Turtle Beach’s new Ear Force PX5 Header creates an effective virtual world of its own. If you want to experience the splenetic whizzing whir of bullets narrowly missing your head and face or hear cat-footed approach of your ruthless ninja nemesis? Attaching and wearing a genuine quality pair of headphones bestows a state of righteous immersion and command on you. Better yet, late night gamers get cool ear sound suppressor cups that are useful for not irritating your significant other or family.
Odds are you used or owned the PX41 and are dubious because the Px5 looks similar? Boos to the lazy Ear Force design crew, this latest Dolby 7.1 looks to be the twin of the X41. Yet, when you turn it on and tune it up you’ll find all cool manner of shiny new bells and whistles, and a lot of buttons. Atypically, left and right ear cups make you look like Commander John Glenn on a NASA mission. The control panel has a large power button, an audio preset button, a volume control dial, an Xbox 360 voice chat plug and a USB port for PC configuration. There’s also a Bluetooth volume control rocker, a microphone mute button, a pairing button, and one labeled “Main” on the right side, which can revert you back to your primary audio preset. Indeed, there are eight audio presets that control at least 13 new Visceral Games.
Unlike the instantaneous pleasure junkies who write reviews at Wired, yours truly understands that It takes patience and practice to master funk, function and location, but there’s help for learning each button’s location and function. The PX5 is a gossip. The headset talks to you, informing you of key events like powering on, or when you’ve entered Bluetooth mode, or what audio preset selection you’ve made. You also get a warning for when your batteries are fading; unfortunately, this happens a lot!
Inside, the PX5 has dual Bluetooth radios, 2.4-GHz wireless functionality, and a transmitter capable of processing Dolby Digital 7.1 audio streams. Those dual Bluetooth radios offer the most unique addition to the PX5 feature arsenal – the ability to connect and work both your console and your cell phone simultaneously. Now you can make your very own personal soundtrack from your smartphone. It also means you can take phone calls while cutting the throat of your contracted quarry in Assassin’s Creed. Multitasking and murder: Awesome!
If you’re into true sonic meanderings, Turtle Beach have cohabited with the audio team at Visceral Games to make five additional presets (three for traditional story mode play-throughs and two for multiplayer). Combined with the company’s advanced sound editor, you can create sound signatures for different games and the opportunity for clear voice chat capabilities between your Xbox 360, PS3 and your Bluetooth-enabled phone. Like all gamer headsets, it has way too much of a trebly bass bias, but the mids and highs are sweet, although now and then, because it’s a wireless headset, you’ll get occasionally irritating hissing and crackling noises during games.
Most importantly, do yourself a favor and invest in a rechargeable battery-charger. The very thing that makes the PX5 stand out from other headsets (dual Bluetooth radios) is the same thing that makes it a juice vampire. This fault is serious, but it doesn’t diminish the fact that the PX5 is probably the best gaming headset currently on the market. Prices vary from Professional Tournament Grade Sound at US$279.95 and Premium Wireless Dolby® Surround Sound for US$289.95. At that price you can grow pleasingly plump like Jabba the Hutt and will never ever have to get off the couch again.