Turtle Beach Ear Force PX4 Headset Review
Video games may be a visual medium, but audio plays just as important a role in many games as well. Whether this involves the in-game soundtrack or the use of voice chat to communicate how to put a strategy together in Halo when playing online, sound is a major part of gaming most of the time. With the constantly growing age of the aforementioned online gaming, finding a gaming headset that is both comfortable and has excellent sound quality is vital for any gamer. I will admit that headsets did not used to be something I cared much about, as I just used the basic Xbox 360 headset at that time, but once you put on a premium gaming headset, it is very hard to imagine gaming without one.
Turtle Beach has grown to be arguably the premier producer of gaming headsets, with a line for just about every system these days, including special edition headsets for properties such as Marvel and soon to be Star Wars. After the release of the PlayStation 4 last year, gamers were waiting for a headset built just for the new console, and the Turtle Beach Ear Force PX4 Headset is just that.
One of the best things about Turtle Beach headsets is that for the most part, they are able to be used across a number of platforms. While the Ear Force PX4 is made specifically for the PlayStation 4, it can also be used on the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, mobile devices, and even Xbox One if you have the Stereo Headset Adapter. However, due to being made for the PlayStation 4, that is the one system that is the easiest to set it up with, but the others are fairly simple as well
Inside the box, you will find a few things alongside the headset itself. This includes the PX4 Wireless Transmitter, the 2.5mm to 3.5mm adapter/PS4 chat cable, the Xbox 360 talkback cable, the detachable boom mic, the digital optical cable, and lastly the charging cable for the headset.
The reason for the included charging cable is due to The PX4 actually being a wireless headset. Unlike the previous Turtle Beach headsets I’ve had the pleasure to try out that required the headset to be plugged into the various systems through USB, this one works completely without the need for that. When using the headset on the PlayStation 4, all you have to do is plug the wireless transmitter into a USB port on the system, as well as use the included digital optical cable to connect the transmitter to the optical port on the PS4 and the 2.5mm to 3.5 mm PS4 chat cable from the headset into the PS4 controller .You must then make a few changes in the settings of the console and you are ready to go.
The PS4 setup may sound a little complicated at first, but after that it is a breeze for all the future uses. The only disappointing aspect is that the included manual in the packaging is very bare bones and you will likely find yourself going to the official Turtle Beach website to get the more detailed instructions. If you are planning on just using the headset as a pair of headphones, the PS4 chat cable isn’t even needed and you can use it completely free of wires.
This headset instantly makes any gaming experience better
One of the main concerns with anything wireless is the battery life associated with it, especially as you don’t want to find yourself having to charge your headset multiple times during a long gaming session. However, The Turtle Beach Ear Force PX4 boasts a 15 hour battery life, which certainly lasted me quite awhile. Sometimes battery life estimates on products do not run anywhere near as long as they say, but this one was definitely right around the 15 hour mark, give or take.
The headset itself has a few buttons that you should get to know rather quickly, which control different variations of sound. First of all, there is the equalizer allows you to choose from four different EQ presets that adjust the bass and treble. The Blast Limiter button on the side is an amazing addition, as when active you can turn the headset up very loud in quiet segments to hear the littlest of details, but won’t have to worry about a very loud sound coming that may hurt your ears badly. This includes levels as Mild, Medium, and Max Limiter, if you choose to have it active. Lastly, we have two volume knobs which can adjust both chat volume and game volume with ease. It may take a little time to learn which is which without looking, but they are easily accessible and a much needed feature.
The fact that you can use this headset without a ton of wires hanging from it, as is required on a number of others, definitely helps in the comfort department. The ear cushions are molded to near perfection, to where you will often forget you are even wearing the headset. The cloth texture is only second to the Ear Force XO Seven’s leather like material at managing to contour to your ear shape. However, unlike the leather-like design found in that one, your ears are less likely to get hot and sweat as with the other. The detachable boom mic is also incredibly flexible, so it can be adjusted exactly to your liking.
One of the important features of any headset is the sound quality obviously, and the Ear Force PX4 is definitely a winner in that department. The headset provides the excellent sound you would always come to expect from Turtle Beach, with extremely crisp and crystal clear audio. However, the one aspect that puts this one over the top is the addition of Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. Using a headset in general typically enhances the audio performance already, but surround sound takes it to an entirely different level. Whether you hear the bullets spraying in one direction, the crack of the bat in MLB 14: The Show, or something as simple as the background music in a game, experiencing sound quality like this will make it hard to go back to any other headset. The 5.1 Surround Sound is also highly effective in movies, especially for those that do not have a home theater system.
While nowhere near as vital as the features, sound quality and comfort level, the design and aesthetic of the headset itself is quite important to a lot of people. If you are using the headset around others often, you certainly want to look good while doing so. Luckily, the Ear Force PX4 looks sleek as can be with the black design with hints of blue found throughout, which fits the PlayStation brand perfectly, especially if you have bought the new Wave Blue DualShock 4 as I have. The Turtle Beach logo is found in a few places in white, which fits very well alongside the rest of the design without standing out too much. Overall, The PX4 is the best looking Turtle Beach headset I’ve had the opportunity to use to date.
Due to the use of Bluetooth in the headset, you can also pair it wirelessly to your mobile phone for use on phone calls. Even better, the headset is able to be paired to two devices at once, so you can be gaming on Madden NFL 15 and receive a phone call and switch over to the phone call with total ease. While you obviously can’t use a headset like this on the go with your phone, this is an excellent option for those that talk on the phone a lot at home, especially while gaming. I definitely do this quite a bit and I wish I had something like this years ago to do it with.
Turtle Beach is known for their quality line of headsets and the Ear Force PX4 headset showcases why they have that reputation. With an extremely sleek design, excellent sound quality, and wireless capabilities, the headset is further enhanced by the addition of very effective Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound. This headset instantly makes any gaming experience better and could make it hard to go back to any headset without this feature. The ability to pair two devices at once makes switching between something such as the PlayStation 4 and your mobile phone a breeze. If you have a PlayStation 4 and are looking for a headset that should have longevity, The Turtle Beach Ear Force PX4 may be just the headset for you.
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