We recently reported that Polk had partnered with Microsoft and were bringing a selection of their audio products to the UK. One of these new products is the Polk 4 Shot which is the first Xbox One compatible headset to hit the shelves. We’ve been spending some time with it to see how it performs.
Chances are you haven’t heard of Polk before but they’ve actually been around for a long time. They actually have 40 years of experience in the field which they are using to expand into gaming peripherals.
The first thing we noticed once we got the headset out of the box is that it feels very robust. So many headsets feel quite flimsy but you get an immediate sense that the Polk 4 Shot is going to last you a long time and survive the occasional drop.
The headphones have a lovely design that feels a little more upmarket than most gaming headsets. They are available in three different finishes – Ink Black, Desert White and Nova Blue.
The ear cups are a shiny plastic on the outside with soft plush leather interiors. They are connected by a spring steel headband which is covered by stitched leatherette padding. The headband can be extended if required.
We found the 4 Shot to be a perfect fit and it was incredibly comfortable even for long gaming sessions. They might just be the most comfortable headset we’ve ever tried. When you’re not wearing them you can swivel the ear cups 90 degrees to allow you to lay them down flat. Inside the left ear cup is a small Polk heart logo and the outsides feature the Polk text logo.
The headset itself is wireless but you need to connect a stereo cable in order to use it. This is included and is a simple 3.5mm jack connection. The cable plugs in under the right ear cup which then connects to the included Xbox One headphone adapter which docks to the bottom of the wireless Xbox One controller. During play you hardly notice the cable and it is great not needing to have it connect to the console itself.
It’s clear that the Polk 4 Shot is designed for game audio and the sound quality is exceptional during gameplay. Polk state they have worked closely with leading game sound designers when developing the headset. It works well for other uses such as listening to music and chatting but really shines doing what it was designed for.
Pressing the underside of the left ear cup reveals a retractable near-field microphone. This is a unique design we haven’t seen before in a headset. Currently there are some issues around how well the Xbox One picks up your voice and Polk have released a statement that they are working on a fix. To help we found a Polk Chat Pro Microphone included which features a more traditional mic design that you can use instead.
A bonus of this headset is that you can also use it with many other devices. It can easily be plugged into your smartphone, tablet, handheld and even the PS4. There’s a second cable included in the package that features an inline control and mic that is more suitable for your smartphone. We’ve tried it out and it works great but the headset may be a little big to use when out and about.
Apparently if you connect an audio splitter cable, such as the one available from Razer, then the Polk 4 Shot can also be used with your PC. We haven’t yet had a chance to try this out ourselves though.
Overall we’ve been very impressed with the Polk 4 Shot and would highly recommend it to anyone in the market for an Xbox One headset. It’s maybe a little on the expensive side (RRP £139.99) but it’s a headset that is going to last and the options to use it with your other devices are also welcome. When Polk and Microsoft resolve the built-in mic issues the 4 Shot will be essential for Xbox One gamers.
The Polk audio brand will launch in the UK on July 1st, and will be available at Amazon and Argos. To find out more about their range visit the official Polk website.