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Turtle Beach PX24 - 'Amplified gaming headset’ tested

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Turtle Beach has long been part of the console headset scene, but in recent times, the competition has heated up and the brand needs to ensure it bring its ‘A’ game to market. Whether the Turtle Beach Ear Force PX24 is the right headset for you depends on how much you’re willing to spend on a headset these days, as the retail price sits between R1,724 on Raru and R1,889 on Takealot. That’s not too bad given its features and quality, but there are a number of things that you may want to consider before jumping in and picking a pair up.

It is here, there, everywhere

The headset is an ‘amplified gaming headset’ and one of its selling points is that it can be used on almost any platform thanks to the 3.5mm jack. While this is great in principle, it should be noted that it works straight out of the box on a PS4 and mobile, almost straight away on the PC and needing an adapter on older Xbox One controllers.

On the PS4, it’s as simple as plugging the jack into the controller and you’re good to go, while the Xbox One is just as simple if you have a new Xbox One controller that doesn’t feature the silly proprietary system of the original, otherwise you will need to pick up an Xbox One chat adapter.

On PC, the headset should’ve been just as simple but with the single jack on the headset, chances are pretty good that you may find your microphone won’t work – this is something that a splitter cable will happily resolve, making the PX24 a pretty multi-platform option for most gamers.

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Inline… on your lap

The PX24 features a ‘SuperAmp’. This amplifier is great on paper, offering control of the sound within quick reach, but the amplifier is a lot bigger than a traditional inline control and unless you place it on the desk (preferably with some sort of adhesive), or cradle it (slightly uncomfortably) on your lap, it will hang like a counterweight around 300mm from your controller.

As much as I hated the awkwardness of the amplifier – and let’s be fair, playing in front of the TV makes the desk option unavailable – the SuperAmp did offer some awesome control with the headset. Platform selection, overall volume control, individual selection for volume control, mic mute and more can be controlled by the battery-powered amplifier (which can be charged via USB for “up to 30 hours” of gaming). However, the option to engage “Superhuman Hearing” was the option that drew the most attention from me – especially seeing how zombies and human hearing are a misnomer anyway…

But let’s bypass the jesting for now, as this option really did prove to be a real winner. The headset’s  Virtual Surround Sound is already pretty good, but with the Superhuman Hearing enabled, softer sounds generally do sound a lot clearer and louder. So imagine footsteps and whispers a lot louder than normal human hearing and you get the idea – it certainly helps you get a little edge on your opponents.

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Let the sound wash over you

I’ve always been happy with the sound quality of the Turtle Beach headsets, and the PX24 is another success story in that regard. Bass levels (which can be adjusted via bass boost) are generally ‘just right’ and the satisfying boom from an explosion will rumble through you. I gave The Division, Star Wars Battlefront and Battlefield 4 a spin with the PX24s and all sounded great through the 50mm Neodymium speakers and even at loud volumes, there is no noticeable distortion.

The sound quality is just as good when not being used for gaming. Movies and music were clear and crisp and the bass boost made my personal preference and taste in music (OK, so some might consider heavy metal music for people with no taste…) really hit hard. Admittedly, audiophiles would probably not shortlist the Turtle Beach headsets when looking, but for a gamer looking for an all-rounder, rest assured the PX24 is not going to disappoint in this regard.

The current catchphrase for headsets is ‘noise isolation’ which is based around cups designed to reduce the amount of ambient noise the wearer will hear. Sadly, the Turtle Beach PX24 headset does not appear to feature noise isolating ear-cups but one could always argue that simply turning the volume up will cut out the nagging from any non-gamer in the house.

The mic proved to be a pleasant surprise too. With recent Turtle Beach headsets I found the microphones to be a little disappointing – a mixture of buzzing and poor noise cancelling irked me – but the PX24 has a good microphone which does well with the noise cancelling and keeping my voice nice and clear. The boom feels a little flimsy though, but maybe the word flexible is the one that the manufacturers would prefer to hear.

Speaking of what you (or others) would like to hear, the headset features adjustable Mic Monitoring which allows you to hear your own voice via the headset to help you avoid shouting. You can choose to switch it off thankfully as if I wanted to listen to myself speak I would be working in radio. It is a useful feature however for those that can’t tell whether their cursing is audible to others in the lobby or not.

Build quality and comfort

As with the 500P headset I reviewed last year, the PX24 features a sturdy plastic frame but with mesh cups. Unlike the former headset, I did find the PX24 headset a little uncomfortable to wear for extended periods. It is a light headset (around 235g) but it has a tight grip around your head that just didn’t sit well after around 90 minutes of continued use and prompted me to take a break for a while. It was nowhere near as uncomfortable as the XO Four headset I reviewed last year, but compared to the Stealth 500P it was a lot tighter. The thing with the headset is that once it has ‘worn in’ a little, I suspect that this issue will work itself out as the headset moulds and the plastic softens a little.

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Is it the headset for you?

This is another quality headset from Turtle Beach but when it comes down to whether it’s worth the money, the current exchange rate does it no favours. Considering that in October last year, the Ear Force 500P was available for around R1,900, the PX24 seems to offer less for the same price. However, the PX24 is more capable of handling various platforms than most other headsets and offers really good sound with the ability to engage your Superhuman side at the push of a button.

The Specifications

Headset

  • Speakers 50mm with Neodymium Magnets
  • Frequency Response 20Hz - 20kHz
  • Earpad Material Fabric(Black) with Foam Cushion
  • Earcup Design Over-Ear (Closed)
  • Microphone Design Removable Omni-Directional Microphone
  • Cable Length 1.1m

Amplifier

  • Game /Chat Input/Output 3.5mm
  • Power Rechargeable Battery
  • Cable Length 0.5m

You can read more about the headset on the Turtle Beach website.

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