Flaws aside, the Turtle Beach Recon 70 is a good place to start if you’re looking for a budget-friendly entry to the wonderful world of gaming headsets.
Turtle Beach Recon 70 gaming headset review
As a gamer, it’s the extra costs that’ll get ya. Regardless of your platform of preference, there’s usually some kind of peripheral requirement, and speakers are chief among them. That’s where the Turtle Beach Recon 70 ambles in to make a case for getting some solid value out of a low and competitive RRP. Let’s take a look at how the Turtle Beach Recon 70 fares when put through its paces.
How much does Turtle Beach Recon 70 gaming headset cost in Australia?
I was sent the Turtle Beach Recon 70 blue camo version for review. While the colour doesn’t indicate the practicalities of the headset, the lack of Xbox or PlayStation branding does make the platform diversity clearer: namely, anything with a 3.5mm audio jack. For a stereo multiplatform headset, around the $50 is a reasonable starting point.
The $59 RRP price point is where you’ll also find competitors like the JBL Quantum 100, HyperX Cloud Stinger and RIG 300 Pro. There are slightly cheaper options worth weighing up—like the PDP Airlite Pro or Asus TUF H3—but considering the Recon 70 was cheaper than both of those options on Amazon at the time of writing, this Turtle Beach headset is appropriately priced.
Turtle Beach Recon 70 design and comfort
The Turtle Beach Recon 70 has a design that feels more slimline than similarly priced competitors. That design, though, comes at the expense of extra headroom. For me and my larger-than-average nonce, I found the best comfort spot by pushing out the headband more than I usually would.
Turtle Beach hasn’t been overly generous with the soft headband material. For my head, it meant a tighter fit with the bulk of the headset weight held with the earcups rather than in conjunction with the headband. On one hand, the extra tightness makes for better passive noise-cancelling. On the other, that additional squeeze made the headset more noticeable and ultimately less comfortable during longer gaming sessions.
I expect those with smaller heads to get better comfort mileage. Despite the tight fit, the Recon 70 didn’t interfere with glasses in my tests. As for the rest of the design, there are only two other main components. The volume dial sits on the back of the left earcup with a flip-to-mute microphone on the outside.
Turtle Beach Recon 70 sound and setup
Entry-level headsets are great because they’re even easier to plug and play than USB headsets. There’s no worrying about drivers or companion apps, just connect the solitary cable to a 3.5mm audio jack and you’re ready to play.
That 3.5mm wired connection makes the Turtle Beach Recon 70 a very versatile headset. You can safely expect to plug and play with Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch and mobile devices. Well, the ones that still have an audio jack. I also tested the Recon 70 headset with my Steam Deck and it worked seamlessly.
The main disclaimer for consoles, particularly Xbox and PlayStation ones, is you need to dig into the system audio settings to up the volume. This is also where you’ll have to manage the chat/audio balance, as there’s no way to do this via headset controls. Without a volume adjustment, the Recon 70 headset isn’t particularly loud, but with the console volume maxed out, there’s plenty of noise potential.
In terms of the sound quality, it’s what you’d expect from an entry-level wired headset. The audio quality is clear and, with the right game like The Last of Us Part I, helps to add to the immersion (particularly with the volume up). For my ears, the slightly pricier HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 had better audio quality, not to mention comfort. That said, the microphone quality on the Recon 70 was clearer than the Cloud Stinger 2, despite how rigid and far away the Recon 70’s microphone feels.
Turtle Beach Recon 70 settings and versatility
That plug-and-play ease of use also carries a con: no tweaking. While it makes it easier to get into the game, you won’t have the benefit of different audio presets or a full audio equaliser. Admittedly, nor would you expect that at this price point.
The versatility comes from the platforms. Basically, anything with a 3.5mm audio jack should provide audio to the Turtle Beach Recon 70. I was also impressed at how the microphone worked across platforms without any tweaks.
Is the Turtle Beach Recon 70 gaming headset worth buying?
Given the platform versatility, the budget price of the Turtle Beach Recon 70 takes the pain out of thinking you have to budget hundreds of dollars for decent audio. Granted, the comfort mileage may be dependent on the size of your head.
How we review gaming headsets
We factor in price and connectivity when reviewing a gaming headset, then put it through the motions of testing during hours and hours of gaming and everyday use. This also lets us determine the battery life and extended comfort of a gaming headset, as well as garner feedback on how the microphone sounds when playing games with others.
Everyday testing includes video calls and music playback, and we favour headsets that are more than single-function devices. In fact, the headsets that tend to score the highest are those that marry big sound (including oomph-tastic bass) with all-day comfort. Wired and wireless gaming headsets are generally more closely compared in their respective connectivity categories, except where there’s crossover for things like comfort and sound performance.
Then we take a look at the nice-to-haves. Companion software isn’t necessarily a dealbreaker if it’s average, but it can help elevate the usefulness of a headset. We also appreciate easy-to-reach physical controls for the main functions on a headset.