Turtle Beach have certainly turned out their fair share of high-end tech for gamers. I for one regularly use a Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament headset during our gaming videos, something that has served me well and will continue to do so. It’s expensive, and you can tell.
The Turtle Beach Recon Chat is at the other end of the spectrum to this, price wise. It’s a reduced set-up; you get one ear-cup which is reversible so you can choose which side to have it on. On the other side of the headband there’s a simple plastic stopper to keep everything in place on your head, and of course a microphone reaching from the ear-cup to position as you wish (but presumably somewhere in front of your face). The size and position of the headband is adjustable, as is the placement of the boom mic, but that’s it. This is a no-frills, put-on-and-play headset.
Upon receipt of this I wasn’t aware this was at the lower end of the price range, but I could have had a fairly accurate guess. Having used much of TB’s other gear this is noticeably nowhere near as fancy. There’s no mistaking this for a high-end set of cans. Headsets can be funny things for gamers. Everyone’s heads are different, so usually the more adjustable bits you have on there the better.
The Recon Chat is available in two styles; blue for PS4 and green for XBoxOne. In reality this is just a different secondary colour, around the ear cup. The rest of the set is black, regardless of which you buy. Looks wise, it looks like it costs about £15 because it does. No fancy leather bits or excessive padding, just a bare bones plastic set-up. The different colour sections are a nice touch, though. I’d be more inclined to synch them to the colour scheme of my gaming room than the console I own, to be frank, but it’s good to have the option.
Oddly, and admittedly this is a very personal point, I found the Recon Chat more comfortable to use for long periods than other headsets. This is partly down to the one ear-cup set-up and the depth of that covering. I have fairly sticky-out ears. Attractive I know, but it means that heavier headsets can become very uncomfortable if I have to wear them for a long time, as I often do for podcasts and gaming videos. This was not an issue at all for the Recon Chat. Also, due to it’s cheaper plastic construction it is super light, another plus point for those long gaming sessions. On the subject of comfort, there’s natty little cut-outs on the ear cup to make it a glasses-friendly headset. Not something that affects me, but a feature that will no doubt be a plus for many who are tired of their eyewear getting in the way of gaming gear.
The sound quality is absolutely fine, using a 40mm speaker. Not incredible, but better than your bog-standard pack-in headsets. I used this headset while hosting our latest podcast, if you’d like a demo. Listening back I was happy with the clarity of my voice, and during the recording had no problems hearing my fellow chatters. It connects via a standard 3.5mm headphone jack to the socket on your PS4 controller, or any other 3.5mm socket for that matter. The headset is wired, and there’s the usual in-line remote on the wiring for muting chat or increasing and decreasing volume in the ear cup, all of which works fine.
It’s important to review things in context. There’s no point comparing this to a set that will cost upwards of £200 because it costs about 10% of that. The old adage is true; you get what you pay for. If you want that perfect, quality sound you’ll be looking at spending about £200 more than this. But if you’re just after an inexpensive piece of kit to do the job and keep comfortable for long gaming sessions, this will do you just right. I can’t think of anyone else making a headset with this much thought in it for this price.