I upgraded to this Turtle Beach Ear Force XP300 from a pair of MW3 Ear Force Bravos, so most of my thoughts and comparisons are from my experience with those.
Set up: I found these just as simple as other models of Turtle Beach headsets. I set mine up with a PS3, and just as with previous models, you use an included RCA splitter cable, transmitter (XP300 dual-band) and a USB charging cable. To chat via Bluetooth on the PS3, you sync it by going through your PS3 main menu in Settings -> Accessory Settings -> Manage Bluetooth Devices. Start the system scanning for this new headset then press and hold down the Bluetooth button on your headset at the same time. It will beep and the two will be paired. You then need to select this headset in your PS3 Bluetooth menu to start using it. If prompted for a code it's "0000". For the xBox, there is an included XBA Bluetooth adapter that connects directly to the controller to set up Bluetooth chat.
You can also connect music players like MP3 players, iPods and such via a 3.5mm cable (not included) to the transmitter and listen you your music at the same time as hearing everything going on in game and in chat. You can also sync the Bluetooth in this headset with your cell phone (if it has Bluetooth) and use it to answer incoming calls. You just press the Bluetooth button once to answer it and again to end the call. You can also make outgoing calls if need be, however unless you're using voice dialing, you will still be using the phone itself to dial the number.
Pros: Pretty simple and clear directions in the included handbook. Maybe a little better outlined than in previous versions. An issue in the past for some people during initial set up was the mixing up of the two USB cables, one that transmits sound, the other for charging the headset. Looking similar, if they were hooked up wrong, headsets would still charge but no sound could be heard. To fix this they have made the USB cable that transmits the sound permanently attached to the back of the transmitter, with only the USB power/charging cable detachable. This is bound to save time for people, if nothing else the customer service people who walk customers through troubleshooting set up.
The mic on the headset is nice. Extremely maneuverable and a good length so you don't have it too close to your mouth. It picks up sound very well, so if you have stuff going on in the next room, it's likely those you're talking to will hear it faintly.
The ability to attach a music player via 3.5mm cable is great, You can listen to your music and talk to people in game without forcing everyone else to listen to your music too. I have hooked mine up with my tablet (Kindle Fire), an iPod touch and an iPod shuffle, they all work great. Just plug in and push play on your player and you have your music.
Several pre-set settings for sound. With the Tone button you get: 1) Flat 2) Bass Boost 3) Treble Boost 4) Bass and Treble Boost
With the Sound Field button you get: 1) Normal 2) Narrow 3) Wide
These setting are definitely needed for different games. I've been listening to the game play through this headset with games like MW3, Heavy Rain, inFamous 2, GTA IV and Uncharted 3. Each game needs a totally different set up to get the best sound. With games like Heavy Rain where it's often very quiet with subtle background sounds and talking, it needs a completely different configuration then games like Modern Warfare 3. So before deciding if you like these, be sure to try out all the different sound settings, since with some games the wrong setting can make the game sound bad.
The cushioning on the headset is ample. It has a very wide band over the head with lots of cushioning, so no problem with comfort there. The ear pads are also very plush, which help keep out outside sounds when wearing them. They keep out sound so well that the only way I hear things going on around me is if they are being picked up by the mic.
To save battery this headset also automatically shuts off after approx 5 minutes of not being used. The battery lasts a good amount time time at about 15 hours per charge.
Cons: Just a few minor ones.
When playing music with an MP3 player/iPod by attaching it to the transmitter, the music quality is not quite as good as headphones hooked directly into a player. This probably has more to do with the sound pre-sets being optimized for game sounds instead of regular music. However, you do still get decent sound for listening to your songs while playing.
No included 3.5mm cable for use with the auxiliary input. While this isn't necessary for use during game play or for chat, it is needed to listen to music through the transmitter. With a great feature like this and at these prices, it would have been good to have this added in as one of the included cables. If you want to buy one, you're going to need something like this Mediabridge 3.5mm Male To 3.5mm Male Stereo Audio Cable to play music through your headset.
Conclusion: Large and comfortable headset with easy to navigate buttons, it takes no time at all to adjust the sound to what works best for the type of game/movie/music/chat you're hearing. Two separate volume settings (one for chat, the other for game volume) make adjusting the settings during game play extremely easy, so you don't miss a second of what's going on. This Turtle Beach Ear Force XP300 headset is sure to be a force to be reckoned with in the wireless headset market.
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