We’ve got another Bionik article for you! If you’d like to read about their other products soon to come, click here. Otherwise, today we’re going to be covering the ins and outs of the Mantis ($49.99). The Mantis is a headphone set for the first generation PSVR headset. Those of you with a first gen PSVR know that the little earbuds that it comes with are less than satisfactory. So if you’re interested in knowing more about these headphones, keep on scrolling!
- ‘Patent pending design.
- Eliminates ear fatigue that occurs with regular headphones or earbuds.
- Lightweight, rests gently on the ear without sacrificing sound.
- Creates an immersive experience that puts you directly in the game.
- Dust-proof and tangle-resistant.
- Connects directly to the headset to consolidate hardware, making it easier to wear and store.
- Complements the design and color scheme of the PlayStation® VR.
- Easy to install and adjust – clips effortlessly onto the headset band and can flip on and off ear with ease.’
Starting with the sound quality of these headphones. The sound quality will be the same stereo sound that you get via the standard PSVR earbuds. However, what you will find that is superior to the earbuds is a sense of fullness and 3D movement of the sound. Having the sound come from a larger speaker rather than a small speaker right against your eardrum yields better results. That’s why a lot of gamers and audiophiles will opt out for over the ear headphones. You can get more bass as well out of larger speakers rather than small half inch speakers. If all you care about is sound over comfort and looks, you can stop reading now and buy this, because the Mantis is leaps and bounds better than Sony’s earbuds.
But with this, you have an all around your ear canal enclosure. No more uncomfortable earbuds or squishing oversized gaming headphones around the top of the PSVR. They do what I was hoping they would do when I was initially looking at them, which is swivel out away from your head. This is something that Rift owners got and I’m glad Bionik included it. This makes leaving the headphones on the headset easy. Thus allowing you to swivel the headphones out when you’re taking the PSVR off and then leaving them that way for easy replacement at the next play time. It clips onto the system the way the instructions tell you it will.
The looks of this thing are also oh so delicious. The Mantis headphones are designed to look precisely like the PSVR. Now let me tell you, if there was not a Bionik logo on the side of these things, then it would be a perfect match. The color matches and by that I mean both the black plastic and the white plastic. I’m not sure how they did that because even the black looks like a slightly deeper shade. And then, they somehow also managed to match the gradiency and texture of the plastic as well.
But I’m not done yet, Bionik also got the texture of the ear pads correct. They are something soft and squishy and yet rubberized in such a way that it matches the forehead pad on the PSVR itself! The people who designed this also managed to give you that small indentation that looks like the one on the back piece of the PSVR. They really, truly thought of everything in terms of looks as well as build quality.
I really, truly couldn’t find a lot of cons with the Mantis. There were some minor gripes that I had and I’m certain that not everyone is the same way. However, I am going to bring them up any how and be as transparent as I can be. First off, I do wish it either had a small knob or control wheel where you could increase and decrease the tension on your ears. I would love it as tight as humanly possible. They could even have the knobs match the one on the PSVR.
It’s mainly due to the fact that I’m a weirdo that wants zero external sound. With these headphones, I can sometimes catch little bits of external sound here and there. No big deal when you’re alone at home. However, if you game with friends over or maybe game with your loud parents or siblings home, it’s going to be noticeable. It’s even slightly disorienting to hear an external sound while playing.
So imagine the following scenario, will you? You’re playing a game with 3D audio and these great headphones help with giving you proper spatial awareness, right? And you’ve been playing for a nice long time, so all you’re expecting to hear is game sounds. And then maybe you hear a yell off in the distance behind you so you turn in the game to see what it was and it was nothing. You hear the yell again, this time closer, and you realize it’s someone calling our your name or something.
So now, you just lost game time or you might’ve died in-game checking behind you, who knows. The point is, clearly the people would have to be yelling for you to hear it, it’s not something that you hear all of the time either, so don’t count these headphones out. I just wish I could have the headphones grip my ears a bit tighter.
For those who haven’t realized it by now, these headphones are only for the first generation PSVR headset. If you think that you’re buying headphones that can be used with and without the headset, think again. This is exclusively for the headset as the earbuds just don’t cut the mustard. Other PC virtual reality headsets are headset inclusive or at least can fit you to where you can wear PC headphones with them.
If you’ve read up to this point, you’ll know that sure there are some downsides to these headphones. But the take away here is that these are the best solution for the gen 1 PSVR headset. I can’t speak about the gen 2 iteration as the Mantis was designed before gen 2 came out (and I don’t own a gen 2 PSVR). If you’re someone who bought one in the first year or so of production or bought one that is used and you know is a gen 1 PSVR, these are for you. Ditch the earbuds, screw trying to use a different headset over your PSVR. Just buy this because it has one sole function and it does it impeccably well.
I wouldn’t say to get too hung up on the fact that you can hear slivers of external sound with these. The sounds would have to be incredibly loud in the first place. Additionally, there isn’t a single product out there that even comes this close to being an official headset for the PSVR. It checks off 90% of my boxes for what I wanted to see out of this product, and I definitely recommend that you buy it!
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