Razer Barracuda X & Lucidsound LS15P Wireless Gaming Headset Review – Less is More
Razer Barracuda X and Lucidsound LS15P Wireless Gaming HeadsetJuly 2021 and October 2020
For this wireless headset review, I tested the all-new multi-platform Razer Barracuda X for PC, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, and Android Devices, as well as the Lucidsound LS15P (LS15X) for PlayStation 4/5 and PC. Both sell for $99.99 and operate in the entry-level wireless gaming headset segment. How do these outings from Razer and Lucidsound (now owned by PowerA) perform? Let’s find out.
Design and features
Both wireless headsets come with a USB transmitter for wireless audio transmission. Whereas Razer has outfitted the Barracuda X with a small USB-C transmitter to support multiple platforms (including smart devices and the Nintendo Switch), Lucidsound’s offering comes with the traditional USB dongle, thereby limiting wireless use to PS5/PS4 and PC (the LS15X works with Xbox). Razer has also supplied a USB-C to USB-A adapter cable, ideal for PC or docked Nintendo Switch use (which works!). These headsets also work in wired mode with basically any 3.5mm audio source, but strangely enough, Lucidsound hasn’t supplied the required 3.5mm audio cable for wired use. This is particularly strange as the LS15P/LS15X comes with a built-in microphone (in addition to the supplied boom mic) for mobile calls, but the only way to connect this headset to your phone is through a 3.5mm audio cable – a strange design decision if you ask me. Another interesting design choice from Lucidsound is the use of a micro-USB charging port over the now widely-adopted USB-C port.
The Barracuda and LS15P both are mainly made from plastics - partly to cut down on manufacturing costs and party to save weight. Unlike Lucidsound's offering, however, Razer has opted for an inner-metal headband for additional strength. Overall, I would say that the Barracuda X feels the more sturdy of the two.
As for the earpads on these wireless outings - the Barracuda X comes with fabric and plush leatherette oval cushions, whereas the LS15P sports soft memory foam earpads. The earcups of both headsets can twist flat to rest comfortably around your neck or lie down on a desk.
Whereas Razer has equipped the Barracuda X with 40mm drivers, the LS15P comes with 50mm drivers with three custom-tuned EQ modes. While the differences between these EQ modes are minimal, the option to pick between different modes is missing on the Barracuda X altogether.
With the Barracuda X, Razer has opted for a single detachable Cardioid microphone. Lucidsound, though, has outfitted its outing with the aforementioned dual-mic system. This dual-mic system includes a detachable, flexible boom mic with an LED mic mute indicator and a built-in mic.
Weighing in at 250gr. and 282gr. respectively, both the Barracuda X and LS15P are lightweight headsets. Razer's outing is even lighter than one of its main rivals from another brand - the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless.
I usually get annoyed by the lack of comfort that higher-priced headsets offer after longer gaming sessions. Surprisingly, this wasn't the case with either the Barracuda or the LS15P. Granted, the padding on the headbands of these headsets is pretty thin, but the low weight helps increase comfort during extended use. As for heat build-up while wearing these headpieces - I found that my ears got less sweaty while using the Barracuda X due to the material used, but this could be due to personal preference and current temperatures. Overall, the comfort of both offerings is pretty great, especially in this segment.
These headsets are basically plug-in and go. There's no need for additional configuration, and the signal is transmitted wireless almost instantly. The wireless performance of these two entry-level headsets is great with a clear wireless signal, even when further apart from the transmitters. I did, however, and this applies to both headsets, encounter short signal interruptions when the transmitter is placed near a WiFi router. It should be noted that I've also experienced these 1-second interruptions with higher-priced headsets, and this likely isn't due to the quality of the wireless transmitters.
Comparing the two, I would say that the Barracuda X offers a more “lively” sound while the LS15P sounds a bit more hollow. The mids sound a bit low on both headsets, and the little high-ends appear to be drowned out by the lower frequency sounds. Overall, though, I would say that these wireless offerings offer a decent soundscape across the board. Granted, higher-priced wireless headsets will, in general, offer a broader sound spectrum, but we’re talking about the entry-level wireless segment here, and in that price range, these two don’t disappoint.
When it comes to the microphone quality of these two outings, I would say that these are decent enough and do the job they are designed for. In-game I’ve had no complaints about either of the two, but I did get several complaints about background noise while using the mic of the Barracuda when making calls via my smartphone. As for the LS15P’s built-in microphone – don’t expect too much from it (you’ll be better off using the supplied boom mic).
The battery life of these headsets is better than is being advertised by Razer and Lucidsound. Razer boasts that the Barracuda X lasts for roughly 2 hours on a single charge, but I was able to get around 23 hours out of it with normal volume levels - not the best-in-class battery life, but at this price range, it's pretty great.
Lucidsound's wireless outing is being advertised to last around 15 hours on a single charge, but it lasted longer than that upon testing. I was able to play for roughly 17.5 hours spread across several days before the battery ran out. Again, not the best battery life, but decent nonetheless.
I've been pleasantly surprised by Razer's and Lucidsound's entry-level wireless headsets. The saying goes "less is more", and this design philosophy might very well apply to these two outings. Both headsets work right out of the box without additional configuration. The Barracuda X and the LS15P (and LS15X) offer good comfort, a decent sound experience, and good battery life at a reasonable price. Whereas the LS15P separates itself through Lucidsound's iconic innovative controls, Razer's Barracuda X offers amazing multi-platform support, which was previously only offered by SteelSeries' Arctis 1 Wireless (and Arctis 7X/7P). If you're in the market for a wireless gaming headset for just under $100, both offerings will surely suit your needs. Again, it should be mentioned that the Barracuda X is the better option for multi-platform gamers.
Review samples provided by the manufacturers.
Razer Barracuda X Verdict : 8.5/10
The Razer Barracuda X directly competes with the excellent Arctis 1 Wireless from Steelseries, and is a solid pick for those looking for a multi-platform wireless headset just under $100 USD. Although it lacks the EQ customization options that the Arctis 1 Wireless offers, it does come with a USB-C charging port for faster charging, whereas the Arctis 1 Wireless is limited to charging over Micro-USB.
Lucidsound LS15P Verdict : 7.0/10
The LS15P is a different beast - it lacks the versatility of the Barracuda X and is limited to the use on PS5/PS4 and PC. As such, multi-platform players will be better off with either the Barracuda X or SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless. Although certain design choices are questionable, Lucidsound's entry-level wireless headset offers great comfort, a decent sound experience, and battery life. What separates this wireless outing from other wireless offerings in this segment are its innovative iconic controls and onboard EQ presets. Add that you can likely pick this headset up well under $100 USD, and PS5/PS4/PC players can't go wrong with this one.