Gaming in a virtual setting can be a magical experience. The technology — if used correctly — can illicit insane levels of immersion for gamers to experience while exploring fantastical worlds from the comfort of their game rooms. The experience is truly magical, but thanks to the hardware required to game in virtual reality, it can be overly fatiguing as well.
This is due to the fact that you must wear a headset strapped to your face, which over time can start to put pressure on your noggin. This pressure can impact your gaming experience greatly by limiting the amount of time you can spend gaming in VR. The tightness you feel from wearing these headsets is compounded by the requirement to wear headphones, because without them the level of immersion you can feel is limited when you don’t have audio flowing through your ear holes.
Although, by adding headphones to your gear, the fatigue factor skyrockets thanks to the added pressure and weight that they add to the already bulky VR headset. Some gamers may be able to push through this fatigue, but for me personally I can only spend about two hours total wearing my PSVR and over-the-ear headphones due to it.
Luckily, I was sent Mantis headphones by Bionic to test out, which are designed as an in-line solution for the PSVR to give gamers the ability to lighten the load on their heads. This is achieved through their design, which features a clip-on clasp that attaches directly to the PSVR to eliminate any additional pressure that an over-the-ear headphone setup can cause. The Mantis headphones add little to no weight to the headset. They don’t add any additional pressure because they clip onto the headset and don’t constrict its band around your head by needing to go over and around the PSVR. This setup is ideal because you reduce the pressure on your head, which in turn can result in more pleasurable virtual gaming experiences, while also extending the amount of time you can spend in a VR world.
The reduction in weight is definitely appreciated and instantly realized the moment you strap yourself into the PSVR with the Mantis headphones clipped onto each of its sides. I can also report that the sound quality they produce is more than enough to create a great sounding virtual experience. Even though the headphones don’t go over your ears you still get crystal clear tones delivered to your brain, which are quality enough to justify using the Mantis headphones solution for the PSVR. You don’t get deep bass levels unfortunately, which is a result of the smaller drivers and the fact that your ears aren’t sealed inside large headphone cups. Although, I still found the overall sound quality to be more than capable at providing a great VR gaming experience.
The Manits is available now for $49.99, and it definitely provides for a much more lightweight gaming experience while using the PSVR headset. The comfortability factor they provide is instantly realized if you’ve been wearing traditional over-the-ear headphones with the PSVR, so much so that you may find yourself playing VR games longer than you have been able to in the past. The sound quality takes a bit of a hit versus higher-end headphones, and bass tones are a little thin, but overall the sounds this headphone set puts out are solid enough for the reduction in head fatigue.
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Review Statement: The author of this review was provided a sample by the manufacturer for the purposes of this review.