One of the fastest growing peripheral industries in the juggernaut that is the gaming industry is the headset market. Part of the reason for the incredible growth in gaming headsets is the rise of the online games—if you are going to wear a headset anyway, it may as well be a good one. The other reason is that the heasdsets hitting the market these days are incredibly technologically sophisticated, and offer more than just good sound–they offer a better gaming experience.
One of the clear innovators in the field is Turtle Beach, a manufacturer that has taken gaming headsets to another level, and added features that make the experience just plain better. In fact, while Turtle Beach is, and always has been geared towards gaming, the headsets can be used in multiple situations, from watching movies to listening to music on your stereo. Turtle Beach’s line of products range from the standard headset to blutetooth headset communicators (specifically for the PS3, but they can be used in numerous ways), but the high end headsets offer some incredible additions, including the ability to use unique audio settings that are specifically made to enhance certain types of gaming. Competitive multiplayer games are a huge part of that, and Turtle Beach has created a handful of products specifically geared for first-person shooters–there is even a line of headsets specifically branded for Call of Duty. It gives the wearer a clear advantage over their competition, and makes for an overall better, or at least more immersive gaming experience. If you are a hardcore gamer, you owe it to yourself to check out a high end gaming headset from Turtle Beach or one of its competitors.
This week at CES Turtle Beach went ahead and taunted its competitors by unveiling nine new headsets that should help to expand its customer base, and give more options to gamers looking at headsets, including those on a budget.
Several of the products are updated versions of similar Turtle Beach products that feature a handful of new innovations, but for the first time, Turtle Beach is introducing a line of audio products for mobile devices, branded as the M-Series. These products are designed for all types of sound, all feature mics, and are all designed with mobile gaming in mind.
The line includes the M1 earbuds, the M3 headphones designed with fold-flat design for storage, and the more traditional M5 headest. The pricing will run $59.99, $39.99, and $49.99 respectively, and will be out later this year.
Also announced at CES was the Ear Force DSS 2 Surround Processor that can synthesize surround sound on almost any headphones. The predecessor of this device was a companion piece to headsets that weren’t optically connected, and therefore couldn’t generate their own surround sound. The new model offers six speaker configurations, as well as the ability to custom angle the sound. The DSS 2 is available now for $79.95.
The real bread and butter of Turtle Beach’s lineup has, and likely always will be their gaming headsets, and so five new models were introduced to further bolster its existing lineup.
The new model of headsets range in price and features, from a somewhat standard wired set, to a top of the line wireless set with multiple audio options. Regardless of the options though, all of the sets feature top of the line sound quality.
The first new headset is the Z11 Wired Stereo PC Gaming headset, which features an angled 50mm driver and is designed for its affordability. It will run $39.95 and hit stores later this year.
The next two models are part of the same family: the X43 Wireless Dolby Surround Sound Xbox 360 headset and the X32 Wireless Stereo Xbox 360 Headset. Those familiar with Turtle Beach will probably recognize that these are the new models, and therefore replacements for the popular X31 and X41 models. Both feature technology that made interference a moot point, and both feature a 50mm driver. The sets are both due later this year, and will cost $99.95 and $159.95 respectively.
Then there are the big daddies of the Turtle Beach family, the newly unveiled XP300 and XP400, which join the XP500 headset—a cousin to the incredible PX5 headset, but ships with a Bluetooth adapter that plugs into a 360 controller and makes the chat wireless–which has already been available for a bit now.
If you are a hardcore gamer, than you should already be coveting the PX5 and/or the XP500. They are the Rolls Royces of gaming headsets, and can do pretty much everything you might be able to think up. The XP300 and XP400 offer a similar technology at a more affordable price.
The XP300 Wireless Amplified Stereo gaming Headset features the same technology as other Turtle Beach headsets which makes interference nearly unheard of. It also has a separate Bluetooth function which allows auxiliary input, meaning you can synch your Bluetooth enabled phone or MP3 player and answer calls or listen to your music while gaming and talking with people online. Rechargeable batteries last up to 15 hours, and it has EQ presets, which offer different audio settings for different scenarios—something that needs to be experienced to be appreciated.
The XP400 Wireless Dolby Surround Sound Gaming Headset Dolby Surround Sound offers everything the XP300 offer, adjustable Surround Sound angles, the same anti-interference technology as most Turtle Beach products, EQ presets, better low sound output, Chat Boost to regulate the sounds to keep it from blaring in your ears or becoming too quiet, auxiliary input, and optical sound connections.
If you are a dedicated gamer and neither of these headsets sounds at least a little appealing, you may be dead inside. The XP300 will run you $169.95, while the XP400 will cost $219.95. Both will be available in Q1 of this year.