E3 2005: Level Up
Turtle Beach Has You Surrounded
Product: 5.1 Surround Headphones
Company: Turtle Beach
Date: 05/28/2005
Avaliable On:

The first question I was asked at my Turtle Beach appointment was whether I had ever heard of Turtle Beach. Of course! From years back. Turtle Beach has been doing their thing with audio and video for quite some time, if I recall.

What I hadn't (of course) seen yet was their new lineup. Turtle Beach decided to bring high-quality 5.1 surround sound experience to gamers who couldn't blast a speaker system or just preferred to keep their gaming experience to themselves. They do this with their new Ear Force surround sound headphone and accessories. These headphones produce realistic 5.1 surround sound via four speakers on each side. Each side of the headphones has its own Front, Center and Rear speakers as well as a subwoofer.

For PC gamers, the X-51 folding headphones ship with adapters for traditional stereo sources and a "snap on" microphone for $79.95 USD. The HPA headset provides full-sized headphones with multi-channel amplification and a convenient in-line volume control. It includes a high-quality boom mic that snaps on easily and can be removed when not needed for $99.99 USD

On the Console Side, Turtle Beach has the SWT - a box that allows you to easily connect headphones to the console of your choice. It offers dual headphone outputs, volume control and boost and speaker outputs, allowing you to toggle quickly between speaker output and up to two headphones.

The AXT is Turtle Beach's more affordable headphone for consoles. It combines enhanced stereo enhanced sound with multiple speakers in each ear. It includes a microphone that can be used for use with Xbox Live and is priced at $79.95 USD.

If you want to go high-end, the DXT offers true Dolby Digital and Pro Logic decoding with multi-speaker positional output through eight distinct speakers in the headphones (as described above), to recreate the 5.1 surround sound experience for $149.95 USD. You'll have to pick sides, however, as the DXT comes in two flavors: one specifically for the Xbox and one specifically for the PS2. These sounded very good from what I could tell on the show floor. I tested them with Burnout 3 and the crashes and shattering glass sounded incredible.

Stay tuned for more in-depth reviews of these products when we get some units in-house for some hands-on tests. It's like JRNip said, "I guess you always hear surround sound with just two ears". Indeed.

Geck0 aka Robert Perkins

GameVortex PSIllustrated TeamPS2