Do Sony wireless headsets now work on the PS4?

With the release of the latest PS4 firmware on Tuesday, Sony added support for their wireless headsets. These don’t use Bluetooth but rely on a USB dongle that transmits surround sound to the headsets via RF.

Well, I can report that it works. To a point. There appears to be two issues being reported, the former being experienced by myself.

Poor Range

Using it on my PS3 I could happily walk to the other side of the house without the sound dropping. Plugged into my PS4 it didn’t work in the next room. Which was a problem as my PS4 is actually in the next room to my TV (although it is literally behind the wall, behind the TV). So, less than 1.5 metres away I was getting regularly drop-outs and interference.

I’ve resolved the issue by passing a USB extension cable through an existing hole in the wall (I had to pass the PS4’s HDMI to the TV) and then connecting the USB dongle to this – now it’s “dangling” behind the TV.

But, it does raise a question as to whether the range of these devices have been impacted by their move to the PS4. The hardware hasn’t changed and I’m assuming the USB ports are a standard voltage. Having said that the PS4 uses USB 3 instead of USB 2 and there is a different range of power output necessary to meet the standards – it’s perfectly possible that the power has dropped between consoles (although wattage and amperage increases between USB 2 and 3 this isn’t the case for voltage – only the tolerances have changed for that).

In fact, how the PS4 distributes USB could also be a factor as power is divided between all output. If the PS3 had seperate USB chipsets for each port (which I doubt, but bear with me for this example) then they might have greater power available to them than if they’d been shared.

However, it’s more than likely that it’s a firmware issue. The move to x86 means that even the most basic drivers have been re-written, so have they got this wrong?

WiFi Interference

A number of users, relying on the PS4’s WiFi, are reporting poor connectivity when using the headset. This could be a clash between hardware drivers or, more simply, between the WiFi output of both.

Hold On…

There’s a possibility that both could be linked. Because I have a Vita, even though I don’t use WiFi, it’s still active on my PS4 for the purpose of them connecting together. Could the WiFi signal be interfering with the headset? Indeed, with a WiFi connection on my TV and a WiFi extender in the next room it could be these. So, last night I turned them all off. And the drop-outs continued.

However, I don’t still discount this as, after an evening of playing BF4, I still kept getting random sound drop-outs – this is with the USB dongle on the extension lead just a metre in front of me. Which begs the question as to whether it’s just range (it is to some extent as it drops out entirely if I plug the device back into the PS4 behind the wall) or interference as well.

Personally, I’m no re-considering using them. They sound amazing when they’re working but the issues are too much of a bother – my other headset may be just stereo but, plugging into the controller, they just work.

In both cases, Sony have said nothing officially although I have raised a support query with them – as soon as I hear anything I’ll update this article.

2 responses

  1. I’m having dropouts with my original PS3 Wireless Stereo (7.1) headset on my PS4. My TV and PS4 are both connected via wifi and are obviously very near the dongle. It seems as though if I said “Playstation”, sometimes it would wake back up and reconnect. Just last night – playing Outlast – it dropped out, then I pressed the left side to mute the mic, and it came back alive and went strong for about 20 minutes. That was my longest successful usage of the headset so far. I may try an experiment this evening in the form of; turn on ps4, connect headset, then test channels in my router setup and adjust to a less-crowded channel.

  2. Surprising to see that Sony performs poorly here. We never had major issues with them so far. Have you tried Turtle Beach Headsets for Gaming?

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