The Turtle Beach Recon 30X Chat Headset is the Best Budget Headset You Can Buy

Why sacrifice video game sound quality to hear your friends' dick jokes when you can enjoy both?

Communicating over Xbox Live is a time honored tradition. Online multiplayer has evolved from calling someone a potato peeling putz to listening for footsteps in FPS games with expensive, but very good, headsets.

Every now and then you just wanna hop online, get pissed at the lack of multiplayer in No Man's Sky, and chat with your friends easily and cheaply. There are many affordable choices out there, but there aren't many that allow you to chat and clearly hear your video game through your TV's sound system. Enter the Recon 30X chat headset.

What's in the Box?

Easy to set up on any device with a 3.5mm headset jack, you simply plug it directly into your Xbox One controller or Dual Shock 4 controller. You'll immediately notice the odd 90 degree aux plug and the slimly feeling, easily creased cord connected to it. It's the type of cord you'd expect to from any generic electronic, not on a Turtle Beach branded device. I get that this is a budget friendly device, but headsets of similar cost offer fabric cords so "Booooo," I say. "Boooo, Turtle Beach."

Moving up the cord, your hands will meet in-line audio controls. What I like is that the controls don't spin around constantly when you're wearing the headset. So when you need to quickly adjust something, the mute switch or volume wheel are exactly where you expect them to be. Plus the controls have very good relief.

Further up is the lone ear cup and microphone boom. The ear cushion feels soft but also like it'll take some abuse, which is great because its the only part placing pressure around your ear.

The cup itself and the attached headband, unfortunately, don't feel quite as nice. The plastic used is not flimsy, but it doesn't seem robust either. The headband feels the same, but the padding on it's underside is an unexpected touch. Overall it's comfortable enough to not notice after hours of gameplay and after months of usage, nothing's broken yet and the turning the microphone boom is a tactile pleasure.

Counter to other headsets, turning the microphone boom on its 360 degree swivel feels like turning a switch in a luxury car. 

So quality wise, it's a mixed bag. Keeping the headset as lightweight as it is necessitated the use of a lot of lightweight plastic, which is forgivable. But what is not forgivable is the cheap auxiliary cord and the lack of relief where it connects into the headset.

Never mind that for now, let's see how well the Recon 30X actually works!

Well when compared to the cheap, designed-to-break headset that comes with the Xbox One, the Recon is definitely an upgrade. The speaker raised over the ear and the holes cut into the ear cup not only keep you from getting swamp ear, it allows you to clearly hear audio from your TV's sound system better than traditionally designed headsets.

Not today, earhole mold.

Its an awesome feature for those who want to enjoy their TV sound system and chat with their friends without compromising the enjoyment of either task. Normally, you'd have to spend at least $50 for a decent chat headset to enjoy good voice chat and video game quality. If you already have a good sound system, you just need the $25 Recon headset and you're good to go.

Well, maybe. Other owners complain of a lack of volume, but this is a non-issue when using your console settings to adjust both audio mix and headset volume. Then when everything is finally at max volume you'll hear horrible tinny sounds that actually hurt. No Bueno.

During my few months of exclusive usage of this headset, though, I've yet to miss my original stereo headset. My TV's sound system not only sounds better than any headset I've ever purchased for a console (The most expensive and best one would be the Sony Pulse Headset), the remarkable low weight of the Recon 30X allows me to enjoy chatting and my TV's sound system for hours without fatigue. The headset just sort of disappears during long gaming sessions, a benefit nonexistent on stereo headsets at this price point. For sure these are this is the most comfortable headset I've ever used.

Truthfully, its frustrating that the only readily available, TV sound system friendly headset uses materials that'll make a Mad Catz controller blush (and then break from the strenuous blushing). And of course the sound quality isn't quite as good as it needs to be at higher volumes.

But on the other hand, for $25 you're getting one of the most comfortable console headsets at any price point, and, ya' know, not having both gaming sounds and conversations spilling into your ears simultaneously feels nice.

If you have a good sound system, the Recon 30X allows you to enjoy it in ways do-all headsets can only dream of. Have I also mentioned how comfortable these things are? Maybe I have a perfectly shaped head, but I think Turtle Beach has designed a killer, budget headset.

See on Amazon


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