trending / - - - - - - - - -

trending / playstation 4 - ni no kuni - halo - wii u - bungie interview - ces top picks - radeon hd 7850 - woods pga tour

Polk Audio 4 Shot Xbox One Headset Review

/ Apr 29th, 2014 No Comments

4 shot headset review

When the Xbox One released in November, it was more of a soft launch than a full-fledged release. There were no system-selling games; instead, upgraded versions of last-gen titles such as Assassin’s Creed 4: Black Flag and Madden 25 awaited early adopters. While games were good enough to whet the appetite of eager consumers, accessories were clearly lacking from the Xbox One’s launch slate.

With a few months under its belt, the Xbox One is more complete. Updates have improved the console’s features and everything from an official Microsoft media remote to third-party controllers have hit store shelves. Polk Audio, an industry leader in sound, worked with Microsoft Studios development teams to create the 4 Shot headset, and although it was not ready for the console’s launch, the recently released gaming headset is the first of its kind developed specifically for Xbox One.

Comfort and Joy

The 4 Shot headset integrates a sleek design that is equal parts style and comfort. Lightweight plastic ear cups are positioned on a pivot that ensures a nice fit even on an odd-shaped head. However, the cheap plastic and lack of a pivot lock raise questions about the 4 Shot’s durability. Ear cups are topped with stitched leatherette padding, providing a comfort level that allows gamers to use the headset for hours at a time while canceling out exterior noise.

polk audio 4 shot

The Polk Audio 4 Shot is too sleek to be a gaming headset.

Leatherette is also wrapped around the spring steel headband for maximum comfort. The headband and faux leather are tightly wrapped to create a small profile over the top of the head that does not disrupt gamers. Players with glasses are recommended to wear the headphones slightly off the ear to prevent discomfort while still getting solid sound performance. However, most players will find no issues with breathability and design–in fact, this is where the 4 Shot shines brightest.

Mic Check

Polk is not reinventing gaming headsets with its design–a task that is seemingly impossible at this point–but an innovative drop-down microphone sets the 4 Shot apart from its competitors. A small button under the left earcup can be pressed to unveil a protruding plastic mic. The creative microphone design requires no additional wires and the mic can easily be stowed right back in its place.

xbox one headset

The protruding mic on the Xbox One headset is creative but it falls short in performance.

A quick access mic is a unique idea but it fails in execution. It works as a temporary solution but there is no replacement for a dedicated, near-your-mouth microphone–and Polk knows this. 4 Shot owners can register their product online to receive a free Polk Chat Pro adapter that is essentially a boom microphone. The adapter easily plugs into the headset, taking the place of the required cord that attaches to the Xbox One controller.

UPDATE: Polk says it is working with Xbox to fix the issue with the built-in mic. A future firmware update should fix the problem. The free Chat Pro adapter is considered a temporary solution.


Packaged with the 4 Shot is a required Xbox One headset adapter, which plugs directly into the Xbox One controller and has a slot for the headset cable. Users will need to update their controller firmware in order for the headset to work (included instructions will walk players through this simple process). This means the 4 Shot will only output stereo sound, a disappointment for audiophiles intent on purchasing a headset for surround sound capabilities.

Polk worked with Halo developer 343 Industries and Forza makers Turn 10 to make the headset perfect for gaming. For the most part, sounds are crisp and sharp, especially those occuring in the foreground. Sound is especially brilliant when playing first-person shooters–piercing gunfire sounds pulsate throughout users’ ears. Background noises also come through clear, but high-pitched sounds like bird calls or whistling can come off too loud while background music is overpowered by character dialogue.

The 4 Shot design is more akin to music headphones, and the headset performs admirably when listening to music. Bass could be stronger but there are few flaws to find outside of that.


Microsoft was in desperate need of a headset designed specifically for the Xbox One, and the Polk Audio 4 Shot headset delivers. Polk brings decades of audio experience into its first foray in the gaming industry, resulting in fresh design elements that blur the lines between music headphones and gaming headsets. However, the 4 Shot headset is more style than substance.

The protruding mic–the 4 Shot’s most intuitive feature–performs poorly and the headset is hampered by Xbox One’s stereo-only abilities. Still, the 4 Shot headset is a solid option that is a joy to use, and represents a nice value for Xbox One owners who want a headset that can be used on smartphones and other devices.


Ryan Bloom

Ryan Bloom

Chief Editor at Gaming Illustrated
Ryan Bloom is a writer and avid gamer from Orange County. He received a B.A. in Communications with a minor in American Studies from California State University, Fullerton in 2010. Follow him on Twitter @BloomsTweets.
Ryan Bloom
Ryan Bloom

Latest posts by Ryan Bloom (see all)

tags: , , , , ,

Related Posts

Hyper Light Drifter

Hyper Light Drifter Review: 100 Miles & Dashing

May 24th, 2016No Comments

Dark Souls 3 Review

Dark Souls 3 Review: Die Harder

May 17th, 2016No Comments

Valkyria Chronicles Remastered

Valkyria Chronicles Remastered Review: War is Beautiful

May 10th, 20161 Comment

Ratchet & Clank

Ratchet & Clank Review: From Humble Beginnings

May 9th, 2016No Comments

Top Articles


Gaming Illustrated RATING



The lack of surround sound support is a major issue for the Xbox One but the 4 Shot headset manages to perform well despite this obstacle.


At $159.99, the 4 Shot is a bit overpriced but the ability to use it on all types of devices and lack of other options on Xbox One make it hard to pass up.


Padded leatherette ear cups on a pivoting swivel provide a comfortable experience that allows for maximum breathability.


The light weight is great for comfort but combined with the cheap plastic encasing, it raises questions about the headset's durability.

New Releases: Week of 5/29 May 29th, 2016 at 9:00

What’s in Your Box: Waifu Overload May 28th, 2016 at 10:00

No Man’s Sky Officially Delayed May 27th, 2016 at 6:22

Greg’s Cheers to Gaming: Tomba! Pig Drinker May 26th, 2016 at 12:00

No Man’s Sky Reportedly Delayed May 25th, 2016 at 7:22

Hyper Light Drifter Review: 100 Miles & Dashing May 24th, 2016 at 9:00

Uncharted 4 is PS4’s Fastest-Selling First Party Title May 23rd, 2016 at 7:25

New Releases: Week of 5/22 May 22nd, 2016 at 10:00

What’s in Your Box: Time Sneaks May 21st, 2016 at 11:30

Yooka-Laylee: Hype Rising May 20th, 2016 at 5:00

New Releases: Week of 5/29 May 29th, 2016 at 9:00

No Man’s Sky Officially Delayed May 27th, 2016 at 6:22

No Man’s Sky Reportedly Delayed May 25th, 2016 at 7:22

Uncharted 4 is PS4’s Fastest-Selling First Party Title May 23rd, 2016 at 7:25

New Releases: Week of 5/22 May 22nd, 2016 at 10:00

Gran Turismo Sport Release Date Announced May 19th, 2016 at 7:32

New Releases: Week of 5/15 May 15th, 2016 at 10:00

Friday Giveaway: Rocket League May 13th, 2016 at 9:26

Assassin’s Creed Movie Trailer Released May 12th, 2016 at 6:05

The Witcher 3: Blood and Wine Expansion Out May 31 May 11th, 2016 at 6:21