The Good Wireless headphones for Xbox 360 or any other audio source; effective 5.1 Dolby Digital processing; removable microphone.
The Bad IR signal radius is a bit narrow; headphones do a poor job of noise reduction and isolation; headphones require two AAA batteries (included).
The Bottom Line With their accurate 5.1-channel separation, the Turtle Beach Ear Force X4s are great surround-sound headphones for the Xbox 360--or any other home theater component.
Ear Force X4
Wireless headphones have been around for a while, but it's only been in the past few years that quality has gotten high enough for discerning listeners to consider using them. Many manufacturers, for instance, have turned to infrared (IR) technology for wireless signal transmission, which generally offers better sound quality and hiss-free performance than radio frequency (RF) alternatives. Indeed, Turtle Beach opted to use this IR technology for its Ear Force X4 wireless gaming headphones. While the Ear Force X4s are designed with the Xbox 360 in mind--they include a removable microphone and connections for chatting on Xbox Live--the headphones will actually deliver convincing surround sound from nearly any home theater source, thanks to their built-in 5.1-channel Dolby Digital processing.
The Ear Force X4 includes two main components: the wireless headphones themselves and a base station that houses most of the necessary jacks. The base gives you the option of either using a digital audio connection or an analog signal via a set of stereo RCA cables (red/white). That means the Ear Force X4 will work with pretty much any audio source--anything with an optical digital output (such as a DVD player or the Apple TV) or standard analog line outs (pretty much everything).
The system boasts both Dolby Digital and Dolby Pro Logic II processing; the former handles the bit stream surround soundtracks on DVD movies and Xbox games, while the latter does a decent job of creating a faux-surround effect from any stereo source. The X4 transmitter base also has a line-in volume control allowing you to just adjust the level of the incoming source. Finally, the base also features a "bypass" button that will allow you to hear unprocessed audio.