Polk Audio is not a new company. They aren’t even new to the audio space. They’ve been making audio gear for over 40 years. They are new to creating gaming headsets though. Just this month they released a new headset for the Xbox One called the [amazon_link id=”B00E1L78N6″ target=”_blank” container=”” container_class=”” ]4 Shot[/amazon_link]. It’s built to be a high-quality headset that competes directly against the Turtle Beach Ear Force XOSEVEN. The design looks great, and the engineers behind it worked directly with Microsoft and staff from the studios behind Halo and Forza Motorsport to especially tune the headset to sound great with games. Apparently the public had bought in on the idea that Polk’s lack of experience in the gaming field would be more than made up for by their wealth of experience in creating speakers. When the headset launched it immediately sold out. That’s actually why we haven’t been able to review them yet.
While customers seemed to overwhelming love the audio performance of the headphones in the Polk 4 Shot, many were very unhappy with how the microphone performed. Most were quick to blame the microphone design. Instead of being a traditional boom microphone that extends out in front of your mouth, the 4 Shot’s microphone just pops down out of the left ear cup. Apparently when using the headset with the Xbox One the microphone volume just isn’t loud enough.
Polk Audio responded to customers very quickly. Within a few days they came out to say that they were aware of the issue, and that they were working to fix it as quickly as possible. They stated that the problem was not with the hardware, and encouraged customers to try using the headset with a smartphone for proof. They have stated they are working with Microsoft to release a firmware update (presumably for the Xbox One controller or Headset Adapter) to resolve the issue. Unfortunately the process to get a new software update is taking longer than what some might have expected.
Despite the lack of a software update Polk Audio has come up with another solution. They are releasing an add-on microphone for the 4 Shot called the Polk Chat Pro. It is a boom microphone that connects to the right ear cup, where the headphone cable connects. Then the cable runs from there down to the controller. This solution looks like one that should work at least as well as it does on Microsoft’s and Turtle Beach’s headsets. What’s really great about this solution though is the price. If you’ve already bought a 4 Shot just head to the Polk Audio website and request the Polk Chat Pro. They’ll send it to you free of charge. You won’t even need to pay the shipping costs! For anyone who buys a 4 Shot after the Polk Chat Pro is released on March 31, it will be included in the box.
While the whole situation has been a little unusual, it’s really nice to see Polk Audio, a new-comer to the space, step up in such a big way for their customers. We’re eagerly awaiting our review unit, and we’re excited to let you know what we think of the 4 Shot. If you’ve already got yours make sure to head on over here to get your free Polk Chat Pro.