For serious online gamers, there’s few accessories more important than a good gaming headset. So does the Turtle Beach P12 sit on your head like an old radio set, or does it ‘sand’ out from the competition?
The Turtle Beach Ear Force P12 – or the P12 as I’m going to refer to it from here on in – has something going for it that many in the tech world would be particularly familiar with, that being, branding.
The brand name Turtle Beach to a gamer is like saying Beats to music lover or Apple to a tech nut, in that their brands have established themselves as the item to go to.
Not necessarily due to amazing, unbeatable quality, but desirability and reputation built up over a number of years.
That doesn’t mean the product is bad, however, and when it comes to Turtle Beach you can pretty much rest assured that you’re going to get a pretty decent headset.
Before we get started on my thoughts, it’s best to take note that the P12 is aimed specifically at use with the PS4 or the PS Vita, so this reviews rules out any Xbox fanboys or PC aficionados, sadly.
So, let’s look at what you’re looking for in a gaming headset and see if it matches what the P12 has.
For one thing, if you’re a gamer who sits there for hours on end, you’re going to want a headset that’s going to sit on your head easily and not feel like you’re directing air traffic in the 1950s.
With the P12 on, I frankly barely feel it, except for the obvious microphone to the side of my face, with a weight of just 186g, and the actual earphones cover almost your entire ear, which certainly adds to the immersion.
Sitting on the left-ear side of the P12 headphones, the microphone is what you’d expect from any microphone-connected headset, really, and can be moulded into whatever position you want.
Which is perfect if you want to shout distorted anger down your headset, which I wouldn’t exactly recommend.
Bearing in mind this is a mid-range Turtle Beach headset, the plastic casing does feel a little bit on the cheaper side but still looks pretty good with the blue and black earphones, along with the comfortable cushion at the top for your noggin.
What I did find a little head-wrecking, however, was the cable, which acts as the remote control, controlling the volume, bass levels and mute button, but the length of wire and clunkiness of it got in the way, frankly.
The headphones can be removed from the remote control though for using with mobile devices if you just want to listen to whatever audio you want.
Getting into the action
In terms of product reviews, it’s an odd thing to say that it was good because you barely notice its existence.
Anytime I had used a gaming microphone in the past it had been the free one given to you by that company, so any fond memories came with the flimsy plastic early-2000s style microphone with the Xbox 360, or the laughably cheap single, in-ear headphone and microphone that comes with the PS4.
As for sound quality, well it certainly captures the sounds of a battlefield amidst the sound of your friend laughing at how you got caught unawares by the enemy player performing a sneak attack on you from behind.
The stereo sound works perfectly, incredibly well for a mid-range headset, transitioning the sound from one ear to the other.
Given that it can play music and any other audio, too, I decided I’d wear it for a few hours as a normal pair of headphones.
Disconnecting the headphones from the remote control, you can then plug into whatever device you want, but frankly I don’t think I’d be using it as a gaming headset/music headphones, certainly not on the go with a microphone attached to it.
Without bass control on the remote control, the sound is just that little bit tinnier than I would like, but still pretty good.
Currently available from Currys PC World for €59.99, the headset is pretty much the best you can get in this price range.
Sure, you can buy one for two or three-times the price and get it to run on Bluetooth and, I don’t know, walk your dog for you, but this gets your message across the internet clearly, with decent sound to boot.
If you’re considering it for a gift for the teenager or adult in your life, it’s definitely one to keep them happy without shelling (turtle pun intended) out a huge amount of money.
All images via Luke Maxwell