PlayStation VR marked a significant milestone for virtual reality, in the gaming industry, by providing an affordable VR experience to the millions of PlayStation 4 owners. While the resolution can’t match the more powerful PC options, games that supported the PlayStation 4 Pro saw impressive gains in terms of cleaner visuals and enhanced effects. Using Move controllers and the PlayStation camera is still an awkward experiment of older technology, but it gets the job done most of the time. However, Sony only provided a simple 3.5mm earbuds with the unit, leaving much to be desired in terms of audio, which is almost as important as visuals when using a VR headset.
Gamers discovered they could plug in any supported 3.5mm audio headset into the jack attached to the headset itself, however, using a headset on top of the already bulky PSVR is somewhat lacking and uncomfortable. The Bionik Mantis headphones look to change this by offering a clip-on solution resembling what owners of the Oculus Rift are already accustomed to using. Both pieces (left and right) can be easily snapped into place and slid around to match a wide range of sizes. An attached solution is actually quite the feat, as I have lost the PSVR earbuds in drawers when not in use. Not to mention, they often had the habit of sliding out of my ears during gameplay. Bionik has ensured that the headphones match the aesthetics of the PSVR headset seamlessly.
The Bionik Mantis headphones are lightweight and gently rests against your ears. The soft materials used in construction help enhance the comfort during any length of gaming session. The audio quality sounds excellent thanks to the 37mm sound drivers. They do have the added benefit of not pressing against your ears with any force, letting you experience the games, but also not trap yourself in a vacuum to what is going on around you. The use of noise-canceling headphones will surely have the added immersive element, but most VR accidents occur due to people unable to comprehend what is going on around them to to the decrease of both sight and sound.
The Bionik Mantis PSVR headphones are a great solution to those wanting to use a small form factor solution to the included earbuds. As they do not fit over the ears, you lose the immersive factor for added comfort and to keep you grounded in reality at all times. After using them, I don’t think I will ever remove them as they can stay connected at all times and I don’t need to worry about looking for a suitable headset or earbuds when I want to play. Considering the MSRP price tag is currently under $50, they sound quite good and provide an engaging 3D experience.
Note: The Bionik Mantis PSVR Headphones review was written after using them for over 40 hours. Bionik provided the hardware fore review purposes.