While it’s certainly true that OEM (original equipment manufacturer) hardware is nearly always preferable over after market products (especially within the sphere of the video game industry), it’s hard to avoid the temptation of buying 3rd party gear. The PS4 is set to be perhaps the most advanced console released to date and not surprisingly, a number of companies are lining up to present their compatible products, audio headsets being just one facet of this trend.
The recent problem that’s cropped up though contends that many headsets which connect via USB or Bluetooth will not be compatible at launch. Rest assured though, an update to correct the problem is in the works and will be on the way shortly after the launch commences, but it is somewhat disheartening. As far as the Bluetooth is concerned, there might be problems on the horizon because Sony has yet to address the complaints of those who primarily use that particular medium on their PS3’s.
In other words, it appears that your PS3 USB headset will work with the PS4 once the update is supplied, but Bluetooth owners might remain disappointed or have to wait even longer to gain compatibility. Furthermore, this even applies to those PS3 USB headsets which already brandish the Sony PlayStation logo – none of will be compatible at launch. Why they weren’t able to remedy this issue straight away is a complete mystery… Not to worry though, as you are probably already well aware, each PS4 comes with a small wired earbud headset which you can use for chatting.
As far as the top headsets which are compatible, apparently all you really need is a model which has a standard 1/8 stereo plug. What’s more, it’s also been stated that game audio is going to be supplied to the controller as well, meaning that you can use it for both isolation and chatting online. While it’s sort of sad to see a lack of functionality with regards to Bluetooth and USB at launch, at least you can plug up a dedicated quality wired headset. Having said that, here are some headsets to consider picking up before the PS4 is officially launched..
Touting a price tag of around $200, this Sennheiser headset provides amazing sound quality and near-perfect isolation. For gamers who like to completely shut out the world when they’re playing you’d be hard-pressed to find a better model capable of taming ambient noise while remaining extremely comfortable during long play periods. The mic boom is also adjustable and features an inline mute, which is handy in a pinch. In short, this isn’t the type of hardware for the general consumer; only serious gamers need apply here – the sort that might be seeking unparalleled audio quality. For your money, this is arguably one of the best gaming headsets you can buy.
This headset provides for even more options, allowing you to fine tune the specifics of each channel, which is great for gamers who tend to be picky about the bass and treble levels of game audio vs. that of chat audio. The Tiamat is also a very comfortable product which features leather padded earcups which make long play sessions a breeze. As far as the sound is concerned, expect to encounter extremely lifelike audio that places you directly inside the action onscreen, and it’s even quite durable.
If you’re looking for a quality headset which is more affordable yet also features a unique visual style, Razer also has the Kraken series (which comes in black, green and black with copper trimmings). Like many other quality pieces, this headset was designed to deliver comfort as well as excellent audio and isolation. Even at a price of around $60, these headphones can really compete with models costing 3 times as much.
One of the first things you’ll notice about Mad Catz’ F.R.E.Q.5 is the unique angular design of its earcups. But don’t get the wrong idea, there’s more to this headset aside from its looks, it’s also a very well-balanced, comfortable and powerful piece of hardware that can faithfully reproduce the entire range of sounds required of any game out there. What’s more, the detachable noise-canceling microphone actually features a red light indicator at its tip which tells you whether or not it’s active or muted. Add to this the fact that the controls are located on the earpieces themselves and you have what amounts to an excellent design that makes it easy to perform adjustments on the fly.
When your standard headset won’t do turn to Turtle Beach’s TBS-2214, which offers a truly enriched surround sound experience. Each earcup contains not 1, but 4 speakers (including the subwoofer) and is able to deliver 3D positioned sound like nothing you’ve experienced in a headset before. Of course this feature might not be fully compatible with the PS4 without some additional hardware, but it’s something to keep in mind. It’s also comfortable and able to isolate you as well, making for great gaming. Moreover, the unit also features a USB plug which might come in handy later on.
This particular model is in fact compatible with the PS3 and Xbox 360, which makes it all the more useful if you still own one of the older consoles and plan on using it from time to time between PS4 sessions. As far as the sound is concerned, it is balanced, rich and very clear – what you’d expect from any decent gaming headset. There’s also an inline control system which allows you to mute / unmute as well as select sources and change volume settings quickly. However, one of the coolest things about this particular headset is the “break away” design of its cable, meaning you don’t have to worry about accidentally pulling the jack out thereby shorting out the connector.