I bought these November 16, 2011 and put in 3 hours worth of Modern Warfare 3 immediately :) And instead of giving my overall rating at the end like every review site does, I am doing it at the beginning: This headset is WORTH THE MONEY!!
Why - Performance, Ease of Use, and Design
PERFORMANCE: The audio quality of this headset is very very good. Keep in mind this headset costs $100. Not $200, not $250, not $439.68! And they are WIRELESS, not wired which will always be better, but at the cost of being tethered. Why should you need to take the headphones off and miss out on hilarious chat and trash-talking when you're going to get a snack, a drink of water, or a pee break?! For $100, this wireless headset kicks out some VERY good quality audio!! I read in someone else's review that they suspected these headphones may have a break-in period, and I must say that I agree. The sound quality gradually got better and better over the course of my first three hours with them. At first things sounded just like my wireless Sennheiser RS120's, which means good but not very bassy. But with the Sony WSH's, soon the sound quality started changing, and the explosions and gunfire all became bassier and bassier, and footsteps gradually became more directional, making it easier for me to tell where people were coming from. A couple hours in, the location of grenades landing near me started to become very clear and sharp, and coincided correctly with the grenade indicator that shows up on screen! Of course, I still get blown to pieces, but, I must say, a little less often now! It became clear to me that at the end of my first session with these, the soundstage actually was becoming wider with more use. I am looking forward to breaking these in further tonight, to see how deep/far the soundstage goes, because at this point it is more than I expected, but now I am hoping it goes further :D The same footsteps, although very directional, are hard to tell if they are very near or further away right now. I will pay more attention to that tonight and provide updates here over time.
I've been using the headset with the 7.1 virtual surround from the beginning, so all I can say about it is that it is very good! Some people may find that the overall volume level does not go loud enough though, as at times, I found myself trying to push the volume up just a little bit further than its max. This was only once or twice though, as there were also plenty of times when I had to turn the volume down when things were getting hairy. Overall sound volume range is very good!
I have also read that people using wifi for their PS3 get interference with the dongle plugged straight into the machine. Their solution has been to use a USB extension cable. I am happy to say that I have experienced no wifi interference at all, and no lag or artifacting in my gaming thus far, and have my dongle plugged straight in. Also, I have no hiss during the silence between games. This is a very nice change from my Sennheisers!!
EASE OF USE: This headset is so easy to use that an orangutan missing one hand and the other thumb could still set this up and start gaming immediately. You plug in the dongle, turn on the headset, and that's IT. The audio starts streaming to your headset right away. The fact that all the controls are located onboard is huge convenience, and makes for a very refined user experience. Pressing the left side of the headset gives a nice soft click. One long press to toggle power, one short press to toggle mic mute, and two short presses to check the battery status. Simple! The volume sliders on the front (volume-mic balance) and back (sound volume) of the left side also feel great. The volume-mic balance slider on the front actually has a notch in the middle of the range for default 50/50 balance. Nice little touch. I found myself getting used to the controls almost immediately.
The on screen display is such a huge convenience too. These headphones come half-charged, so that is how I used it. And whenever you touch the controls, like adjust the volume, the display pops up in the upper right corner. So this is a quick and easy way to check how much battery life you have left. I love that! It also shows your mic status and surround sound status (stereo or virtual surround). When the batteries started to die, a voice like Siri came on over the headphones and said, "Your battery level is at 10%. You have an estimated thirty minutes of power remaining." Okay, so I made that up lol. What actually happened is that there was a soft beep notification. It's not Siri, but it's another nice touch!
DESIGN: Come on, these things look awesome! Personally, I love the way they look. I love the contemporary lines, brushed metallic looking finish across the headband, the colour choice...all of it :) I just wish it came with a stand, or even better, a charging stand! But, at this price point, it's not surprising that it doesn't. Now with that said, these headphones feel cheaper than they look because they are so light, which at first is a bit of a turn off. However, during and after your gaming session, you understand why they chose lighter materials. This headset is damn comfy with respect to weight!! It's not heavy on the head at all, even after three hours straight. I won't thoroughly comment on the specific aspect of ear comfort and head comfort because these are very subjective due to everyone's different ear and head sizes and shapes! For me though, I find this headset very comfortable to wear :) I had no sweart (ear-sweat) issues either :)
The design of the telescoping mic is very cool too and satisfies the geek in me! It does not rotate, and people have said that it should be able to rotate, but I really see no need to add more pieces and moving parts just for this purpose. If you think about it, with those regular tiny bluetooth earpieces you stick in your ear, where is the mic on those? About an inch or two ahead of your ear and it does not move, and people can hear you fine! I didn't even have mine telescoped out last night, and it worked perfectly. I may just keep it that way, and mitigate the chance of it snapping off, since it is quite flimsy (read: light :D).
OVERALL: I am extremely happy with this purchase. At this price point, the balance of performance and features with the convenience of wireless is pretty hard to beat. There is a lot of competition, but if you own a PS3 and do a lot of online gaming on it, the choice is pretty clear. If you want a unified audio + chat solution that offers good quality clear sound on both fronts and is dead simple to use, this is it. Please keep in mind that the audio comes strictly from the PS3, or if you have the dongle plugged into the computer. So you can't use these with your phone or mp3 player, or standard AV equipment. But if you are looking to maintain your high level of gaming experience without waking up the significant other, and don't want to break the bank doing it, then I don't think Sony's PS3 Wireless Stereo Headset can be fragged!
If you have any questions or requests, please let me know, as I will be updating this post with more experience. I hope this review helped the curious out there.