Santa was good to me this year as he included a new Turtle Beach Headset in my haul of gaming gifts! Previously I had used the Turtle Beach P12 headset and had been pretty happy with it. That aside, I've been getting to grips with the Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 500P for the last 3 weeks. I've been wondering if it was worth the upgrade?
Firstly, I'm happy that the Ear Force Stealth 500P suits my gaming needs on both the Playstation 3 and Playstation 4. If I'm honest, this was a major pull towards me asking for a pair for Christmas as I own both consoles. Secondly, I wanted a wireless headset. My previous Turtle Beach P12's were exclusive to the Playstation 4 and utilise the use of a wire that plugs in to the controller which is not always ideal for a player that is as animated as I can be.
The general look and feel of the Ear Force Stealth 500P is satisfying. The bulk of the headset is matt black finish covering around 85% of the headset coupled with blue trimming. To finish of the look each outer speaker dons a Turtle Beach logo that flashes blue when the headset is switched on. Personally, I like this function, particularly as they flash erratically if the headset is left switched on after your console is off. This is a great battery conserving feature. The Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 500P comes with a USB charging cable should you always leave the headset on like me!
Each speaker is wrapped in a foam cushion covered in synthetic leather. The Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 500P definitely feel more comfortable that the P12's. I'd give the comfort level a seven out of ten. This could be improved if the speakers didn't fall so heavily below my ear on my jaw. After a few hours, the Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 500P become uncomfortable.
Naturally, I use a gaming headset to amplify my experience through sound. Duh! The Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 500P has DTS Headphone: X 7.1 Surround Sound. Okay so what does this mean? Let's just say that the 3D sound quality is great but I expected more. Peoples' experiences are going to differ but I found the surround sound to be marginally more noticeable compared to the Turtle Beach P12. Yes the surround sound was not as immersive as I wanted. Even when I changed the volume settings of the speakers I struggled to find a happy medium. Please note I am comparing the Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 500P to the Turtle Beach P12. Had the 500P been my first headset, I would have been a lot happier.
A welcome addition to the Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 500P is having the option to adjust mic volume as well as in game volume. I've used these quite a lot whilst active in a game. I found the position of the mic volume wheel a little too low. Consequentially, I would turn up the speaker volume instead. They go loud, very loud.
Overall, the Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 500P is a great mid-priced headset, compatible with the Playstation 3, Playstation 4 and mobile gaming. If you're on a budget then I would recommend buying the Turtle Beach P12 headset. If you want to spend more cash then grab yourself the Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 500P headset. I'd rate this beast an eight out of ten overall. My next headset will be the Turtle Beach Ear Force PX51! Watch this space.
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Yes a sound start indeed as I had never used a Turtle Beach product until I spent two days at Eurogamer this year. There was no way that I was going to leave that expo without a pair. I got hooked on how much of a difference a game felt to me once I started to play. I felt more immersed in a game and less concerned with what lay around me. I purposely chose the Turtle Beach Ear Force P12 as my first personal pair (for the Playstation 4, mobile devices and PS Vita only). The P12 is a fantastic starter piece of kit if you're in the market for your first headset, like I was. Expect to pay within the region of £35-£45 ($45-$60) which was an affordable price range for a product that I was not familiar with.
The Turtle Beach P12 has some great specs. Once strapped to your head, the P12 feels surprisingly comfortable. I had lower hopes as I had chosen one of the lower priced products but my perception was wrong. The P12 are "supported by breathable, around-the-ear breathable mesh cushions for hours of comfort and noise isolation" as listed in the Turtle Beach official specification. I can honestly report that I support this statement. I can play for 8 hours at a time with no discomfort. Result!
The Turtle Beach Ear Force P12 exceeded my expectations on how the hardware projected the sound. Recently, I was playing The Evil Within and as I my character did a 360 spin, the sound followed by transferring from the left to the right ear. More importantly for me was the transition of that transfer. Imagine the volume slowly decreasing in your left ear as it smoothly picks up in the right. Pretty neat for a product that is in the lower end of the range. This is a crucial point. If I'm as impressed with this product as I am, I can't imagine how, say, the Turtle Beach Call of Duty Ear Force Spectre performs, a device that costs over £100 more ($150).
The Turtle Beach P12 packs a real punch in performance but lacks in aesthetics. I feel that the device looks cheaper than it should. Nevertheless, a gaming headset is not about aesthetics. Let's face it, I won't be going out shopping in a set will I? Or carrying them about in my handbag? No! This is my only gripe about the P12. The mic is attached to the left ear piece but I have not used it. I do not use chat settings in games as it's not a feature that excites me.
Overall, I am confident in saying that the P12 is a solid headset on the market within its price range. Remember, the Turtle Beach P12 is a gaming headset for the PS4 and cannot be used on the PS3. Amplified stereo sound, comfort and smooth transitions make for a sound first experience of using a Turtle Beach product. My next headset will be the Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 500P.....Oh I can hear the surround sound now!
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Read my review of the Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 500P here.
Photo credit: JP Professional Photography
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