Ear Candy: The Turtle Beach PX3

With the launch of Turtle Beach’s Ear Force PX3 gaming headset, I had the privilege of getting my hands (and ears) dirty with the brand new 5.1 wireless headset and Dolby Digital 7.1 processor. I can say confidently there is a lot to look forward to.

The PX3 marks the debut of a new, more affordable class of wireless headset that I have lovingly dubbed the “little brother” to their game-changing PX5 and XP500 wireless models. The title fits it well, considering the headset features nine different sound presets, is USB-powered and features the ability to download and update your headset for different games. You can also edit and create your own games to upload to the Turtle Beach website. Sadly, this is a PC-only option; hopefully in the future Apple users will get to experience this as well. The biggest benefit of this headset is of course its wireless capability, and coming in at a cool $149 it’s a huge advantage to gamers on a budget.

The Looks
Right out of the box, the PX3 is a smooth-looking flat black with nice, clean lines. The construction is pretty solid, and weighing in at 8.8 ounces, the headset is very comfortable. I did find some minor rattles with the buttons but nothing distracting. The headphone rotator is a bit more meager than that of its older brother, which at first concerned me in regards to the occasional sit-ons and game rage quits. But if you are treating your headphones like that, you should stick to the sale bin. After constant use and a couple of falls during my review, the PX3 is still holding up like a champ.

The Hardware
The button controls rest on the side of the right ear cup, which I found quite easy to navigate without having to remove them to see what I was pressing. When behind enemy lines or travelling the wastelands, I easily switched presets to get a better sound advantage.

The buttons control your presets, volume for both headset and chat, mute switch and a USB port for charging. Upon switching presets you will be greeted with a series of low and high range beeps, each one associated with a different preset. Unlike its brother, the PX3 has no voice telling you which preset you have selected.

I found that keeping the manual nearby for reference helped and after a couple of hours I was right at home. My biggest design critique is the non-removable microphone. I’m not totally in love with its look – the microphone reminds me of Doctor Octopus’ mechanical arms. I would have much preferred the removable boom mic found on the PX5 and XP500.

Diversity
Throughout my restless trials I found this headset ideal for the first-person shooter. About half of the main presets are for identifying minute details like footsteps, falling grenade pins and characters reloading down a hallway. The chat control also ties it together nicely. The accuracy and clarity of the 50mm diameter speakers is astounding and earth-shaking. As I put the headset through its paces, it never let up, never distorting and never cracking – nothing but pure sound. The main star goes to Turtle Beach’s Dolby Digital 7.1 processor – it really changes your game and gives you that full 360 degrees of sound. Other features include full bass control and an auxiliary port for your iPhone or MP3 player, so you can listen to your own soundtrack while gaming.

After all this I must point out two dents in the PX3’s armor: There are far too many wires: five total if you are using the Dolby processor. So if you’re a wire Nazi, then you have some work cut out for you. Finally, the biggest drawback is that if you decide to buy just the headphones you will NEED to have an HDMI A/V output. This problem only exists for Xbox 360 owners and is a pain since the wireless adapter has no digital audio input. Don’t fret – this can be solved with the Dolby Digital processor and is a welcome sound advantage.

Conclusion
Turtle Beach has come through again and released a product that is not only affordable but delivers on all fronts. The wireless capability alone will please any videogame veteran. Packed with presets and a sound quality that will have you hearing your game like never before, this is a no-brainer. It’s time to cut the cord for good.

———

Dave Trainer loves putting things on his ears. Check out his daily otogear on Twitter @dave_trainer. The PX3 is available from Turtle Beach.

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  • CoDPlayer

    The Turtle beach PX3 headphones have great sound with about any level of bass to treble you'd want if you cycle through the presets and preset bundles, and very comfortable on the head and ears for long gaming sessions. I take them off after hours of playing and don't have any discomfort like I've read in other reviews; and I have a fairly large head. The chat functions and mic are also very nice; good to be able to turn down chat volume or game volume volume whenever needed, or just mute it so others can't hear you. The only qualm I have about the PX3 headphones is that even the Turtle Beach website has a description saying you're able to download presets from their website and change out for your own….but what they don't tell you is that you can't download the ones under the "Customize" section of their website; you have to wait for them to release new bundles then update from the Presets Manager software. This is how it's stated on turtlebeach.com under the overview: "While designed primarily for the PS3, the PX3 also works great as an XBOX and PC gaming headset. When used in PS3 and XBOX modes, the PX3’s unique digital signal processor provides game and chat audio presets that tune the headset sound for different gaming situations. Presets can also be replaced with different ones downloaded from the Turtle Beach website". So if you're looking to purchase the PX3 with the idea of being able to put your own presets on other than what comes in the default bundles….I'd highly recommend looking for another model of Turtle Beach headphones. Other than being mislead about being able to put my own presets on the transmitter, this has been an excellent product.

  • brody

    for some reason i cant download new presets other than the ones they give you

  • carl

    sorry for my english by the way i'm french

  • carl

    can someone help me ?

  • carl

    I've bought one and I have problems with it. sounds cut and everything….like, if im playing mw3 you can ear for exemple: hardcore search and destroy at the beginning of a game but its gonna be like : Hard…(cut) Search…(cut) Destroy.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003406037530 Ruby

      You cannn still make it work, I have it on computer. All you need is a VGA? cable for the xbox 360, you can get one of ebay for 5 bkisucf you ALREADY have it. you need to be a AUDIO spliter u can buy from any electornic shopsReplace the spliters with your VGA

  • http://www.democratandchronicle.com/apps/pbcs.dll/section?category=PluckPersona&U=0f1f42dede0945509530312fac14e04d&plckPersonaPage=BlogViewPost&plckUserId=0f1f42dede0945509530312fac14e04d& Hilde

    An interesting discussion is worth comment. I believe that it’s best to write extra on this subject, it may not be a taboo topic however usually individuals are not enough to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

    • John

      What are you talking about?

  • BUZZINYOW

    Just bought the PX3 for my PC gaming and for the price and wierless and sound quality and the cleairity on the mic
    this is a great buy.

  • brian kelly

    On TB Px3. The game volume control [headset] just rotates endlessly [no end stops] Is this correct ?