Gamers looking for the complete Xbox One experience will need to have proper headsets. Without a good headset, users will miss out on quality audio for the games that they play, and for some titles, missing out on audio is missing out on a lot of aspects of the gaming experience.
Three choices for Xbox One gamers are the Polk Audio 4Shot, the Astro A50 Xbox One Edition and the Turtle Beach Ear Force XO One. How do these headsets compare to each other?
Design and Construction
The design of the Polk Audio 4Shot is unconventional for a gaming headset, which does not necessarily mean that it is bad. In fact, the headset looks good, with a near field microphone that can be tucked away when not in use. However, the flimsy construction that uses cheap plastic around the headset's earcups and chassis greatly decreases the headset's quality.
The Astro A50 Xbox One Edition is compact and slick with a soft-touch plastic frame. The earcups and headband are held together with small metal bars, allowing the headset to be easily adjusted.
The Turtle Beach Ear Force XO One is weighty and well built, with speaker plates that can be swapped out. The leather and plastic components of the headset look very nice, supported by the highlights of lime green.
The Polk Audio 4Shot features an earcup padding which surrounds the entire ear, greatly helping in making the headset comfortable to wear. The same material is used for the headset's headband, which makes it comfortable to wear even in long gaming sessions.
The Astro A50 Xbox One Edition also features padded cups surrounding the ear, which is ideal for lengthy gaming sessions. The headset is lightweight and cozy, which makes it possible for gamers to forget wearing the headset while they are engrossed in their game.
The Turtle Beach Ear Force XO One is also said to be comfortable enough to have gamers forget that they are wearing it, which is always a good thing. Memory foam on the headset's headband and earcups adds to the comfort of the Turtle Beach Ear Force XO One.
With it being the company's first entry into gaming headsets, there are high expectations for Polk Audio's 4Shot headset. However, the headset falls short in terms of providing excellent sound quality. While the Polk Audio 4Shot features great mid-frequency performance, the bass sounds are very muted and the high sounds are very sharp, which could be very difficult for the ears especially in games such as first person shooters where gunfire is almost constant. The lack of support for virtual surround sound is also a huge negative for the headset.
The Astro A50 Xbox One Edition features amazing sound quality for games and movies, along with Dolby 7.1 surround sound. The headset is able to provide accurate directionality for audio, which is an important feature to have in certain titles. For a better experience, the headset comes with three modes of usage, namely Media mode for music and movies, Core mode for single-player games and Pro Mode for competitive playing.
The sound quality of the Turtle Beach Ear Force XO One is good, but the lack of surround sound support is a negative. Despite that, the sound is still great across mid-level sounds and high-pitched ones. Noise isolation works great, along with the clarity and volume of the sound.
The Polk Audio 4Shot connects to the controller of the Xbox One through a standard stereo cable. As such, the headset is compatible with a wide array of other devices, including smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers. The same holds true for the Astro A50 Xbox One Edition and the Turtle Beach Ear Force XO One.
The Polk Audio 4Shot sells for $123 but you can find cheaper options on Amazon for $79.The Astro A50 Xbox One Edition sells for $300 and the Turtle Beach Ear Force XO One sells for a discounted price of $69.95 as of reporting.