Audiophiles, step up to the plate. These headphones are for those looking to up the ante in console gaming audio. They’re not meant for those light of wallet or listening taste. That said, on with the Turtle Beach X41s.
Turtle Beach is known for making quality listening hardware. These headphones represent the wireless 360 category. And they arrive with a full range of power and capabilities. However, the unit will set gamers back $200. So, in effect, you’ll be buying a second console. Is it worth it?
The headphones arrive with an ad of sorts on the box. Late night gaming. If you’re living with someone that doesn’t appreciate the raucous gunfire associated with a late night match of Modern Warfare 2 or Red Dead Redemption, then headphones are the obvious solution. That’s what these are meant for. Except they’re meant to late night game with quality and comfort in mind.
The build of the X41 is rock solid. They articulate at all the right points, they feel sturdy but not heavy, they’re cushioned appropriately and they grip the head perfectly. Where aesthetics, shape and size are concerned, these babies are spectacular.
They are mostly wireless as well. A docking station (complete with a rest for the phones when they aren’t in use) sits near the console or during play. Connect power to the system through one of the 360’s open USB ports. Then run digital audio (cable included) from the 360 to the dock. Set input volume and additional line-out volume there.
Then the headsets sit wherever you sit. The mic swivels from the left ear cup and the headset will be plugged into the mic jack on the bottom of the controller when you want to chat.
The great thing about this set is that the audio signal is transmitted via radio instead of Infrared. So you don’t have to worry about constantly facing the TV or keeping objects out from in front of your face during play. Just stay within 30 feet of the set (by our best guess) and you’re good to go. Bringing friends to the bathroom is just as creepy as you’d expect, just so you know.
Where audio clarity is concerned, this offering from Turtle Beach is strong. Not perfect, but strong. There’s a bass boost button present, push it and never look back. The highs are crisp and the mids only get scratchy at loud volumes. The lows aren’t as deep as we would have liked, but they worked dynamically within the range presented. They are advertised as bringing 7.1 sound to the table, but most 360 games cap out at 5.1 instead.
The major complaints come from volume and a weird grounding issue (we assume). The headphones cap out at a relatively low position. Maybe we’re just griping for no big reason, but the maximum volume on these was where we preferred them. That leaves no room for making it louder or, we wish, turning it up to 11. That said, at max volume they were exactly where we wanted them.
But the weird grounding issue comes from plugging the headphones into the controller. Do it from the dashboard with the chat volume turned up (oh, chat is independent from game audio, how great is that!?) and you’ll get this not-too-nice whistling. It’s not loud or overwhelming, and it falls into unnoticeable during play, but it’s just one of those minor issues worth mentioning. It’s important to note that fellow gamers made no mention of me sounding anything other than “good.”
These are $200 headphones. Keep that in mind. For the money, they aren’t pitch perfect. But they’re damn good. If you’re looking to maintain audio quality while keeping quiet (aside from screaming at twelve year-olds), these might be your best option. They’re a great entry into the Turtle Beach catalogue and they’re a welcome addition to an avid gamer’s arsenal. I want to own a pair for real… does that help?