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CES 2014: Turtle Beach hands-on

by: Sean Cahill -
More On: CES 2014

During our trip to Las Vegas, Nevada, for the International CES 2014, we met up with Turtle Beach to see the plethora of headsets that is in their 2014 lineup, though we focused on a few in particular.  

I would be hard pressed to start out with anything other than the Z60, a 7.1 Surround Sound PC only headset.  While Turtle Beach is no stranger to the world of PC gaming, the last couple of years have really brought forth the best in audio, which truly requires companies to bring their best with every product or get lost in the wake of others.  The Z60 takes surround sound to the next level and above by offering more than just the standard 5.1 surround, going for the full effect with side channels.  The true beauty of the surround on the Z60, however, is that it is DTS capable, meaning crisper, clearer sound.  New features have been added to this headset, including microphone monitor, which allows a user to hear their own voice in the headset as a means of testing out the output level so there is no need to shout or do "guess and test" with other players in their various voice servers.  The Z60 is extremely comfortable, with mesh ear cushions and a soft, padded headband to ensure that long sessions don't become uncomfortable.  The best part of the Z60 is the pricepoint, though.  Most surround headsets are going to be anywhere from 150-300 dollars, depending on what you're looking for.  Turtle Beach, staying true to its competitiveness in the market, is launching the Z60 at $119.99 USD.

A couple of new look headsets in the form of the Arctic Camo X12 and PX22, a Major League Gaming official headset, have picked up a couple of new designs to build upon their already successful initial launches.  Variety is everything and being able to have a new look when playing online is personal preference, of course, so why not enjoy a headset that stands out?  

The headset that gamers looking forward to Titanfall should be excited about is the officially licensed Titanfall Atlas headset.  The Atlas will be cross-platform on the 360, One, and PC platforms with adapters available for each.  Full chat functionality will be available from day one for the Xbox One, with full range 50mm speakers to ensure a fantastic experience.  I tried these on in a demo and it was hard to take them off because they sounded so good.  Those who are looking to play Titanfall on their PC will truly enjoy the comfort and clarity of this wonderful headset, not to mention the look of it with the branded icons and logos from the game itself.  Expected to be a very popular choice in the Turtle Beach lineup, the Atlas will retail for $149.99 USD.

The biggest surprise upon our visit to the Turtle Beach booth was checking out the i30 and i60 wireless headsets.  We have covered the differences between wired and wireless headsets on here before and the difference in audio quality, but it seems that Turtle Beach is quickly bridging the gap with the iSeries.  The i30 has fantastic, noise cancelling sound quality that uses Bluetooth 3.0 which allows seamless syncing with any device that uses Bluetooth.  Comfort takes another step forward as the i30 uses memory foam on the headband and ear pieces.  Expect about 10 hours of battery life from the i30 which also comes with adapater cables and a carrying bag for travel.  The i30 retails at $299.99 USD.

The i60 is the cream of the crop for wireless headsets.  Utilizing 7.1 DTS Surround, much like the Z60 wired headset, the sound quality out of this headset is nothing short of amazing.  The difference between the i30 and i60 is how they are utilized with mobile devices and gaming.  The i60 has a desktop control unit that has presets that take full advantage of the drivers in the ear pieces, promising the best experience one can want.  The i60 also uses Bluetooth 3.0 like the i30 when it's not plugged into the desktop control unit, giving it that added bonus of being wired or wireless.  The i60 will retail for $399.99 USD.

We want to thank the friendly and knowledgeable staff at Turtle Beach for making Gaming Nexus a part of their International CES 2014!