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Ear Force PX5 Programmable Headset (with Bluetooth) review: Ear Force PX5 Programmable Headset (with Bluetooth)

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MSRP: $249.95

The Good The Turtle Beach PX5 is a fantastic surround-sound gaming headset that offers a huge number of customizable and default presets. It can even serve as a Bluetooth headset and connect with a phone or compatible music player.

The Bad We experienced some minor interference with devices on the same 2.4Ghz band, like our wireless router. When using the PX5 as an optical audio pass-through, we had numerous audio dropouts. We also found that the transmitter is better left in the headset's line of sight.

The Bottom Line The PX5 is easily one of the best wireless surround sound gaming headsets we've ever tested. While its $250 price tag is high, the set should satisfy gamers for years to come. The software, however, won't work with Macs.

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8.0 Overall
  • Design 8
  • Features 9
  • Performance 8

Gaming headsets have certainly hit their stride in the market since the scene exploded a few years ago. Since then we've seen and reviewed countless headsets and headphones, all ranging from stereo to surround sound, digital, audio, wireless, wired, and everything in between.

From the get-go, Turtle Beach has remained a heavy hitter, consistently delivering solid-performing headsets for the gamer who wants to experience all the sound and detail video games provide without waking up the neighbors.

The PX5 marks the company's most prestigious effort yet, addressing nearly every concern and complaint gamers have voiced. Aside from a few quirks, the PX5 is truly a fantastic wireless surround sound gaming headset that offers an insane amount of customization along with a few new ideas we're really excited about.

For anyone who has used the Turtle Beach X41s, the PX5s seem like a much sturdier pair of headphones. That said, sturdier doesn't necessarily mean heavier. The headset's weight feels just right and the padded adjustable headband provides tons of cushiony comfort.

Each earcup is littered with buttons and switches. The left earcup sports an adjustable and detachable boom mic complete with wind screen along with the main power button. Along the cushioned cup you'll find a USB port, Xbox chat port, the presets button, and a game volume dial.

The adjustable and removable boom mic is superflexible.

Looking over to the right earcup you'll find the "main" button, a mic mute, a Bluetooth LED indicator and its function button, and a Bluetooth volume switch.

The transmitting base that also doubles as a headset stand is back, a sort of cable modem-looking device that provides all the connectivity for the PX5. Up front is the power button, headphone jack, bypass button, along with a healthy amount of LED notification lights. Here players can tell if what they're hearing is being played in Dolby Digital or Pro Logic II.

Around back is where the connections are made. Turtle Beach offers two types of connectivity, analog and digital audio, with the former not available for pass-through audio.

All the PX5's connectivity goes here.

The PX5 headset mostly resembles the Turtle Beach X41 set, but with a major overhaul under the hood. However, the setup process is nearly identical. The PX5 comes with a transmitting base that requires power via the included USB adapter (though you can purchase a USB to wall adapter separately). We used our Xbox 360 to power the base, but it also worked with a free USB port on our cable set-top box.

For entertainment setups that utilize an AV receiver, the PX5 can act as a pass-through, eliminating the need to unplug optical cables each time the headset is used. Though this worked, we did notice an occasional drop in audio when we were using the PX5's base as an audio pass-through. When we bypassed the PX5, the drops in audio went away.

For those curious about what exactly is included in the box, Turtle Beach offers up the PX5 headset, a pair of AA batteries, an Xbox Live chat cable, a USB cable, the RF transmitting base, a USB power cable, and a 6-foot optical audio cable.

Turtle Beach bundles all the necessary wires in the packaging.

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