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Turtle Beach Ear Force X3 Wireless Headphones

Labeled With  ear force x3 xbox360 turtle beach
Written by DM on Tuesday, October 09 2007

When I first saw that a great company like Turtle Beach was making a set of wireless phones specifically for the Xbox360 and gaming in general, I was ecstatic at the chance to test them out. My gaming setup may be the envy of many gamers, with a fully functioning home theatre and a 56 inch 1080p television, but none of that matters to my better half. Once she comes over, the room is hers, and I am reduced to playing my Xbox360 on a 19 inch PC LCD, and using earphones to listen to the game sound.

Previously, I used the Tritton AX360 5.1 wired phones. They are very impressive, but suffer from two drawbacks – they are wired, and you have to adjust the volume of each of the 5.1 channels individually. Well, when Turtle Beach made it known they were tackling the problem wirelessly; I could not wait to test them out. The hours that I usually game are late at night, which means that the sound must be kept to a minimum lest I wake up whoever is sleeping in my bed at the time.

There has not been a set of headphones that I have tested that was able to seamless integrate the Xbox Live experience, with its voice chat and microphone. Turtle Beach aims to solve that issue with the Ear Force X3. The over-the-ear style phones include a mic on a flexible boom on the left side of the head. The mic connects to the center of the left ear cup, which also houses the power button, the volume dial, the bass boost switch, and the Xbox Live mic input plug. In order to fully hook up to Xbox Live, you must use the included extension cable to connect the mic jack on the Xbox360 pad to a jack in the left ear of the Ear Force 3. Finally, once you are ready to go, you insert the two AAA batteries which power the phones from the right ear cup, and the headset part is ready to go.

The transmitter is easy as pie to hookup as well. The infrared signal generated is about the size of a Gameboy Advance SP, and features two plugs in the rear. One is for the AC adapter, and one is for the red and white RCA (composite) jacks which you use to input the sound into the system. Keep in mind, while Turtle Beach does bill the Ear Force X3 as an Xbox360 product, it will work with any sound source that has RCA (composite) left and right outputs. Turtle Beach has thoughtfully built the inputs as pass-through jacks, which means you can just slip the red and white jacks between the Xbox360 and whatever source you may have it plugged in to. And yes, those of you who use other sound formats besides RCA (composite), a.k.a. Digital CoAX, TosLINK Optical, or even HDMI, the Xbox360 still outputs stereo sound from the red and white RCA jacks. At least, mine does.

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