Hardware Review: Nyko SpeakerCom – PS4

The Nyko SpeakerCom is a controller accessory that plugs into the underside of the DualShock 4 controller. You can then use the push-to-talk buttons on the back to speak and have game/party chat come out through the speaker. It essentially operates just like a walkie-talkie: Push to talk, release to hear incoming voices. Is it the next big thing in the way of gaming communication? No, probably not. Is it a good, cheap alternative for when your headset gets uncomfortable or as a standalone mic? Yes, absolutely. Sure there may be a brief period of getting accustomed to the feeling of it but this device really does have favorable uses in some situations.

Opening the package this Nyko SpeakerCom came in was easy enough but I did a small double take when trying to connect it. The immediate angle I moved the headphone jack part into the controller was met with some resistance. Fret not, it was only because of my vision and being a goof. I readjusted my position and the peripheral clicked in easy enough. The top of the accessory (or the part that clicks into your PS4 controller) consists of top and side grooves that clasp onto the bottom of your Dualshock 4 which leaves room for the rounded edges of the analog sticks. There’s also the audio jack sticking straight up that is joined by a small plastic piece that fits over the PS Button. It’s pretty simply really but I can see some minor tinkering for the public at large when first handling the SpeakerCom. However, I haven’t had any issue with plugging and unplugging since I first used it.

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The front of the object features a speaker grille and the speaker itself beneath it. The bottom is rather thin and houses a volume dial and the USB charger slot. Last but not least the very back is where the touch-to-talk paddles are and a small power button. The paddles are placed on a curve and most people will find that this is where their fingers will naturally rest. My own were a little longer so when concentrating and trying to find that grip advantage, I found myself placing all my fingers but my pinkie across the back. It should be noted though I was able to achieve a normal grip whenever I didn’t need to counter balance my thumbs. So games like Rocket League and Battlefield 1 won’t allow you to curl your fingers around the grips of the controller. There was a slight learning curve when trying to perform advanced techniques but I was able to adapt quickly. It was also no problem for my left thumb to reach the volume wheel in case some people were being obnoxiously loud.

As I mentioned the SpeakerCom is very useful in some situations but not as much in others. Take Rocket League once again for instance. When playing with friends, plays and decisions are made immediately on the fly. Performing these moves and touching a button to talk will not always be copacetic. There were a few times I chose not to respond to my teammates and perform a maneuver or vice-versa. It got to the point where I had to plan when I was going to speak. Another disadvantage the device has is when something funny happens and a whole rabble rousing goes on. Unless you push the paddles for the duration of your laugh (which cuts off other people’s laughs) you’ll just be chuckling alone or your mates will think you’re a humorless void.

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Besides that the Nyko SpeakerCom is incredibly useful. Only chat audio will come through the speaker and you have to go into your device settings to make it do so. That means the game sound is coming through your TV like the good old Bluetooth days back on the PlayStation 3. So if you’re in a PSN party but watching Netflix or doing your own thing, you don’t have to worry about audio getting mixed and not being able to hear one or the other. You of course would want this effect if your headset has surround sound and you’re playing certain genres like shooters. You also don’t have to worry about eating chips while playing with friends because they won’t hear it unless a paddle is pushed. In essence, games that have a slower gameplay experience will get the most benefit. I tried it with 3on3 Freestyle, Let It Die, and Stories: The Path of Destinies to great effect.

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The clarity and range of the audio for the peripheral is fantastic. Friends and teammates remarked that it was clear with a tiny bit of echo but no background noise distortion. When I recorded myself with it I found that my voice was captured even better than with my PlayStation Gold Headset. On the opposite end, others couldn’t tell if I was hunched over talking into the SpeakerCom or laid back with it in my lap. It really did a good job making sure you’re heard. Sure I could scream into the thing to mess up its range but that’s the case with any mic of any kind. Additionally, Nyko did well with the construction. It feels comfortable and sturdy in my hands. Granted I didn’t try throwing the controller in a fit of blind rage, but the device didn’t come loose once or feel cheap in any regard. Especially the paddles. They’re in the best spot for what the SpeakerCom is trying to do and didn’t require a lot of pressure to activate nor did they allow transmission at the slightest touch.

The SpeakerCom also has its own, internal battery. How long it lasts for exactly I could not tell you. I’ve probably used it cumulatively for around ten hours and still hasn’t required a charge. When I did juice it up straight out of the box, it took less than thirty minutes before the Nyko light let me know it was good. When you’re done talking with people you can hold the power button in the back to turn the device off. It’s up to you if you want to keep it on your controller if you continue gaming. I found this particularly useful when teammates in Rocket League were making bad plays and they wouldn’t hear me cursing them out. But could hear me when much-needed play calling was in order. I could just push a button and be ready to go in seconds.

The Nyko SpeakerCom costs $24.99 and can be ordered from Amazon by clicking here.

Nyko SpeakerComm PS4 Review
  • Overall - Fantastic - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
8.5/10

Summary

The SpeakerCom isn’t going to change the industry but it is definitely a good alternative when your mic or headset needs to charge or whatever speaking machine you’re using gets uncomfortable. The built in battery will last well longer than it takes for your comfort to return or gadget to charge up. Plus, it can act on its own merits as a sole microphone for the price of $24.99. So if you aren’t an audiophile, don’t care about surround sound, and want to avoid spending too much money, consider Nyko’s SpeakerCom. Overall it’s a nice piece of tech.

Review Disclaimer: This review was carried out using a physical device provided by Nyko. This has no effect on the content of the review or the final score awarded. For more information, please read our Review Policy. 

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