With the release of Red Dead Redemption 2 (26th October) fast approaching I figured it was time to invest in a gaming chat headset. Cos lets face it – If 12 year olds want to call me names i should be able to verbally retaliate, right? That’s when i tripped awkwardly over the Turtle Beach Recon Chat…..
Gaming chat is not something I’m big into. I did have an earlier but higher ranged Turtle Beach model which I really enjoyed during my XBOX 360 days – an all in stereo gaming headset, comfortable and a good spec audio output. That headset was only really put to the test with close friends on games like Gears Of War, Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto.
That headset and its myriad of wires and jacks is gone now, and I’ve embraced the heady highs of XBONE-ing and its next generation of associated audio options. What with my commitment to in-game chat being so half-assed I figured this was something i would have to remedy before RDR2 was released and my posse of outlaws began tearing up the Old West.
The Turtle Beach Recon Chat (TBRC) headset appears to be an ideal gaming-chat option for the non-committal. It’s cheap enough to shell out for (here in the UK it is modestly priced around £15-£20) but not so expensive that it’ll break the bank and become a regretful purchase if you don’t end up using it. So in that respect its price tag suited me more than anything.
Right off the bat this one’s not going to win any awards for comfort. The earpiece is not padded. It’s hollow plastic casing feels cheap like somehow you are wearing it in the wrong fashion. The same with the plastic band that theoretically should mould around the users head, hugging to the terrain of the scalp. This is not the case either. Of the 2 pieces this is the more comfortable but seems unwilling to adjust without fear of breakage.
Bearing in mind that this is a chat headset and not a traditional gaming headset – the sound is of surprisingly good quality. Its open back design lets in external sound (such as in-game audio) behind the ear covering. Given that the headset is Mono it can be adjusted for either ear and even includes a very thoughtful design for users who wear glasses. Sadly the gesture is let down by the uncomfortable shape.
Audio quality is undoubtably the TBRC’s strongest feature and given that it is essentially a “phone link” : users have no need for a stereo chat-only option.
Microphone and volume control is located a convenient distance from the headset and the 3.5mm jack means it can be used for almost anything unlike the XBOX native chat headset that used to come as standard with the console.
Here’s the specs :
- “Versatile Compatibility: Works great with Xbox One and PS4 controllers with the 3.5mm jack, as well as mobile/tablet devices with a 3.5mm connection.
- Unique Open Ear-Cup: A unique open ear-cup allows gamers to hear game audio from the TV or home theater system in both ears (in stereo) while hearing chat audio from other players through the headset.
- Glasses Friendly: Turtle Beach’s innovative SpecsFit™ glasses avoidance zone lets gamers with glasses play in comfort, thanks to the special channel in the ear cushion which alleviates pressure on your glasses from the headset.
- Reversible Over-Ear Design: Features a full-size ear cup that can be worn over the right or left ear, whichever is more comfortable.
- High-Quality 40mm Speaker: A large, high-quality 40mm speaker delivers crystal clear chat audio.
- Crystal Clear Chat: Turtle Beach’s renowned high-sensitivity mic picks up your voice and ensures your every command is heard loud and clear.
- Convenient In-line Controls: Convenient in-line controls place Chat Volume and Mic Mute right at your fingertips.
- Weight: 120g Headset
- Speaker Frequency Response: 80Hz – 10kHz
- Console Chat Connection: 3.5mm
- Speakers: 40mm Speaker with Neodymium Magnet
- Microphone Design: Omni-Directional Boom Mic
- Headband/Earpad Material: Fabric Mesh (Black) with Foam Cushioning”
In conclusion : you get what you pay for. Some compromises must be made. The headset is uncomfortable to wear and feels cheap which is an absolute shame as I’ve enjoyed many Turtle Beach gaming headsets in the past. The TBRC was disappointing to say the least.
If you’re not sure you want/need a headset then its great for trying out. That would definitely be my way of thinking when I purchased it, that and being on a very tight budget. If it’s a chat headset you’re after then this one will definitely do the job. As long as you’ve got a decent stereo set up to accompany the chat audio. If it’s a gaming headset you’re after then throw down the extra money for atmospheric surround sound and split audio.
I’ll be testing this headset and my patience on XBOX LIVE as crazydiscostu1 – Join me
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