Turtle Beach Xbox Recon controller evaluation: Game audio mixing made simple
“Turtle Beach’s Xbox Recon controller is loaded with inventive and useful on-board features at a shockingly low price.”
Great construct high quality
Robust audio management
Well-placed again buttons
Useful Pro-Aim characteristic
Whenever a brand new online game console drops, third-party producers get to work. There’s all the time a race to see who can create must-own equipment that outsmart console makers themselves. That’s particularly obvious with controllers, the place firms tackle the not possible job of bettering gamepads which have been completely engineered by giants like Sony and Microsoft.
It takes numerous inventive effort to perform that lofty aim, however Turtle Beach has struck gold with its Recon Xbox controller. Rather than attempting to outdo an everyday Xbox controller’s primary options, it affords a wholly new imaginative and prescient of what a controller can do. Turtle Beach has primarily constructed a sound mixer right into a controller, giving gamers a solution to EQ audio, alter sport quantity, and even management voice chat on the fly. It’s precisely the sort of innovation one may anticipate from an organization finest identified for its headsets.
The Xbox Recon isn’t only a area of interest product for devoted audiophiles; it’s a wonderful console companion that rethinks the utility of a controller. Its wired setup and some difficult choices maintain it again from being the final word Xbox controller, however a low value level makes it a critical various to Microsoft’s baseline Series X controller.
Meeting the baseline
With any third-party controller, there’s all the time a vital bar that must be handed: It must have all the essential performance of its first-party counterpart. Companies like PowerA have created complicated controllers for consoles just like the Nintendo Switch that includes additional options on the expense of rumble and Amiibo assist.
The Recon cuts no such corners. It has all the things one involves anticipate from an Xbox Series X controller. The button format is similar, with minor tweaks to some positions. The joysticks don’t really feel all too completely different, it rumbles simply as anticipated, and it even consists of an eight-way D-pad, which is lacking on another third-party Xbox pads. Even with some slight variations, all the things is in its proper place.
In reality, the Recon even goes a little bit farther in some locations. It consists of cooling grips and options two mappable buttons on the again, neither of that are included on the usual Xbox wi-fi controller. Due to the truth that it doesn’t use batteries, it’s additionally a bit lighter than Microsoft’s controller.
The Recon cuts no such corners. It has all the things one involves anticipate from an Xbox Series X controller.
The solely disadvantage right here is that the Recon can really feel a little bit extra toy-like than the subtle Xbox Wireless Controller. That’s hardly a lot of a knock, although. Turtle Beach simply passes the primary check right here by making a controller that checks each field and provides some tweaks of its personal, all whereas assembly a comparable $60 value vary.
If the Recon simply stopped there, it could be a wonderfully appropriate third-party possibility. But the truth that I haven’t even talked about its core perform but speaks to how sturdy a bundle this finally ends up being. The Recon is constructed with audio in thoughts and consists of a number of methods to tweak the sound in a mini command middle on the prime of the controller.
With a couple of rigorously positioned buttons, gamers can individually alter sport and chat audio individually. That permits anybody to primarily combine audio on the fly with out diving into menus and making changes. Usually, one would want exterior instruments to do that, so the truth that it’s constructed proper into the Recon is tremendously helpful. It even encompasses a mute button that permits gamers to chop their microphone with out fiddling for a button on their headset.
I can’t consider any online game controller that’s ever even aimed to do what Turtle Beach has completed right here.
I did discover that the chat management didn’t appear to work proper on PC video games I examined. When enjoying Back 4 Blood’s beta utilizing in-game chat, bumping down chat quantity had no impact. That left me unclear on the place precisely I may use that characteristic outdoors of enjoying on an precise Xbox.
Going one step additional with audio, the controller options 4 equalization presets that permit gamers toggle between completely different sound profiles. Players can enhance the bass, prioritize sport chat, improve treble, or go for a extra even combine through Turtle Beach’s Signature Sound possibility. There’s additionally a one-press button that prompts Superhuman Hearing, which boosts quiet seems like footsteps (although I discovered that it simply turns up all the things normally).
All of that comes collectively to offer gamers full management over the sport audio. When enjoying Last Stop, I may rapidly swap my EQ to prioritize voices on the fly. During a musical montage, I may simply as simply flip the bass on to spherical out the orchestral rating. Players will almost certainly choose their favourite presets and depart it at that, however I discovered myself flipping backwards and forwards only for the sheer novelty of all of it.
I’ve to emphasise how spectacular it’s that every one of that is occurring with none kind of software program or driver set up. All of those choices are housed inside the controller itself. I can’t consider any online game controller that’s ever even aimed to do what Turtle Beach has completed right here. Being capable of alter microphone monitoring or enhance bass simply as one would faucet a button to leap is extraordinarily spectacular and makes the Recon a real, one-of-a-kind controller.
Perks and quirks
With all its bells and whistles, the Recon nonetheless has a couple of notable quirks. Most importantly, it’s a totally wired controller, which is its foremost sticking level. For those that don’t need to thread a mesh wire from their Series X to the sofa, that is perhaps a troublesome promote. It doesn’t assist that gamers want to make use of wired headphones right here too, including some cable juggling. That’s made the Recon extra of a go-to for my PC than my Xbox, as enjoying tethered is extra frequent in my very own PC setup.
It’s full of nice options, although every provides mounting complexity to the gadget.
The controller additionally options two mappable again buttons, that are completely unobtrusive, although that’s not with out some points. The triggers can’t be mapped to again buttons for some purpose, nor can button mixtures. On the plus facet, gamers can arrange 4 completely different mapping profiles and flip between them rapidly. I had A and B mapped to 1 profile and the suitable and left bumpers set on one other, for instance.
The again buttons even have some odd interactions with the Recon’s different particular characteristic (sure, there’s extra): Pro-Aim. When the choice is enabled, gamers can maintain down the right-back button to cut back stick sensitivity. For instance, one may press it whereas aiming down sights to drastically drop the sensitivity instantly and permit for exact aiming. There are even 4 completely different presets for Pro-Aim. The solely difficulty is which you can’t actually map a management to the again button and use Pro-Aim on the identical time, or else you may bounce each time you attempt to purpose. It’s a tremendous characteristic for a controller, however one which butts heads with an alternative choice.
That’s the story of the Recon normally. It’s full of nice options, although every provides mounting complexity to the gadget. Trying to tab by EQ presets or map buttons on the fly could be a little bit of a circus, and you may’t all the time make the most of each characteristic directly. Compared to the magnificence of a traditional Xbox controller, the Recon can positively really feel complicated the primary few occasions you utilize it.
But that’s a essential trade-off contemplating how a lot the controller can do with no exterior software program. Turtle Beach has loaded a $60 controller with on-board options that different firms had but to dream up. Considering that the worth and construct high quality is completely as much as snuff with Microsoft, you actually solely must make the most of one additional characteristic to get your cash’s value. Even in the event you solely find yourself utilizing Pro-Aim or one thing as small because the mute button, you’re getting extra performance than a traditional Xbox controller. It’s stunning that this gained’t run gamers $100, however you gained’t hear me complaining a couple of whole lot.
While third-party controllers could be a dangerous proposition, the Xbox Recon cuts by the noise by doubling down on Turtle Beach’s strengths. The audio-first controller offers gamers plenty of helpful options that make it simple to tweak the sound combine on the fly. Even with some notable quirks, Turtle Beach is doing one thing actually distinctive right here, which makes the Recon stand out in a discipline that’s solely going to get extra crowded.
Is there a greater various?
For a primary wi-fi controller, the baseline Xbox Series X remains to be your finest wager. The hybrid controller-mixer setup is considerably first-of-its-kind, although.
How lengthy will it final?
It’s all the time exhausting to say with third-party controllers, however Turtle Beach is understood for high quality merchandise. It shall be stunning in the event you don’t get a couple of years out of it.
Should you purchase it?
Yes. The Xbox Recon is a surprisingly helpful controller for gamers who use headphones whereas in-game or for anybody on the lookout for some additional button customization.