Review: Turtle Beach Ear Force Recon 70 (PC/PS4/Switch/Xbox One)

7

Good

The entry-level market is a dangerous place when it comes to headsets. When looking for something that won’t dent that wallet too much it’s often a risk when buying something that’s affordable, but comes at a long-term price of the product not being any good. This is where Turtle Beach’s Ear Force Recon 70 stands out from the crowd. It’s affordable and comes with enough bells and whistles to make this something to consider.

Design and Build

While it’s not going to win any awards for looking quite as snazzy as some of the high-end products in the Turtle Beach range, it does exactly what you need from a pair of headphones. It’s comfortable and extremely lightweight. Adjusting it to match the size of your noggin is simple and the 40mm speaker cups wrap around your ears with ease. I guess you would expect that with synthetic leather and foam cushioning on both the ear cups and headband. It’s not going to be as comfortable as the high-end products, but it’s enough to leave you with a pleasant session of gaming. The plastic casing looks sturdy enough, though I wouldn’t take the chance of dropping it from ‘standing’ height. What is perhaps its standout build quality is that it doesn’t feel like a cheap piece of plastic in your hands. The curves look really stylish and you only have to contend with one 3.5mm wire, as the mic is neatly tucked away on the side of the unit (more on that cool little feature later).

In terms of the colour styling, it comes down to your own preference, though the classic Turtle Beach ‘green and black’ matching still looks good. Another plus with the black headset is that you won’t have dirty marks appearing on it over time.

Performance

This is where the questionable bit comes into place. The Ear Force Recon 70 is crisp and clear and I found that there is some noise cancelling, but nowhere near enough to cut out all other sounds. The volume wheel is, as expected, on the left side but that’s all you have access to. There is no way of setting any sort of levels. So, if you’re after a bit more bass or treble, then you’re out of luck. I also found that the maximum sound level wasn’t quite as loud as I wanted it to be, though that is down to personal choice. Should you use this headset on the Xbox One, which it’s officially licensed by, you’ll get access to its surround sound features that can be set up on your Xbox One. It’s also compatible with Dolby Atmos, though I could unfortunately not test that feature.

Functionality

The Ear Force Recon 70 really shines in terms of functionality with a wide range of products. Thanks to the 3.5mm jack it can plug into your Xbox One controller, Dualshock 4 controller, Nintendo Switch, PC (if you have pink and green jacks it’ll require a splitter cable that’s sold separately) and it’ll connect to any mobile phone or tablet with a 3.5mm jack. I tested it on the PS4, Switch and Xbox One and worked without a single hitch. The simplicity of plug-and-play really helps. What Xbox One users should be aware of is that the old Xbox One controllers do not come with a 3.5mm jack. So, should you own one of those controllers you’ll be required to buy an Xbox One audio controller that is sold separately. It sucks, but having a short wire connecting to a controller is much easier than older headsets having to connect via USB to the console. This is a much more convenient way to enjoy your headset.

A really neat feature comes in the form of the mic. I often find that in the past a mic can really get in the way. Instead of being this ‘aerial-like’ device that makes you look like some 80s space adventurer, it blends in with the design of the headset. Fold it down towards your mouth and you’re ready to chat with others online, flick it back into its original position and it’ll mute your voice. It feels very natural to operate and at the cost of R699 it nearly feels like something that should not be part of the package. Keep in mind that the mic can’t be bent towards your mouth as it’s fixed in its position. However, that should not hinder you at all and the mic quality is perfect at its position.

Specs

  • Audio Connection: 3.5mm
  • Speaker Frequency Response: 12Hz – 20kHz
  • Speaker Size: 40mm with Neodymium Magnets
  • Onboard Controls: Master Volume Wheel, Mic Mute
  • Microphone: Fixed Omni-Directional Flip-to-Mute Microphone
  • Headband Material: Synthetic Leather with Foam Cushioning
  • Ear Cushion: Over Ear, Synthetic Leather with Foam Cushioning
  • Power over 3.5mm, no batteries required

Conclusion

If you’re strapped for cash but have a desire or need for playing your games without waking up your entire neighbourhood then this is the headset for you. It’s very affordable, sturdy and it’s versatile with just about any device you own with a 3.5mm jack. If you’re an Xbox One or PC owner you’ll be able to push all the features to the max, but keep in mind that those features are very limited. You can unfortunately not tamper with any form of sound equalizer, but at R699 you’ll have a hard time beating that value for money.

Good

  • Very affordable
  • Versatile with just about any device that has a 3.5mm jack
  • The flip-mic solves a lot of old mic headaches

Bad

  • Sound quality can't be altered at all
  • Xbox One owners with an old controller must buy an attachment

Summary

An affordable headset that will work on your PC, PS4, Switch, Xbox One and just about any device with a 3.5mm jack. The sound quality won't match that of high-end headsets, but if you're strapped for cash then this is the perfect solution.
7

Good

Married to a gamer and she kicks my ass at most shooters. If the game is enjoyable I'll play it, no matter the format.

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