Another day, another gadget out of CES; this time it’s a gaming headset. Gaming headsets have been around for a long time on the PC, but it has only started to catch on with console gamers over the past few years. One of the leaders in this field is Turtle Beach, and they recently unveiled their latest offering on the floor of CES.
It’s called the Ear Force PX5 and it’s the newest addition to a long line of Ear Force headsets. So what makes the PX5 stand out among what is becoming a crowded lineup of headsets? Have a look above, and now below.
- 50MM speakers and 5.1/7.1 Dolby Digital surround sound. I’ve been using headsets for a long time and to the best of my knowledge, these are the largest speakers you can find in a gaming headset. Speakers that large not only provide a big punch for bass but they also add a wider range of depth across all sound-types. Pair that with full Dolby Digital 7.1 surround sound and you’ve got a winning combo.
- Fully wireless. The downside to a lot of headsets out there is that you’re forced to drape a cord across your gaming space. This is especially annoying if you play games in your main living area. The PX5 offers a completely wireless solution with a 2.4Ghz RF band.
- Bluetooth support. This is a first for Turtle Beach and it’s extremely rare for headsets such as this one. Don’t have an extra USB port on your PS3 to hook a chat cable to? No problem with the PX5 as it has bluetooth built right in. The bluetooth also makes it possible to pair your phone with the headset and take calls while gaming. The input/output of your phone is mixed right in with the game sounds so you don’t have to make any sacrifices.
- Optical pass-through system. Another downside to most headsets is that you lose the ability to hook up your console to a receiver via an Optical cable. The PX5 again has a solution with a full pass-through system. If you’re gaming by yourself, the headset is the way to go, but if you’ve got other people that want to hear what’s going on, you can also run the audio to a separate source via optical without having to swap any cables.
- Full game and mic input/output customization. This is where the PX5 could really shine. Not only can you customize the game sound with several different EQ presets but you can also modify your mic input/output. Others on your team being too loud? You can independently turn the chat volume down. Players telling you that you’re too quiet/loud? You can also adjust your own chat level on the fly so others can hear you better. There’s even a built in voice modifier similar to the one on the XMB, and you can connect the headset’s receiver to your PC for even further EQ customization.
- Chat Feedback Loop. This isn’t new to either Turtle Beach or headsets in general but I can’t stress enough how important it is. The chat feedback loop takes a small percentage of your own voice output and loops it back in your headset for you to hear. Doing this keeps you from being too loud when chatting with others. As someone who has tried headsets that don’t have this feature, I can tell you that it becomes very easy to start screaming if you can’t hear your own voice.
The Ear Force PX5 is compatible with the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and PC. It’ll be hitting retail shelves this April for the cringe-inducing price of $249.95. No price has been announced for Europe as of yet but you can probably bet on a figure between £150/€180 and £180/€215 based on Turtle Beach’s current pricing scheme. It’s no doubt a steep price tag but if you play in a small area or do a lot of on-line gaming, headsets like this don’t come much nicer… and even if you don’t, you may find that gaming with a headset is far more beneficial than with a full surround sound system. I know I do.
Source: Official Turtle Beach Website