Turtle Beach Earforce PX5 gaming headset preview

On the show floor of CES the madness is virtually endless. But lucky for us, within the sea of rabid gadget lovers and enthusiasts we came across Turtle Beach's booth and got our greasy In-n-Out Burger fingers on the just-announced Earforce PX5. Not only did we get to wear the headphones and feast our eyes on the wireless hub, we experienced Dolby 7.1 surround sound while playing Halo: Reach on the Xbox 360. We've got pics and our initial impressions after the break, so hit it!

The headphones are packed with three layers of audio: game, Xbox Live/PS3 chat and mic input. What great about the trifecta of levels is that you can be pwning some camper noobs playing Search and Destroy in Black Ops and take a phone call at the same time, thanks to the A2DP stereo Bluetooth. The Bluetooth also connects with your PS3 controller for wireless chat and allows music to stream from your smartphone. However, if you're the talkative type and play Xbox, you'll need to use the bundled mic cable. The presets on the edges of the headset allow customization of volume levels of game audio. So if there's one dude breathing heavily during your game, you can drag the equalizer (this is done via USB on a program from the company site for Windows only) to analyze the levels of audio and eliminate sounds above/below a specific threshold. There's also the ability to raise a specific gap of audio, so if you want to hear those footsteps loud and clear, just crank up that section of audio and you'll be good to go.

The wireless transmitter has a 3.5mm headphone jack along with a volume knob for a friend that wants to join in on the Dolby action. On the reverse side, there's the power button, DC input, line-in volume wheel which controls to the red/white audio inserts. The company has included digital in and out ports for anything that requires this type of connectivity; 360, PS3, home theater, etc. Oh, and on the top of the unit we're presented with a holder for the headset.

As for actual gaming experience, we got to play a session of Halo: Reach. When enemy aliens were behind us, it sounded as if they actually were in real life. Bullet casings hitting the floor sounded loud and crisp, and we even got a phone call mid-game and did some serious multitasking. Overall, we'd say these Beaches are pretty darn awesome. With a price tag of $249.99, you might want to give this thing a good test run before you shell out the cash in the spring.