Lately, we’ve seen some great simple wired gaming headsets like the EPOS H3 and SteelSeries Arctis Prime, and now, we have a look at Turtle Beach’s latest — the Recon 500. At $80, how does this simple yet versatile headset perform? Be sure to hit the video below to see all of the details.
Out of the box + Design Overview
Due to the simple nature of the Recon 500, there isn’t much in the box besides the headset. We find an attached cable with a 3.5mm TRRS plug, a removable microphone, and a quick start guide.
Turtle Beach has two colors available for the Recon 500 — you can get it in black or the Arctic Camo variant that we have here. I have plenty of black headsets in the review pile, so I opted for the more unique white version.
All of the controls are located on the left earcup. First is the removable microphone port, the always attached cable, and then the volume dial. Higher up on the outside of the earcup is a microphone mute button.
Thanks to this simple design, though, the Recon 500 is a versatile headset that can be used on pretty much any device or console. Turtle Beach advertises its compatibility for Xbox, Playstation, and Nintendo Switch on the box, but it also works on PC, Mac, or any other device with a 3.5mm port. I used it mostly on a PC with a y-splitter cable running through the EPOS GSX 300.
Recon 500: Comfort
Turtle Beach has kept things pretty simple on the Recon 500 for comfort as well. The soft, malleable memory foam earpads easily contour to fit around my ears for a good seal. Wrapped around that foam is an athletic weave fabric to help keep you comfortable.
Though it doesn’t have a huge clamping force, I found the Recon 500 to have great passive noise cancellation. And with plenty of room built into the earcups thanks to the plush earpads and angled driver covers, my ears were comfortable wearing these headphones for multiple hours at a time.
Recon 500: Video
A flexible headband also helps for long gaming sessions, with the headset weighing in at a reasonable 352g. The arms can extend to fit different head sizes, and the earcups can rotate 90 degrees to lay flat when not in use.
While I don’t wear glasses, Turtle Beach has also built in the ProSpec comfort-driven design to remove pressure on glasses while you play. And judging by how soft and malleable the memory foam is, I can believe how well it works.
How do they sound?
So for $80, how does this simple headset sound? Pretty dang good. With a frequency response of 20-20,000Hz, the Recon 500 has a huge range for deep lows and crisp, clear highs. Turtle Beach has tuned the massive 60mm drivers to sound great for gaming, with a noticeable boost to the low end to make explosions more impactful and immersive but not boomy or overwhelming for the rest of the range.
Highs are crisp and clear for picking out voice lines, footprints, and other crucial cues when gaming. I was pleasantly surprised by how good the headset sounded when playing Call of Duty Warzone. I felt that positioning was also great to quickly pick out the directions of sounds in the cluttered Plunder playlist.
Recon 500: Mic check
Another important part of the headset is the removable microphone for communicating with teammates. While it doesn’t stand out as anything amazing, the microphone on the Recon 500 does sound good. Wired headsets tend to do it better than wireless, and that holds true here.
Turtle Beach has delivered a very competitive headset with the Recon 500. Coming in at $80, its simple and versatile design is matched with the impressive sound quality for gaming. While there isn’t much in the way of added features or customizability, what it does, it does very well. And with the Arctis Camo colorway, you can get a unique look as well.
For other headsets similar to this, but sure to check out our recent review of the EPOS H3 as well as the SteelSeries Arctis Prime. While both are a little more expensive than the Recon 500, they are simple headsets that sound great as well.
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