By Dusty Overby
on 4.20.09

turtle-beach-ear-force-headphones

Ed. Note: Don’t miss the special offer from Turtle Beach at the end of this post!

By now, you guys should know that nothing relaxes me at the end of a long day like unleashing hell on the Nazi horde or quelling a zombie uprising. Even better, there’s always the option to put down wave after wave of Nazi Zombies. All that is to say, I very much enjoy the occasional video game. I’ve long had a problem though. Hit the jump to hear about my quandary and the elegant solution thereto.

When I get the chance to spin up my Xbox 360, it’s often a late night thing, far after my kids have gone to bed. I’ve got a vested interest in keeping them asleep (if you don’t understand now, someday you will), and, though it happens clear across the house, artillery fire or rifle/chainsaw battles can be a losing proposition in the war on toddler sleep habits. This typically means that I leave the volume at the bare minimum, because, sadly, that’s preferable to using headphones with a wire snaking across the room. Thus, you’ll understand why I jumped at the chance to review the mas primo iteration of Xbox 360 headphones by Turtle Beach. I’m talking about their X4 model, and I’m sold.

turtle-beach-ear-force-headphones-standI’m not big on the idea of compromising sound quality and features in order to get the convenience of wireless headph0nes. Thanks to Turtle Beach and their X4 headphones, there’s no need. First and foremost, the X4s deliver Dolby 5.1 digital surround sound, recreating all the positional audio that you are used to from your home theater system. The headphones can also decode Dolby Pro Logic II. I tested the Ear Force X4 headphones with a variety of first person shooters and was more than impressed with their ability to accurately convince me of omnidirectional sounds and in-game auditory cues.

The X4 headphones ship with a vertical transmitter (which doubles as a nice place to rack the unit when not in use) that offers a pass through optical connection, allowing you to position the transmitter in-line with your other audio components. It even includes an optical cable, which is a nice touch.

Turtle Beach offers high-quality headphones designed for PS3 and PC gaming as well, but well executed Xbox Live integration is what really makes the Ear Force X series stand out. The X4s include an adjustable and  removable boom mic, as well as the requisite cable for connecting to your controller’s headset jack. These Ear Force headphones also scale the chat audio in proportion to the in-game action, which means that your ability to strategize with your teammates won’t be hampered by furious battlefield goings-on. It’s also work mention that, as a person who has been known to complain about uncomfortable headphones, these are anything but. You’ll barely know that you have them on.

The Ear Force X4 headphones are the top-of-the line option for Xbox 360 play, and their price tag is commensurate. If you’re looking for a less expensive solution, you’re in luck, as Turtle Beach offers the X3 wireless and X1 wired models to meet your needs. They aren’t as feature rich, but they’ll give you the same high build quality and will get the job done. Now that I’ve discovered these Ear Force headphones, I’m not going back to relying on subtitles to “hear” what’s going on; neither should you.

Cost: $199

Special Offer for GP Readers: Turtle Beach must be feeling extra-special generous today, because they’re offering you 15% off on any of their Gaming Headphones, now through May 5th. Be sure and take advantage of this smoking deal to save a few bucks for yourself while saving the sanity of your spouse/neighbor/roommate/hot chick down the hall. At checkout, enter the code gpatrol15 to receive the discount. Apologies to our friends in foreign lands, this deal is for US customers only.

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