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Turtle Beach Ear Force X41 Review

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Turtle Beach Ear Force X41 Review

Turtle Beach Ear Force X41 Review
Published by Mattster on Friday, October 30, 2009
Tagged: Gaming, Hardware, Xbox 360, Xbox Live,
The latest Surround Sound headset from Turtle Beach is the X41. They take all of the best features from their X4 headset and combine that with RF Technology to bring you a premier headset worthy of the pros.

They feature 7.1 surround sound and Chat boost technology to name a few of their features.

I have put these through their paces on all different types of games for this review, from FPS to Driving games and watched movies and listened to music through them.

Headphone design and feel

First and foremost this headset is light. So light in fact that you almost forget you are wearing them and feature a breathable fabric cup for your ears to prevent them from getting sweaty, this is very handy for those long gaming sessions.....

The main draw for me with this headset is that everything you need is right there on your left ear. Volume, Bass Boost, Mic cable input and the power button, it just feels natural the way Turtle Beach have engineered them.

If you are on the HQ Homepage click the link to view the entire review

The first thing I noticed when I picked them up was the quality in the plastics, they feel durable and sturdy. I am not a butter fingers, but I am glad that they are, as I plan on giving this headset a pounding.

Audio Quality

One of the big draw cards of the X41s is the new Digital RF which claims to increase sound quality while eliminating interference from Plasma TV’s. While some reviews I have read have claimed to have interference from WIFI, I have my base unit set-up next to my WIFI router and I am yet to hear any interference out of the X41’s.

I have read some cynics out there touting that the X41’s only have 2 speakers (1 per ear) instead of 2 per ear (ala Trittons), but the way that Turtle Beach utilise these 2 speakers is mind blowing. They are true surround.

As a test I was playing COD: WAW and during a speech segment I turned my character around with my eyes closed to get a feel for the surround. At no point could I not tell exactly where the other person was.

The 50mm speakers punch out some very impressive sound, coupled with the fact they are 7.1 Dolby Surround means you in for one hell of a ride. This is partly due to Dolby helping out with the audio calibration of the base unit, meaning the bass is earthy and deep while the treble is very precise and crisp.

With this headset you will hear things in your games that you never realised were ever there before. The subtle click of an enemy reloading behind you or a gentle breeze blowing across a post apocalyptic wasteland, these little touches really help immerse you into the game.

Not only do they pump out 7.1 Dolby Surround sound, Turtle Beach have included the newer Pro Logic 2x for analogue inputs. Hook up your IPod or Auxiliary input source and your music never sounded so good.

If you want to use these at night and use your surround sound amp during the day, there is an optical throughput on the base unit so you can still output your Xbox 360 audio to your amp via fibre optic.

In my time I have heard some very expensive (insanely expensive) audio set-ups and I must admit that the X41’s, even though they are a headset, come very close to. The only sound setup I have heard that beats these is a $50,000 Bang and Olufsen set-up, they are that good.

Other Features
One of the very nifty features of the X41’s is the Chat Boost. What Turtle Beach implemented was a way of “boosting” the chat volume for those hectic moments in a game so your team mates voice levels are the same whether it is quiet or full on action. I can see this giving me a competitive edge in clan matches of Modern Warfare 2.

With the older Turtle Beach headsets they utilised a puck design (like the MS Chat Headsets have) for the talk-back cable, this has been thrown away as many people have chat-pads or racing wheels and the puck doesn’t like these. They have instead gone with a 2.5mm Headphone jack. My only gripe with this design is that during game play it is hard to hit the mute button as it is now inline on the talk-back cable, which is no big deal it just takes a little to get used to.

One of the best features (other than the audio) is the fact the base unit is powered via USB. Just hook this baby up to one of your USB slots on your 360 and your good to go. This is great for people outside of the US as they don’t have to buy a power adaptor for their headset.

Another cool feature is that they have an optional wired headset jack on the front of the base unit for when your buddies come around, so they can hear the game audio as well

I have read some people comment that headset should be rechargeable when placed on the base unit. Personally I don’t like this idea.

Say for example you have an extended gaming session and you headset goes flat mid game, then your boned while your waiting for your headset to recharge. The way Turtle Beach have designed the X41’s is they use a standard AAA Alkaline battery so you can have some as spares backup if your headset decides to conk out mid game.

Overall

With some very intelligent design and very powerful sound, these are a must have if you’re a serious gamer. Yes the $200 US price tag is a little steep for some, but the value of this headset far outweighs the price tag. All in all a must have if you want to game like a pro.

Overall Review Score:

Value for money: 8/10
Audio Quality: 10/10
Build Quality: 9/10
Mic Quality: 8/10
Ease of Use: 9/10
Style: 9/10

Positive Points:

7.1 Surround Sound,
Chat Boost,
High comfort levels,
Outstanding in-game sound quality,
Very good quality mic,
Detachable mic,
Perfect for midnight gamers or Gamers who like it loud without annoying the neighbours,

Negative points:

None to mention

So if your interested in getting a set, contact Turtle Beach and tell them HQ Mattster from 360-HQ sent you. You won't regret it.

360-HQ Hardware Database: Turtle Beach Ear Force X41
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