Xmas Gear – Turtle Beach Ear Force PX4 (PS4 review)
As gamers flit about aglow with sexified next-gen graphics for their eyeballs, what of their earholes? A new generation calls for a similar breed of headset. We road-tested the Turtle Beach Ear Force PX4 specifically with our shiny new PS4 and the experience left us wanting.
Now just to get a quick disclaimer out of the way, this is a PS4 specific review, in case you didn’t catch it in the introduction and big letters in the title. Some of the issues I’ll discuss may be exclusive to the new console, but I was clear to the distributor that this was the platform, and only platform, I intended to review the PX4 with.
Right from the start the set-up was a little more involved than usual. The usual scenario being to hit the Bluetooth connection button, immediately discover and sync the device with a PlayStation console (as you did with the PS3), pair it up and away you go. The PX4 operates differently, and more convolutely, in conjunction with the PlayStation 4.
It’s not discoverable under Bluetooth devices. Instead, you need to plug in the optical audio cable and USB, manage your audio outputs to get the sound through the headset and then connect the headset itself to your PS4 DualShock controller via cable. Now considering you can pretty much plug in any other ordinary headset on the market, the only added functionality you’re getting via the PX4 is voice chat, this didn’t exactly set my world on fire. Leaving a mess of cables around the console wasn’t at all in keeping with a new era of gaming wizardry I had envisioned either.
I was expecting a sleek, easily connectible wireless device, and while aesthetics, easy set-up and wired connections may not matter to most, it is a big deal to me. While I’m on looks, it certainly isn’t the prettiest thing out there, though it is remarkably comfortable, especially for long gaming sessions. The adjustable bracket is quite stiff as is the chat microphone, lacking the easy accessibility and pliability of competitors. Still, I was wanted to give the PX4 the benefit of the doubt and weigh its performance on, well, its performance.
There’s very little adjustable functionality on offer other than the volume control. Actually, more specifically, there were some surround sound options and bits and pieces, but I found no discernible difference in quality once engaged or disengaged or tweaked or fiddled with. In game chat is at a set volume and in general it lacks the nuance and customisability similarly priced headsets offer.
The sound, even with Dolby 5.1 channel bells and whistles, still comes across very tinny, lacking depth and a rounded bassy edge to it and again with no adjustable options, that’s just as good as it gets, and it ain’t that good. There was also a noticeable crackle at times which carried across numerous titles and was a little disappointing and not really up to scratch.
After several hours with the PX4 I chose to revert back to no headset, drinking in the awesome via my glorious home 7.1 channel surround sound system and yelling at the TV in dissatisfaction of my online squad-mates instead of voicing my concerns via the PX4. I found the headset just functional, barely. As I stated from the outset, some issues may be exclusive to PlayStation 4 connectivity, but in general I found it lacking and far away from a go to gaming option.