Reviews XBOX Mobile

Turtle Beach XO Four Headset Review

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Turtle Beach headsets have always had a good reputation in the console gaming world and the brand offers a variety of options for all consoles for both those on a budget and those with a bottomless money-pit. The Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Four Headset sits somewhere in the middle when it comes to pricing in their range of Xbox One headsets, but the question of course is whether the around R1,300 – R1,400 price is still worth the money.

Feel the Pain

Earlier this week, I reviewed the Stealth 500P Headset for the PlayStation 4 and found myself generally taken with the product. It is comfortable, has high quality DTS 7.1 surround sound and has quite a bit more going for it. This Xbox One (and mobile) headset does not offer quite the feature set of the Stealth 500P, but my initial (and main) issue with the XO Four is the vice-like grip the headset exerts on your head when wearing it.

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While the headset is well constructed and looks likely to survive an apocalypse, it tends to be a really tight fit – even on my average-sized head. Extended periods of use can actually be pretty painful and I initially found myself using the headset in very short (sub one hour) bursts. The longer I had the headset, the more this appeared to ‘soften’ but it is certainly one of the tightest headsets I have used. It is also not as light as the 500P, but it is lighter than some competitor’s headsets in the same price range.

That however is really my only major complaint with the headset. The cups sit comfortably around the ears, and the material and cushions used battle against the clamping as best they can, and can be adjusted by extension or slight rotation.

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Everything (else) is Painless

Setup of the headset is relatively simple, but is likely to require a controller update before use. It is also almost wireless and only uses a cable with 3.5mm jack to connect (via the included chat adapter) to the controller. The chat adapter houses the various volume and muting options for the headset, putting everything within finger-reach and freeing up the headset to do exactly what a headset must – feed your ears with sound and live with your voice.

The sound quality of the headset is fantastic. I really enjoyed using it for music, movies and - for the purpose it was actually designed for - games. It’s not 7.1 surround sound, so don’t go in expecting that, but it does deliver crisp sound across all ranges. The bass made me rumble and smile, while even the quietest of sounds came through clearly and my awareness of sneaky enemies in my vicinity noticeably improved.

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The mic for the headset is detachable, flexible and surprisingly good. Generally my voice was clear to my team mates (well, they reacted to me on instruction without the usual “what?” and no-one complained about my heavy-breathing in-game) but I suspect that in a LAN environment, the mic will pick up plenty of environment noise, but that will only be of concern to a select number of players really.

The headset will also pretty much work with anything offering a 3.5mm jack but the mic itself (and therefore the chat capability) won’t work. The quality of the sound however makes it a great option for use as a regular headset, but there is no way I would suggest buying the headset just for that.

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Is it the One Four You?

It could be argued that the Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Four Headset offers good value at a ‘bang-for-buck’ level, but there’s a part of me that just wishes it was a little closer to the R1,000 mark here in South Africa. If that was the case, I would be dragging you to the shop right now to pick up the XO Four as I cannot fault the sound quality of the headset at all. My issue with the initial discomfort I felt using the headset however makes me want to see a price cut in much the same way that it felt like the blood flow to my brain was being cut off… but apparently I’m a zombie and deserve that fate anyway.

That all being said, at the price range, there isn’t much that compares (and competes) with the Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Four when it comes to quality of sound, so if that’s your main requirement, then go and get yourself a pair of these cans right away.

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The Specifications

  • Speaker diameter: 50 mm
  • Speaker frequency response: 20 Hz — 20 kHz
  • Condenser microphone frequency response: 100 Hz — 10 kHz
  • Earcup style: Around-ear
  • Sound pressure level: 120 dB @ 1 kHz
  • Total harmonic distortion: <1%
  • Headphone cable: 3 feet (0.91 m) with stereo 3.5 mm plug
  • Weight: 10.6 oz. (301 g)
  • Xbox One audio/mic connection: Xbox One Audio Adapter

You can read more about the headset on the Turtle Beach website. The Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Four Headset is available at Raru and Takealot, as well as other online and retail stores.

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