I’m always on the hunt for my next pair of headphones. Just as visuals in games improve, so too does sound design. I was just recently scrolling through Spotify and I came across the soundtrack to the recently release Horizon: Zero Dawn. An hour later I just realized that I could just have easily spent the time listening to a full movie score.
The level to which developers are incorporating amazing scores and sound effects to their games is downright amazing. But if you’re like me your entire household might not see it the same way, and that’s where a good pair of gaming headphones comes in.
- GHOST RECON WILDLANDS GAMING HEADSET: In worldwide partnership with the iconic 'Ghost Recon' license. Providing audio efficiency designed for PlayStation4, with electronics created to optimize your sound on your own system! Set up is easy with Plug n' Play on PS4 and PS4 Pro
- Made with premium, powerful 60 mm drivers. Feel the intensity of the game with over-boosted bass frequencies and an optimized frequency response curve for bass/medium & high frequencies. Hear FIRST / react FIRST / kill FIRST!
- The Y Sound Commander: A control panel that plugs directly into the DUALSHOCK 4 with 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound technology that allows gamers to precisely pinpoint the direction of each sound, ensuring maximum immersion on the battlefield. Includes bass power and volume status lights
- The headset is auto-powered with an inline battery located in the Sound Commander, powering the active bass 7.1 and Virtual Sound features
- The ultimate combination of comfort and noise isolation. Providing 100% memory foam earpiece cushions and double electro-acoustic bass amplification combined with electronic bass boost built into the controller
Over the last month, I’ve had the opportunity to test out the Thrustmaster 350P 7.1 Headphones, and more specifically the Ghost Recon Wildlands edition. It’s a wired over-the-ear headset that retails for $129.99 and works exclusively with the Playstation 4 (although there is a separate Xbox One version). The headset itself has been fully decked out in Ghost Recon: Wildlands décor. From the inside of the earphones which have a Ghost Recon skull, to the head strap which is decked out with more skull iconography. The very top of the headset also displays the logo for the game. If you’re at all hesitant about having a branded headset then this might not be for you. Although I haven’t personally played Ghost Recon: Wildlands, I will say that the design of the headset actually is pretty solid. Thrustmaster could have gone overboard with the design, but this felt more restrained than I was expecting which I appreciated.
I honestly prefer wireless headphones at this point, but if I have to do wired I prefer when it plugs directly into the controller. Along with the headset comes the Y Sound Commander that gives the headset the extra power it needs to pump out the 7.1 surround sound. Unlike the Xbox One or Xbox 360, the Playstation 4 Dual Shock controller isn’t as well equipped for the extra attached dongle, so it does take some time to get used too, although it does take away some of the comforts of the controller. What you get in return are volume and bass controls although the buttons to make these changes come across a little on the flimsy side.
Aesthetically I found the Thrustmaster 350P to be quite impressive as a headset. Although I’m not the biggest Ghost Recon fan (it’s just not my favorite Ubisoft series), I actually really enjoyed the design. My one concern is a year or two down the road does the branding of a 2017 game start to lose its luster.
Although this might be a slight faux pas I didn’t test Ghost Recon Wildlands with the headset. I felt like it was a pre-requisite but I wasn’t able to borrow a copy of the game or rent it from Gamefly. Instead, though I did test it on a handful of games ranging from Horizon: Zero Dawn, Battlefield 1 and NBA 2K17. For a headset over $100 I was expecting some pretty impressive sound and that’s exactly what I got. Especially with games that are more action heavy like Horizon: Zero Dawn and Battlefield 1 the sound really shined through. I played through the opening scene of Battlefield 1’s single player and I heard sound from nearby AI that I just didn’t hear in my original play through; not to mention the sound of bullets whizzing by at all directions.
Even in a game like Horizon: Zero Dawn I saw some serious benefits to the 7.1 Surround Sound. When facing some of the bigger robot dinosaurs towards the end of the game I could literally hear enemies coming up behind me. There is a level of immersion that comes with a good pair of headphones like the Thrustmaster 350P that can enhance an experience. From my testing the sound is crisp, and the bass has a solid range even at the higher volume levels. I even used the headphones while my wife was napping and the headphones kept in enough sound to not disturb her, another pre-requisite for late night gaming.
If I was just reviewing the headset alone and was to ignore Y Sound Commander I would say that this is an easy pair of headphones to recommend. Sadly, I do think the addition to the controller is a bit wonky and does make the controller slightly less comfortable. However, in return for some minor annoyances you get an incredible pair of headphones that truly help immerse you into the amazing sounds of modern video games.
I'm the Owner & Editor in Chief of Darkstation.com. After spending seven years as the reviews editor I took over the site in 2010. The rest is history. Now I work with our amazing staff to bring you the best possible video game coverage. Oh and I really like sports games.