I decided to go ahead and take the plunge and order this after reading all the positive reviews, which seem to outweigh the negative ones... a few things you should be aware of:
- if your xbox is connected to the tv via an hdmi cable ...which more than likely it is since most people nowadays have a high definition TV and want to take advantage of those crisp, sharp hdmi graphics.... then you WILL need what is referred to as a "xbox 360 audio adapter cable" from some third party seller in order to make use of this product.. I have an xbox 360 "slim" or "S" version, no idea if the audio adapter cables designed for the older (non slim, white not black colored) xbox 360's will work for the xbox 360 slim but I THINK they might... these adapters are relatively cheap, can be found for under five dollars including shipping and handling on ebay (or around the same price on amazon if you order twenty five or more dollars total to qualify for the whole free shipping and handling deal)
- the packaging the TV comes in says you can use the "tv audio out jacks found on most tv's" to use the turtle headset without the need for an audio adapter... what makes me nervous is I purchased the Panasonic VIERA TC-P54VT25 high definition television which won various awards and was considered to be THE tv of the year - and it had no audio out jacks just audio in jacks... if a TV that distinguished didn't have audio out jacks it makes me wonder if the TV's that didn't get any awards would really have audio out jacks?
- reading through the complaints listed for such audio adapter cables leaves me a bit nervous ... there seem to be a fair number of complaints about them not working though the number of "I'm happy with this" comments seem to outweigh the negative ones.
- a google search for " AV Adapter Hack - Optical and HDMI Output on Xbox 360 Simultaneously youtube" may be of interest to you... I had absolutely no interest in mucking around with my own xbox equipment in the way the video described so a friend got a hold of an old microsoft brand device like the one the person describes in his video and did the modification mentioned in the video... I found that that connecting this to the turtle headset's red and white jacks then plugging it into the "component audio in" holes on the TV made the headset work... for some reason the "video" ports refused to cooperate even though they are also red and white colored like the component ones. Make sure you set your tv's audio option to "component" in the TV menu (which you should be able to access via your tv remote) if you go this route
- I found the sound pumped through the headset to be , as other reviewers have described, fantastic, you do indeed hear little details you don't through the tv speakers - as far as the mike when she first used it my daughter complained that her voice "echoes" when she hears it and other persons gaming with her on the various xbox live games also reported that her voice echoed... later on as the game went on the echoes faded and both she and friends online reported that her voice sounded "normal" - this is the first time she's using the headset so could be just something as simple as the wireless internet connection in our house possibly giving issues...
- read the instructions that come with the headset carefully - it's very easy to get the wire that connects the headset to the xbox controller (so you can use the microphone part of the headset) reversed or plugged in "upside down" in such a way that it won't work... pay close attention to the "xbox 360 chat setup" diagram on page 5 of the instructions "connect the talkback cable" .. pay very close attention to the ends of the cable, note that oene has an "L" shape that plugs directly into the xbox controller, the other "straight" one connects into the white box thing on the headset
- on the same page 5, the "configure xbox 360 settings"... it's not available to me when I access xbox, doesn't show up as an option.... not sure if the latest update to the xbox 360 interface (which automatically downloads if you have your xbox connected to the internet) involved microsoft getting rid of this menu... if so that's rather disturbing I would have liked to see the voice menu options remain such as "voice output - play through headset" ... perhaps this is why my daughter's voice echoes when she uses the mike?
- the part of the headset that connects via usb to xbox provides electrical power to the headset so it can function.... not sure but I don't think it "carries" your voice into the microphone (which is what I was thinking it would do since other xbox devices work that way)
- the cables for the headset are satisfyingly long... my daughter is able to sit on a couch in the living room with the xbox all the way across from her next to the TV and the cables are still long enough to not present a problem.
Overall it seems to be an okay headset for the money spent ... I do wonder if it's worth the entire purchase price especially given the hassle you have to go through as far as the initial setup - though for all I know perhaps all xbox headset/microphone combo's give this sort of headache? Or are there better ones out there that are totally usb - plug and play into the xbox, no need to worry about red or white audio jacks and away you go.. but if you go that route does the usb mean the sound quality is worse? People more well versed than I in xbox hardware and audio equipment will have to figure this one out...