Turtle Beach launches new headsets at E3
June 11, 2013 // 10:05 a.m.
Audio giant Turtle Beach has announced a new raft of gaming headsets, and while a lot of its presentation at the Electronics Entertainment Expo (E3) last night focused on Microsoft's shiny new Xbox One the company also had some new products to show the PC crowd.
First, the console stuff: in partnership with Microsoft, Turtle Beach has announced a pair of headsets designed for use with the Xbox One. The Ear Force XO Seven surround-sound headset is to connect directly to the Xbox One controller and comes with a detachable boom microphone. Interestingly, the headset will also be suitable for use with tablets and smartphones through a bundled breakaway cable with in-line microphone for phone calls without the bulky boom microphone.
The XO Seven will be joined by the Ear Force XO Four, a wired surround-sound headset again designed to connect to the Xbox One controller and bundled with a 3.5mm cable for mobile devices. Unlike the $149.95 suggested retail price of the XO Seven, however, the XO One will cost $99.95 (around £96 and £64 respectively, excluding taxes.)
For PC gamers, the company showed off its Ear Force Z Seven. Based on the same rough design as the Xbox One-compatible XO Seven, the Z Seven packs 50mm speakers in an over-ear design and connects to the PC via a USB port for surround-sound simulation through an on-board digital signal processor (DSP.) A bundled controller allows for one-button access to audio presets, individual volume control of the chat and in-game audio levels, and quick access to microphone muting.
As with the Xbox One version, the Ear Force Z Seven includes a removable boom mic, and the side panels can be removed and swapped out for different colours and designs. The extra DSP hardware and USB connectivity comes at a cost, however: Turtle Beach is setting a manufacturers suggested retail price (MSRP) of $259.95 for the PC-compatible Ear Force Z Seven (around £160 excluding taxes.)
Turtle Beach's second PC-centric product is somewhat more sedate: the Z22 is a fairly standard USB-connected stereo headset, featuring the company's Chat Boost and Variable Mic Monitor technologies for improved in-game communications. The Z22 will be joined by the Z300, which is a Bluetooth-connected variant along the same themes, featuring dual-pairing mode for connection to a PC or laptop as well as a mobile phone.
Other announcements made by the company include limited edition Call of Duty: Ghosts branded headsets and versions of the Seven over-ear surround-sound headphones featuring Marvel branding on the interchangeable speaker plates. Numerous Marvel-branded speaker plates, each featuring one or more characters from the company's comic books, will be made available, and all will be compatible with the Ear Force Seven headsets.
The Ear Force Z Seven is already available in the UK priced at £229.99 - a significant premium over the US MSRP, even allowing for landing fees and VAT - with UK prices and availability for the other products announced by the company yet to be confirmed.