287748 10

Mantis PSVR Headphones Review: An Essential Accessory

by David Jagneaux • August 1st, 2017

I’ve said it several times: Sony’s PlayStation VR (PSVR) is my absolutely favorite VR headset on the market right now from a comfort perspective. Clearly, this was designed as a consumer product end-to-end and I love wearing it. However, it has a lot of problems. The screen door effect is noticeably worse than on the Vive or Rift, there is no true 360 or roomscale tracking, and the motion controllers (PS Move) are a poor substitute for Oculus Touch and the Vive wands.

However, there is another issue that’s bothered me ever since the PSVR launched that often goes overlooked and it’s the lack of a built-in audio solution. The Rift launched with excellent headphones that you can easily flip up or down and the Vive recently got a brand new headstrap that enables that same functionality. Now, the PSVR has its own approximation with the third-party PSVR Mantis heaphones by Bionik.

Bionik is a company that’s a made name for itself as of late by creating and selling hardware accessories like charging docks and controller mods for Xbox One, Switch, PS4, and even Samsung Gear VR. Now they’re realizing perhaps their best and most-desired product yet with the detachable Mantis PSVR headphones.

Before the Mantis I was using a white HyperX Cloud headset that goes fully over my entire ear. They’re extremely comfortable and I also use them for my tablet, Switch, Vive, PC, and pretty much everything else. However, it’s a hassle to constantly get up and go get them every time I need a headset. Since the PSVR has a built-in microphone and is always on its stand next to the couch when not in use, an elegant audio solution makes a lot more sense than lugging around a headset between every room in my house.

Luckily, installation is dead simple. All you do is clip the headphones onto each side of the headset by expanding the opening until its snug. I wiggled them a bit to make sure they were in the best spot then plugged them into the breakout box just like I would any other pair of headphones. After putting on the headset I just click each side down so it hangs in front of my ear, resting lightly just like the Rift headphones.

The material is different than that of the Rift, though. It doesn’t have a mesh-like texture and feels more like some type of plastic or leather exterior. The result is that they still feel extremely comfortable, but don’t press against my ear as much. The audio leak is a bit more noticeable as well for people sitting around the wearer, but that shouldn’t be an issue. Since the TV already replicates the PSVR’s audio no one should notice.

Now the main thing to be aware of is that, depending on what you want your headphones to accomplish, the Mantis may not be for you. If you’re looking for something that can block out all outside sound and fully encapsulate you in the illusion of VR, then this isn’t for you. The simple fact is that an on-ear hovering headphone is never going to be able to block out exterior sound like an over-ear sound cancelling headset can. That’s just not how sound works.

That being said, if you don’t mind a bit of outside sound, or if you actually¬†want to be able to quickly lift an earpiece to hear what someone is saying, then these are excellent. As someone that demos VR a lot for friends and family being able to easily lift an earpiece and say something is a godsend.

The cable isn’t very long, basically just long enough to reach the audio port with a little bit of slack. If you don’t mind the extra hassle, finding some way to attach it to the cord already hanging down from the headset would be a good idea since there is really no reason to ever remove the Mantis from your PSVR once it’s setup. The clip-on design means you won’t find yourself ever using them for anything else.

Recommendation: Absolutely

Other than the necessary PS Camera, the PS Move controllers (required for some games,) and the PS Aim controller (used in some games,) we’d contend that the Mantis PSVR headphones may very well be the next best accessory for Sony’s VR headset. They clip-on easily, blend in perfectly, and solve an issue that’s been frustrating PSVR owners ever since the headset launched. Now let’s hope someone figures out a way to improve tracking or give the PS Move controllers analog sticks.

The Mantis is available starting today for $49.99. Visit the official website for more details.

Tagged with: ,

What's your reaction?
Like
Wow
0%
LOL
0%
Dislike
0%
  • polysix

    another janky solution (like Vive) that should have been designed in to start with! Having owned PSVR (and Vive) it was already a bit clunky/uncomfy on the side bars (hard plastic), adding these looks like it might just be a bridge too far.

    Rift thankfully was designed from the outset and still has the best gen 1 sound solution.

    • No discomfort at all for me.

      • Nate

        Good to know there wasn’t any discomfort. Thanks David. I have these on order. Sadly I’ve been using a pair of Apple EarPods (ear buds) that I keep next to my PS VR since over-the-ear headphones with the strap on top would become too uncomfortable for me (I tried using my Sony MDR-7506’s but didn’t like the comfort level).

  • Nate

    I saw a Youtube review (more like a showcase since they were enclosed in a glass case) for these a month or two ago that showed they come with an over-the-ear attachment to the headphones so you can choose on-ear or over-the-ear. I’m guessing that’s no longer the case since their website doesn’t show that option and you didn’t review that as an option?

    For anyone looking to pick these up they’re also available from Amazon with free shipping (for Prime customers) but aren’t available to ship until August 5th.

  • Graham

    Great review. Thanks. I love blocking out all sound with over ear headphones so will hold fire on these for now. Extra hassle is worth it for me.

  • Bruce

    I sold my set but will likely buy PS 5 and whatever vr headset is out at that time. Needs to be wireless with flawless tracking and I’m back in. The annoyance of re-positioning
    the camera all the time takes away from the experience, as do the cords.

    • Bart Cunningham

      I have never had to reposition my camera and the wires are not really an issue. Wireless would be okay but I would rather have wires and not worry about constantly changing batteries or charging.

  • HoriZon

    Only available in the US right now I did email the them as and they say they will be available in the UK in aroud 30 days from a retailer they are in discussions with.

  • Skipping this –due to a preference for noise cancellation.

    I’ve been watching these as they’ve developed, and while I *was* interested in picking up a pair… that was before I read the reviews, two of which so far have made direct issue of how the speaker is on-ear, rather than in-ear or covering-ear. My den, where my PSVR & PS4 are usually played, is one room away from my main basement area where I have a half-rack loaded with hosting servers –servers that are about as loud as any professional data center (think, on level with a small aircraft), so I need noise cancellation as much as possible… and maybe a new building on my property with HVAC & ample power to allow relocation of either one or the other to a place more sound-proofed.

    In quiet environments though, or for someone that lives alone, I think these would probably be great.

  • Yoda Man

    PSVR doesn’t have screen door effect. I have no idea where the reviewer got that from lol. Headset I can’t speak on because I haven’t tried it yet.