Sony has finally confirmed release dates for its wireless audio devices, announced during the PlayStation Showcase in May. The Pulse Explore wireless earbuds will be out December 6, followed by the Pulse Elite wireless over-ear headphones on February 21, 2024. Both devices follow a similar PS5 white-and-black theme and will be initially launched in the US and other European countries before slowly rolling out worldwide in the following months. Pre-orders go live on November 9 at 10am local time and as usual, there are no concrete details on India availability yet.
Those living in the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, and other major European countries will be able to pre-order from the PlayStation Direct online store and ‘select retailers’ on the same day. The Pulse Explore wireless earbuds retail for a pricey $199.99 (about Rs. 16,650), promising ‘lifelike’ sound during gaming through a pair of 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,” the store page reads. Its battery life is expected to last up to five hours, with an additional 10 housed within the included charging case. In addition to low latency, the earbuds come with integrated microphones to quickly take calls or chat with teammates, and feature touch access to volume controls. Sony also touts an AI-based noise-rejection technology for the mic, trained to isolate and avoid unwanted background sound.
Meanwhile, the PlayStation Elite wireless headset costs $149.99 (about Rs. 12,480) and comes with a retractable microphone. This one boasts a longer uninterrupted playback of up to 30 hours and provides 2 hours of battery life from a quick 10-minute charge. The headphones will feature volume and mic mute buttons for easy access. Similar to the earbuds, it’s equipped with planar magnetic drivers that promise more immersion in games supporting 3D Audio on the PS5. Both the Pulse wireless earbuds and the headset come with a PlayStation Link USB adapter, which lets you connect to a PS5, PC, or Mac device. Of course, there’s always the added benefit of being able to use them via Bluetooth, though PlayStation claims that one can listen to both audio channels simultaneously. While the adaptors will be included in the main package, they’ll also be available to purchase separately for $24.99 (about Rs. 2,080).
First announced in May, Sony’s new PlayStation Link enabled earbuds and headset were unveiled in August, alongside the handheld gaming device, PlayStation Portal. The Portal does not support Bluetooth connectivity; the handheld instead includes Sony’s new proprietary wireless connection protocol, called the PlayStation Link. Both the Pulse Elite wireless headset and Pulse Explore wireless earbuds are compatible with the Portal via PlayStation Link.
Sony might end the year on a strong note, with a few additional hardware releases. The PlayStation Portal is set for launch on November 15, allowing players to remotely access their PS5 console — via Remote Play or Wi-Fi — and play downloaded games on a smaller screen, at 1080p 60fps. Its controller interface attached to either side of the screen bear a striking resemblance to the DualSense controllers, and to that effect, come with haptic feedback and adaptive triggers. The company is also gearing up to launch its slimmer PS5 models, which come with a detachable 4K Blu-ray disc drive. It releases on November 10 in the US, followed by a slow global rollout.