There was no shortage of gaming headphone vendors at PAX 09. Not only were Astro, Dolby and Tritton there, but Turtle Beach was showing off some of their headsets designed for gamers.
The one PC headset they had was the EarForce p21. This headset offers high fidelity and is incredibly lightweight for an “around the ear” headset. The headset works with PC and the PlayStation 3.
This seemed like an odd combination to me. Why support the PS3 and not Xbox 360? Michael Carducci, the Marketing Manager for Turtle Beach stated that while the headphones are analog, the microphone is USB only, so it will only work with a PC or PS3. Sadly, Microsoft still has quite a lockdown on the hardware vendors they allow to work with their console.
The headset is nice and comfortable, and doesn’t put too much pressure on the head. The earcups can also twist around, so they can sit on your shoulders if you put the headset around your neck. The microphone is incredibly easy to bend, and has a wide angle of movement.
The headset is wired, and features an in-line remote (similar to many other PC headsets). It is odd that the microphone is USB but not the speakers. PC gamers usually don’t mind a wired headset because they are usually sitting down at a desk, but the average PS3 gamer has their console in the living room, and a corded headset just isn’t going to cut it.
It’s great that the headset works with Sony’s Playstation, but for all intents and purposes this is a PC gaming headset. It’s comfortable, but we really can’t comment on the sound quality, because we were on an extremely noisy show floor.
We have a request with Turtle Beach for a review sample, so we hope to have an official review on the headset in the coming months.