Turtle Beach Ear Force PX4 Review – The First PS4-Compatible Headset
If you want to use a quality headset with the PS4 at launch, your options are extremely limited. The one option you do have, though, the Turtle Beach Ear Force PX4, is an exceptional quality headset boasting all the features a gamer truly needs at a reasonable price for the technology.
Even Sony’s own PULSE Elite headset—the headset that tends to be our benchmark comparison for reviewing other gaming headsets—won’t work with the PS4 at launch unless Sony releases a patch that enables compatibility. And at the same price, the PX4 is arguably the better headset. The reason being: versatility. Yes, the PX4 works with the PS4 and the PlayStation 3, but it also works with PC, Mac, mobile devices… and the Xbox 360—something that the PULSE Elite surely cannot. That’s getting the most bang for your buck as a multi-platform gamer with many devices.
Visibly, the PX4 is the perfect pair to go with a PS4 thanks to a blue ring around the ear cups that’s an exact match for the blue “power on” stripe that runs across the middle of the PS4. It’s a nice touch, and smart marketing, since you can just “tell” that it’s made to work with the PS4. Aside from that, it’s built well, sturdy, and has nice aesthetic touches such as that same color blue stitching across the headband. My only complaint is that the mesh earpads, while breathable, left my ears sweaty after a four-hour game session. That said, the actual headset and headband remains light and comfortable even after as many hours.
But what really matters with any headset, is the sound. The PX4 is a well-rounded headset, producing clear, rich sound in any game setting, and even being used with music. The bass packs quite a boom, while performing quite nicely in the mid- and high-ranges. The PX4 is also a Dolby Digital surround headset, so you can hear which direction an enemy is approaching from, possibly giving you an advantage on the battlefield. Adjustable surround sound didn’t appear necessary out of the box, but it’s a great option for those that like to tinker to perfect their setup. There are also multiple EQ presets to customize your listening experience, as well as separate chat and volume controls.
Voice chat is crystal clear over PSN (on the PS3) and when used with an iPhone 5s. A dual-band transmitter keeps the experience interference-free. There’s also an option to dual-pair two different bluetooth devices, again for example, the PS3 and an iPhone, so you can make calls without having to exit a game. If you’re in an intense gaming sessions, chances are you’ll let your phone just ring or not even hear it, but having the extra ability is always a plus. Although I couldn’t notice much of a difference, something called Dynamic Chat Boost is designed to raise chat volume when the game volume gets louder. I may have missed it because during my time testing the PX4, I didn’t have a particularly chatty bunch of gamers in my squad.
15-hour battery life rounds out the package, with easy charging via USB. You can even game and recharge at the same time.
Inside the box comes with a variety of cables, but don’t be overwhelmed, it’s quite an easy set up. However, setup for the PS4 differs slightly from setup with the PS3. You still set up the transmitter for in-game audio, but you also have to plug the 3.5mm cable into the DualShock 4 controller jack for voice chat. Due to this, you cannot use the voice chat volume controls.
The lack of voice chat volume and the other few complaints are minor compared to all of the pros and benefits the PX4 has going for it, especially the biggest one: it’s works out of the box with the PS4. At $149.99 MSRP, it’s not cheap, but it’s not expensive either considering comparably priced headsets (like the PULSE Elite or the Plantronics Rig we recently reviewed) don’t perform as well nor have as many features—and again, don’t work with the PS4. With the PS4 launching in just two weeks, the best choice for a versatile gaming headset is currently the Turtle Beach Ear Force PX4.