A couple of months ago, a box arrived from headphone specialists Turtle Beach containing a set of PX3 headphones. Just in time for my family to go overseas and talk to me for a month on Skype, and just in time for Battlefield 3, where I'd want my friends to hear me scream as I flew a helicopter into the side of a building.
Good timing, that.
Opening up the box at first, I was a little disappointed. After the surprising good looks of my last set of headphones, tragically destroyed on a flight to Germany, the PX3 looked ugly. Raw. If you were being nice, you'd say they were functional.
The microphone looked comically long, the the overall design wasn't winning me over and the mess of cables I was supposed to sift through for a wireless device looked ridiculous.
Good thing these are headphones, then, and not a fancy jacket or new pair of sneakers.
The PX3's are pitched as a more affordable version of Turtle Beach's top-shelf PX5 unit, ditching things like bluetooth connectivity (hence the cables) and 7.1 sound in favour of costing only $US150 to the PX5's $US250.
Which may be a problem for Turtle Beach, because having used the PX5's as well, I can say these are almost as good. The PX3 isn't quite as comfortable, and doesn't quite feel as expensive as its big brother, but unless you parade yourself around in public wearing headphones, what does it matter? Most of you will be like me and only wear them in the safety of your room/office, and that means sound quality is the most important thing.
Sound quality is great, and the headphones are also really comfortable. I also grew to love the giant microphone, as it let me move it away from my mouth when drinking or eating, but position it in such a way that it could still pick up my voice. The filtering presets worked just fine.
The thing I liked best, though, was the battery life. You get at least 10 hours per charge on these things, which means unless you're unemployed or play too many video games, they'll last you a few days before you need to recharge. And even then, the recharging cable is so long you can drag it out to the couch and keep on playing.
If you absolutely must have 7.1 surround sound, you can buy the PX3's with an adaptor, but seeing as this starts nudging the price towards that of the grander PX5, I'd say you're probably better just going for the premium model.
They may not win any awards for good looks, but like I said, you don't use serious gaming headphones to plug into an iPhone and walk around train stations. You use them for comfort, presets and quality, and the PX3's have all three in spades.
You can buy the Ear Force PX3 from Turtle Beach for $US150.