As part of the new Turtle Beach 2018 line-up comes the Ear Force Recon 200, a budget headset that works with, well, everything. Whether you game on an Xbox, PlayStation, PC or Switch, and also like to listen to music or podcasts on a phone, this headset will have you covered. But, is it as impressive as the recently reviewed Elite Pro 2?
Well, probably not, but this headset does a lot right. Firstly, it is an amplified headset, so it will need charging. Most budget headsets don’t take this approach, like the competitor Astro A10’s, however it isn’t wireless and will still require a chat cable to the controller for both the Xbox and PS4. Battery life is quoted as over 12 hours, so you can get a lot of gaming in between charges. There is a simple selector switch to flick between PS4 and Xbox mode plus all the on-ear controls for chat and game volume, along with a nice Bass Boost switch. The headset is very well designed and made, eschewing the usual styling of a gaming headset, preferring the sleek black style which will suit the commuter as much as the gamer. Inside the memory foam ear cushioning are 40mm speakers, so there is no disputing the quality of the sound that these will pump out.
There is also the usual flip-down microphone, with the auto-mute when it is moved to the up position. . What is different with this mic design is how small and unobtrusive it is, as when it is in the mute position it really does blend in with the design of the headset. It doesn’t feature the usual foam muff but this doesn’t detract from the performance at all. Its refreshing to have a headset with such a small but brilliant mic. The Ear Force Recon 200 is available in black or white and can be picked up for under £50. Turtle Beach have also included support for the Windows Sonic Surround Sound on the Xbox One. The connecting cable is attached to the headset, which I hate, as this means that any wear and tear on the cable means the headset will need to be replaced, rather than just needing to replace the faulty cable.
And, it performs really well. The amplified speakers provide excellent sound quality whether I was gaming on the Xbox or listening to music on my iPhone. It performed very well in party chat on the Xbox also, with friends commenting on how clear and rich my voice sounded, some commenting that it was better than my go-to Astro A20’s. But there is a problem with these, and it was the same problem I encountered with my Turtle Beach Ear Force “Titanfall” headset from a few years ago. You see, I think I must have a really big head, as wearing these really does feel uncomfortable for the first hour or so. I have never had an issue with getting Baseball caps to fit, although I do have them on the larger clips, so I am always really surprised at how strange the Turtle Beach budget headsets fit. I persevered for a few sessions and it did become less noticeable as time went on, but gamers with larger heads like me may find this an issue. Fellow Thumbstix writer Greg has also been trialling these and also noticed this issue, but as time went on he felt that they were looser.
So, in summary, the Ear Force Recon 200 are a really nice headset, that look and sound great, but the size means these are not for me, which is a real shame.