Turtle Beach Ear Force PX4 review
- Great audio
- Excellent wireless range
- Bundled accessories
- Mic won't work with Xbox One
- Too many buttons
- Number of connections needed
It's no accident that the name of the new Turtle Beach Ear Force PX4 headset is just one letter away from the new Sony PS4 console. It's designed to complement Sony's powerful new console in terms of looks thanks to that familiar blue-and-black styling.
The PX4s also boast Bluetooth connectivity for use with compatible phones, a built-in microphone that connects to the new DualShock 4 controller and EQ presets that allow you to boost bass and treble. The PX4s sit in the mid-range price category of £149 - are they worth picking up with your new console?
Turtle Beach Ear Force PX4: Design
The PX4 headset is compact, lightweight, and comfortable to use. They also incorporate a detachable microphone, which is good, as the PX4s will double up as great portable headphones. You can connect them to any Bluetooth-enabled device for wireless use, or via the included headphone adapter.
The main gripe of the headset is that there are seven buttons and two volume adjustment wheels, which are a lot of things to memorise, and also a lot of things to accidentally press.
The wireless transmitter, which is about the size of a pack of playing cards, is equally well designed. It could easily be tucked away behind your console, if it weren't for the fact that there are surround sound controls on the actual transmitter.
Turtle Beach Ear Force PX4: Setup
The PX4s do a lot, but they're thankfully very easy to set up. The default option is to plug the Turtle Beach wireless transmitter into the optical audio output of your game console (or amplifier/receiver, if you have one), and a USB port for power.
The receiver also boasts a passthrough optical audio output, so you can continue to use your normal speakers with or without the headset, which is a nice touch.
The wireless transmitter takes the surround sound signal from your console and sends it over dual-band 2.4/5GHz wireless to the headset. The headset boasts Dolby Digital Surround Sound technology, and will create a pseudo-surround sound through its two 50mm stereo speakers.
You can adjust the placement of the virtual speakers by selecting one of six different presets on the wireless transmitter, or you can just go with the standard stereo mix.
The headset also boasts Bluetooth wireless connectivity, and it will connect to two different devices at the same time. This means you can use the PX4 as a wireless headset for your phone or tablet to listen to music and take calls, while still using your games console at the same time.
You can also use Bluetooth for voice chat on PS3, but this isn't a feature that Sony has unlocked on the PS4 at this stage. If you want to voice chat on PS4 or Xbox 360, you need to connect the headset up to the relevant controller using an included cable.
Setting the PX4s up on the Xbox 360 Elite and Xbox One is slightly more complicated. The Xbox 360 Elite doesn't boast an optical audio output, so you'll need to buy an adapter from either Microsoft or Turtle Beach for it to work.
The Xbox One does boast an optical audio output, but you have to use the new Kinect sensor for voice communication, as the Xbox One pad has a proprietary headset connection.
Another frustration, at least for PlayStation console owners, is the lack of USB connections on most PS3 and PS4 consoles. You need a USB port to power the wireless transmitter, and a separate mini-USB cable for charging the headset.
This is different to the micro-USB connection that charges the new DualShock 4 controllers. With only two USB ports on the PS4, you're going to either need to swap out cables regularly, or buy a USB mains power adaptor.
Turtle Beach Ear Force PX4: Comfort
The Turtle Beach PX4s are built in the same fashion as most of the company's previous headsets - they're not amazingly stylish, but they are well built and comfortable to wear.
The adjustable padded headband rests well across the top of the head and grips well without aching. The breathable mesh cushions around the ear cups aren't as soft as the leather finishes on the more expensive Turtle Beach headsets, but they feel comfortable around the ears, even after prolonged periods. This is a good thing, as battery life on the PX4s is excellent at 15 hours from a full charge.
Turtle Beach Ear Force PX4: Sound Quality
The PX4s are a massive leap in audio quality over the bundled PS4 headset, but as that is simply a mono earbud and microphone, it's not a massive achievement.
In terms of overall audio quality, it's hard to beat the PX4s at this price range - they sound great, go really loud, and are highly customisable in terms of the sort of sound you want to create.
There are equaliser presets for bass and treble, as well as six different presets for different virtual speaker placement in the Dolby headset technology.
We particularly liked the blast limiter preset for games like Call of Duty, which allows you to turn up the volume to hear footsteps, while keeping loud noises like grenades blocked out.
The range of the wireless transmitter is particularly good - we were able to go into a completely different room to the transmitter over 20m away before the audio started to break up.
Turtle Beach Ear Force PX4: Verdict
The Turtle Beach PX4s aren't cheap, but they're competitively priced for a headset that provides excellent audio from your games consoles at home and your other devices on the move.
They sound great, are comfortable to wear, and have plenty of customisation options. It's worth mentioning that there are more expensive headsets available from Turtle Beach and other manufacturers that offer more luxurious leather finishes and more audio tuning options.
However, the PX4s hit the sweet spot in terms of performance and price, and have everything that most gamers would ever need in a headset.
Turtle Beach Ear Force PX4 release date: Out Now
Turtle Beach Ear Force PX4 price: £149