Hardware Review: Gioteck HC-4 Headset

It looks great, it’s comfortable and above all else it sounds awesome…

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Gioteck have been making some great kit for quite a few years now, including a range of headsets for the previous generation of consoles which varied from cheap, cheerful and effective up to powerful, wireless gear which nudged towards the three figure price bracket. In most cases these were well made and produced excellent results for gaming, but they weren’t without their issues. Take the EX-06 as a fine example – the headset itself was excellent, with some fantastic deep sounds coming through the cups, but the microphone was quiet and distant, making communicating a bit tough at times.

But with the PS4 now well into its life, Gioteck have stepped up to the plate with another new headset: the HC-4. A wired headset with optional sound boosting, this is designed to plug straight into the Dual Shock 4 controller and offers sound and microphone quality that will leave more expensive headsets looking a little rough round the edges.

Firstly though, the looks. Sporting a glossy black and blue design, the HC-4 looks the business and will mean anyone interrupting your gaming time won’t be laughing at you while they’re waiting to get your attention (or if they do, it’s not the headset’s fault…). The buttons on the one earpiece give easy access to some of the settings needed when you’re on full power (more on that later), and a blue light fires up when you’re in that mode which, while seeming a little pointless when they’re on your head, does let those around you know the likelihood of you hearing them is somewhere in the region of not-at-all. They’re very comfortable too, and while extended sessions might leave you with slightly toasty ears, you don’t feel like your head is about to be squeezed into submission, nor do you feel like they’re about to fall off.

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But most people would agree that the key aspect of a gaming headset is the sound quality, and the HC-4 delivers in considerable measure. Even when plugged straight into the controller the sound quality is excellent, with a good range of sounds coming through clearly and microphone pickup being accurate, clear and easy for others to hear. The microphone isn’t detachable, nor easily muted, but it rotates up to the 12 o’clock position in case you don’t want others to hear your personal conversations. Using the basic controls on the PS4 you can also get things cranked up to a very hefty volume, and it’s more than likely that the highest volume will be more than enough for most gamers.

But for those who like to have things a little more… booming? You’re in luck. Hold the power button on the headset and the aforementioned blue light will turn on, and an ominous gentle hiss will be heard from the headphones. At this point the HC-4 is running off its own rechargeable batteries, amplifying the sound to levels which will quite seriously cause some ear damage if you left it running at full volume for any amount of time. If you like everyone around you to hear your engine revving, or those explosions in Call of Duty then it’s just what you’ll need. Personally I didn’t use it beyond a few quick tests as the usual passive setting was plenty loud enough for my tastes, but it’s an awesome option which is definitely punching above the £30 price tag.

Overall then we’re looking at another great success for Gioteck. The HC-4 is an absolute steal at £30, and if you’re doing a lot of online gaming and making do with the bundled PS4 earpiece, you could do a lot worse than picking up one of these. It looks great, it’s comfortable and above all else it sounds awesome.

 
 

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