Platform: PlayStation 3 (Usable on PC)
Reviewed by: Bracken Lee-Rudolph
RRP: R847.95 at Kalahari
Turtle Beach’s P11 set of headphones is a part of the PlayStation 3 section of the iconic Turtle Beach Ear Force range of gaming headphones. This particular headphone set is marketed as both the entry level over-ear headphones to the Ear Force range and as an amplified stereo gaming headset, with both full sound and voice chat capabilities. Turtle Beach are traditionally known for producing high quality headphones, so do the P11s live up to their brand’s illustrious reputation or look, and sound, like they’re piggybacking off a big brand? Let’s hear what they have to say about it:
What’s in the box:
· Turtle Beach P11 Amplified Stereo Gaming Headset (Wired Headset, Amplifier Attached)
· Stereo Audio Splitter Cable
· User’s Guide
· Turtle Beach Sticker
The setup of the headset is fairly simple. The headset has a 3.5mm jack plug input cable for sound and voice communication and a USB connector for power. The PlayStation 3 console does not have a 3.5mm jack output and therefore included in the box is a Stereo Audio Splitter Cable, which converts allows the headset to connect to a set of AV cables. After plugging these cables in and setting the audio output settings on your PlayStation to AV, the headset should work perfectly. The headset can also be used with a PC, although to use the voice functionality, a separate driver must also be installed.
The sound that comes through the 50mm speakers is amplified, and therefore both the bass and overall sound quality is heightened. Music, movies and gameplay sound effects all sound crisp and clear, and the user should have no problem hearing audible speech and more subtle effects such as footsteps or enemies reloading. The sound does not sound tinny nor submerged as the bass is well weighted, although, at higher volumes, the sound begins to distort quite heavily and the speakers experience quite a pronounced static buzz.
The P11’s headband length is modifiable to the user’s head size and the microphone boom is both fixed firmly to the headset and features a flexible design, allowing the microphone boom to be bent to the respective user’s specifications easily. The headband, while quite flimsy, is lightly padded for comfort and the actual headset is very light and unobtrusive. The ear cups in particular are padded with a breathable mesh padding, allowing air to flow through and keeping the user’s ears from sweating in extended gaming sessions. The ear cups are very small though, and my ear lobe was constantly pushed down uncomfortably against my head. However, besides that, very little detracts from either the build quality of comfort of the headphones. The amplifier is sturdy and the headset wire is long enough for connecting to a console, as long as it isn’t meters away, to be simple and effective.
The headset’s voice communication is superb. The microphone picks up sound clearly, and there is almost no lag between the user’s spoken words and the PlayStation 3 console receiving them. Microphone sensitivity can be adjusted in the Settings menu on the PlayStation console and the weighting of the received chat volume as compared to in-game sound effects can be adjusted on the headset’s amplifier, while the microphone boom flexibility aids to the user finding the perfect hardware and software settings for themselves. The microphone has a “microphone monitor” feature, which enables a certain amount of feedback so that the headset user can hear how loud they are actually speaking and adjust it so that it does not sound as if they are shouting into the microphone.
Overall, the Turtle Beach P11 Amplified Stereo Gaming Headset is an excellent addition to Turtle Beach’s Ear Force line of headsets, and an excellent entry level headset. The sound quality of the headset is very good, and both loud booming explosions and near-silent footsteps are generally audible, however, the sound distorts noticeably at higher volumes and a large static buzz is clearly audible. The voice chat is fantastic, and the ease with which the weighting between the chat and in-game sound can be adjusted benefits both those looking to focus exclusively on gameplay and those looking to socialise with the online community. The build quality is decent, the modifiable headband size and flexible microphone boom add user customisability and, although the actual headband feels quite flimsy and at times the fit is slightly unsteady, these features work effectively. It is worth noting that while the headband is padded and the ear cups are padded and aerated, the ear cups are very small, and may cause varying amounts of discomfort depending on the user, but in the end, the versatility and ease of use provided by the Turtle Beach P11 Headset is certainly worth a look if you are looking for a good quality, reliable and relatively cheap gaming headset with no unnecessary frills.
Sound Quality: 8.5/10
Build Quality: 7.5/10
Voice Functionality: 9/10