A good choice for multi-platform gamers?
Turtle Beach recently sent us their PX3 wireless headset, a programmable unit that's designed to work with... well... pretty much everything. You can hook it up to your consoles, your computer, or even your stereo system, if you're so inclined.
Last year we also reviewed the excellent Turtle Beach Ear Force PX5 for the PS3, so we were keen to see if the Ear Force PX3 could deliver the same quality across PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, and the PC. Typically, “do everything” headsets result in something less than perfect, which often lack the features and quality you might see with a dedicated unit like the PX5.
Surprisingly, though, the PX3 has more...
The unit comes in an easy-open blister pack, rather than the more common sealed type that requires a power tool and cut fingers to open. As you would expect from a “do everything” unit, it comes with a lot of accessories. In addition to the Headphones, there is also a USB charging unit, Xbox feedback cable, transmitter box, USB power lead for the box, and an RCA splitter cable.
This Headset comes in two models. The standard PX3, which delivers stereo sound, or the enhanced PX3/DDS2 unit, which delivers digital surround sound. This review covers the standard unit.
In line with the high standard we expect from Turtle Beach, the frequency response for the headset is 20hz to 20Khz, which is inside the sweet spot, while the microphone sits at 50hz to 15khz.
It has a lithium polymer rechargeable battery (not as prone to flames as lithium ion batteries), which gives you 10 hours of gameplay before requiring a recharge. This you can do on the fly with the unbelievably long charging cable, which measures out at some four metres in length.
The transmitter we tested up to 10 metres from its source, with no perceptible degradation in sound quality.
The headset unit weighs in at 260 grams.
The headset is of solid plastic construction, with a soft faux leather in the top portion of the unit where the weight is carried on your head. We found the unit to be comfortable to use for extended periods of play and the fabric over the earpieces was firm, and did not induce sweat (aaarggh sweaty ears!)
The attached microphone can be traversed through 320 degrees, catering for both left and right-handed players. The microphone itself is flexible, with a lot of bend right through its entire length. It was very easy to bend but its construction is such that it stayed where it was positioned.
The headpiece is adjustable through a metal and plastic band, with a good / solid feeling ratchet that does not look like it will lose its positive adjustment over time. The earpieces lay flat and sit inside a “Y” shaped yoke. Although this yoke feels stable enough, it also carries the wires and this could prove to be source of weakness overtime.
As the unit is wireless, there are no cable connections that needed to be tested. However, with the plethora of peripheral cables, it would have been good if the unit shipped with a carrying case or bag to keep them all in.
Like its PX5 brother, this unit also has 18 preset sound setups. These are tailored for differing game situations, where you might want to hear footsteps or voices over other sounds - depending on your specific strategies. It may seem like a bit of a gimmick, however in certain circumstances these can give you a real edge in competitive online gaming.
Setting up the unit can be a little tricky. To get the headset to pair with the transmitter unit, you need to press and hold the on and off button on the headset and then do likewise on the transmitter until you hear a confirmation beep in the headset. In our experience, this took more than one attempt to achieve and while it sounds like a minor inconvenience, an additional start up ritual may not be welcome for some users.
The earpiece on the opposite side from the microphone is where all the controls are. There are a lot of them, which we found can be an issue in the heat of the moment. In addition to the on and off button, there is the main preset menu button, an alternate one, a chat button, microphone mute button, volume control, controller jack, and the mini USB connector for the charging cable. That is a lot of buttons for one earpiece, and consequently they are not that far apart. Frantic searching is often the order of the day.
Sound Quality (Subjective)
The sound is crystal clear and the added advantage of the presets make for a high quality audio experience. We were quite surprised how good it was on both the PC and consoles alike.
If you have a specific need for a wireless headset that works on more than one system, you would be hard pressed to find a unit better than this.