It feels like there is a ridiculous amount of choice for the discerning gamer when it comes to picking a good headset. I’ve used – and reviewed – so many, that these days the most important things to me when using a headset have become quality and comfort. Ease of use is a plus point, of course, and wireless units are a nicety, but are unlikely to please an audiophile who wants the ultra high end unit.
In steps Turtle Beach, and the realisation that I’ve never actually used one of their headsets. Trittons have been my poison until now, but upon first placing the cushion-soft cans upon my elephantine ears (note: I don’t actually have big ears, this is for comedic effect – go with me on this) I wondered what I’d been missing all those years. Comfort is the first box that can be checked off, as no matter the ear-size, the PX4 is comfortable, soft, and lightweight to wear. Huzzah!
But is it easy to set up, you ask? Very, is the answer. Thankfully there’s enough cables provided to cater for most setups (including those of us who still use optical cables), but if you’re a multiplayer gamer you’ll need to connect the headset to the PS4’s controller with a cable. There are few headsets that don’t require this, and of the ones I’ve tested in a similar price range, I can only think of the Tritton Warhead that doesn’t. You really just need to plug the wireless transmitter into your PS4 (it’s powered by USB and not a power brick, which made me long for a rear USB slot, but that’s another story), and it even allows for passthrough, so you can ignore the headset if you want and your PS4 audio won’t be affected. You can, in fact, set the PX4 up with an Xbox 360, but remember that certain models don’t have an optical out, so you’d need to grab an adapter.
Obviously the plus point to using a PX4 instead of the bundled PS4 headset is that it has surround sound. The dual-band interference-free wireless means that you won’t hear static when using the PX4 – this is something that plagued my use of the Warhead – and another major positive is that the battery is rechargeable, and can be charged via the PS4 when in standby mode. That battery lasts around 12-15 hours depending on what you’re doing with it, which is far longer than the PS4 controller itself. It’s worth mentioning that to charge the headset you’ll need to use the included mini-USB cable, and not a micro-USB, which the DualShock 4 uses.
When not using the headset for multiplayer gaming, you can unplug the microphone (though it’s not exactly intrusive if you just leave it on) and wear the PX4 like any normal pair of headphones. It’s not just compatible with the PS4, but also the PlayStation 3 and mobile devices – and it’s simple to set up for any device, really. Being Bluetooth enabled means that you can even use your shiny new piece of kit to answer calls from your smartphone without leaving your gaming environment, something that another device we recently reviewed (the Plantronics Rig) does as well. Speaking of chatting, the audio for game chat and phone calls is presented in a clear and crisp fashion.
When all is said and done, audio quality is what really matters, and I’m pleased to say the all ends of the audio spectrum are well represented. You can play around with preset EQ settings all you want, but know that if you just want to plug and play, you’ll get a terrific performance from the PX4 too. The difference between using these gaming headphones and the bundled ones is like night and day.
As with most reasonably priced gaming headsets, the PX4 has separate controls for game audio and chat audio. However, that’s one area that the device is a bit of a let down, not the actual performance, but the unit is littered with buttons, meaning it’ll take a little bit of getting used to the positioning of them.
VERDICT: Options for PS4 gamers are limited at the moment when it comes to headsets, but that doesn’t mean Turtle Beach have skimped on quality. Even down to the blue styling. It may be a device that can be used elsewhere to great results, but this is clearly aimed at PS4 users, and is all the better for it.
It might not be that cheap, but it looks great, sounds even better, and is comfortable over long gaming sessions. The PX4 is currently the best choice for PS4 gamers wanting a headset. and ultimately, what more could you ask for?