Seems gaming headsets are becoming a popular item these days. A once-vacant aisle at Best Buy is now filled with a plethora of different types, ranging from casual all the way up to pro, including the Turtle Beach X12.
While my initial impressions of this headset were good at my local Best Buy, I wanted to take it for a full spin, preferably in a real situation: the comfort of my couch.
Let’s start with the most important feature of any headset, how it feels while being worn.
I was most impressed by the device’s weight. While on occasion I game with headsets, I find them usually a bit on the bulky side, which makes them feel almost like a hassle to put on. Traditional headsets always felt a bit uncomfortable, especially when trying to lie on a pillow at the same time.
This couldn’t be further from the truth when it came to the X12. I was able to put the headset on without any additional fitting, and they felt light and far from bulky.
The only other issue I have with most gaming headsets is the setup. I’m not a fan of a lot of wires, and even less a fan of trying to hide the wires when putting the device away. When I first opened the device there were plenty of wires to choose from. After everything was set up, it was a little bit of a chore to hide everything.
Though one thing to say about the X12 is it’s very versatile. Much like most of the headsets of today, this is a one device to rule them all. The instructions were very clear and the X12 works for a PC, Mac, Xbox 360 and the PS3. The only real requirements were a USB input to power the headset.
Hot damn, the X12 sounds fantastic. My first test involved the Norse lands of Skyrim, and with the proper sound the game was amazingly immersive. The X12′s selling points included being able to hear the footsteps of your opponents. While I did hear footsteps they weren’t my opponents, but nearby goats.
Next I decided to take it online with some Modern Warefare 2. Now I’m not the best player by far, but I can hold my own. With the match I played, I noticed the SFX of bullets and explosions were super nice. The X12 put out plenty of bass for explosions and deep sounds but balanced it out nicely with robust treble. I did hear approaching soldiers, again.
I did decided to take the X12 on a musical journey. I listen to iTunes while I code, and I’ve been looking for a headset to help mask the noise around me. The X12 did the trick: the music sounded great and had a nice rounded sound to it. As mentioned, the X12 features a nice rich bass, but not so much that you can’t hear anything else. I also liked the adjustable bass, meaning there was always the option to turn it up and down.
The X12′s only downside is its microphone, which is sensitive. I tested it out on my Mac Book Pro and found it picked up a lot of background noise. After messing with some of my settings I found a nice happy medium, but it still seemed a tad sensitive. As for the actual voice chat with the mic, voices sound great with a very “radio voice” sound and feel.
A pretty solid headset set up to fit almost any gaming situation, despite its tangle of wires. I’m impressed with the compatibility with a wide variety of devices, and its light weight and comfort are the biggest points in its favor.