I love headsets. I am starting to think I may have a problem. I think it’s simply time to admit the issue and add gaming headsets and headphones to my list of obsessions, including backpacks, tumblers, and hats. Thankfully, it is the time of year where the newest gaming headsets are hitting the market, and Turtle Beach has tossed another worthy competitor with 60mm drivers into the robust market with the Recon 500. This headset is straightforward in design and doesn’t stray far from the Turtle Beach headsets of the past – until you hear the quality.
The headset is black with silver accents – nothing too crazy, but the simple style is something anyone can appreciate. While design creativity is certainly lacking, I can appreciate it when companies play it safe for the masses.
Comfy memory foam pads cover the ears, and I’ve certainly no complaints about this device being too tight or too loose. It’s a “baby bear” headset – “just right”. Being a righty, I anticipate lefties may find it annoying the mute button, volume control, and microphone are all on the same side – but I’m guessing lefties are probably used to inconvenience, and it may not matter.
The 3.5mm TRRS cord seeks to achieve what most headsets rarely attempt. System diversity. I can now plug this headset into my Xbox controller, PS controller, Switch, Android phone, or even my PC (though the cord is a bit shorter, so PC is a bit annoying). Naturally, it tends to be easiest to use on Switch, Xbox, and PS5 because you can plug it directly into the system or controller.
I’ve grown accustomed to wireless headsets, but I swear by the quality of wired sets. For less than $80, sound just doesn’t get much better. The Recon 500’s tickle my ears with delight. They certainly beat other headsets at the aforementioned price that typically don’t offer as much. This is due to the 60mm drivers and the fact each ear cup offers its own woofers and tweeters. The result is an expansive sound you have to hear to believe. Additionally, the 500’s have a removable noise-canceling microphone that delivers exceptional performance for live chat during gaming sessions.
I can really feel the bass on this headset, especially when I’m jamming to some low-end heavy tunes, but you won’t necessarily find it here if you are looking for perfection. Gunfire and explosions sound less muddy than other headsets in the same price range with 50mm drivers. I still hear competitor movements that offer distinct advantages in certain games, such as Battlefront II and Apex Legends. Oddly, with high-end sounds, I actually prefer the Turtle Beach Stealth Gen II – I wish I could define why, but in the end, it’s just my preference.
When compared with the Stealth, the Recon holds its own with better overall sound quality and feel. The Stealth does have certain conveniences, such as a flip-out microphone, but the overall sound quality is definitely better on the wired Recon 500. Overall, the Recon is better with only a few minor drawbacks – most notably the cord and lackluster design (which may be a good thing for many).
If you are looking for a simple looking headset with impressive sound – look no further than the Turtle Beach Recon 500 gaming headset. With a price tag just shy of $80, you certainly get your money’s worth. It feels like there are a million options out there in today’s market, but I don’t think you’ll be disappointed should you choose to toss these on your noggin for gaming domination and virtual glory.