Thanks to Turtle Beach for providing the Ear Force XO Three headset to try out! This post isn’t sponsored, all opinions are my own and in no way influenced.
There is nothing quite like the feeling of tearing apart those big cardboard boxes you get in the mail—even when you already know what’s inside. For a second, you can be like the Hulk and rip apart a box as if it were an Iron Man suit gone rogue. But what’s inside is far from evil. Today, we received the Ear Force XO Three wired gaming headset from Turtle Beach, and if you’re in the market for a new set, listen up because I’ve got the review for you!
To kick this off, I want to explain the three different categories I’ll be going over. The first being hardware. Hardware is going to include everything from structure, look, feel, and extra components that come in the product packaging. The second will be sound. This category we’ll talk about the quality of sound that the headphone speakers produce. Lastly, I’ll discuss the microphone. Being a sound recording nut and avid gamer, microphone quality is very important to me and greatly affect certain games that require them.
I’ll be including my thoughts on the Ear Force XO Three headset alongside my older Ear Force Recon 50x headset. Our resident producer and gamer extraordinaire, Lina, was also kind enough to lend me her Turtle Beaches for the review, the Elite Pro tournament headset. Now that we have our bearings, let’s dive in!
You know that feeling you get when you pick up something made of cheap plastic? That is not the feeling I got when I first picked up these headphones. They feel sturdy and solid. This plays a big factor in durability. I like my headphones to last a while—which I’m sure some of you will agree. The leather head cushion feels good, but after a three hour hardcore gaming session, like any headset, can get a little uncomfortable. I will say that the over-ear cushions feel great and actually do a great job of surrounding my ears with pillow-like softness. Unlike my less expensive Ear Force Recon 50x headset, they do a nice little bit of noise cancellation—as I can’t hear myself typing this while I wear it. Compatible with 3.5mm jack devices, these can also be used on most devices. Everything said, based on the structure of the XO Threes, I’m quite happy with the build quality and believe I will be able to use these for a long time!
Moving up to Lina’s Elite Pros, we get an upgrade that feels almost magical. Not only do the over-ear cushions feel like fluffy little clouds, but they come injected with a special gel coolant—nobody likes overheating one hour into a long gaming session. Apart from that amazing feature, you get a tough build made of plastic and metal that is sure to withstand a zombie apocalypse or two.
I was pleasantly surprised while listening to music with these headphones. I immediately thought upon receiving the XO Threes that they would produce about the same audio quality as my less expensive set. I was wrong. The XO Threes house a pair of 50mm speakers—that’s 10mm more than my 40mm Recons. Who would’ve thought that just 10 extra mm would help produce such a greater response in bass and mid tones? Combined with the better over-ear cushions, the XO Threes really make the $20 dollar difference in comparison to the Recons.
The Elite Pros really pack a punch here. With special NanoClear 50mm speakers, you can literally hear all the layers of audio as if they all had their own little speaker built in there somewhere. This really helps with separating chat from game sound in those high-intensity team fight scenarios.
Nothing is more exciting than rounding up a team of friends and taking on the world together in our favorite video games. That’s why microphones are so important. I love that Turtle Beach has put all three microphones on these headsets on detachable boom arms. You can bend them and direct them in any way you like making them extremely convenient and more effective than their competitors.
From my tests, the XO Threes and the Recons have about the same high-sensitivity mic that yield crystal clear results. Both are able to pick up the human voice with good clarity. The Elite pros have an even greater mic and pick up more highs and lows in the voice. If chat and voice are big factors in your gameplay, these are the ones for you!
I want to say thank you to Turtle Beach for sending us the Ear Force XO Three gaming headset. They are a great choice for any avid gamer looking for a mid-range headset. For $70 dollars, you get a solid build and clear quality speakers and microphone—and probably the best on the market for the price range. If you have the budget and you want even more, at $170, Turtle Beach’s Elite Pros are a fantastic option that are surely not to disappoint. And if you’re just looking for a headset that will get the job done right, the Ear Force Recon 50x is a definite safe bet at $40.
If you liked this review and want to see more like this, let me know in the comments down below along with your thoughts and suggestions!
Photos by John Estanislau