Top positive review
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Excellent Budget Headset
on October 28, 2012
I actually purchased this headset for the same price at Best Buy but wanted to submit a review describing what I thought of the product to hopefully help out those on the fence on purchasing this particular headset.
I had been in the market for a moderately priced headset to use for late night gaming on my Xbox 360 where I won't disturb the family. This week I paid $50 for a pair of Turtle Beach X12's. Got it home, set it all up, played a few different games to play around with the sound settings and just try the headset out. I was really impressed. After a couple hours, I started to realize a couple things. One, the microphone monitoring feature was barely working. I mean, it worked, but it was so quiet you really couldn't tell what you were saying through your headset. I searched that particular problem on the internet and I wasn't the only one that thought it was incredibly quiet. The second thing that turned me off of the X12 was they were a bit uncomfortable to wear if you wear glasses. The ear cups, although very comfortable at first and well designed, they'd eventually push on the arms of my glasses and push them into my head. Didn't feel so good after a couple hours of gaming.
Although I really liked the sound quality of the X12, I decided to return my set and buy the cheaper $30, Turtle Beach XLa set. This being the only real headset I've purchased (other than the X12 I tried out), I don't have anything really to compare it to other than the X12.
Setup was really easy right out of the box (or plastic packaging in this case). The 15' cord and headset are already connected together with red and white RCA plug-ins, and USB connections at the end of the cord. When you set this headset up you'll need to make sure you have RCA component OUTPUT ports on the back of your TV or have an Audio Adapter to use on your Xbox 360 (if you're using HDMI like me). Me, I have ports on my TV to plug them into, but I chose to do it straight from my Xbox 360, in which case I already had an adapter handy so I was good to go.
The XLa's use 40mm speakers, 10mm less than the X12's, but as far as I can tell I can't really notice much of a difference. These headphone "cups" fit ON your ear rather than OVER the ear like the X12's and many others headsets. It won't be the same for everybody, but this alone fixed my glasses problem immediately. The headband piece in the middle of the headset has a thin, almost memory foam covered in pleather like strip along the bottom that makes the headset more comfortable to wear on top of your head. So far I haven't really had a problem with the headset feeling too tight or anything. It's been fairly comfortable. The rest of the headset is made with some thick plastic. It looks a lot cheaper than other TB headsets, but I think it'll hold up well as time goes on. I don't know about you guys, but I think some people who complain about pieces falling apart and cords being severed are probably more of an operator error than poor craftsmanship. Some folks are a little too rough on things.
The audio controls are all located on the left ear cup. This isn't really -too- much of a problem, but I and probably many other people are used to having those types of controls found along the cord leading up to the headset. You have a mute/unmute switch, a Voice volume control, and a Game volume control. Again, this is just a $30 headset so I can understand wanting to make it as compact as possible. The sound controls work fine, but for me the mute switch is a tad hard to switch on and off. This set has a set Bass Boost function where most other TB headsets have an adjustable control like the game and chat audio. To me the set bass is fine and is plenty strong and packs a pretty good punch.
The microphone is really nice. It's really easy to adjust it any way you could want. I will say that this microphone, as is a lot of other TB mics, is really sensitive. You aren't going to want this right next to your mouth. Everyone will hear you breathing and every little noise you could possibly make. I keep it away from my mouth, more along my cheek and people can still hear me fine. The microphone monitoring feature works well on this. It's a lot more noticeable on this set than the X12. Your voice is amplified into the headset so you can hear what you're saying as you talk so you're not trying to yell over game audio to be heard.
The audio itself, like I said in the beginning, is coming from two 40mm speakers. I've tried out CoD: Modern Warfare 3, WWE All-Stars, Rock Band Blitz, and some other games, and I can't complain at all. I've always played off just my HDTV speakers and I am amazed at how many little sounds and nuances I haven't been able to hear before I got this headset. Games like MW3, I'm hearing bullets whiz by me, I can tell which direction they're coming from, footsteps can be placed, and the sound of a .44 Magnum blaring with the bass boost is really satisfying. Switch it over to a game like Rock Band Blitz, and I'm hearing notes in songs I never really noticed before. Just a lot nicer and cleaner than coming from my tiny HDTV stereo speakers.
Although my original intentions were to just have a stereo headset handy when I want to keep my gaming down as to not bother anyone, I've found myself wearing them most of the time just because of how good it sounds. I would say that anyone looking into a low cost headset, or need a replacement for that busted up Microsoft chat mic, I would definitely recommend the Turtle Beach XLa. It's not perfect, but for the price and its quality, you'd be hard pressed to find a better deal.