Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven Gaming Headset Review: Premium, indeed
When the Xbox One was first announced, it didn’t include a headset. With the inclusion of the Kinect with every console, Microsoft just didn’t deem a headset necessary. It wasn’t until consumer pressure forced Microsoft’s hand to include one with each consoles. But let’s be honest, that fiddly piece of mono plastic won’t satisfy your gaming audio needs. Not when you have action-packed games like Titanfall.
In steps Turtle Beach with the Ear Force XO Seven. Marketed as the “premium” Xbox One gaming headset, the XO Seven headset features noise-isolating memory foam ear cushions, 50mm neodymium speaker drivers, swappable speaker plates and, of course, the required Xbox One headset adapter which is now sold separately if you already own a compatible headset.
True to Turtle Beach’s “out of the box” mantra, connecting the XO Seven to the Xbox One is quick and painless. It’s as simple as plugging in a couple of wires and running a minor firmware update to get the controller to recognize the new headset.
Admittedly, I can be somewhat finicky when it comes to wearing headsets while gaming. Oftentimes, my ears get irritated and I simply take the headset off and wrap it around my neck, or something of that nature. But I found myself not having to do that with the XO Seven. From the comfort of the headband to the way the earpieces perfectly cup over my ears, this is a really comfortable headset. I’ve even found myself using the headset for my PC audio just because of its comfort and noise cancellation.
From a functionality standpoint, the noise cancelling cushions work well; with the game volume turned out it practically drowns out everything around me -- much to my wife’s displeasure. Sound quality is crisp, and the noise-cancelling microphone allows for clear audio when speaking. This also makes the XO Seven perfect for when using Skype as well.
The chat adapter does allow for quick chat and gameplay audio balancing, but the drastic levels in which the buttons increase or decrease the sound can be a frustrating game in and of itself. And the plug ‘n play approach to the headset also means no external mix-app (beyond the adapter) to adjust sound settings like treble and bass. You’re simply stuck with the default settings. Once you do find a nice balance between game and chat audio though, it’ll be hard to find things to complain about the actual sound quality of the XO Seven.
Aside from working with the Xbox One, I was pleased to find that the headset also works with mobile devices with a quick switch of the cables. Though I find it a little too bulky to carry around with me on an every day basis, it’s a nice option to use when at home. Even the rather simplistic sounds of Clash of Clans sound awesome through the headset.
At $159.95, the Turtle Beach Ear Force XO Seven gaming headset is obviously marketed towards Xbox One enthusiast, but you don’t need to be hardcore gamer to appreciate what these bad boys bring to the table. This headset will undoubtedly make your gaming experience much more immersive, and the noise cancelling mic means you’ll never have trouble being heard again.