Turtle Beach Recon Chat Review
It’s not easy being a gamer on a budget. Merely having enough to afford the games you want to play can be a struggle, and when you throw in consoles, accessories and so on, it can get a bit ridiculous. Thankfully, there are still some companies out there dedicated to providing decent gaming accessories to the modest spender. Turtle Beach, the popular gaming headset company, is one of those companies, and it’s hoping to bring a quality chat experience that won’t break the bank with its new Recon Chat headset. Though it sports a basic, bare bones design and lacks some of the more premium features you’d find on a pricier model, the Recon Chat is a noticeable step up from the crummy standard headsets that come bundled with consoles.
The design of the Recon Chat is simple but looks decent enough that you won’t feel like a fool wearing it. The model I have is the basic black color with blue accents and it compliments the aesthetic of my Dual Shock controller nicely. Instead of going for the full-headset design, the Recon Chat has a single slotted ear-cup that rest over either the left or right ear depending on which you prefer. The padding on the ear-cup feels a bit firm on the side of the head, but after a few minutes I hardly noticed it at all. I also own a more traditional Recon 50P and I actually prefer the ear-cup on the Recon Chat as it stays cool around my ear longer. The overall comfort level is high and I was able to play for multiple hours with the headset on without any noticeable discomfort. The all-plastic design is lightweight, but also feels a bit cheap in the hand. Given the price point, however, this is an understandable compromise. There is also a dedicated volume controller and mic mute button attached to the headset, which is expected for gaming headsets these days, but it was still nice to see it here nonetheless.
“Recon Chat is a noticeable step up from the crummy standard headsets that come bundled with consoles.”
One of my favorite features of the Recon Chat, and arguably the biggest benefit of the single-cup design, is how glasses friendly it is. As a glasses wearer, I’ve often had trouble finding headsets that work well with glasses and don’t cause me to feel like I’m being punished for having poor eyesight. Thankfully, the Recon Chat didn’t apply any pressure to the sides of my glasses and even allowed me to take them off and put them back on without being forced to remove the headset first.
At this point, I should warn anyone interesting in the Recon Chat who likes to play with gameplay audio sent into the headset itself against buying this product. I want to make it clear that this headset was designed for chat audio as a priority first and foremost. The 40mm speaker is decent enough, but because there is only one ear-cup and it’s intentionally fitted to have an open seal that allows external gameplay audio to pass through it, having all the audio sent to the single ear-cup will result in the worst experience. I found that localizing only chat audio to the headset worked well on PS4 and voices came through clearly, even with the rest of the game audio blasting through my television speakers. In my testing, I was also told that the microphone did not pick up my own game audio. It was a relief knowing that I wasn’t causing any annoying echoes or feedback for players on the other end.
It would be a stretch to call Turtle Beach’s Recon Chat an impressive headset, especially when compared to the features some of the more expensive models offer, but Turtle Beach understands this product is not meant to compete on that level. Instead, the Recon Chat will appeal to anyone starting to explore online team-based games like Overwatch, but who aren’t ready to invest a huge chunk of change in an expensive headset.
***A PS4 headset was provided by Turtle Beach***
- Surprisingly comfortable
- Glasses friendly design
- Clear chat audio
- Feels a bit cheap
- Essentially limited to chat audio only