If you’re a multiformat gamer, the latest Recon headset from Turtle Beach will serve you well.
Balancing price, build quality and functionality, the Turtle Beach Recon 500 headset is a brilliant all-rounder. With its powerful 60mm Eclipse Dual Drivers it can deliver crisp sound full of detail, while its earcups, featuring memory foam, sit comfortably even for long periods. And while it’s of the wired variety, the wire itself being braided means it’s soft, very flexible, and more hardwearing.
In the box you get the headset, a TruSpeak Gaming Microphone that can be quickly and easily attached when you want to communicate with others, a quick start game, and the obligatory Turtle Beach sticker. It should come as no surprise, then, that using the Turtle Beach Recon 500 headset is as simple as plugging it into a 3.5mm audio jack. The only thing to consider is that the cable, securely connected to the headset, isn’t overly long at just 1.3m. It’s not an issue if you’re plugging it straight into a PlayStation or Xbox controller, but if you’re a PC gamer, you might have issues.
The headset itself looks sleek, but it’s obvious it’s not a high-end product. While it’s available in different colours, ours was solid black except for a silver trim around the earcups. What’s most striking are the speakers, which are clearly visible within each ear cup. In terms of construction it’s not the sturdiest of headsets, but it still feels like it could withstand some punishment. The metal-reinforced headband takes quite a lot of force to adjust it to your head, which is a double-edged sword. We don’t mind so much; it means that it’s not likely to lose your preferred setting when handling it. It does, however, make adjusting the headband during the heat of gameplay awkward. On-ear controls are located on the left earcup. You have volume control, and a mic-mute button. The latter is rather big, making it easy to tap when you want to mute and unmute yourself.
Jumping into various PS5 games, overall we’re very pleased with the sound that the Turtle Beach Recon 500 offers. When comparing it to some other headsets we have sitting around, such as the Sony 3D Pulse, EPOS H3, Sennheiser GSP 601 and a Turtle Beach Atlas One, it traded blows with the best of them. Considering the Sennheiser GSP 601 costs over twice as much, that’s very impressive. With an RRP of just £69.99, there’s absolutely no denying that the Turtle Beach Recon 500 offers exceptional sound quality for the price.
Thanks to dedicated woofers and tweeters, there’s a real texture to the sounds that come through the Turtle Beach Recon 500. There’s a decent amount of bass, and even when you dial the volume up it doesn’t drown out finer details or get distorted. In Wreckfest it offered what we felt was the best balance between background music and sound effects. We were also surprised at the results when we jumped into Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. The crisp, clear audio that the Turtle Beach Recon 500 provides further immersed us in its world as leaves rustled as we crept through brushes and conversations surrounded us as we moved through settlements.
The only issues we have with the Turtle Beach Recon 500 are minor, really. For example, our heads aren’t small, but the headset feels a little loose on them, and there’s no way to tighten it up. If we move our heads it wobbles – it feels at though it’s simply resting on our ears rather than lovingly hugging them. There’s an easy solution – just don’t move your head around a lot when you’re wearing them – but it’d nice if they just felt a bit more secure. Also, if you’re playing a game with others around you, they might complain about significant sound leakage. It perhaps ties in with the headset feeling a bit loose.
Still, despite these issues, it’s so very, very easy to recommend the Turtle Beach Recon 500. Due to being wired it’s extremely versatile – you can connect it to everything from your phone to a brand-spanking new PS5 without any issues. And the sound quality is brilliant – better than what you’d expect for the asking price. If you’re in the market for a new wired headset and don’t mind that the Turtle Beach Recon 500 doesn’t look as fancy or sturdy as some of the more premium models out there, definitely consider picking it up. Your ears certainly won’t be disappointed by your choice.
The Turtle Beach Recon 500 headset launches 30th May in the US and 18th June in the UK. You can preorder it now via the turtle Beach website.