejection technology. Powered by artificial intelligence, this new technology has been trained to identify, isolate and remove unwanted noises when capturing your voice. Whether it’s the hum of a vacuum cleaner, bark of a dog or even the crunch of a snack, chat with confidence knowing your teammates will clearly hear your voice.
- Multi-device connectivity
Go where adventure takes you, with the ability to wirelessly connect to a range of devices, including a PS5® console, PC, Mac, PlayStation Portal™ remote player, mobile phone and tablet.
Go mobile, by directly connecting your earbuds to a mobile phone or tablet device.
- Dual-device connectivity
Listen to audio from a PlayStation Link™ and Bluetooth® device simultaneously, to stay in play as you answer calls or enjoy music from a mobile device.
- Command and control
Lead your squad to victory with crystal-clear voice capture and easy-access controls.
- Integrated microphones
Take calls and chat with teammates through two hidden mics, optimally positioned on the earbuds to best capture your voice.
- Intuitive controls
Keep your head in the game with simple and easy-to-access controls, right at your fingertips, including dedicated buttons for quick volume adjustment and mic mute.
- Built for adventure
Enjoy lifelike sound wherever you go, with a portable design and charging case.
- Portable design
Go where play takes you, with a lightweight, comfortable, true wireless earbud form factor that offers the same innovative features of the PULSE Elite™ wireless headset. From lifelike sound and lighting-fast connectivity to AI-enhanced microphone noise rejection, reimagine how great your games can sound on the go or at home.
- Built-in battery and charging case
Stay in play with up to 5 hours of battery life and up to an additional 10 hours via the included charging case.
- Multiple earbud tips
Choose between three extra pairs of included earbud tips to find the best fit for you.
- PlayStation Portal™ remote player ready
Directly connect to remote player with PlayStation Link™ technology, to enjoy lifelike, lightning-fast audio wherever you have Wi-Fi* in your house.