Polk Audio Striker ZX Xbox One Headset Review
Ryan Bloom / Nov 13th, 2014 No Comments
About a year since the Xbox One launched, players who own the console still have little options when it comes to gaming headsets. Polk Audio, a long respected home sound and car audio company, entered the gaming market shortly after the release of Microsoft’s new-gen console. However, Polk’s 4 Shot headset was still the company’s only offering for the Xbox One. That is until the recently released Striker ZX gaming headset hit store shelves.
While the 4 Shot provided players with a premiere headset for Xbox One, it left gamers looking for a cheaper option out in the cold. The Striker ZX fills that market with a headset that delivers on affordability without sacrificing quality.
Sound in 1080p HD
Polk aimed to give players a cheaper option with the Striker ZX, but gamers wouldn’t know it from the headset’s sound performance. Stereo audio comes in clean and clear, and the headset delivers a sound experience true to each game (we played Forza Horizon 2, Alien: Isolation and FIFA 15 with the headset). The Striker ZX delivers quality performance from powerful 40 mm drivers — the same ones used in the more expensive 4 Shot — and it doesn’t falter even in the most demanding situations.
A retractable microphone pokes out from the left earcup, but its short extension can cause players’ voices to be muffled or simply not loud enough. The mic’s chat loop feature is on by default, but turning it off helps the sound output. However, chat loop is a nice implementation that hardcore online players should find useful. The feature allows users to hear their own voices while the headset is on, a necessity for anyone who blasts game sound at high volumes. Strip down the chat loop feature, and the mic’s sound is not much different from the console’s included chat set.
Ears in Heaven
Right out of the box, gamers will notice the headset’s light weight. Coming in at only 8 ounces, the Striker ZX is much lighter than its Polk predecessor. Pivoting arms that hold ear cups on either side help the headset form to each individual user. Combined with soft, fake leather (called “protein leather”) ear cups and a thick headband cushion, the Striker ZX is comfortable for hours of use.
The headset’s light weight and cheaper price point don’t come without sacrifice. Plastic material makes up most of the headset, and it can feel fragile at times. Users looking to take their headset on the go or who handle it roughly might feel obligated to a use a heavier, foldable headset in order to preserve the Striker’s form factor.
Polk emphasized lightness with the Striker ZX, and that theme carries beyond the actual headset. Packaged in the box is a custom designed Xbox One headset adapter, which plugs into the Xbox One controller. This means users won’t have to purchase a separate adapter, making the affordable headset even more valuable. The exclusive Polk-branded adapter is lighter, but it does not differ noticeably from the standard adapter found with other headsets, including Polk’s own 4 Shot.
At $89.99, the Polk Striker ZX headset represents a solid value for Xbox One owners, and it would qualify as one of the best headsets in its price range. Its light weight takes pressure off the head and, along with its comfortable ear cups, ensures that gamers can wear the headset for hours.
It is available now in black, blue, and orange at select retailers, including Best Buy and Amazon. It will also work with other devices, including the PlayStation 4, although a multiplatform Striker P1 is expected to release at a later date.
tags: polk , Polk Audio Striker ZX Xbox One Headset Review , Polk gaming headset , Polk Striker ZX , review , Striker ZX