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Peripheral Review

Turtle Beach Call of Duty: Black Ops II Ear Force X-Ray Limited Edition Wireless Headset Review

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Gaming headsets are a strange area of peripherals, once only a PC accessory, but with this gen of consoles bringing 5.1 surround sound and much better online has there been a real need to take advantage of the hardware. Though this does bring another problem, headsets can either work on PC, 360 and PS3, or will just be one platform specific. This is a real problem to me, but Turtle Beach do offer headsets that support multiple consoles, meaning you can purchase one high quality head set to work with all your devices.

So that brings me to the Turtle Beach X-Ray headset, officially supporting both the PlayStation 3 and the Xbox 360. Unofficially supporting PC, and for some reason you can even hook this up to your phone to answer your calls as well if you would be so inclined. This is a premium wireless headset with a price tag that is justified for the quality.

The headset is a 5.1 surround sound headset, boasting quite impressive 50mm speakers. Now this is where it gets strange. Talk to anyone who loves headphones, like Sennheiser or Bose, and they will tell you that the larger the speaker driver, the better the sound, and that you can get Surround sound from two large drivers in each cup. This is true, and I always thought this, but the X-Ray have multiple speakers angled differently, and I will be damned if this headset produces better directional sound than any of those other headphones, which is a damn feat when you consider the price tag on them compared to Sennheiser/Bose products.

Out the box you will have one headset, one wireless unit, a charging cable around 3-5 meters long, an Optical cable, an Xbox chat cable, some manuals, a Turtle Beach sticker, and as my pet cat thought, a brand new house for him too. When I first opened the box I was surprised at how heavy the unit was, I knew it would be heavier than my pair of DPX 21 because of the wireless. But I was pleasantly surprised that after wearing it for a while I did not notice the extra weight at all.

The build quality is fantastic as well, with cushioning on the band and some of the most comfortable ear cups I’ve used, making it still comfortable to wear for long gaming sessions. Setting up the headset was easy as well, hitting ‘pair’ on both the wireless unit and the headset quickly joined them up, choosing the setting on 360 is simple too. If you’re a PS3 gamer you will need to join the headset through Bluetooth as well to get access to the microphone. To fully charge the unit it took around 3 hours on a mains adapted USB charger.

Now one thing that did disappoint me, I know the box clearly says PS3 and 360, but so did my DPX 21, and they worked with my PC perfectly. The headset will connect to the PC and it sounds great, but even when connected via Bluetooth, I could not get the microphone to work on my PC. I know this is a small complaint, and it doesn’t state they are for PC anyway, but I was still hoping to use this across all three platforms. If you have no reason to use the mic however, feel free to ignore me because it works great on PC too.

Of course sound quality does not disappoint, I tested with Mass Effect 3 for 360. The Last of Us for PS3, and then as the headset does have Black Ops 2 all over it, I tested it on both platforms with Call of Duty Black Ops 2. Short version, this headset is amazing.

The 360 does seem to have the lower sound quality of the two consoles, but only seems noticeable on these high end headsets, with a little too much bass, and the voices sounding just a little off. Nothing major, but when compared to the PS3, you can really tell a difference. If you are after a pair of these, you owe it to yourself to play through the Last of Us with these. Hearing every Clicker and small movement really put me on edge, making the gameplay much more intense.

The same can be said for when playing Call of Duty. Yes, this headset it supporting the name, but it really does the game some justice, you can hear your opponent sneaking around corners, and really makes the guns feel much more meaty when being fired. The microphone also does its job too, with no complaints when using it alone, and as it is also a directional microphone, I was able to use my fan whilst playing online without anyone complaining about the noise. Of course if you don’t want to use the microphone it can be quickly and simply disconnected from the headset.

My biggest worry for this headset was going to be wireless aspect. I usually hate wireless devices, mice and keyboards seem to miss key presses or run out of battery when you most need them, and wireless headsets? Surely there is too much data coming through to not use a wire to keep the sound quality up? Did I eat my words when using the headset, the wireless works amazing, with a range of about 20 feet, the sound quality does not drop at all, once you are out of range it simply cuts out, and will reconnect and start again once you are within range again. It really is nice having to use a headset that does not leave wires dragging across the floor, as with the DXP21, my biggest complaint was how long the wires were, it was hard to find a place to put them, but with the X-Ray this was not a problem. I can keep my area tidy and on multiple occasions I’ve even just walked out the room forgetting I’m wearing them.

Of course there are other problems with wireless headsets, and that’s battery life. This headset is quoted to have 15 hours of uninterrupted use . This is a rechargeable headset with a charging wire that will easily reach across the room to you, so you never have to unhook the headset if you didn’t want too. Now it took around  3 hours to charge off a wall socket, again this headset just continues to perform amazingly, I charged it Monday lunch time, and the headset started to warn me about low battery by Friday after noon, I was using the headset for about 5-6 hours a day, so this is a fantastic output. In a time where batteries in our electronic devices are applauded when a hand-held lasts more than 4 hours and a phone lasts 8, it’s great to see a company realise that maybe they don’t want to have to keep recharging. For a rough total battery life of between 24-30 hours, that is outstanding. I’m happy when my 3DS manages 4 hours, so it blew me away to realise that electronic devices can still perform this well on rechargeable batteries.

The controls of the headset are a little strange to get to grips with. The wireless unit has two options, on that will turn surround sound off, and another that will change the surround angles that you can hear, each one is different enough to notice, I chose the balanced one, which I think gives a more overall feel. Then on the unit itself you have a tone and limiter button. The tone will switch between what is basically different EQ settings. You have flat, bass boost, treble boost and finally bass and treble boost. Each of these settings provides different sound styles but I have found myself sticking with the bass and treble boost throughout most of the time using this headset. There is also a limiter button, which will lower the volume of sudden loud noises such as gun fire or explosions, again 4 settings but just different amount of limiting as you turn it up. It’s a great feature for those games where you need to turn the volume up to hear certain things, but do not want to be deafened every time you fire a gun.

There are also controls for how your microphone works, these are much simpler. A nice dial to change how loud your mic will be for other players, and a mute button if you just want the mic shut off for a few seconds, for example if you’re having to talk to someone else in the same room as you.  They are simple to use and very easy to press as the buttons are large, and cover most of the ear cups.

This is a quality headset, with great sound, design and performance to last you all week if needed, the price is not an entry level headset, but what you get is not entry level either. It is the first wireless device I have used that has made me rethink if other wireless products are worth looking into.

Tech Specs

Headset
  • Speakers: 50mm diameter speakers with neodymium magnets
  • Bluetooth: Mono Bluetooth radio with dual-pairing capability for chat and phone calls
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz, >120dB SPL @ 1kHz
  • Condenser Microphone Frequency Response: 50Hz – 15kHz
  • Audio mute: Audio mutes automatically when carrier signal is lost
  • Battery: Operates on rechargeable Lithium Polymer battery
  • Shut down: Automatic shut down after approx 5 minutes of carrier loss or silence to conserve battery power
  • Boost: Bass Boost, Treble Boost, Bass & Treble Boost
  • Ear Guard with Blast limiter presets: Off, mild, medium, max
  • Chat Boost ™ talkback expander: +10dB gain boost at maximum game volume
  • Volume control: Mic monitor volume control
  • Headphone Amplifier: Stereo 27mW/ch, THD < 1%
Transmitter
  • Speakers: Six adjustable speaker angle positions on 5.1 surround sound setting
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Transmission range: Up to 30 feet
  • Audio input: Optical TOSLINK digital audio input compatibile with 48kHz digital audio stream
  • Dimensions: L: 3.875 in (100 mm), W: 2.75 in (70mm), D: 1 in (25mm)
  • Power requirements: 5VDC @ 380mA max
  • Weight: 8.4 oz. (240g)
  • Analog 3.5mm input: signal is muted when digital input is active
  • Wireless Carrier Reception: 2.4Ghz/5Ghz
Package Contents
  • Call of Duty®: Black Ops II Limited Edition Ear Force® X-Ray Headset with Removable Microphone
  • Wireless Transmitter: Digital RF Wireless Transmitter
  • Guide: Quick Start Guide
  • Sticker: Turtle Beach Sticker
  • Cable: Headset USB Charging Cable
  • Cable: TOSLINK Digital Optical Cable
  • Cable: XBOX 360® Talkback Cable
What’s in the Box?
COD_XRAY-whatsinthebox

For more Detail or to purchase this product hit up Turtle Beach Here

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Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.


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