This year the hottest “toy” is easily the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series consoles. It seems like everyone wants one and unfortunately, it seems like no one has one. For those lucky enough to obtain one or just planning to soon be an owner, we wanted to kick off our 2020 series of holiday gift guides with a look at the top accessories and items to pair with the latest PlayStation console.
Top Wired Headphones – HyperX Cloud Orbit S / Audeze Mobius
Last year our top-rated headset was HyperX’s Cloud Orbit S. The headset, essentially a scaled-back Audeze’s Mobius, boasted impressive range and WavesNx 3D surround sound. Despite Sony including Tempest 3D AudioTech with PlayStation 5, WavesNx takes it to another level by adding head tracking and another layer of immersion, something that is honestly invaluable in the virtual space and impressive for a wide variety of games. This, coupled with a solid microphone and alluring look makes it a solid choice. Best of all, HyperX is currently running a sale bringing the headset down 30 percent to a far more attractive $230. And, those looking for Bluetooth and the other advantages offered by the Mobius will be able to save 25 percent from Nov. 23 until Nov. 30 from Audeze directly.
Top Wireless Headphone – Astro A20 Gen 2
Right off the bat, there are two things that work well for Astro’s second generation of the A20. These include a look that pairs perfectly with the console itself and the ability to buy a separate dongle and connect it to Xbox. This versatility far outweighs some of the features found on nicer headphones like their A50 or richer sound found on other headphones.
Microphone – HyperX SoloCast
With more and more people getting into streaming or trying to take their gaming to the next level, there is a growing demand for microphones. HyperX had a great showing with their QuadCast line, but in terms of value and simplicity, it’s hard to beat their SoloCast. With the ability to easily capture great audio, attractive price, and versatile design, it’s a great product for anyone looking to get nicer headphones or enhance their sound quality without going crazy.
Honorable mention: ModMic
External HDD – WD – Easystore
As you may know, PlayStation 5 boasts an oddly specific 825GB drive, which comes out to 667GB of space. At the moment, there is no way to increase the SSD size, meaning all your PS4 and 5 games will be fighting for space. However, PS4 games can be offloaded to an external drive, giving you as much space as possible for PS5 titles. And, with external drives starting at about $50 for 1TB, it makes more sense to use that than constantly add and remove games.
Charging Station – DualSense Charging Station
Arguably one of the most useful accessories is Sony’s DualSense Charging Station. Not only does it match the overall theme of the system itself, but it’s also super easy to leave a controller on there or pick it up to start your gaming session. This was an accessory I got to simply clean up my desk and there is no denying it improved my gaming quality of life so much I question why I never got one for my PlayStation 4.
Docking Station – Aukey CB-H6S
Sony was nice enough to give players three USB-A and one USB-C port on the console itself, but it likely won’t take long to run out of spots. Simply using a wireless headset, charging your controller and an external HDD alone will bring that impressive sum down to one. To make things simpler, a dock-like Aukey’s CB-H6S or CB-C78 (both were tested on PlayStation 5 and work) gives you plenty of ports to play with. Thanks to a more user-friendly interface, players can connect up to four headsets and easily swap between them, use it to connect a thumbstick for an offline backup of a save, or simply connect something to give it power. It has made my whole setup a lot simpler and gives me plenty of options without having to look at too many wires.
Wildcard – HELM Audio DB12 AAAMP
Despite a lot of improvements on PlayStation 5, Sony’s removal of digital optical makes things like a DAC or amp a little more complicated. While there are ways to make it work like you could use an HDMI audio extractor, use the controller’s headphone jack and go in through RCA, use the television’s digital optical port, and so forth, the DB12 AAAMP makes things far simpler. The THX AAA audio amplifier simply connects to your controller’s headphone jack and with a flick of a switch, improves audio quality for any wired headphones. Best of all, following some tests it works with 3D surround, though it struggled when using a mic. Still, the simple dongle adds a lot of value without taking up much space, making it perfect for PlayStation 5 owners looking to further improve their audio.