Gear: Turtle Beach Ear Force PX51

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turtle-beach-logoWith Turtle Beach slowly becoming a household name in gaming peripherals it’s time to put its reputation to the test. After Dave’s review of the less than stellar Turtle Beach Ear Force  PX4 let’s take a look at how well the premium headset performs. Here is the Ear Force PX51.

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Understated and attractive

Design

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Staying far away from flashy colours and crazy designs the PX51 looks like a no nonsense gaming headset. The ear pads are made from comfortable fabric which breathes well even in warm weather. The head band is well padded and made for long gaming sessions, as is the general fit and feel. When not in use, the unit sits on its transmitter for easy storage and recharges through the USB to make it as simple as possible. However the design’s first flaw come in the ludicrously difficult button set-up on the side of each ear piece.

This unwieldy and bizarre design gives you seven buttons and knobs to navigate, each with separate commands and applications and some even with a second ability when held down. The very idea of reaching behind my ear and hoping I’ve hit the right button is not a user-friendly ergonomic design.  The microphone detaches from the unit when you are mobile, however the stumpy connector hangs off the side. It’s far less casual than the brand is trying to sell.

Features

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At this price range (RRP AU$349.95) you would expect a decent selection of features and the PX51 doesn’t fail to deliver.

Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Dolby Digital surround sound, Dual-Stage audio processing and a 15 hour rechargeable battery are just some of the features on offer.

The headset pairs nicely to almost any modern device via either its Bluetooth connection or provided cables enabling users the freedom to take the PX51 with them anywhere.

On a side note, the headset does have a reasonably short range for both wireless and Bluetooth delivering OK sound as long as you keep your device close to you.

Performance

The PX 51 has a much better quality of sound than some of its sister lower end products though it is immediately noticeable as someone with a great many gaming headsets that it has a very limited volume range. I tested this set by optical and also direct stereo connection and failed to reach even three quarters of the standard range for a gaming set.

While it may deliver decent output quality the set struggles to fully utilise its potential. I like to really immerse myself in a game and found the PX51 frustratingly quiet at times. This, of course, is only a problem if you are used to high volumes. The PX51 still pumps out well-crafted sound so some users may not find this as much of an issue as I did.

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Form and function

 The Verdict

Though I have worked with better performing headphones in terms of sound quality the PX51 does offer a decent over all package, however the design still needs some massaging before it can be considered an all around pair of headphones. Turtle Beach has put all of the right features into this headset but its clunky buttons and menu systems lose it some points and the limited volume means the set fails to hit the level of punchy sound seen in competitor brands over the last year.

It does deserve credit for the comfortable build and perfect weight distribution and it does offer gamers a impressive number of options for connection and personalisation. The PX51 is a damn fine gaming headset, it’s a shame it misses the mark over a few small, yet integral issues. I look forward to the next iteration.

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Joshua Philpott

Tech MacGyver
Games writer, podcaster and tech wizard. Obsessed with obscure horror films, crazy gadgets and caffeine. Passionate, argumentative and open minded. Freelance writer and co-founder rawDLC.

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  • Chad Wheeler

    First and foremost, welcome back!

    Now down to business, it’s good to see Turtle Beach working towards making a better, more worthwhile product but at this price point there really are much better headsets out there. Give them a few more iterations in this function over fashion direction they appear to be headed and they just might end up being a brand I’d consider buying.

  • adin75

    EB are flogging these for $199, ends Sunnday 19th Jan.

  • PSIress

    After going through my third pair of turtle beach’s, I gave up on them and switched to astro.

  • skaterguy845

    Hopefully TB can up their game a bit for when they start releasing the official PS4 headsets. These sound alright, but I can spend $350 in much better ways