Turtle Beach PS3 Ear Force PX21 Gaming Headset review: Turtle Beach PS3 Ear Force PX21 Gaming Headset

Setting up the P21 headset is simple enough thanks to its bypass-capable RCA analog audio connections. The ports can attach right where your PlayStation 3 wires hook into your TV or receiver, preventing the need to constantly switch out wires when you want to use the headset. The cable length is also very generous, giving you up to 16 feet to work with. An included USB extender allows for the headset to hook into your PS3 when chatting.


The analog audio connections allow for bypassing wires.

While we're satisfied with analog stereo audio support, we were a bit disappointed to find that you can't use a digital optical audio connection with the P21. This also means the headset is incapable of producing surround sound like we've seen in other 5.1 Turtle Beach products.

During our testing, we were impressed with the P21's performance. We used the boom mic for a handful of rounds playing SOCOM: Confrontation, which yielded solid results. Our teammates heard us clearly and we were able to adjust the chatter to fit our preference.

Sound quality was good; even with just a stereo connection, we were able to tell where gunfire was coming from. However, the P21 does not do a good job at sound isolation. If you're using the headset next to someone, they will most likely be able to hear what's going on through the earcups.

The P21 can also double as a PC (or Mac) gaming headset. You can either use the USB dongle as a virtual soundcard or purchase a 1/8-inch-to-stereo-RCA adapter in order to attach it manually to your soundcard. Either way, the headset performs just as well, adding to the overall value of the product.

We liked the P21 headset's performance, we just wish it supported 5.1 surround sound. Priced around $80, you may want to look at another headset if you'll need something for more than just PlayStation 3 gaming sessions. The company makes a solid 5.1 surround headset--the X4--for double the price, but it can be used with a wide range of home theater devices. That said, it won't work with PS3 chat in-game, just audio.

Your other alternative is the Tritton AX Pro 5.1 system for around $150, which may be confusing to set up, but it does offer close to universal compatibility.

Editors' Top Picks

 

ARTICLE DISCUSSION

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Where to Buy See All

Turtle Beach PS3 Ear Force PX21 Gaming Headset

Part Number: CNETEARFORCEP21 Released: Jun. 15, 2009
MSRP: $79.99 Low Price: $74.99 See all prices

Quick Specifications See All

  • Release date Jun. 15, 2009
  • Weight 8.2 oz
  • Sound Output Mode stereo
  • Additional Features volume control
  • Type headset
  • Headphones Form Factor ear-cup
  • Connector Type RCA phono x 2
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.