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I have reviewed pretty much every PS4 headset available on the market and until a few days ago, I was pretty certain I had found the perfect set in the official Sony PS4 Wireless Headset 2.0. Then I received the Gioteck HC4 to review and was curious to see if it would even come close in terms or performance.
I had previously reviewed the Gioteck EX-06 Wireless Headset and was pretty critical of it due to the poor quality of the mic and the issues it had with wireless connectivity. I have always liked Gioteck products as they tend to be well made and offer great value for money, so I was hoping for the best.
If I’m honest, I had pretty much written off the HC4’s as I really didn’t think they would compare to the Sony headset, plus these are wired which is a real no no for me. To say I was surprised by how good the HC4 headset is an understatement. As soon as I got them out of the box I was impressed, but most of all I was relieved on how minimal the wire is. Long gone are those annoying 27 foot long wires that lead all the way back to the console, the wire on this headset is an anti-tangle, flat lead that is roughly 2 feet long and plugs directly in to the controller.
Thankfully, the HC4’s have retained all the features I liked about the previous Gioteck EX-06 headset, whilst eliminating all the things I disliked about them. They look great and feel robust and well made, they are also one of the best fitting, most comfortable headsets I have ever worn. They have an over ear design which shuts out external noise very effectively and the sound leek is minimal. However, they did make my ears pretty hot on longer gaming sessions due to the snugness of the ear-cups.
The thing I usually hate about gaming headsets is all the fannying around required to connect them to console itself. No such worries with this set as they just plug straight in to the PS4 controller, just like you’d plug your earphones in to your mobile phone, it really couldn’t be easier. They are amplified, but unlike most wired headsets, they don’t need to be plugged in to the console to be powered as the headset has an inbuilt rechargeable battery that deals with all the amplification wizardry.
Ok, so that’s enough gushing about this headset, we all know that the most important thing about a good gaming headset is the sound quality and that’s where I expected things to go down hill. How wrong was I?? Very, as this was the part I was most impressed with. The sound of this headset is very impressive and sounds just as good as the Sony PS4 Wireless Headset 2.0. The audio is great across all ranges of sound, but most impressive is the quality of the bass. Gunfire, grenades, explosions and crashes all provide a very satisfying, punchy bass tone, which really helps you immerse yourself in the game.
As well as good bass, they provide very clear voice audio, which is brilliant as many headsets I have tested tend to drown out the characters voice due to overbearing bass or in game music. This set deals with that balance very well and seems to get it right whether you’re playing a shooter, racer or platformer. The only thing I really miss is the digital surround sound offered by other headsets, that is pretty much the only negative thing I found with the HC4’s.
The quality of the microphone for in-game chat is another thing that usually lets gaming headsets down, but again Gioteck has addressed this issue and the mic provides very clear chat, a feature that I have tested on gaming consoles as well as using the headset to make calls on my iPhone. The chat is very clear and will only be degraded by the quality of the network that you use them on, I often have problems with the sound of in-game chat on the Playstation Network for some reason.
This headset can be used with any device that has a 3.5mm audio input. I have used them on my iPhone, Vita, 3DS and they always worked perfectly. You can even use them on the Xbox One controller, but requires the Microsoft adapter for this to work. You can expect to get about 8 hours usage from a single charge, which is done via the the micro USB cable included in the box.
Overall I am very, very impressed with the Gioteck HC4’s and would recommend it to anyone that is looking for a decent gaming headset without wanting to spend crazy amounts of money.
You can pick up this headset for £28.95 here
Headset supplied by Gioteck for review
Gioteck EX-06 Wireless Headset | Reviewed Using PS4
One of the most common questions I get asked is which PS4 compatible headsets provide the best value for money. So I decided to do some research to try and answer this question as accurately as possible. I scoured the internet for reviews of the Gioteck EX-06 as I had got lots of positive feedback about them. Nearly every review I found were by people that had been sent the headsets by Gioteck to review and pretty much every one of those reviews were positive. Being the cynical chap I am, I never take much notice of reviews where people have been given stuff by the manufacturer, just in case this has clouded their judgement.
So I thought I’d take a punt and buy them in order to write a review. When I bought these for a very frugal £36 from Asda, I wasn’t expecting much. I have always found Gioteck products to be very good quality, but surely there’s no way of making a quality wireless headset for the PS4 for only £36?
Maybe, just maybe I was wrong.
After unboxing, you are presented with a hard carry case which the headset is stored in. This is a nice touch as every other gaming headset I own ends up getting chucked in to a drawer where they inevitably end up damaged or at the very least get blu-tack stuck on them. Upon opening the case you find the pretty impressive looking headset, folded up in a way that resembles the headset equivalent of the fetal position. Not the tat I was expecting at all. The headset comes with various cables, including USB to Mini USB cable for charging and a cable that plugs in to the PS4 controller which enables chat.
After removing the headset from it’s case I was surprised with how well made they felt. Like many other Gioteck products they have a rubberised finish that makes them almost arousing to touch (this maybe just me). They also unfold with a satisfying snap and felt very sturdy. The mic can be connected to either side of the headphones, or detached and stored away when not required.
Connecting to console
The USB connector is unfortunately a really annoying design as it requires slightly more space in front of the console than most others I have used. However, connecting the receiver to the PS4 is easy as can be, you simply plug the USB wireless receiver in to the console, change one audio setting on the PS4 and you’re ready to roll. Once you have plugged it in, you then need to turn on the power button on the headset and they pair seamlessly.
As soon as I put these on to my ample head, I realised much to my surprise that these were actually the most comfortable headphones I had ever owned. They fit really snugly and don’t feel like you’ve got a mobile disco balancing on your head, unlike some Turtle Beach headsets. To put them to the test, I undertook a small selection of physical activities to see just how well they stayed on. 5 press ups, 3 sit ups and one near heart attack later, they were still sitting firm and I almost forgot that I was wearing them.
Getting your game on
I then fired up my console and started to play Resogun as I thought this would be the perfect game to test out a wide range of audio levels. Straight away I realised there was a problem as the sound was cutting out every 2 seconds, making it impossible to hear what was going on in the game. At this point I was sitting about 3 feet to the right of my PS4 as I had the console connected to my PC monitor instead of my main TV, which is where the console and wireless receiver are situated. It soon became clear that the position that I was sitting was causing a connection problem. Although the headset specification states it has a wireless range 20ft, this only seems the case if there is a direct line of sight between the headset and the receiver. Any deviation from this causes the headset to cut out. Even sitting with your feet up obstructing the connection between the headset and the receiver will cause problems.
I have used many wireless headsets and out of all of them this was the only one I have had connection problems with. With my previous Turtle Beach wireless headset, I could go relieve myself in the toilet upstairs whilst still wearing the headset without any connection problems or interference (much to the dismay of the people in my party chat). But with this set, I’d have no such luxury.
The sound quality is pretty impressive for a headset that costs under £40. However, after playing several different games it became clear that sound quality is the main difference between these and the higher priced alternatives. Although the sounds of the voices, music and bass are all impressive individually, when you blend them all together the levels just don’t seem right. The bass and music tend to overpower the characters when they are talking, making it hard to understand what they are saying. If you increase the volume to try and hear what the characters are saying, the bass, background music, sound effects and gunfire will make you want to toss the headset across the room. If there was some way to equalize the sound levels there wouldn’t be a problem, but unfortunately there is no such feature on the PS4.
Overall, the sound is pretty good and I’m sure 90% of gamers would think they sound great. But if like me you are an anally retentive audio whore, you may want to invest in a more expensive alternative!
This is the one area where the headset really fails to impress. Although I could hear others in party chat well enough, they had problems hearing me. I sounded quiet and slightly distorted and the sound quality of the mic was worse than that of the standard headset included with the PS4. One positive is that you can change the game and chat volume independently to each other, enabling you to get the balance of game sound and chat volume set to your personal preference.
Overall this is a very good headset for the money, in fact I am pretty sure it’s the best wireless headset you will find for under £40. It’s well made, looks great and rivals even the most expensive headsets in terms of comfort. Unfortunately the disappointing wireless coverage, off kilter sound levels and piss poor mic stops it being a serious contender to other headsets such as the Turtle Beach PX4’s and Sony Gold wireless headset. I would also be hesitant to pay the full price for this headset, which is around the £70 mark.
If you are a gamer with a limited budget looking for a decent sounding headset, then the Gioteck EX-06 headset is for you. If you are looking for a wireless headset that has amazing sound quality and wireless coverage, save up a bit more cash and opt for a higher spec alternative.
For me, the wireless problems I encountered seriously effected my final score. If I hadn’t had these problems I’d have rated them 7.5/10
This headset also compatible with the Xbox 360, PS3, Mac & PC and is currently £36 in-store at Asda.
Official Gioteck Video
Specifications and features
- Folding Hinge System: Fold-up design that allows for easier storage and transportation
- 2.4GHZ Wireless Technology: Advanced wireless digital technology that broadcasts game audio up to 20ft
- Superior Fit & Finish: Designed with superior materials for the ultimate comfortable fit
- Flexible Mic Arm: Extensive adjustment for perfect positing and maximum voice clarity
- Integrated Audio Controls: Intuitive audio controls on the ear cups for quick, easy access
- Virtual Surround Sound: Featuring a virtual surround sound effect for total game immersion
- Advanced Noise Reduction: Eliminating game sound interference from external sources
- Rich Detailed HD Audio: Delivering crisp highs, deep lows and everything between
- Compatible with: PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360, PC and Mac
I mainly play all my games on the Xbox 360 even though I also own a PS3. The reason for this is that I detest the Dualshock 3 controller, it’s too small, too light and just feels wrong compared to that of the Xbox 360. I’ve owned a PS3 since the day it was released and although I prefer the console over the Xbox 360, the gamepad just killed the whole experience for me. Games like Killzone 3, Uncharted, MAG and many more PS3 exclusives always frustrated me as my hands seemed to have turned in to claws that will only ever feel comfortable with an Xbox 360 controller in them.
I have tried many third party PS3 controllers that are based around the 360 design, but they were all pretty rubbish. They either had connectivity issues or dead spots on the thumb sticks that made playing precision games with any degree of accuracy pretty much impossible. By the time you had compensated for the controllers lack of accuracy in shooting games, you’d get a bullet in the face. This made me very angry as I am rubbish enough without this hindrance!
Then a friend of mine recommended the Gioteck GC-2 controller as it had some pretty good reviews. I went down to my local game store and managed to pick one up for £27.99, which is about £6 cheaper than the official Dualshock 3. The first surprise I had was that the controller worked straight away without any issues. Just plug the wireless receiver in to the PS3 USB port and the controller connects straight away, this is one thing that caused issues with the other third party pads I’ve trialled.
The pad itself feels almost the same as the Xbox 360 controller and it also has the displaced thumb sticks that I love so much. The finish may look a little shiny and cheap for some peoples tastes, but the rubbery finish of the grips makes it really comfortable to use. It also has triggers that are far better designed than the Dualshock 3, which I always thought were dire. I have played Killzone 3 and a few other shooting games and the controller has proved accurate and responsive.
There are also a few other features on the pad, a few of them I will never use. There are various thumb stick sensitivity settings, force feedback that provides a satisfying amount of vibration (that sounds a little wrong) and a turbo button.
Overall this is a very good controller and I would recommend it to anybody that prefers the 360 style controller over that of the PS3. The only negative elements I’ve found is that the triggers and buttons are a little on the small side and could do with being a little chunkier. The bumper buttons are also a bit on the flimsy side. For all those lazy buggers like me, you cannot use the controller to turn on the console. You’ll have to get a large stick that can reach the consoles power button or alternatively get off your backside and turn it on manually, just like we did in the 80’s!
Frugal Gaming Product Score : 7 out of 10
Cheapest on-line price £19.99 here
You can find all GC-2 details here in an on-line PDF