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GDC: Ear Force PX5 from Turtle Beach

Cat|2641d ago |Blog Post|13|

It's the early hours of GDC, Friday morning, and while most conference attendees are staring glassy-eyed into the tops of their Starbucks to-go cups, I'm entirely too keen to be out of bed and trying out the latest from Turtle Beach - the PX5. Of course, they did promise that the second half of the demo could be nap time.

The wireless PX5 uses Bluetooth to pair with up to two devices simultaneously. This means that you can pair with a device like your iPhone while you game and receive calls through your headset without ever leaving your comfiest gaming chair. You also have the ability to mix in your own music from your Bluetooth device with the game music - and it does that lovely fade-in, fade-out. The PX5 deals in Dolby 5.1 and 7.1 virtual surround sound containing a radio for game audio and another for Bluetooth makes the set a wee bit fancy. Fancier yet is the ability to use and create audio presets across the game, chat and microphone.

These myriad customization options are the real hook of the PX5. The Preset Manager Program allows players to use any of the 100 premade presets made by Turtle Beach or customize their own across the game, chat and microphone audio. With the program downloadable for free from Turtle Beach and a website for sharing presets, making these 100 just the tip of the user-created iceberg. That said, the Footsteps preset is likely to charm the pants off Call of Duty players looking for a tactical advantage as they single out the sounds of enemy footsteps rather than gunfire.

What this sort of power means for chat is the ability to filter out the sounds of those players that hop into a game with music blasting or shrieking to their Mom or maybe just the heavy breathers of the world. These noise gates work without the hassle of muting individual players and often before you even hear them. On the mic tweaks tab, the ability to truly alter your voice caught my attention. Granted, this is a bit of a girl thing - it is mighty handy to be able to play as just one of the boys!

Also available (for free) is the Advanced Sound Editor for developers, the idea being that it can enhance their game's audio as they pinpoint audio cues and effects.

Demoing the set with Dead Space the first delight is in the violence of a postmortem stomp on a carcass. Simultaneously vicious *and* squelchy, it was hard to tire of that audio reward. On the ambient front, I appreciated the sound of the faucet running, the crackle of electricity, and the directional sound of a door closing.

Volume controls on each earpiece are positioned at the lower rear where your thumb naturally settles as you reach up. The set feels good, and for my fingers I found all the buttons to be conveniently located, easily identifiable, and easy to use. However, I always feel the need to remind people that I have girl hands, so if you're a giant dude with sausage fingers I cannot speak to ease of use! With the presets you can either cycle through them or cycle to the preferred one for the title you're playing and then hotswap between main and that preset.

Designed for the PS3 the headset works with the 360 . Retailing at $249.95 you can buy it direct from the Turtle Beach website on Monday, March 7 and at major retail outlets shortly afterward. Nobody said audiophilia was cheap - but the reps on hand mentioned that we can expect the tech available in this model to ultimately trickle down through the line.

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DarK-SilV2641d ago (Edited 2641d ago )

are there a lot of wires involved? also good to see you doing Tech

Cat2641d ago

On PS3 you'll have the digital optical cable and the transmitter power, on 360 add to that the talkback cable.

(there is also the usb programming cable)

INehalemEXI2639d ago

looks expensive, bute nice.

herobyclicking2641d ago

Turtle Beach does a great job. I bought their entry level headset (X2?) years ago and it still produces a decent sound. These look solid, if not exspensive. Yowsa. Thanks Cat!

Cat2641d ago

Yeah, I'll admit it, I spent the first 30 minutes doing the demo and the last 30 trying to convince Alex that they should let me keep a pair. ;)

Nineball21122641d ago

Should I report that this belongs on Tech Spy? LOL!

Looks like a nice set of headphones... And the price seems reasonable for what you get.

Nice review Cat.

Cat2641d ago

Don't worry, it's there, too - HA! :D

-X-2641d ago

One thing that I kinda don't like about the Turtle Beaches (PX21) I have is that they feel soooooo light. I feel like im gonna break them every time I take them of my head. Other than that they are great. Nothing to really complain about except maybe the appearance.

How light is the PX5?

Cat2641d ago

They weigh half a lb, a couple ounces more than the PX21.

r1sh122640d ago

Personally I prefer wired headsets, I had the X41's and they would always drop because of interference with other frequencies.
Ive had the X1's, X31's, X41's and for almost over a year now Ive had Astro A40's.
Once you go to 5.1 surround you cant go back, and Im loving my astros.
Do you get any interference with this headset?

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