The Consumer Electronics Show kicks off tomorrow, and there Turtle Beach will be showing off the new Ear Force PX5 Programmable Wireless Surround Sound Headset, among other things. Is this Xbox 360 / PlayStation 3 headset really worth $US250?
Hopefully McWhertor or Crecente will get a chance to check out the PX5 during the show this week. Otherwise, we're just looking at a list of features and trying to imagine how they all fit together.
Mind you it's an impressive set of features. Turtle Beach is calling it "the most technologically-advanced headset ever designed for PS3 and Xbox 360 gaming," and I'd say it lives up to the label. The headset features a fully programmable digital signal processor that allows the listener to customise the sounds they want to emphasise in their games. I'm not talking about music versus sound effects here; you can modify the settings so footsteps or weapon reloads are louder, potentially gaining a real edge in only play.
Multiple configurations can be programmed using a USB PC interface, stored directly on the headset for quick retrieval.
The PX5 is also the first headset to include dual radios. One controls the game sound, while the other is responsible for handling Bluetooth chat via the PlayStation 3. You can also take phone calls or listen to Bluetooth-ready MP3 players while getting your game on.
"Turtle Beach has always been recognised for technological innovation. We pioneered the console gaming headset industry by launching the first stereo XBOX headset, were the first with wireless gaming headsets and the first with innovative features to enhance the gaming experience, like Chat Boost. With the introduction of the programmable PX5, we're poised to again revolutionize the gaming headset market." says Carmine Bonanno, President and CEO. "By allowing gamers to customise their audio environment, the PX5 gives them an opportunity to take charge of their console gaming experience in ways that have never before been available."
It certainly looks like a $US250 headset on paper. We'll reserve judgment until we've heard it for ourselves.
If you're interested in headsets mere mortals can afford, Turtle Beach will also be showing off the Ear Force P11 for the PlayStation 3 and PC and the Ear Force XC1 for the Xbox 360, a nifty little communicator alternative that features a slotted ear cup so you can still hear sound will your Live friends are chatting away.
All three products will be on the floor at CES 2011, and in stores this spring.