Ryan Thomason

Striker ZX Gaming Headset Review

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This review is contributed by Kyle Phillips, former WPR Car Talk feature writer.

For years I played video games without headphones, I’d just cranked up the volume and play for hours on end either by myself or with friends saving the free world on Xbox. Then life punched me in the face. I got married, started a career and had a baby. Now the volume is turned to barely audible levels, somewhere along the way, my video games took a back seat.


I wanted to hear my games again. Wanted to hear the shells bouncing off the ground as I fought off the hoards of half dead zombies. The tires squealing as I drift my virtual reality super car. So, when given an opportunity came to test out the Polk Audio Striker ZX full immersion headphones for WPR, I jumped at the chance. The price point is $89, and for that you get the head phones, built-in microphone, two cables and the attachment needed to work with your Xbox controller.

Let me tell you I wasn’t let down when playing on my own. Shooting games get a whole new depth, you can actually hear the gear moving on your person. You can hear the tires squealing and the gears shifting. My games were brought back to life, while my Wife and Baby Girl slept soundly across the hall. The other positive is there is only a single wire from the headphones running to the controller, no connections back to your physical Xbox.

Now with all of that said this gaming headset has a flaw. The built in retractable microphone isn’t up to the task when soft talking is required. My team-mates had a hard time with me sounding a little more than a whisper. I opted back to the free unit given with the Xbox One. There are two issues I can find with headphones in all. One, the retractable mic doesn’t come out far enough, it stops mid cheek. Second, the mic is not nearly directional enough. Oh sure it will pick up your previously stated baby having a melt down in the kitchen but can’t pick up your voice 4 inches away. You end up having to yell and then miss out on the amazing sound quality that you’re getting from these headphones.

If you just play Xbox One by yourself then this is a great option for audio purposes. You need these headphones if you’re a dad like me that plays when the baby is sleeping and you want that sound blasting. You can get them for $89 on Amazon here: Polk Audio Striker Zx Xbox One Gaming Headset – BlackBut, if anywhere along the way you intend on playing with friends on Xbox Live, use a mic that you trust.

Editors Note: The Striker ZX Headphone was provided by Polk for review purposes.

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