Turtle Beach XP500 review: Turtle Beach XP500

Typical Price: $329.95

Turtle Beach XP500

(Part #: CNETTurtle Beach XP500)
4 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Wireless headphones. Bluetooth connectivity for VoIP. Good sound quality.

The Bad RF interference issues. Very expensive.

The Bottom Line The XP500s deliver the ultimate in connectivity and above average sound. Gamers with well-stocked bank accounts will find plenty to like.

8.0 Overall

These feature-packed headphones include more gadgets and gizmos than we ever thought possible, but is the listening experience anywhere near as impressive?

Costing more than an Xbox 360, these console headphones are not aimed at the average gamer. Intended for gadget lovers with money to burn, Turtle Beach has jammed an amazing array of technology into this package. Most impressive is the headphone amplifier/radio transmitter that doubles as a resting place for your cans. It'll accept an S/PDIF input directly from your Xbox 360 or PS3, which is then processed via Dolby Headphone support to deliver surround sound over the headphones' stereo speakers. There's a pass-through connection so you can still use your amp and speakers without having to swap cables, while the RCA stereo audio inputs will work with your Nintendo Wii. PC users can try using the S/PDIF connection, but we found the experience to be less than desirable, with terrible directional audio.

The built-in Bluetooth receiver on the headphones allow you to patch directly into your PlayStation 3 for VoIP support. Xbox 360 users are also catered for, with a small Bluetooth transmitter that plugs into your controller. You can even synch the headset to any Bluetooth-equipped mobile phone and the headphones will automatically switch to incoming calls, a handy feature for gaming surgeons on call.

The gaming soundscape can be tailored and tweaked thanks to the audio preset feature, allowing you to boost the bass, increase voice volume or even enhance the sounds of enemy footsteps. It's a promising feature on paper that doesn't work so well in reality; the footstep focus preset made certain ambient sounds incredibly loud while drowning out the rest of the audio. There are 18 presets preloaded into the headphones, but more can be found online and then uploaded via USB. The microphone also has a range of preset filters, morphing your voice and dynamically adjusting volume. A nice touch is the pass-through of voice to the headphones, allowing the player to hear themselves speak.

Don't Miss


Discuss Turtle Beach XP500

Conversation powered by Livefyre