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Turtle Beach- Headsets For Gaming
Are you looking for a way to ramp up your gaming performance online? There are few gaming accessories that can improve your performance as much as a good gaming headset. For example, the gaming headsets from Turtle Beach make it easy to hear that guy trying to sneak up behind you in Call of Duty. Or the next time you get in a firefight with someone and you both drop behind cover to reload, listen for his magazine to drop and pop up and kill him before he can finish reloading.
A good gaming headset not only makes you feel like you are a part of the game, but allows you to hear everything the game developers wanted you to hear. Maybe it's the sound of your brass hitting the ground, or the sound of your opponent's boots crunching on gravel. You won't know what you're missing until you try it out!
Let's take a look at some of the options that you can choose for your headphones. I have the most experience with Turtle Beach, so we'll look at the models that they offer.
There are two main types of headsets, wired and wireless. As the name implies, a wired headset will physically connect you to your Xbox 360, PS3 or computer. The Turtle Beach PX21 at right is an example of a wired headset. Check out my Turtle Beach PX21 Review. Typically wired headsets will cost less than wireless headsets.
If you choose to buy a wired headset, make sure you take into consideration where you will be playing and what you will be playing on. There are a lot of great headsets that will work on Xbox 360, PS3 and your computer, but some may not be compatible with all consoles and computers. Make sure that you check to see that the headset you want to buy will work with your gaming system.
Next, decide if wired will work with your layout. If you are seated at a computer, or if you have your gaming console set up at a desk with a monitor, it may be a waste of money to buy a wireless headset. Also, if you have your TV or monitor in a small room where the cord will easily reach, you may be better off buying a wired headset and spending the extra money on getting a surround sound headset.
When is a wireless headset better? If you have a larger room and you sit further away from your TV or monitor, the freedom that a wireless headset will give you may be beneficial. They are also convenient when you have pets, children or siblings in the house that may trip over your cord. That could at the very least pull your headset off, and worse case scenario, it could pull your gaming system onto the ground!
Wireless headsets make it easy for you to get up and get a snack, or make yourself more comfortable without worrying about the wire catching on something. They are typically more expensive that wired headsets, so you will have to decide whether or not you really need the extra convenience of wireless.
If you are sitting right next to your computer or console, it may not be worth spending the extra money. If, however, you play your Xbox 360 or PS3 in a living room and you would have to stretch the cord across the floor, it might be worth getting a wireless version.
Some of the top of the line headsets even add Bluetooth connectivity. With these, you can wireless listen to music through your headset while you are gaming. You could even answer your phone without remove the headset.
Stereo vs. Surround Sound Headsets
The next big decision to make is whether you want to go with a stereo headset or a surround sound headset. In general, surround sound headsets are more expensive:
Stereo headsets provide different left and right sources of sound. I'll give you an example of how this can help you: as somebody runs past you in Modern Warfare 3, you will hear them in your left ear as they approach from that side. As they get directly in front of, or behind you, you will be able to hear them equally in both ears. Then, as they run off to the right, you will hear them in your right ear.
This allows you to determine the general direction of sound, making it possible to tell where someone is coming from. This will increase your chances of reacting to someone coming up behind you, possibly allowing you to make a kill instead of getting killed.
Surround sound headsets use either 5 or 7 channels to provide more accurate representations of where sound is coming from. This means that you will not only hear that it is coming from your right side, but you will be able to tell that it is coming from your front-right. That makes it even easier to tell where someone is coming from, or where that shot came from.
Overall, surround sound typically provides a higher quality of sound, but both will give you a sense of location and depth when you are playing video games. If you can, try to listen to the headsets you are interested in buying and see if you can tell the difference between surround sound and stereo. I find that some people can't really tell the difference. For them, they might as well save some money and stick with stereo sound. If you notice the difference, you may want to spend the money on the surround sound.
Surround Sound Conversion
Turtle Beach also offers a conversion device that allows you to transform a stereo headset into a surround sound headset. I haven't tried one yet, but I am curious to see if there is any difference between a dedicated surround sound headset and a converted stereo headset. If anyone has experience with this device, called a DSS2, let me know in the comment section below. If it works, I may have to try it on my PX21 headset.
If you haven't used a gaming headset, try one out! There are times I still like to play using my regular old stereo, but a good quality headset gives a much more realistic and immersed feeling to almost any game. And don't forget the fact that almost all dedicated gaming headsets include a microphone. Communicating with your team mates and coordinating your efforts is an almost guaranteed way to improve your game play. Of course, they also offer mute buttons when you don't feel like talking and separate volume controls for the game and voice chat. That way you can keep the game sounds where you want them, but turn down that annoying ten year old that thinks he is the king of gaming.
What is your favorite headset? Let me know your experience with headsets in the comment section below.