There’s an unsurprising first-timer’s realization that comes from spending a serious amount of time with a headset designed for gaming. I’m not counting hour-long sessions at a press event or a couple hours in a competitive setting. I’m talking about an evening involving at least half of the story mode in a game like Battlefield: Bad Company 2. It happened to be the game I picked to test out Turtle Beach’s Ear Force DPX21 PS3 Headset-5.1/7.1 Channel Dolby Surround Sound combo.
In a very stereotypical male approach, the first thing I did in figuring out the settings was to max out all the dials, except volume of course. Not exactly the most practical or scientific idea, but it did make for a massively bass driven experience in a game where you’re never short of rocket launcher and grenade explosions. Most of the blame can be pointed to the adjustable Bass Boost in the In-Line Amplifier in conjuction with the DSS processor itself. It can get easy to get caught up in the excessive bass-driven session, but at some point you should opt for a refined experience. Admittedly, there is something enjoyable in adjusting these settings and bring everything to something that one can handle across a 5-hour mixed session of multiplayer and single player.
I doubt I’m alone in these kinds of realizations. Aside from saving the neighbors from late-night subwoofer grief, this combo should definitely be considered if you’re playing stealth games or a title with a stealth mission. Since there really isn’t a universal audio standard or specs that all developers adhere to, it’s not surprising what can be missed in a traditional home theater speaker set up, such as footsteps and overall ambiance. This combo does a great and consistent job in bringing out those underapprciated elements.
While the packaging does denote the PS3 prominently, rest assured that that this set is 100% compatible with the Xbox 360 (and PC/Mac gaming). Just be sure that, regardless of either console, you set your system sound settings to Dolby Digital 5.1.
Originally released as two separate products, both the PX21 and DSS makes for a compelling combination of solitary gaming audio bliss, where the only drawback are the multitude of wires that wouldn’t go well in a living room inhabited by cats. Thankfully Turtle Beach is keeping up with the curve with newer, wireless products. Stay tuned.
(Note: An Ear Force DPX21 PS3 Headset – 5.1/7.1 Channel Dolby Surround Sound combo was provided by Turtle Beach for review purposes.)