Tech review: Turtle Beach Earforce PX22

Loud, big on bass, crystal clear high end and a mid-range that offers a fast and engaging response, topped off with ultra realistic 5.1 surround sound. By Grant Paterson

Turtle Beach Earforce PX22

The Ear force PX22’s are Turtle Beach’s newest lightweight wired headset. Universally compatible with most popular gaming devices, the PX22’s offer gamers amplified audio for PlayStation 3, Xbox 360, PC, Mac and tablet PC (Xbox 360 users will require an adapter if connecting via HDMI port).

The PX22’s are based on the more expensive ‘PRO range’. With a toughened black plastic hard shell, the headset is strong and durable enough to withstand a daily commute if you intended using them with a portable music player or smartphone.

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I found them surprisingly snug. All the padded parts are filled with memory foam and covered in a soft mesh material. This helps to reduce the pressure from the headband by moulding to the shape of the wearer’s head. The breathable material on the underside of the headband (and cups) helps keep your cool during hours of intense game play.

The cups are the ‘closed’ type. This significantly reduces external noise which isolates game audio for an immersive experience.

Aesthetically, they look modern and stylish. There is some nice detailing, such as the blue stitching separating the mesh material from the outer faux-leather trim. This gives the PX22’s a sportier image.

Build quality is very good with hinges secured by metal screws and all sliding parts lock in place with a solid click, giving the PX-22’s a ‘big and chunky’ appeal.

I was pleasantly surprised how light the PX-22’s were. They’re hardly noticeable even after long stints on your console, as I found out during a double XP weekend for COD: Black Ops II.

The microphone is fixed to the left cup and is non-detachable. However, it swivels, bends and flexes in virtually every direction to provide a clear response from any position. This is particularly handy if you’re having a snack while gaming. I must confess that my original 360 microphone started smelling a bit funky after the pop shield was dipped in a variety of meals (not advisable).

Clean connections can be made to any device supporting a 3.5mm mini jack connection (the PX22’s have a three foot cable which comes included as standard). While there is no Bluetooth, the headset can still be used to send and receive phone calls when plugged into your mobile phone.

Independent volume controls separate game audio with chat, allowing you to achieve the perfect balance. As you would expect you can mute the microphone, reduce or increase the microphone volume or more uniquely, boost your team-mates’ chat.

The in-line amplifier is what gives the PX-22’s incredible power. You can adjust all aspects of the sound to fine-tune the bass, treble, audio volume, chat volume, mic volume and mic monitor. The mic volume is controlled via a slider with four settings – high, low, phone and mute. These quick controls are simple to use without any fiddling about or any need to take your eyes off the game.

The PX-22’s can also connect to a mobile phone while gaming. Simply connect the short length audio cable (included in the pack),to a mobile which supports 3.5 mini jack connections. You will hear game and phone audio together through your headphones while the caller will only hear your voice conversation.

The audio quality is truly astounding. Driven by two 50mm drivers the PX-22’s rumble and roar at the low end, level out with a gutsy performance from mid-range which fills the space with an engaging sense of realism. The high end is crisp, not coarse, and never gets too shiny either. I admit I was quite taken aback for a sub-£100 set of phones.

The 5.1 surround sound is a deal clincher for me. I tested them with Black Ops II and welcomed a sensory experience as close to realism as it gets. The difference between the PX-22’s and my original XBox headset was night and day. I could hear sounds that were previously inaudible. The directional sound was clear and immersive. Gunfire rattled in my right ear spurned me left and away from impeding death. Footsteps behind me got louder and louder until I spun around and wasted the punk.

It may seem ridiculous that a good pair of headphones could make such a difference to your gaming results, but the PX-22’s really do. I’m pretty average at shooters and I became one of the best.

If you use the multimedia functions of your console then you will be delighted to hear that these headphones will change how you interact with audio. You will get a lot more out of your music, games and movies.

I have no hesitation recommending the PX-22’s as a console standard. These should be bundled with every console straight out the box.

MONEY NO OBJECT: The PX-22’s are exceptionally good headphones, but if you have an unlimited supply of cash and want the king of cans, then take a look at Turtle Beach’s CALL OF DUTY range. I use the Black Ops EARFORCE X-RAY wireless Dolby surround headset and they are one of the best sets of headphones I have used. The retail for £135, which is rather cheap for Dolby surround sound, are worth checking out too.

If you are a COD fanboy then you might want to wait till the COD: Ghosts headsets are released, which will be very shortly. Turtle Beach have partnered with the gaming franchise and Microsoft for the official release of Xbox One. If the rumours are true, the quick-scoper will be extinct and mods won’t work. This is great news for everyone who plays fair, as they’ll now have an equal chance to win unless you invest in a set of Turtle Beach headphones.

RATING: 9/10

FOR: Universal connections, excellent sound quality and value for money

AGAINST: Nothing.

PRICE: £65 (Approx)