Sunday, December 20, 2015

Polk Audio's Striker Pro P1: One headset for multiple platforms

Hot on the heels of the small handheld keyboard, we have a gaming headset to put through the gauntlet and these come courtesy of Polk Audio, the Striker Pro P1. This headset is built to work across platforms that include the PS4, Wii U, PC, Mac, tablets, and smartphones. As you recall, we previously reviewed the Polk 4 Shot shortly after the release of the next gen consoles and while they are a decent headset, the retractable microphone needed some work. Luckily the Striker Pro’s use a newly designed removable microphone that has a push button mute. Three detachable cables are included for use across multiple devices and both the headband and ear cups are wrapped in a leatherette material for comfort during extended play times. Let's see how they perform.
The Striker Pro P1 is a great gaming headset and could easy the only headphones one could need. I will start with the lay flat pivoting cups, they make this large headset quite a bit more compact to take on the go and the durable build quality did not feel flimsy at all, even the cables were pretty thick. The removable flexible microphone works great, without changing any settings, those in my party were able to hear me clearly without feedback, even picking up my dog playing in the background. The sound is equally amazing, from movies and music to games, these can deliver in spades at any volume, I would have just preferred a bit more bass. The Striker Pro's packaging emphasizes the tuning of the drivers with Polk Optimized Electro-Acoustic Tuning (POET) so I figured I would use Battlefront to give them a beating and they sounded beautiful with crisp and clear sound, making the a fully immersive gaming experience.
A few things that I was not so fond of out of the box was the overly snug fit, the optional in line remote, and the inability to hear myself speak. In regards to the snug fit, the headband is made up of sturdy metal, so firm use of thumbs at the top and a few test fittings and it no longer felt like they had a Kung Fu grip on my dome. The over the ear for do such a good job at blocking out so much noise, such as yourself speaking at higher volumes so it was often times hard to hear myself speak or other party members in the middle of loud firefights. At lower to medium volume, I did not have this problem at all. Lastly, the OPTIONAL in line remote, mine may have been defective as I got constant feedback and would not recognize the microphone. Like I said it is optional, so it did not take away from my experience.
I love the Polk Striker Pro P1's as there are no one trick pony. They now go with me just about everywhere thanks to the fold flat design and I even use them while working to take and lead conference calls. Even using on plane, the headset does a great job at blocking out engine noise, chatty neighbors, and crying babies. When using them for what they are made for, online gaming, is where I truly appreciate what they had to offer, as I got immersive sound with party chat without the loss of sound quality from using a cheap headset so I could talk with teammates. Polk's Striker Pro P1 is available now and priced at $129.95 but at the time of this review, they are modestly priced at $99.95 with free shipping from Polk's site.

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