Turtle Beach are one of the biggest names in the gaming industry, having had many years experience catering to both the budget friendly and enthusiast ends of the gaming audio market, as well as everything else in-between. With that in mind, I’m very happy to see their new special edition Turtle Beach Star Wars X-Wing Pilot Gaming Headset on my desk. Given the seemingly endless success of the Star Wars franchise, a colossal pile of official merchandise following the new movie was to be expected, but a gaming headset certainly stands out as the obvious addition to that. With Battlefront keeping many people sat at their gaming system of choice and the fact that you can wear a headset that has a heavily inspired design from the movies, it just seems like something a Star Wars fan would want in their collection.
“The Turtle Beach® Star Wars™ X-Wing Pilot headset features a unique design inspired by the Starfighter Pilots of the Rebel Alliance. Engage in battle with full-range audio delivered through 40mm Neodymium speakers, and call for reinforcements using the high-sensitivity boom mic which provides crystal-clear chat. The lightweight design provides hours of comfort, and the 3.5mm jack connection is compatible with PlayStation®4, Xbox One, PC, Mac mobile/tablet and portable gaming devices. May the Force be with you!”
Of course, the performance is what we really care about the most, although since this is a special edition, the design is a big factor for this review. The headset appears to be based around the budget end of the Turtle Beach range, and with a £34.99 price tag, that seems to be a safe guess. It looks like a tweaked Recon 50 type design, so I’m eager to hear how it performs overall.
Star Wars™ Design
The X-Wing Pilot headset design is inspired by the signature orange jumpsuits worn by the Starfighter Pilots of the Rebel Alliance.
Hear Star Wars™ the way it’s meant to be heard through the X-Wing Pilot’s high-performance 40mm Neodymium speakers that deliver sizzling highs and thundering lows.
The X-Wing Pilot’s in-line controls place Mic Mute and Volume conveniently at your fingertips.
Be Heard Loud & Clear
Team-up with friends and chat in online multiplayer games with the X-Wing Pilot’s adjustable, high-sensitivity boom mic, which can quickly and easily be removed when listening to music and watching movies.
Lightweight & Comfortable
The X-Wing Pilot features Turtle Beach’s latest lightweight and comfortable design, ready to provide hours of comfort during those long, marathon gaming sessions.
Fans can use the Star Wars™ X-Wing Pilot headset for playing games like Star Wars™ Battlefront™, and also use it to enjoy their favorite movies, music and more.
The packaging is very nicely designed, although with it being Star Wars branded, it’s obvious that Turtle Beach would need to capitalise on this as much as possible. Detailed on the box, we can see that it sports a comfortable fit, removable high-quality microphone and in-line volume controls.
Around the back, more details about the multiformat support, design and the in-line controller; but we’ll take a closer look at all this shortly.
The first thing we find in the box, a detachable boom microphone. It comes with a large foam head as well as a flexible arm that should allow for easy positioning.
Next, we have the headset, which comes hard-wired with a fairly standard cable that joins to both ear cups and ends with a 4-pole 3.5mm jack.
On the cable, a small in-line controller. It’s pretty basic, offering a microphone mute switch and a master volume wheel, but that’s all you’ll really need anyway.
A Closer Look
First impressions of this headset are certainly positive, as the design looks absolutely stunning. The mixture of PlayStation 1 era greys and the bright orange really stands out, even more so in a market that’s still dominated by a range of black headsets with a little touch of colour.
The build quality isn’t the greatest in the world, but for a headset in this price range, it’s about on par with the competition. There’s an adjustable slider just above each ear cup, allowing you to tweak the fit, and there are some nice decals printed onto the side too.
The ear cups are certainly typical Turtle Beach in design, with the first noticeable difference from other models in this price range being the closed back design. This closed design should help block a good bit of external noise and tighten up the bass response, but the flat surface also gives a nice area for that “X-Wing Squadron” badge too.
Around the other side, you’ll find the same matching decals. Here you can also better see the U-shaped mount for the ear cups, which allows for a little bit of pivot, helping provide a closer and more comfortable fit around your ears.
The top of the mount also turns inwards, this helps provide a little adjust while they’re on your head, but also provides a much more comfortable resting position while wearing them around your neck between games.
Overall, they’re a pretty stylish bit of kit given their respective budget and are sure to win over the hearts of a Star Wars loving gamer, but how do they sound? Remarkably great! For an affordable headset, Turtle Beach hasn’t cheaped out on the drivers and that closed back design really brings the goods when it comes to the bass frequencies. There’s a tight bass here, with plenty of detail, the mids have a good amount of punch to them and the treble is nice and high. All this is helped even further by the tight and close fit of the ear cups. The leather is a little tough and the foam is a bit hard, but that’s to be expected and it will wear in a bit over time, but it’s virtually air tight over your ears and that helps block out a lot of external noise and keeps a lot of sound in too.
The headband is a little hard, with only a little padding and more would have been welcome, but the lightweight design of the headset means that it’s far from uncomfortable after extended use. There’s a good range of adjustment to the headband too, making it suitable for younger users, and it managed to fit my fairly large head with ease too.
The microphone is a lot better than I expected, nice and clear, does pick up too much ambient noise and is easily positioned to suit your needs. It’s nothing exceptional in terms of performance and there’s no voice monitoring feature, which can be a bit disorienting if you’ve got the game audio turned up, but overall it does a good job.
As I said before, this headset is targeted at the budget end of the market and can be picked up directly from Turtle Beach or many major retailers online and in-store for just £34.99. This is great value for money overall, especially given the pricing premium you would expect for the Star Wars branding. The added bonus that Turtle Beach are a trusted and well-established brand name, as well as the multi-format support only adds to the value for money.
Turtle Beach have been winning a lot of praise from me over the last year or so. I know many of our readers and even myself personally will have had mixed feelings about their products at some point or another, but they’re been pushing hard to bring better quality products and value for money to market in recent years, and it’s clear that their hard work is paying off. Their premium headsets are up there with the best, but it’s their budget offerings that deserve the most credit, especially today.
For under £40, it can be quite tricky to find a great sounding headset. The market is very competitive at the moment, but on budget hardware, you usual have to sacrifice performance, build quality or design to get close to what you want at a good price. Unfortunately for this headset, it’s the build quality that took the hit, as the headset is made from thinner and more lightweight materials, and things like the audio cable aren’t particularly durable. For me personally, I’m unlikely to break my headset anytime soon, but with a heavy-handed younger gamer at the helm, the X-Wing headset may not have the longest lifespan, something to keep in mind if you tend to be a big rough with your peripherals.
That being said, the build quality isn’t bad it could just be better. The lightweight design does have its own merits through, as the headset is easily transported and isn’t too demanding to wear on your head for extended periods of time. What does standout, however, is the powerful drivers. The sound quality is as good as you could ever hope for at this price range, with a real punch to it that’s just fantastic for movies, music and gaming alike. What’s even better is that it’s all provided through a 4-pole 3.5mm cable, so hooking up to a console, PC, mobile device and more is not a problem. Just keep in mind you’ll need a (sold separately) Y-splitter 4-pole female to dual 3-pole male adapter to use the microphone on PC; these are super cheap on most sites like Amazon and eBay.
The aesthetics are obviously fantastic, although those of you who don’t like Star Wars or the colour orange may not agree, style is and always will be a subjective matter anyway.
- Great design and Star Wars branding
- Detachable microphone
- Powerful drivers
- Closed back design
- Very affordable price
- Comfortable and adjustable around-the-ear fit
- Multi-format support
- Thin cable
- Lightweight plastic construction
“Turtle Beach may have set out to catch some of the Star Wars hype with their new X-Wing headset, but if you can look past the funky decals, this is a great performing budget headset that’s sure to meet your gaming audio needs without sending your bank balance to the dark side.”