Turtle Beach has an excellent reputation for providing high-quality sonic solutions, and many people swear by the brand. With the Ear Force Recon 50P, they once again prove why they’re deserving of their status.
The Recon 50P definitely looks the part, but it has to be said that they do feel slightly flimsy compared to certain other headsets in a similar price range. Then again, I don’t think they’re actually meant to be quite as costly as they are in rand terms. In fact, they’re meant to be a budget set, but the crappy exchange rate has complicated things.
Thankfully, the 50P excels in almost every other aspect. For one thing, the set’s exceptionally comfortable and even after long periods of use they don’t generate any irritation or discomfort, aside from the usual sweaty grossness that comes from wearing headphones for a while. The 50P is also remarkably light, enough so that it’s easy to forget you’re wearing them at all. There are in-line volume and mic controls as well, which is always nice.
My only real irritation with the physical design of the set is that the cable is much too short – which won’t be a problem if you’re using the 50P with a console and are plugging it straight into the controller. But if you’re using it with, say, a PC, or an amplifier, or you plan to plug it straight into your TV or any other device from which you generally sit more than a metre and a bit away, the 50P’s cable isn’t going to cut it.
This brings me to another problem: the 50P lists PC, PS4, PS Vita and Xbox One as its supported platforms (though the PS4 and PS Vita are actually its primary platforms), along with pretty much any other device that can be connected to via a 3.5mm audio jack. But if your goal is to use it with a PC, you won’t be able to use the conveniently detachable microphone unless you purchase a separate splitter cable. The same goes for certain Xbox One controllers – you’ll need to order a separate accessory if you plan to use this headset with any of them. There are obviously scattered warnings explaining this on the packaging, but it seems counter-intuitive to advertise all this sexy cross-platform compatibility, and to then not bundle everything that’s needed to get the full experience on those platforms.
Audio quality is what matters most, however, and the 50P does not disappoint. The audio produced by its 40mm drivers is crisp and clear, and they pack an impressive amount of volume. I sometimes feel like the mid-ranges become a bit muddied amidst the low and high frequencies, but in general the audio production is fantastic, especially for a budget headset.
Overall, there’s a lot to like about the Recon 50P. It’s a real shame that they don’t include everything you need to get the optimal experience out of it across all platforms, and that the cable is so depressingly short (obviously there’s no extender bundled in the box), because otherwise it’d be far easier to recommend to everyone, ever, regardless of how they intend to use the 50P. Still, it’s one of the best headsets I’ve ever tested.