on March 20, 2012
So, you want to get a gaming headset? Take a look on-line, or at any electronics store that sells gaming headsets and it's like driving past a car lot. Everyone and their grandma seem to have made a gaming headset to try and get a piece of a rapidly growing trend. As with most things, there are headsets for all price ranges. The Turtle Beach XP500 is at the top end of the spectrum in terms of price and features. If you are in the market for a new headset, and want to spoil yourself this rig may be the one for you.
So, let's get the boring tech stuff out of the way. What does the XP500 have to offer? For starters the actual headset has speakers that are 50mm, weights right around 8 ounces, detachable mic, and is completely wireless. The transmitter is a Digital wireless RF (2.404-2.476GHz), 150MIPS Digital Signal Processor for Dolby processing, and connects via a digital audio optical cable. What do all those fancy tech terms mean? Honestly, I have no idea, but I sound smart rattling them off right? Let's get to the stuff you guys really care about, is the headset any good?
Let's be honest, if you're looking for a gaming headset you want the best sound you can possibly get. That's exactly what this headset delivers. This is the headset that gamers dream about. Every sound, every piece on in-game dialog, and never miss a beat or have to say "What?" chatting with friends.
In an effort to not simply regurgitate information that can be found on other sites I'll talk about my favorite features about this headset. First off the 8 presets. If you're playing Need For Speed and want to make it sound like you are inside the cockpit of the car, there's a preset for that (#2 for those curious). Are you playing Skyrim, and want to hear all those amazing ambient noises and dialog between characters? There's a preset for that (*cough* #6). Are you playing Battlefield 3 or Call of Duty and you want to hear those jaw rattling explosions and gun fights? You guessed it, there's a preset for that (Cue #8).
So, you browse through the 8 presets and just can't find one that fits the game you are playing, or you would prefer a preset that is just a little bit different. This headset has you covered. Via an awesome web based tool you can download your very own Sound Editor to your computer. Hook up the headset to a USB port, and you can change, edit, tweak and customize any (and all) presets to fit your liking. On top of that each preset can not only be modified for what you hear via the game sound, but also chat boost, and mic (how you sound). So, if you want to mess with your friends and sound like a chipmunk or a creepy old guy this headset allows you to do just that. The customization of this headset allows you to adapt to any game, at any time. I can honestly say I have not seen anything else like it on the market. The sheer amount of the programmability is simply amazing.
With all these options at your fingertips, you are probably asking yourself how easy is this to control? Yes, there are a lot of options, but thankfully the people at Turtle Beach have made the controls simple and easy to use. The right ear cup has controls for Mic Mute, Blue tooth pairing, and Blue tooth volume. The left ear cup has controls for game volume, cycling through presets and a port to connect the Xbox controller to the headset via a wire if desired. All the controls are simple and intuitively placed. Once you get the feel of them and knowing where they're placed it quickly becomes second nature.
Hold on a second, did I say blue tooth? Yes, I did. This is another feature where this headset really leaps above the competition. The XP 500 has built in blue tooth which offers gamers possibilities that have never been possible. Picture this, you are playing a game that you love, but you just don't care for the soundtrack in the game. If you have a blue tooth MP3 player you can pair them together and stream your music right into the headset. Lets take that one step farther. You are playing your favorite game. You are balls deep into a battle and your phone rings. Traditionally, you either have to pause the game and take the call, or you take the call and crank your neck while playing. Not anymore. If your phone is blue tooth you can pair the two. That means, hit a button, answer the phone through your headset and continue playing.
All the above is fine and dandy, but how's the sound? After all that's why we get a gaming headset. The Dolby surround sound is enough to get this headset, add on top of that the presets, customization, and blue tooth capabilities make this a gamer's dream. A friend of mine asked be about this headset and I simply replied that it was an ear orgasm. It's the top of the line headset. If you are in the market for a headset, have a birthday coming up, or just want to spoil yourself this headset. In my ever so humble opinion, the headset is a little spendy, however all the tech that Turtle Beach has crammed into it and the quality of the sound make it very much worth it. This is a headset I can see myself having for many years to come.