Turtle Beach XP500

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


8.0
CNET Rating
5.5
User Rating


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.

Controlling so many options could have been a nightmare, but Turtle Beach has used a sensible layout of controls and dials. Interactive Voice Prompts also tell you exactly which button you're pressing, making operation a breeze.

Turtle Beach has included quality 50mm neodymium drivers in the headset, and they deliver a solid soundscape. They tend towards the tinny end of the spectrum with rather piercing highs, but a bit of tweaking helps lower the issue. We also noticed a bit of distortion when things got hectic, but overall the sound quality was above average. However, this is the second set of Turtle Beach wireless headphones we've tested that has a major issue with RF interference. Our audio signal cracked and popped every few seconds, despite the base transmitter being just 2 metres away from the headset. Unfortunately, some of the suggested solutions are to disable any nearby wireless devices or switch off your router's wideband mode, lowering bandwidth by 50 per cent, neither of which are particularly desirable. Having said that, it's likely that many users won't experience any issues — it all comes down to the operating environment.

Despite our RF issues we can't help but be impressed by the immense range of options squeezed into these headphones. Delivering the ultimate in connectivity and above-average sound, gamers with well-stocked bank accounts will find plenty to like.



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Headley67 Facebook
10
Rating
 

"Excellent"

Headley67 posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Sound, comfort, versatility.

The Bad:Honestly can fault them.

Once again people on CNET giving ratings when they probably haven't even listen to the headphones. Well, I actually own a pair of the TB X500's (picked up for $170 on Catch Of The Day). These are brilliant sounding headphones for the money. Why anyone would give them a 1 rating is just plain stupid. They are comfortable for hours on end, great build quality, awesome Bass repro, excellent mic and very versatile with just about every game system known. Please refrain from stupid ratings when you don't even own the product!

 

Jeremyd posted a reply   

I bought these too on catch of the day for 170, but was not impressed. The bass just did not cut it for me. I got a pair of AKG's for about $90, and it just made these sound like crap. I've yet to find a decent good gaming headset.

 

TheUltimateEye posted a comment   
United States

Why people continue to buy "gaming" headsets is beyond me. Most of them are cheap and overpriced (Including these. Yes i've heard them and was not impressed for the amount of money Turtle Beach is asking for). I guess it's because they're marketed towards the gamer crowd and not the audiophile crowd. I could find a ton of audiophile headphones that would blow these away for the money (and cost MUCH less) and attach a cheap mic to it.

 

lox429 posted a comment   
Australia

I have the non amped ones (the box thing) and they're great. Can be a little uncomfortable if on for too long,but the sound is awesome.

 

JonC1 posted a comment   

Do not listen to Jive Turkey he has no idea what he is talking about at all. These headsets are amazing, the sound quality is better than you could ever ask for, the mic works perfectly, and they are not too complicated to use. The only problem for me personal is the battery life isn't that long, but overall they are amazing.

 

CharlesW posted a comment   

Jive turkey- obviously they are not the same as the px5 two different products I have the xp500 and have no buzzing humming or otherwise, the sound quality from the Xbox through the toslink cable is incredible noise canceling is great and the added feature of the bluetooth for the Xbox live chat is great no more cables like the x41's the rf signal is good crystal clear on my lounge the only thing I would of liked to have seen would be a lithium battery and when on the rf transmitter have a charger but rechargeable batteries work for now :P 4 1/2 stars from me worth every penny

Jive Turkey
1
Rating
 

"Worst headset I've ever purchased. Worse than the $20 pair I bought once when I was too broke for a good pair."

Jive Turkey posted a review   
Australia

The Good:Really really comfortable to wear.

The Bad:Terrible sound, terrible signal quality.

I have the PX5 which is the exact same headset minus the Xbox adapter, and coloured red instead of green.

The sound is awfully tinny and the screeching highs were literally painful to listen to at times.

Then there's the terrible signal quality. I would constantly hear various hums, buzzes, crackles and pops. The base transmitter was always within a metre of where I sit with direct line of sight to the headset. I even tested it out in my bedroom which has only my TouchPad and Pre3, and absolutely no other electronics in it or the adjacent rooms. I didn't go so far as to turn off the tablet and phone as well because if I have to turn them off to use the headset it's not worth it.

Actually, all the troubleshooting I've done to try and get a clean connection isn't worth it. And that's why I've only had them for a week and have already put them up for sale on Ebay. They're that bad.

 

Jive Turkey posted a reply   
Australia

Forgot to mention that I tested bluetooth as well as the RF. Both had awful signal.

 

Spartan Jack 17 posted a comment   
Australia

Finally! This bluetooth emitter for the Xbox 360 is genius. Why has no-one else seemed to think about this? It just seems so obvious. The only problem is that I will never be able to afford them.




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User Reviews / Comments  Turtle Beach XP500

  • Headley67

    Headley67

    Rating10

    "Once again people on CNET giving ratings when they probably haven't even listen to the headphones. Well, I actually own a pair of the TB X500's (picked up for $170 on Catch Of The Day). These are..."

  • TheUltimateEye

    TheUltimateEye

    "Why people continue to buy "gaming" headsets is beyond me. Most of them are cheap and overpriced (Including these. Yes i've heard them and was not impressed for the amount of money Turtle Beach is ..."

  • lox429

    lox429

    "I have the non amped ones (the box thing) and they're great. Can be a little uncomfortable if on for too long,but the sound is awesome."

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