I spent about two hours with my 4Shots last night, here's my unofficial and very amateur review. I'm by no means an audio expert, but I do enjoy these
headphones I use on a daily basis. Don't take my opinions here as gospel, just thoughts from a guy who's been using Turtle Beach X31's
for the last two years:
Sound and microphone:
In the two hours I played with the 4Shots the sound proved very, very good. The headphone highlights the highs and mids, but still makes the lows feel very strong. As I'm not someone who prefers a ton of bass in my music and gaming, I felt the 4Shots provided a great mix of sound that felt balanced regardless of what was happening on screen. Explosions sounded deep, gunshots cracked, and ambient noise filtered through in the quiet moments. Compared to the X31's I'd been using, the Polks were a definite upgrade.
There's no EQ or sound mixer on the headphone, meaning you plug in the headphone, update your controller, and you're away - but it didn't need it. With the X31's I felt I'd need to change the sound mode for each game. Racing games forced me to turn on the bass, while shooters made me take it off. I could never really find a mix of good overall sound for all game types, which was a major frustration I had with the X31's that's alleviated with the 4Shots.
While in a party chat with a few friends, none of them had any issues hearing me speak, but we weren't playing any games while in Party Chat. I can tell you that the mic does not
move towards your face - see the pictures below. Early on I thought that people complaining about not being able to hear 4Shot users only needed to ask the users to pull the mic towards their face. In fact, the mic only comes out of the headphone when you want to use it, and clicks into the earcup when it's "on". It doesn't come down or out towards your mouth, just out of the earcup when you want it to be on. If you don't want people to hear you, simply click the microphone back into your earcup and you'll only be getting audio.
I thought it was a pretty slick design move, and when Microsoft and Polk eventually patch the mic issues people are talking about
, I don't think the distance from your mouth to the mic will be an issue.
Build and comfort:
The 4Shots' build quality is fantastic
. They feel sturdy, and when adjusting the headphones to fit my head I felt a solid *click*click*click* when pulling down the earcups. While the earcups on the X31's were porous, the earcups on the 4Shots are a smooth, leather(y) material that is incredibly comfortable on-ear. My ears never got hot, and I was impressed for how "adult" they felt. I'm used to plastic and cheap feaux-leather on the X31's and other headsets, but other than a few bits and pieces the 4Shots are all metal and leather.
The build quality is a step up from anything I've previously used while gaming, and I'd feel completely comfortable using these for regular, every day music and not just gaming.
if you're in the market for a ~$150 headset for gaming on an XBox One, or just want a headset that you can use for music as well as gaming, I'd recommend the 4Shots without hesitation. I'm not trying to spend $300 for a set of earphones (because I'm not getting paid to play video games), and to be honest anything more than the $160 I paid for these would've been a stretch. The build quality is really, really, really great. The sound is very, very good, and once Polk patches the mic issues (which again, I didn't have any of, but this could be because no one in the party was playing a game and we were just chatting) I think Polk will have a hot seller on their hands.
This doesn't feel "kiddy" like the Turtle Beaches I've had in the past. It feels very well built, mature, and comfortable while on your ears. If you can't tell from my pictures above there's a lot of metal and leather used, they skipped on the plastic that typically is associated with gaming headsets. See:
I didn't have any ear aches (in or around my ears), the sound was consistently strong while playing games, chatting, and watching YouTube videos, and the headset felt... I guess the only word is "matured". Looking at other headsets that people are posting, you can tell they sacrifice the materials and build quality to save a few dollars. The headsets tend to be light or very bulky, both of which the 4Shots are not.
I'm very satisfied with my purchase. If mic volume is going to be an issue I'll simply turn on my Kinect for chat and keep my microphone clipped into my earcup until they've released the update. It's rather elegant to know that your microphone is barely noticeable, and not having to adjust a mic in front of my lips or flip it up and down when I want to take my headphones off is something I won't miss.
If you have some extra cash lying around I'd recommend this headset. I can't vouch for any other XBox One headsets because I haven't tried any, but thus far I can say I'm very pleased with the sound quality, build construction, and overall feel of the 4Shots.*
*Reminder - I'm not a hardcore audiophile. I don't listen to songs in Lossless format because I want to hear the hisses and pops that the artist intended you to hear.
Also, none of the hissing or crackling that I'm hearing from other GAF'ers. To those hearing it, I can only say to make sure your cords are securely
plugged into the adapter and your headphones. Hopefully this alleviates it.