Along with the rest of the gaming world, high-end gaming headset manufacturer Turtle Beach is gearing up for E3 with a predictably cutting-edge lineup of some of the most advanced gaming audio technology that is (soon to be) available. CEO Juergen Stark (not of Winterfell, to our knowledge) took a few minutes to fill us in on what Turtle Beach will be sharing on the convention floor next week.
Look ma, no wires!
Last year, Turtle Beach really impressed us with the first truly wireless headset for Xbox One. It’s careful to emphasize the “truly” part, because many so-called “wireless” headphones still use a cable to connect with the gamepad, which is not the case with Turtle Beach’s Stealth 500X headset.
Getting a clear, wireless connection for both the game and chat audio was no small feat of engineering either, Juergen explains: “It took six months of software and electronics development in order to have something that would work on the Xbox One.”
This year, that pioneering effort expands with the Stealth 420X, which offers a lot of the same technology as the 500X, but at a substantially lower price point. Launching on July 18 at $180, the Ear Force Stealth 420X features an adjustable and removable mic boom with mic monitoring and separate volume controls for game and chat audio. The rechargeable battery should deliver up to 15 hours of wireless gameplay for your listening pleasure during marathon gaming sessions.
The Stealth 420X joins the Elite 800X — Turtle Beach’s most pre-ordered wireless headset ever — as the third fully-wireless headset available for Xbox One. According to Juergen, the Elite 800X has “more capability than any other gaming headset — or frankly any headset period — that’s ever been produced.” That capability include features like an “invisible mic” that uses two microphones hidden in the headset to simulate a physical boom mic without the need to have anything sticking out in front of your mouth. It also features Turtle Beach’s patented “Superhuman Hearing,” a toggle-able effect that amplifies only soft sounds like footsteps or shell casings hitting the floor, potentially giving players a subtle gameplay advantage. “You essentially have bionic hearing.”
Big sound for any platform
The Ear Force PX24 is a mid-tier headset based on Turtle Beach’s PX22 for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360, which is one of the best-selling gaming headsets of all time. Following the recent announcement that Microsoft will finally add standard 3.5mm headphone jacks to Xbox One controllers, the PX24 will now become a universal gaming headset, plugging into consoles, PCs, or mobile devices with a standard, 3.5mm analog input.
In order to get the same, high-quality sound that players have come to expect from Turtle Beach, the PX24 includes an innovative in-line amplifier, the Ear Force SuperAmp. This little, battery-powered amp boosts the signal coming from the standard, non-powered headphone jack to allow for premium features like Superhuman Hearing, virtual surround sound, and variable bass boost, with easy, fingertip controls for adjusting it. The Ear Force PX24 will launch later this year for a modest $80.
Rich gaming audio for the hard of hearing
Perhaps the most interesting technology that Turtle Beach will have on display at E3 will be its “hearing heathcare device,” HyperSound Clear. Like something out of science fiction, HyperSound Clear uses thin panels to project narrow, controlled beams of sound that produce the effect of immersive, 3D audio. If most speakers are a lantern, this is a flashlight. The resulting sound supposedly substantially improves sound clarity and speech legible for people suffering from degrees of hearing loss without the need to wear any sort of hearing aid or device.
“You can literally beam the left ear and the right ear separately, and people who are hard of hearing are able to hear and understand spoken audio way better than you can with normal speakers because of the focused nature of the beam,” explained Stark. “This is the first product of its kind anywhere in the world.”
We’ll check out what Turtle Beach has in store — particularly HyperSound Clear — in person when we visits its booth at E3 next week. You can find the full lineup of gaming headsets that will be introduced below, covering a wide range of price points and platforms.
Turtle Beach’s E3 headset lineup:
- Ear Force Stealth 420X Wireless Xbox One Gaming Headset ($180)
- Ear Force PX24 Universal Gaming Headset ($80)
- Ear Force Stealth 450 Wireless Surround Sound PC Gaming Headset ($130)
- Ear Force Recon 60P Gaming Headset ($50)
- Ear Force Recon 50 / Recon 50X / Recon 50P Gaming Headsets ($40)
- Ear Force Recon 30X Chat Headset ($25)