Turtle Beach makes some of the finest-quality gaming headsets money can buy, but typically cost $249 or more for the high-end models, or $59 and under for lower-end models that can’t quite cut it. The PX21 was the perfect middle of the road headset—not too expensive, but still high quality. But now, Turtle Beach has taken something that wasn’t broke, and fixed it up anyway, releasing the improved Earforce PX22 at an affordable $79.99.
Right off the bat, I noticed that it’s lighter than many of the other gaming headsets I’ve tried, better accommodating those long hour gaming sessions. It’s very comfortable, too. The earpieces are wrapped in fabric that does a great job absorbing sweat. I know this because it’s been 95 degrees all week where I am, so that’s a major plus when testing out a headset. On the flipside, though, I don’t love the faux leather headband padding or the plastic feel of the band itself. Despite it feeling sturdy, it feels cheap. Then again, I’m used to more expensive headsets, and it still feels a lot better than a set of headphones or earbuds.
On a personal level, I prefer a wireless headset. But the Earforce PX22 makes up for the wire by featuring an in-line amplifier to tweak your listening experience on the fly. It’s a nice addition, for sure, but having my head tethered to my console is a dealbreaker for me, at least. I’m just being picky, though, what really counts is the performance, and the PX22 delivers.
Aside from the build quality and comfort, the sound is stellar for such an affordable headset. Mids and high notes can be a little thin, but this thing provides ample boom thanks to the headset’s 50mm drivers. Music from an iPad was vivid across multiple genres of music, with the bass highlighting dance and hip hop more than others. For gaming, where most of you will be using the PX22, gunshots, footsteps, and explosions are clear, intense, and deeply satisfying. The shattering of a thrown bottle in The Last of Us is as realistic as it gets, and using the PX22 made for an increasingly pant-shitting encounter with Clickers. We also tried it with BioShock Infinite, and while we can’t say it’s as good as Sony’s PULSE Elite with the exclusive BioShock mode turned on, it surely didn’t disappoint on any level.
But Sony’s headset is nearly double the cost of the PX22, and isn’t double the sound or build quality to justify the high price tag. The PX22 is the best mix of affordable and performance we’ve come across with gaming headsets. If only it was wireless, then I’d be a must have addition to any gaming setup. If you don’t get hung up on wires, then the PX22 is well worth the asking price.