The one thing I’ve always wanted when it comes to a gaming headset, besides the ability to be immersed in the environment my pixelated feet are trudging through, is to have the edge in combat, especially in games that don’t feature motion detectors or radar.
Turtle Beach claim to do just that with the Ear Force PX24 headset, which features ‘Superhuman Hearing’, which is an additional boost to hearing when activated, allowing you to pick up on ambient sounds that may ordinarily go unnoticed, this includes footsteps or magazine changes.
As a headset the PX24s do a wonderful job of providing a simple and straightforward means to hear and communicate. Sound is clear and they manage to cope with big, bassy tones, explosions and gunfire extremely well. Music comes through just as well as most headphones, even the more expensive ones.
So if it’s the standard delivery of sound that you’re looking for, I can’t really fault them in doing just that. The mic also performs well, allowing you to communicate clearly, with the addition of hearing your own voice so you don’t end up unintentionally shouting at your team mates when playing. More importantly it also means you can tell if you’re breathing down the microphone, which can obviously be off-putting when online.
Though the headset isn’t in the premium price bracket, and as such aren’t lined with bunny rabbits or cushioned with caramel, they’re very comfortable. During play they never felt uncomfortable. They were also secure on my head, without being constrictive, allowing for longer periods of play. They’re also relatively inexpensive. At £69.99 they’re cheaper than a pair of XO Four’s, and they don’t require the audio controller, as it’s supplied within the Superhuman hearing controller. Additionally, they are compatible with a variety of Operating Systems and consoles.
But the real question is, of course, does the Superhuman Hearing function really work? Does it really give you the edge over other players? The short answer is both yes and no.
In generic multiplayer combat situations, such as those presented in Battlefield 4, Warzone on Halo 5: Guardians, or Star Wars Battlefront they certainly do add to the experience. A lot of the environment is immediately boosted and you hear far more than before, but that also happens to be problematic.
Due to the numbers involved on the aforementioned games, the pace tends to be fast and frenetic, and you never really stand still long enough to gauge the location of a nearby enemy. Sure, they let you know, more often than not, that another player is nearby, but this also means they pick up on your own movements and those of your team mates. This means that when the action really ramps up it can be distracting.
Now I am become sneak, destroyer of noisy terrorists.
But the headset really performs well in more confined environments, where a more methodical or deliberate approach is required, especially if stealth is a factor. Arena in Halo 5: Guardians is one such environment, especially in Breakout, where the maps are more maze-like in design and clear line of sight isn’t guaranteed. During these matches the headset proved advantageous. On more than one occasion, when down to 1v1 situations, they gave me just enough of an edge to anticipate attacks, allowing me to pre-emptively throw a grenade round the bend of a corridor or into a room, just as the enemy was making a run in my direction.
The other game where they performed really well was Rainbow Six: Siege. Here, stealth and surprise is just as important as good communication and planning. With the PX24s I was able to discern the general location of enemy combatants, though there were occasions where they performed too well – projecting the sound from two rooms away. I rushed in, hosing the room with fire, only to discover the enemy was in the adjacent room in an over-watch position. So in this case I would suggest a period of attuning your hearing to what’s produced by the headset, allowing you to better gauge distance and direction.
To be blunt, it’s almost as though they were designed with Rainbow Six: Siege in mind. Of course, once the bullets start flying and breach charges are turning wood panels into splinters, the adrenaline takes over and channelling those sounds tends to be difficult. But with stealth and surprise on your side, they’re definitely useful. Unfortunately, this also means that, with some practice, you’re likely to be the best choice as the point-man or woman in the team.
The good thing is that whether or not the Superhuman Hearing appeals or you just fancy a decent headset, you’re provided for on both accounts. The boosted hearing can be toggled on or off, allowing you to enjoy the more frenetic situations just as you would with any other headset. But when things turn dark and stealthy, you can provide yourself and your team with a unique advantage and subsequently, the spoils of war.
- Multiplatform compatible with the PlayStation®4, Xbox One, PC, Mac and mobile/tablet devices with a universal 3.5mm jack
- The innovative Ear Force SuperAmp™ battery powered in-line amplifier offers fingertip control and amazing amplified sound from any device
- Experience Turtle Beach Virtual Surround Sound on PlayStation®4, Xbox One and mobile/tablet devices
- Superhuman Hearing™ audio preset gives players the competitive advantage of hearing enemies before they come into view
- Variable Bass Boost enhances powerful rumbling lows
- Variable Mic Monitoring lets you hear your own voice in the headset to avoid shouting
- Large, high-performance 50mm Neodymium speakers deliver Immersive audio
- Adjustable, high-sensitivity boom mic picks-up your voice loud and clear
- Lightweight design and mesh ear-cups for hours of comfort
Verdict: A headset that stands out amongst the usual bunch of expensive or inexpensive headsets. Being unique and relatively cheap is a definite strength.
Flugel Meister (Dave) is a longtime video gaming fan, who's love for all things pixelated began way back in 1980, when he ventured onto his brother's Grandstand console before progressing to a Dragon 32 and then a Spectrum 48K. That's right. he's old. When he's not gaming, he can be found swimming in the country's reserves of cheesecake.
Follow him on Twitter: @DavidPMcDougall