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Wednesday December 26, 2012 12:39 pm

Turtle Beach Ear Force PX5 review

Turtle Beach ear Force PX5 review

Stereo headsets have been a part of computer gaming and theater experiences for years but they’ve recently started making the cross into the living room with gaming consoles. Turtle Beach has been a leader in the gaming headsets and have released a number of headsets that work with the Xbox 360 or the Playstation 3. The EAR FORCE PX5 is a wireless Dolby 7.1 Surround Sound headset that works with both.

Upon opening the PX5, I was surprised to see they had included not only the receiver, wireless surround sound headset, and detachable microphone, but also an optical cable and and others to get going. The included optical cable is very thin and feels a bit on the cheap side but the quality of sound it provides in my case was the same as a more expensive cable, but I do fear that moving it around too much may break the cable. The receiver includes an optical in and out port, standard red/white RCA jacks, a port for a wired headset in case you are playing with a friend and finally the DC power port.

While the setup is simple and the buttons are well-labeled, it does come with a learning curve and you would do well to study the included manual to take advantage of all of the PX5’s multiple features. For example, it is not clear until reading the instructions that you must double tap the power button after turning the device on to switch between Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 mode. Another great feature I would suggest studying is how to set up the headset’s 18 programmable presets for optimized sound experiences on your favorite games and scenarios.

Despite housing all of these functions, I find the large, cushioned earpieces and adjustable headband to be fairly comfortable. They easily fit around my ears, which I feel to be slightly above average in size, and fear not about suffocating your ears while playing as the cushions are made from a breathable mesh, allowing for ample air circulation. I feel it is worth noting though that the PX5 are not designed to be noise-cancelling and won’t block any noise that a normal pair of over-the-ear headphones will.

Features and comfort are all well and good but we buy Dolby Digital 7.1 headphone for their sound and Turtle Beach has delivered nicely. The receiver has a button to let you change between Dolby Digital or Bypass (standard audio) and the difference shows. While DD mode is turned on you can really experience that surround sound audio through the two ear pieces, including subtle noises and accurate directional sounds of someone approaching from behind during a film or video game. After configuring the built-in bass and treble boosts you can feel the rumble of explosions and clearly make out voices in the distance as if they were on the other side of a room. A true surround sound experience on your ears.

With all the praise I give to the sound quality of this headset I must give fair warning to a technical issue that some customers may experience. You must make sure there is a clear line of sight between your receiver and the headphones or else you may experience interference that can cause a static pop noise for a second. Also, other wireless devices, such as cordless phones and wireless routers, nearby may run on the same channel to cause some temporary issues.

The Ear Force PX% typically sell for $249, but you can get them on Amazon for just $149!

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