Review: Turtle Beach Recon 150


I read you loud and clear

Y’all like to hate onDestiny, but it has given me something no other game has: a weekly ritual of six-player cooperative first-person shooter raids that require not only skill and focus, but more importantly communication and coordination among team members. While generally not required for the rest of the game, a headset is a crucial tool for that stuff.

For most of my time with the PlayStation 4, I’ve been running with aTurtle Beach Ear Force P4C, which can be lovingly described as “fine for how little it costs.” The recently releasedRecon 150(and its Xbox sisterXO Three) are a step up in price, but this is definitely a case of “you get what you pay for.”

Turtle Beach Recon 150 Gaming Headset(PC, PS4 [reviewed])Turtle Beach XO Three Gaming Headset (Xbox One)Manufacturer: Turtle BeachMSRP: $69.95

With my old headset, I always had the volume knob cranked up as high as it could go, and it still piped voice into the one earpiece too quietly. So that was the first thing I checked on the Recon 150. Voice chat comes in through the two speakers much louder and a bit clearer, to the point where I find my volume knob lives closer to the middle of its range, actually serving a purpose where the old one might as well have not existed.

The microphone seems a lot more sensitive as well. I’ve had my raid team issue a “bless you” when my wife sneezed across the room. The downside to this is I have to either play with the TV volume almost inaudibly low in order for it not to get picked up and shared with everybody in party chat. Alternatively, sending game audio and chat audio through the headset works well to curb that, but as a simple matter of personal preference I’d rather separate the two.

On that note, I’ve been spending most of my time with it in a slightly awkward position, with the left speaker over my left ear but the right one behind my right ear (so I can more easily pick up game audio from the traditional speakers). It’s not so bad it aches after a while or anything; it just feels a little weird at first.

Actually, the whole thing feels a little weird due to its shape. Most of Turtle Beach’s headsets have a significant angle (roughly 25-30 degrees) between the earpieces and the axis of the headband. Coming from experience with headsets that have the two components aligned, it felt strange to have the headband sit so far forward on the top of my head. Turtle Beach veterans likely won’t notice anything unusual here.

Otherwise, the comfort level is spot on. There’s plenty of padding on the earpieces and the headband doesn’t squeeze too tightly, so I’ve been able to play with these for extended sessions without any sort of pain or discomfort.

Overall, I’m pleased with the upgrade. The Turtle Beach Recon 150 addresses my biggest issue (low chat audio volume) perfectly. While the price is past impulse buy territory, at 70 bucks it still isn’t as unattainable as the highest-end models out there for those who need a decent headset.