About a month ago, we shared our review of Turtle Beach’s 350VR Headset, designed specifically for a subset of the gaming population who are rocking virtual reality rigs such as PlayStation VR or Oculus Rift. With their latest release, the Recon Chat headset, Turtle Beach is targeting another subset of gamers: the budget-minded, casual chat-focused gamer.
That sounds like it may be a smaller subset than it actually is; there’s a huge segment of the gaming public that wants a good-quality chat headset for the occasional Call of Duty or Halo match that does a better job than the headset (sometimes) included with modern consoles, but doesn’t break the bank nearly as much as a high-end chat headset can.
Presenting Turtle Beach’s Recon Chat, the latest budget-friendly accessory from the audio outfit. The $20 USD headset has a single earpiece design with a 40mm driver built-in. It’s enough to get great quality audio for chat, but given that it is just a single earpiece, we of course recommend using this as a chat headset as designed; don’t expect this to deliver the sound effects or soundtrack from your game. That’s not what this is.
Turtle Beach technically has two models of the Recon Chat, one “designed for” PlayStation 4, and another for Xbox One. Make no mistake: they’re both the same headset, minus the change in colour scheme (blue for the PS4, green for the Xbox One, naturally).
The inline remote functions exactly as you’d expect with a volume wheel and mute toggle. We’d have preferred a single button rather than a toggle switch for the mute, but this is more of a personal preference than an actual gripe with the headset itself.
Comfort is the name of the game when it comes to chat headsets, as they’re really designed to get out of the way of the player and simply allow for secondary audio. With the headset’s reversible design, not to mention that it lets plenty of audio from the television (or home theatre setup) through, it is a bit stiffer than we’d like. The padding opposite the earpiece itself has a tendency to dig in to the side of your head if it doesn’t sit just right. There isn’t a ton of give or movement when playing, so once it’s set properly, it shouldn’t move too much (if at all), but it can take a bit of adjustment to get it where you want it.
The Recon Chat accomplishes exactly what it sets out to do. It’s a functional, budget-friendly, relatively comfortable piece of kit. To get what you need for a good round of gaming with some friends, or just to trash talk some noobs online without spending much more than a Jackson is a tall order, and one that Turtle Beach manages to fulfill quite well.
- Less than half the cost of a game
- Great audio in this price range
- Convenience of inline controls
- Brace opposite earpiece can be uncomfortable
- Plasticky feel