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New PS5 Explore wireless earbuds had me excited — until I saw the price

 PlayStation Pulse Explore wireless earbuds
PlayStation Pulse Explore wireless earbuds

Sony has announced new details about its first-ever set of PlayStation wireless earbuds. Revealed earlier this year during the PlayStation Showcase, these buds are set to launch later this year alongside the PlayStation Portal and a new Pulse Elite headset.

A new PlayStation Blog article has lifted the lid on these wireless earbuds. For starters, we now have a name for them; meet the PlayStation Pulse Explore. The blog post also states that the earbuds will provide “a premium portable audio experience with dual microphones and AI-enhanced noise rejection capable of filtering background sounds.” Plus, they offer lossless audio and come with a charging case.

Sony also notes that Pulse Explore (and the new Pulse Elite headset) will be the first PlayStation audio devices to make use of “custom-designed  planar magnetic drivers” which it claims will create an “audiophile-level listening experience.”

The earbuds also make use of Sony’s buzzy new PlayStation Link wireless audio technology. This delivers low latency, lossless audio and allows users to quickly switch between multiple PlayStation devices, for example, the PS5 console and the PlayStation Portal streaming device.

Even better, a PlayStation Link audio device can be simultaneously connected to a separate device via Bluetooth. Sony gives the example of having the Pulse Explore connected to a PS5 (via the supplied USB adapter) and also a mobile phone. This will allow users to play PS5 games and then answer a call through the same earbuds without having to fiddle around with any settings or switch over the connection.

It all sounds pretty good, and as somebody who prefers earbuds to a bulky headset, I was ready to lock in my pre-order, until I came across a stumbling block: the price. The PlayStation Pulse Explore earbuds will cost $199/£199/€219. Granted many of our picks of the best wireless earbuds cost more, and my personal pick, the Apple AirPods Pro, retail in the same price bracket, but that’s a hefty price for a set of wireless earbuds that I would likely use almost exclusively for PS5 gaming.

Nevertheless, I remain curious to hear more about the PlayStation Pulse Explore, even if my own enthusiasm has been dampened by the considerable cost. There’s no release date as of yet, but Sony has reiterated that they will launch later this year.

Introducing the new PS5 Pulse Elite headset

PlayStation Pluse Elite headset
PlayStation Pluse Elite headset

Alongside offering a slew of fresh details about the Pluse Explore wireless earbuds, Sony has also announced another new addition to its gaming audio range, the PlayStation Pulse Elite headset.

Essentially a second-generation of the existing PlayStation Plus headset, the Elite model will offer “lossless audio and comes with a retractable boom mic and AI-enhanced noise rejection capable of filtering background sounds.” Plus, the headset is paired with a very nifty-looking charging hanger that doubles as both a convenient storage option and a way to ensure your headset is never out of battery when you settle down for a lengthy play session of one of the best PS5 games.

Much like the Pulse Explore, the Pulse Elite also packs custom-design planar magnetic drivers and PlayStation Link technology. It’s also set to release at an unspecified date later this year and will retail at the slightly more palatable price of $149/£129/€149. We'll bring you full pre-order and release details as we get them.

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