When we first spoke with gaming headset manufacturers, we received an enthusiastic and excited response from Turtle Beach. While we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of their product line in your Gaming Headset Buyer’s Guide, you can be assured that we’ll be adding more of their models in the near future. It looks like our work is going to be cut out for us based on what was on display in Los Angeles last week.
The Turtle Beach booth was set up like a showroom in a high-end jewelry store, as crowds of gamers muscled their way to the display cases to get a glimpse of the upcoming Call of Duty: Black Ops II and MLG-endoresed SEVEN line. Depending on your needs, you’re likely to find something in one of these two groupings that meets your needs.
The Black Ops II products come in five flavors, all in black with attractive copper-colored accents:
The Ear Force Earbuds offer 10 mm drivers, noise isolating design, a braided cable and in-line microphone and call answering. If you’re looking for something that’s both attractive and comfortable (these come with interchangeable ear gels in different sizes), they are worth checking out.
The Ear Force Kilo appears to be very similar to the Ear Force P11, included in our Gaming Headset Buyers Guide (read about them here). They are a wired stereo headset designed for use with the PlayStation 3, PC and Mac. They sport 50 mm drivers for additional bass and feature voice monitoring so you can keep your screaming to a minimum. The one difference we can see is that rather than the mesh on the P11′s earcups, the Kilo has leatherette.
Moving up the line, the Ear Force X-Ray wireless Dolby surround sound headset introduces a new transmitter that has a significantly smaller profile. The unit operates on a 2.8/5.6Ghz dual band, so it can more easily adapt to crowded signal environments. For the first time, you’ll be able to adjust the surround sound angles in the headset to create the virtual environment that fits your ear profile. From speaking with Turtle Beach representatives, this is one of the most personal customization features available in the product line. Additionally, the controls are right on the earcups (as opposed to the undersides like on the XP500), making it very easy to use. The headband is leatherette, but the earcups are memory foam covered in the more traditional Turtle Beach mesh. The X-Ray also offers Bluetooth chat for both Xbox 360 (via a puck attachment) and PlayStation 3.
The Ear Force Sierra adds Turtle Beach’s robust preset features to the Black Ops II line. This surround sound USB headset… yes, I just said surround sound from USB… offers PC and Mac users adjustable game and chat volumes, sonic lens technology for focusing in on sounds like footsteps, a handheld control unit for adjusting presets on the fly and an upgraded microphone. If you’d prefer to go the digital optical route, the unit supports that connection type, also. The earcups are leatherette and memory foam, with an extra padded, quilt-stitched headband.
Finally, the Ear Force Tango is reminiscent of the XP500 in transmitter design. The difference is that this unit also supports the dual band 2.8/5.6Ghz of the X-Ray and the cup and headband design of the Sierra. The voice prompts present in the XP500 have been recorded by Black Ops II‘s voice actors for an immersive Call of Duty experience. The presets for the Tango and the X-Ray are specially designed for Activision’s upcoming title, so players will have an advantage out of the box.