The 4Gamers CP-Pro is a headset designed for PS3 gamers and, although made by 4Gamers, this is an officially licensed PlayStation product.
In the large, transparent window fronted, box you get the headset itself, a black drawstring storage pouch and a small instruction booklet.
The CP-Pro connects via 2 cables. One is a USB and supplies power and microphone capabilities. If you forget to plug this in (yes, yes, I have) then the headset will still work but the volume will be quite quiet as a result. The other cable has a red and white audio cable on the end. These are pass through connectors, so if you can plug other audio cables into them. Let me explain better… let’s say you already plug the PS3 into your TV via the audio connections (they do give a better sound than, say, the HDMI). For the headset to extract the same sound you need to plug these into the TV too. The PS3 cables then plug into the headset, essentially allowing the TV to feed both. In my case, however, it was a bit easier (although this was not documented quite so thoroughly so there was a bit of head scratching). I connect my PS3 to my TV via an HDMI cable. Nothing else. In this case, you need to dig out the funny media cable that came with the PS3 – this connects into the PS3 seperately to the HDMI and you can plug your headset audio cables into that.
A separate leaflet is included on how to set this up as I did, but it’s not very clear. At first I thought I’d got a headset that wouldn’t work with my setup, as this wasn’t documented – thankfully some swearing and use of Google resolved it. So, as you can guess, the product loses a mark for that.
You also need to make some settings changes to the PS3 to allow audio to output to multiple devices (I’ve seen reviews where they’ve complained that they keep having to swap the audio, which suggests they didn’t read this bit in the manual!).
The headset is in the traditional black plastic of the PS3, with padded headband and ear cushions. The latter has a red band around it and the earcups can be rotated and swivelled for good positioning. I have quite a big head (no jokes please) and I often struggle with headphones not having a big enough headband – that’s not a problem here, although I do have to have it at its full extent for a comfortable fit.
On the left hand side is a flexible microphone stalk that also rotates around the centre of the ear-piece. The cable is long – 4 metres (and oxygen free copper cable too!) and has a remote control on it – on this are chunky sliders for game and chat volumes. You also get a handy microphone mute switch as well (next to this is a light which indicates its current state – you wouldn’t want to get that confused!).
In use, it’s fantastic – audio is clear, as is the sound from the microphone. I tested it on my game of the moment – Infamous – and it sounded like a different game, it had so much more tone and clarity. The product boasts of “channel frequency seperation provides a true stereo experience for the listener” – maybe this was part of that.
Of course you can buy a cordless Bluetooth gaming headset but these tend to be a lot more expensive, you have a limited battery life and the compressed audio of Bluetooth isn’t as good. For the sake of “putting up with” a cable I’d much prefer the benefits that a wired headset gives me.
For those who like their technical specifications the speaker drivers are 40mm, frequency response 20-20,000Hz, impedance 32 ohms, sensitivity 108dB and maximum input power 0.1W.
Brilliant – it looks great (although not sure about that red) and sounds fantastic. It really does make games sound 1000% better than just through your TV and at less than £30 it’s not too expensive either. Highly recommended!
Update: 6 months later and they’re broken. Where the band expands, and is at its thinnest it’s snapped clean off, only held together by a single wire that runs through. They got, on average, not even daily use so this is concerning. Below are some fine pictures of the damage…
Getting hold of the manufacturers was not as easy as you’d think – they have a Twitter account and provide email but aren’t very quick at responding.
As they requested I sent the headphones back to them with a detailed letter of what happened. I also requested that I don’t receive a replacement pair as, an avid gamer, I’d gone out and bought a pair already. Instead I was happy for either a refund or for other 4Gamers products. So they sent me a replacement pair of the same headphones. Not impressed and they’ll be immediately put on eBay.
4Gamers – your customer service is rubbish.