Turtle Beach Ear Force X31 Gaming Headset review: Turtle Beach Ear Force X31 Gaming Headset

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CNET Editors' Rating

3 stars Good
  • Overall: 6.7
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 6.0
  • Performance: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Wireless stereo headset; adjustable boom mic; bass booster; audio bypass cable; includes everything you need.

The Bad Stereo only; wireless RF interferes with Wi-Fi and vice versa.

The Bottom Line The X31 is a great stereo wireless gaming headset for the Xbox 360, we just wish it could handle Dolby Digital playback.

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Editors' note: We've updated some of the information in this review to reflect the X31's functionality in reference to some of the other gaming headsets in its price range. The product's final score remains unchanged.

Last month we took the Turtle Beach Ear Force P21s for a spin using its chat function with our PlayStation 3. To be fair, we thought we would even the playing field by checking out the company's Xbox 360 headset and voice chat solution with the Ear Force X31.

While the X31 is a wireless solution, opposed to the P21's wired setup, it provides just as good sound quality and voice chat performance in-game. In fact, if you're desperate for a wireless experience and don't mind living without voice chat, you could even use the X31 with your PS3.

As mentioned above, the X31 is quite similar to the P21 except for the fact that the X31 utilizes a wireless RF signal to transfer audio information from the Xbox 360 to your headset.

The overall construction of the X31 definitely trumps that of the P21; the headset simply feels more durable and not as frail as the P21s did. The earcups are comfortable and won't irritate your head after long sessions of play time. That said, the wireless headset is a bit heavy, which may become uncomfortable to some after wearing it for an extended period of time.

Setting up the X31s is easy enough. The included audio wire allows for bypassing, which lets you plug them into where your Xbox's audio would normally go. With that cable in place, you must then run its 1/8-inch jack into the RF transmitter, a tiny USB-powered black box. You're free to draw USB power from anywhere you'd like, including an open port on the front of your console. In our case we were able to power the RF transmitter via our cable box. On the rear of the transmitter you'll find an adjustable output volume.


The included RF transmitter can draw USB power from any available port, whether it be from your Xbox 360 or from a laptop.

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Where to Buy See All

Turtle Beach Ear Force X31 Gaming Headset

Part Number: EFX3 Released: Sep. 1, 2009
MSRP: $99.95 Low Price: $29.99 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Sep. 1, 2009
  • Weight 8.2 oz
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Additional Features Bass Boost
  • Type headset
  • Headphones Form Factor ear-cup
  • Connector Type 4 pin USB Type A
About The Author

Jeff has been at CNET for more than five years covering games, tech, and pop culture. When he's not playing ice hockey or pinball, you can catch him live every day as the host of CNET's infamous daily show, The 404 Show and every Friday in CNET's first-ever tech comic, Low Latency.