Picking the right headset can be a virtual minefield as there are a seemingly endless range of products to choose from. Of course, if you pick out what you really want from your headset and set a budget, things do get a lot easier. The latest headset from Turtle Beach is perfect for use on Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PC, Apple/MAC and Mobile, so there’s no doubt that it’s versatile in terms of formats, and the single ear-cup design means it’s tailored to suit those who only need a headset for chat functions. Add to that a price tag of just £19.99 and the 30X is shaping up to be an interesting entry-level product.
“Experience the crystal clear audio and comfort of the officially licensed EAR FORCE Recon 30X Xbox One chat headset and enhance your multiplayer games by communicating with your team.” – Turtle Beach
- Direct 3.5mm connection to the new Xbox One Controller, and to other Xbox One controllers via the EAR FORCE® Headset Audio Controller (sold separately)
- Unique slotted ear-cup design allows external game sounds in
- Large 40mm Neodymium speaker delivers crystal clear chat audio
- Lightweight and comfortable over-ear design
- In-line controls place Mic Mute and Chat Volume conveniently at your fingertips
- Use the high-sensitivity adjustable boom mic for in-game chat
The packaging is nicely designed, keeping in theme with other turtle beach products. There’s a clear image of the headset, as well as a quick rundown of the major features, such as the in-line volume controller.
In the box, you’ll find the headset (obviously), as well as a few bits of documentation, nothing fancy, but at least everything you need is here.
The headset comes hard-wired and doesn’t require drivers, meaning you can just unbox, plug in and play.
A Closer Look
First impressions of this headset are that it’s nothing too fancy, which is fine, at this price range I wasn’t expecting it to compare to the £250 high-end stuff that Turtle Beach make. What we have here is the absolute minimum of hardware you need for in-game chat functions. The perk of that is that it’s extremely lightweight and unobtrusive, something that’s going to reap benefits in those long gaming sessions. There’s a fold up boom microphone, which has a fully flexible mount to allow you to find that optimal speaking distance.
What I wasn’t expecting at this price, although it’s certainly a welcome addition, is an in-line controller. Here you’ll find two basic controls, a chat volume-wheel and the microphone mute. The idea with a headset like this is that you still use the audio of your TV or surround for gaming, relying on the headset only for the voice communication.
The headband is made from a single piece of lightweight, but relatively durable plastic. It doesn’t look too fancy, but it gets the job done and helps keep the weight nice and low.
There’s some soft foam padding on the interior edge, with a soft leather covering, it doesn’t look like much, but it’s surprisingly comfortable to wear.
There’s some soft padding on the ear cup, but you’ll notice the openings at the back. These openings mean that you can hear through that ear really well, allowing you to enjoy the sounds of your TV/surround sound without too much conflict. The smaller driver in the middle is there for the chat audio, but it sits just away from your ear, giving you a more natural listening position for both chat and ambient sound. This can, of course, be tailored to a perfect balance with the chat volume dial on the in-line controller.
There’s only one driver, so the other side is just a stopper that sits just above your ear. There’s some thick foam padding here that helps grip the headset in place, without being uncomfortable to wear.
The headset folds down easily enough and the long boom is great for finding that perfect position without being intrusive of your line of sight.
The microphone is pretty straight forward, nothing too fancy, but it certainly gets the job done. It’s quite sensitive, but not overly so and provides bright and clear chat audio, which is really what you want and given that chat is this headsets only function, it’s the one thing it needed to get right anyway.
Overall, the driver does sound nice and clear. There’s not a lot of bass on it, but that’s a good thing as voices sound more natural and open, which makes it a lot easier to have a conversation and also hear your game audio over the top.
The Turtle Beach Ear Force Recon 30X Xbox One Headset is available from most major retailers for a very modest £19.99. This is a fantastic price, but keep in mind that it is only a chat headset, so you’re paying less for less, at least when compared to a fully fledged gaming headset.
There’s really very little to say about this headset, as it does one job and one job only. Of course, it does that job rather well, at least for its respective price range and that’s nothing to sniff at. While I’m sure some people would think nothing of spending £100+ on a high-end headset, we’re not all made of money and sometimes budget solutions are the way to go. This headset is affordable enough for younger gamers to pick up with a few weeks pocket money, but it’s certainly not just for that audience.
Gaming headsets can be great, but they do not offer much of a solution for those who want to chat, but also want to use their own home audio systems for the game at the same time. The open back design of the driver on the 30X means that your hearing of your gaming environment is relatively uncompromised, but with the added bonus of a well-placed driver and positional microphone that’s great for communicating with your team. This means the 30X effectively gives you the best of both worlds.
Build quality is perfectly reasonable, the in-line controller is a very welcome bonus, the driver is clear and offers up plenty of volume should you need it and the microphone is bright and clear. There’s little more you could ask for in this price range and the bonus that it comes from a trusted brand name just sweetens the deal.
- Good build quality
- Lightweight and comfortable
- Clear audio/microphone
- Affordable price tag
- Plug and play ready
- Compatible with all 4-pole 3.5mm audio devices
“If you’re after a lightweight, affordable and practical chat headset, then the Turtle Beach 30X is the perfect tool for the job. It may not have many features, but what it does have, it does well.”
Thank you Turtle Beach for providing us with this sample.