Turtle Beach – Ear Force Foxtrot Headset (Xbox 360 and PS3)
Reviewed by Shadow Links
Turtle Beach is probably the biggest name in gaming headsets, especially for console gamers. Generally considered top of the line they still have tons of headset series. The Ear Force series had a set made especially for the release of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, with Delta, Bravo, Charlie, and Foxtrot. Delta and Bravo were the wireless headsets and Charlie and Foxtrot were wired. The main difference between the 2 is that Delta and Charlie both were true surround sound with multiple speakers and subwoofers. Ear Force Foxtrot was essentially the cheapest of the bunch and I had a $10 discount, so I’ll be reviewing Foxtrot.
Foxtrot is a wired headset based on the PX21 made with the intention of being used with Xbox 360 and PS3. The special difference between Foxtrot and the PX21 was the MW3 decals and some MW3 themed downloadable media. Rather than an all black color, they have grey ear cups and amp, Call of Duty written on the top cushion, and the Delta Force symbol on the backs. It connects via a red and white RCA audio adapter just over 6ft long that connects to a normal 3.5mm headphone jack and is powered by a USB connection that splits off around the jack. The remaining cable is about 15 feet which goes to an in-line amplifier controller that has settings for turning the mic on, game and chat volume, bass, a stereo expansion switch, and a chat cable plug to the 360 controller. PS3’s chat works through the USB port. Another 3 feet of cable and we arrive at the headset which sports 2 40mm speakers inside a MW3 decaled exterior with an adjustable headband and a bending swivel mic on the left side.
Now with all wired headsets, cable management can be a pain sometimes. You always have a long cable running to where ever you are sitting and you have to use a precious USB port on your system. Even a neat freak can have a hard time making all the cable look nice. On the other hand the length gives you plenty of room to run it and sit away from the TV.
This headset is fairly comfortable. It has nice padding over the top and the ear cups seem to have a soft foam covered in a moderately soft cloth. One thing to not is that my ears did not fit inside the cups, nor does it seem they were meant to, and gaming for long periods of time over a couple hours hurt the edges of my ears. Even more so with glasses on, but then again their aren’t many that wont push on glasses.
The construction seems fairly solid except for some of the plastic pieces next to cushion on top since they both came off on both pairs I’ve had fairly quickly. It doesn’t affect anything other than its looks at least and probably doesn’t happen if you don’t leave them on the floor. Other that the ear cups being slightly squished over time, everything else from the sound, cables, mic, and everything that adjusts like the headband and mic swivel has faired pretty well.
Now to the meat of the product: The Sound. As expected from Turtle Beach, even Foxtrot as the bottom tier has great sound. The stereo expansion on the amplifier is supposed to increase the hearing field for pinpointing sounds, but seems to come at the price of slightly decreased sound quality. I haven’t found it helpful, yet it’s still a nice feature. From what I’ve heard from my friend, the mic sounds loud and clear, but you may need to push it a bit farther away from your mouth. Game volume and chat volume work great and the bass volume can add more oomph to your gaming experience. There is a chat boost which adjusts the chat volume with the game, but I’ve never really noticed it.
The only real problem I came across while using these was at one point the right speaker broke and started to make sounds differently. Luckily after a call to Turtle Beach and a replacement, everything has been fine since.
Bottom Line: Great Entry Level Headset
If you have never owned a headset, these are a great set to get from Turtle Beach. Originally priced at $99, they now are below the PX21 for around $55. These may not be putting out 5.1 or 7.1 sound, but you aren’t paying for it either. The look may not appeal to all, in that case go with a PX21, but Foxtrot is a good starting headset to get you in the game.
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