Turtle Beach XP Seven: Review

My review of the new XP Seven

Among my many journeys at PAX Prime, one of my favorite stops was the Turtle Beach booth. Decorated by a giant TB headset and a glass case of the new and upcoming products, along with the stream set, Turtle Beach was the star at PAX Prime as far as audio goes.

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The XP Seven was seen in most booths with custom speaker plates that pop off and can be replaced. For example, World of Warplanes (a new favorite in my household) showcased their speakerplates at the World of Tanks booth as we played through the demo.

I managed to walk away with an XP Seven after trading my Logitech G430. I’ve been using it all weekendand after some tricky set up, am quite pleased with the quality.

Audio quality

Firstly, I play PC. I am exclusively a PC gamer, though I have been known to play Gamecube and PS3. However, given my pickiness about gameplay controls, I prefer a mouse and a keyboard. Thusly, I play with my headset plugged in to my PC.

For PC, the XP Seven plays 5.1 surround through the USB connection. While it does feature Dolby Digital, this option is only available on consoles.

The audio control unit (your little nugget between the console and your headset, ACU) has a bunch of neat-looking buttons and a great big dial in the middle–all of which serve a pretty important purpose.

  • When active, options on the dial will illuminate WHITE.
  • When inactive, options on the dial will illuminate RED.

For example, when your mic is muted, the little mic on the dial will be red. The graphic above will be insanely handy when programming and setting up your headset–especially if you’re a big fan of using presets (buttons 1-8).

Set up

I won’t lie–the box comes with a lot. Granted, it’s everything you’ll ever need to plug your headset in to your console, PC, phone, speakers, whatever, but it’s a lot for someone who’s upgrading from a Logitech G430, which was literally just the headset and a long cable.

Mine’s the blue one on top. 

For PC, all you’ll need is to use the USB cable from the ACU to your PC. The breakaway cable will connect your headset to the ACU, and you can set up your ACU through the software that TB provides. PC set up is pretty simple.

Set up for console may prove to be a little more complicated. You’ll need to plug in both the optical cable and the microUSB cable in to your box through the console interface–a little black box that is not the ACU.

For more detailed instructions, you can read the owner’s manual here.

Comfort

I have a pretty small head. Most headsets don’t fit me quite right, and the XP Seven is no exception. Though the headset is comfortable as a far as resting on my head for long periods of time, it does get tight after a while and my ears tend to get a little warm. Turtle Beach claims that this will improve over time as the headset adjusts to my tiny skull, so I’m not terribly worried about it right now–I’ll update after a few weeks and let you guys know if it improves.

Price

For $280, this is a pretty nice headset and was definitely an upgrade for me. There are cheaper options coming out later this holiday season, which includes the Marvel Seven and its accompanying speaker plates.

This headset is about $100 cheaper and includes all the bells and whistles, minus the ACU. However, the plates are a huge selling point and I can see these being major perks for companies that choose to release games with these little goodies.

The World of Warplanes demo booth was crawling with XP Sevens.

Overall

The XP Seven is a great addition to any game–with astounding sound quality and easy-to-use programmable presets, this pro-grade tournament headset is a definite upgrade for most gamers. However, at a steep $280, it may be a more economical idea to wait for the Seven, coming out later this Fall.

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Turtle Beach XP Seven: Review
My review of the new XP Seven

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Author
Katy Hollingsworth
whale biologist.