Turtlebeach XO FOUR review
Turtlebeach XO FOUR
Available from: http://www.turtlebeach.com/product-detail/xbox-one-headsets/ear-force-xo-four/390
Turtle Beach secured itself a reputation in the last generation for delivering high quality gaming headphones. For the first time, gamers were able to take control of their game audio at an affordable price – not everyone can afford the expense (or space) for impressive surround-sound set-ups, after all. We’ve been eagerly anticipating the Earforce’s debut on Xbox One, delayed due to Microsoft’s tardiness in getting the Stereo Adapter on the shelves, and we couldn’t be happier to have our ears wrapped in the glorious sound of explosions, engines and Xbox Live chatter.
XO FOUR – DESIGN
The Turtle Beach XO FOUR headsets have been designed with the Xbox One in view. Small in size, but large in sound – the XO4 takes a minimalist approach to design. The cans are big enough to cover ears entirely, even our unnaturally sized flappers. Initially, the set sits a little tight, though a few hours with the XO4s will see it loosen nicely. We put the headset through lengthy music and gaming sessions, and rarely did we notice its weight or positioning. Better still, the cans are padded nicely, which goes a long way to ensuring you avoid any painful burning sensations pulsating through your ears after excessive use.
The green finish surrounding the inside of the cans (and on the inside of the headband) is a nice touch. If you’re the sort who might find embarrassment in walking the streets with a gaming headset on, the XO4 is inconspicuous enough – at best, friends may compliment you on rocking a headphone style straight from the late eighties (which is fine by us).
XO FOUR – SOUND
Whether you’re looking for stereo or virtual surround sound, Turtle Beach has a great track record on delivering at all levels. The XO FOUR’s feature built-in 50mm Neodymium Speaker Drivers and noise cancellation technology. In reality, this means that once the set is on your head and a game is underway you can very quickly tunnel vision on the action ahead of you. On the plus side: this is perfect for blocking out distractions from annoying siblings/parents/housemates/spouses (delete as necessary), but can lead to some uncomfortable situations – nothing worse than someone tapping you on the shoulder while completely immersed in sound, unless you like flinching like a lunatic.
As we mentioned, we put plenty of time in with the XO FOUR’s and were very impressed with the results. It took a few hours for the speakers to really warm up, but the Stereo Sound was great for immersive single player games and intense multiplayer action.
The bass is powerful enough to get a real kick out of explosions, while we were surprised by how clean the mids are, this became especially clear when blasting music through the headset. Instrument heavy music – rock, hip hop and blues – produced impressive results, and while it certainly isn’t approaching an audiophile level of quality, you’d struggle to find a pair of music-focused headsets at the same price that offer the same level of quality.
In game, the action was incredibly clear. The stereo sound is a boon to anyone wearing, and while you won’t have the same level of precision as, say, an opponent equipped with either virtual or full surround sound – you will still be able to pick out the direction of gunfire, hear footsteps and get a better general understanding of where the firefights are unfolding on a map.
XO FOUR – VOICE CHAT
The XO FOUR features a detachable microphone that offers a great level of quality and clarity. We had no problem using the microphone for everything from Skype calls, Party Chat and it has in fact replaced Kinect as our go-to microphone for our weekly Twitch sessions. Sadly, the microphone does sit in a fixed position that will no doubt aggravate some.
Chat is controlled, handily, by the official Stereo Adapter that came included in the box. From here, not only can you raise and drop the game volume pumping into your ears – but you can also tweak chat volume independently. There’s also a button in the middle of the adapter to let you quickly mute and unmute the microphone.
It’s worth noting that the headset is wireless from the console, though it does need to connect to the Stereo Adapter via an included 3.5mm jack cable to function. This does, as you might imagine, have a negative impact on controller battery life. Then again, if you’re shelling out for a gaming headset, now is probably the time to purchase a Play & Charge kit.
The XO FOUR headset for Xbox One is a great way to get crisp, loud stereo sound out of your games. You’ll feel closer to the action, get a real feel for the incredible work that goes into game audio – especially in games like Battlefield 4 and Forza Motorsport 5 – but we approach the £100 mark, we would have liked to have seen at least 5.1 virtual surround sound. That said, this isn’t Turtle Beach’s fault, in fact the company has done a commendable job working within the constraints Microsoft placed in front of it, the Stereo Adapter sadly doesn’t support Virtual Surround Sound at the time of writing. Still, Turtle Beach has always iterated upon its designs, and this is a great first showing for the company on Microsoft’s next-gen system.