It is great to know that someone cares about our ears, and of course the sound entering them from the games we play. I am of course talking about Apex bringing Turtle Beach to our… shores. The Turtle Beach headphones in general have made a good name for themselves and finally we have a chance to try them out and see what all the fuss is about.
The Turtle Beach X32 in terms of design is near perfect. The ear cups fit snug over the ears with room for breathing. It is noticeable that after long hours of play the comfort remains without any need to actually remove the headphones for any reason. The headband is of course extendable to fit any head shape and size. The only small problem is that if you happen to wear glasses (such as the Gunnars or others) then the band does tend to tighten just above the area above the ears and can cause a bit of discomfort there, albeit minor.
The X32’s fall within in the Turtle Beach Wireless range and as such the headphones come with a wireless receiver. Set up is pretty simple with the receiver plugging into a USB port on your console and the other side into your TV or monitor. The set up hit a few speed bumps. First off if you are playing your Xbox through HDMI and your TV happens to be without an Audio out jack (standard red and white), you will need to pay for an extra cable which can be used. Alternatively you can make do with a component cable or VGA cable. The pairing process was also a bit painful. The instructions in the manual are a bit misleading and can leave you dumbfounded. Thankfully in the box is a quick pair guide which has more accurate pairing instructions.
Once you have paired the two the problems end and the amazing quality begins. The wireless headphones can go up to a 20 foot radius which is quite a lot of foots, especially considering that you will probably never need that kind of distance; but the option is there.
What really blew my mind, and ears, was the quality of sound coming through the surprisingly large 50mm speakers on either side of my head. I was unsure how good it would be considering it was wireless and expected some sort of interference or static. This is simply not the case. The quality of sound is quite excellent, even on the basic settings. The X32’s are not completely customisable but there are various preset options in terms of Tone and Effects which one can change to suit. The different settings are indicated with a beep once changed. While each setting on tone holds a relatively impressive change to bass and treble settings, I couldn’t help but notice that when changing the ‘Effects’ the quality was lost and felt far too distant to be a considered option. This resulted in me pretty much sticking to the standard settings which is not at any point a complaint.
What was even more impressive with the headsets is the chat function. Through linking a chat cable to the Xbox control you can talk to your Xbox Live friends in some the clearest chat quality I have ever heard. A noticeable function is that when talking you can hear your voice which means that you know just how loud you are coming across to the others and prevents you from screaming into the microphones. If only some people knew how loud they speak directly into another’s ear…
The chat function works on a chat boost function and when set up means that no matter how loud the game music is you will always be able to hear your friends online as the headphones will adjust to the volume level needed to make sure that everything that needs to be heard will be heard.
An added benefit to the X32’s is that the wireless receiver allows you to also plug in an auxiliary sound device meaning that you can connect your own music device to the headsets while playing your games. Sadly though the cable needed is also not included so could not be tested. The same with the DSS which can again be bought separately and add surround sound to the headsets should you so wish.
The Turtle Beach X32’s weigh in at around R1200 which is a rather hefty price, but considering the quality of design as well as the sound and chat it really is getting what you pay for. The only real issue would be that you can only use them on your Xbox 360 which is fine if you are a one console owner, but if you have multiple consoles spending that kind of money may be misplaced. Wait… it also comes with a Turtle Beach sticker, because, well I don’t know why actually.
* 50mm diameter speakers with neodymium magnets
* Digital Wireless RF carrier reception (2.4 – 2.495/5.0 – 5.8GHz dual-band WiFi)
* Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz, >120dB SPL @ 1kHz
* Condenser Microphone Frequency Response: 50Hz – 15kHz
* Headphone Amplifier: Stereo 27mW/ch, THD <1%
* EQ settings: Bass Boost, Treble Boost, Bass & Treble Boost
* Sound field expander: Off, narrow, wide
* Chat Boost™ talkback expander: +10dB gain boost at maximum game volume
* Audio mutes automatically when carrier signal is lost
* Operates on dual AAA batteries
* Automatic shut down after approx 5 minutes of carrier loss or silence to conserve battery power
* Digital Wireless RF wireless carrier transmission (2.4 – 2.495/5.0 – 5.8GHz dual-band WiFi)
* Digital RF wireless transmission range up to 30 feet
* Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz
* Auxiliary stereo 3.5mm line input jack
* Game stereo 3.5mm line input jack
* Power requirements: 5VDC @ 180mA max
* Dimensions: L: 2.75″(70mm) X W: 2.375″(60mm) X D: 1″ (23mm)
* X32 Headset
* X32 Transmitter
* RCA Splitter Cable
* Xbox 360 Talkback Cable
* (2) AAA Batteries
* User Guide