Turtle Beach is arguably one of the best known names in gaming accessories. Primarily due to their headsets that range from entry level to high end, they compete mainly with HyperX and Astro when it comes to gamer wallets. Now, manufacturers are starting to release more budget friendly headsets to mixed results. Today, we have the Turtle Beach Ear Force Recon 70 Headset, which can be found for about $39.99 at most retailers. Can a $40 headset really stack up to the big boys out there? No. Is it good enough, though? Read on.
Audiophiles Need Not Apply
Here is the thing with almost any entry level gaming headset you purchase; it will not compete with the $300 sets on the market. When it comes to gaming headsets, you are also not going to find the same fidelity, in most cases, as you will with dedicated earphones. There are just too many variables and when you add a microphone and some bells and whistles, you may find that sound suffers a bit. With that said, gaming headsets have come a long way, and Turtle Beach has had a mostly positive run.
Budget Means Bad, Right?
Here is the rub. When a set is on sale for under $100 you likely expect the quality to be…crap. We have a few sitting around here at GamingHistoria and Turtle Beach stands toe to toe with the other budget entries. In some areas it excels, but in others it leaves a bit to be desired. I’ll be mentioning price and quality a good bit as the two are going to be very connected. You get what you pay for, but you want to make sure you get the most bang for your buck. Cliches aside, here is what you can expect from the Recon 70.
This is my biggest negative for the Recon 70, but it isn’t a huge issue. Compared to a few other headsets in the same price range, the audio quality in games is lacking a bit of bass. I don’t expect a $40 pair of headphones to rattle my brain with some beat drops, but I would like to hear the crunchy mess that is Mortal Kombat 11.
While the bass is a bit hollow in the headset, there is good separation at the higher levels and a clearer sound. I tested “Helter Skelter” by The Beatles and “Sail” by Awolnation on multiple headphones, and the Recon 70 gave the clearest vocals and higher end, though the grinding muddy sounds and bass were lacking a bit. I’m not sure which version I prefer to be honest, though I think that with all the budget headphones I wanted something a bit clearer, which was an unreasonable request at the price. Comparing these to a dedicated pair of $300 phones is not going to be a contest, but up against others in the price range, they are perfectly fine, depending on your preference. You lose some bass, but you gain some clarity.
This is where the Recon 70 shines more than most headphones in this price range, and ranges above. I have a voice of the gods, as you can hear on our many podcasts, and many headphones do not capture that particular quality of my voice. Usually, it only comes out with our recording level mics. But, Turtle Beach has pulled off a wonderful mic on this headset that captures the rich bass of my voice. It also brings it over clearly and compared to other gaming headsets I use, it is by far the best of the bunch.
In all seriousness, the mic is extremely good for a gaming headset. Would I record a podcast or video with it? Not in a second. Would I get on a video call with it? Without a doubt. It also swivels for mute so there aren’t too many buttons to worry about. If it is down it is on, if it is up it is off. Simple enough.
Bells and Features
You won’t get many bells and whistles with this headset, which should be expected. The cord is long enough, but I would have liked to see a bit more length. The red cord, to me at least, seems to scream budget, but the headset itself is almost indistinguishable from the other Turtle Beach headsets out there. The build quality is solid and the phones are comfortable enough, though I wouldn’t expect to wear them for extremely long play sessions as they start to become uncomfortable.
For the first hour or two, at a minimum, even with glasses on, the headset is very comfortable. In addition, it blocks out most noise, so if your significant other is right next to you, worry not, they won’t hear much of anything. There is some slight adjustment that can be made, but overall it felt snug. Volume control is behind the left ear next to the mic and is easy enough to handle.
At about $40 USD, the Turtle Beach Recon 70 is a great budget gaming set that can be used with just about anything. It plugs in with a 3.5mm jack (sorry Apple folks) so your phone, PS4, Xbox One, PC, whatever, can use it just fine. The product I received is designated as a Switch headset with the rest “also” compatible. Ultimately, this is a 3.5mm pair of headphones that works with anything and does a fine job at the asking price. At the very least, it stacks up to the competition, if not beating them.
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