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PAX Prime 2012: Hands on with Turtle Beach

Posted on September 5, 2012 AT 01:11pm

Growing up, Turtle Beach was all about sound cards, and if I remember correctly, there’s still a Turtle Beach set up CD in the other room. But that was many years ago, and with sound cards being integrated into the motherboards, Turtle Beach turned their sights on a different aspect of what they already knew: sound. With a wide variety of headsets for any sort of gamer, Turtle Beach has become another house hold name in gamer peripherals. I got to bug Ike Sainoi at the booth during PAX Prime, and we talked a bit about what Turtle Beach was and were it was going.

Ike took me over to the display where all the top end headsets were set up, explaining all the different features they provided. The first ones he showed me were the XP 500 and the PX5 headsets for the Xbox 360 and Playstation 3 respectively, though both are compatible with each system. Both were the latest pieces from Turtle Beach and the list of features on them are ridiculous.

  • Customizable Presets – Configure up to 18 personalized presets to optimize game, chat and mic audio for different gaming situations.
  • Microphone Monitoring – Hear your voice in the headset, so you won’t have to shout to hear what you’re saying.
  • Dolby 5.1/7.1 Surround Sound – Immersive 360 degree audio lets you hear the direction of every sound, as if you were playing with speakers all around you.
  • Sonic Silencers – Enjoy total silence by eliminating ambient noise pickup on your mic and cutting background noise from PSN or XBOX LIVE® chat sound.
  • Digital RF Wireless Game Sound – Uncompressed wireless digital audio signal achieves CD-quality game sound that rivals professional-grade wired headphones.
  • Sonic Lens™ + Sound Field Expander – Widen or narrow the sound field to focus on audio cues that are difficult to hear like footsteps sneaking up on you or the click of someone reloading in the distance.
  • Voice Morphing – Disguise your voice by changing the sound from deep lows to screeching highs.
  • Interactive Voice Prompts – A voice announces critical headphone status conditions, such as battery low, preset numbers, and more.
  • Dual-Pairing Bluetooth Wireless Chat – Chat wirelessly on the PlayStation® Network, answer mobile phone calls or listen to streaming music from a Bluetooth enabled digital music player while you’re gaming.
  • Ear Guard™ with Blast Limiter – Limit the intensity of deafening game sounds such as explosions and gunfire to reduce ear fatigue during long gaming sessions.
  • Dynamic Chat Boost™ – Chat level increases automatically as the game volume gets louder, so you can always hear the voices of other players.
  • PS3 and XBOX 360® Compatible – Delivers the ultimate gaming experience with XBOX 360 and PS3 consoles.

While all this was amazing (and yes, each piece is awesome), I had to ask him about those who were just getting into gaming but wanted a good set of headphones and didn’t feel comfortable dropping $250 on a set. He walked me over to the other side of the booth and showed me the line of headsets that were perfect for even the casual gamer that wants to hear everything. Popping on  a pair of their Z1, the lowest priced of their PC headsets, I was amazed at the sound quality that came from such an inexpensive set and was a bit jealous that my wireless ones I currently have didn’t sound as good as these. Working my way up the ladder, each headset provided a little more customization with sound, or a better quality.

Along with their usual headsets, Turtle Beach will also be launching their newest set of headsets labeled the SEVEN series in celebration of the fact that they are now providing the MLG headsets. Along with all of this, they’ve recently have launched another series in honor of the upcoming game Call of Duty Black Ops II. Four headsets and an awesome set of earbuds, all limited editions bring together a sleek design and amazing quality many have come to expect from Turtle Beach.

I have to say, Turtle Beach has come a long way from the days of sound cards, and the fact that anyone can afford their product makes me extremely happy. I was glad to have been able to bother Ike with questions, and he was more than willing to answer them. If anyone is able to get the chance to at least try any of the headsets out, I encourage you to do so. Have a friend that has a pair? Ask to borrow them for a day and see for yourself. Check out all their products at their site,

As a gamer for life, I've watched many things come and go. My controller has changed color and shape many times, along with my console. A fan of action RPGs and the like, I'm always willing to give a good game the chance to impress me. || Editor-In-Chief || @GamingMistress ||

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