Polk Striker Pro Headset Review: Quality Breeds Versatility
Ryan Bloom / Sep 24th, 2015 No Comments
When Polk Audio launched its gaming line in 2014, it was facing an uphill battle to compete with popular brands such as Turtle Beach and Astro Gaming. Rather than taking on those companies, Polk catered to a niche Xbox One audience. The company’s first foray into gaming headsets, the 4 Shot, was a solid debut, but it lacked the punch of Polk’s other product lines.
More than a year later, Polk has ditched the Xbox exclusivity and learned from their successes and mistakes. It has all culminated in the release of the Striker Pro gaming headset, a higher end headset that combines the best elements of its previous releases.
Back to Basics
Previous Polk headset iterations thrived on simplicity but lacked versatility. The Striker Pro sacrifices some of the former for the latter. While past headsets have been designed for specific consoles, the Striker Pro has multiple uses. This becomes obvious when checking the contents of the box:
- Detachable boom microphone
- 1 meter console controller cable
- 1 meter mobile connect cable
- 3 meter PC connect cable
- Detachable in-line remote with PS4 volume attenuator
- Xbox One headset adapter (Included only with the Striker Pro ZX)
While Polk is no longer exclusive to Xbox, the company still caters to Xbox One owners by including the necessary headset adapter on the Xbox-branded ZX version of its headset (the version reviewed here). But with separate cables for use with PlayStation 4, PC and mobile devices, the headphones adapt to each user’s specific needs.
Combining the light weight of the scaled down Striker and the ear cup design of the 4 Shot, the Striker Pro is the best of both worlds. The sleek black look with linear elements displays a distinct style unique to Polk, and the design carries through to the interior ear cups. A small embossed Polk logo completes a subtle, understated look.
Once put on, the headset molds to the head via an adjustable headband and pivoting ear cups. The padded ear cups are comfortable and don’t cause any heat issues even when used during extended periods of play.
Clear sound is delivered in an audibly layered pattern. For instance, the roar of the crowd is layered underneath play-by-play announcers in Madden 16, and firing up an engine in Forza Horizon 2 overtakes the music in the background. In contrast to many other headphones, the Striker Pro tones down the bass to deliver precise sound. It works perfectly for gaming, but it may not be ideal if you’re doubling down on the headset for music.
Where Polk has greatly improved is in its microphone quality. The mic on the original 4 Shot was hampered with issues, but the company has taken great strides since then. Not only does the Striker Pro’s detachable mic complement the smooth finish of the headset, it also provides a quality voice chat experience that is free of crosstalk.
Despite its efforts, Polk hasn’t quite established itself in the gaming market. The Striker Pro gaming headset is a major step forward in doing so. The Polk Striker Pro is the company’s best offering since entering the gaming market. The premium headset features a durable design with sleek accents and delivers high quality sound. It comes packaged with everything users need to make the headphones as versatile as possible, but the sound is decidedly designed for gaming.
The Striker Pro is available now. The ZX model packaged with the Xbox One headset adapter is priced at $149.95, while the P1 model designed for use with PS4 is retail priced at $129.95.
The Polk Striker Pro ZX gaming headset was reviewed using a headset provided by the maker.
tags: gaming headset , polk , polk audio , review , Striker Pro , Striker Pro Review