Turtle Beach XP500 and PX3 gaming headsets hands-on

Not ready to take the $250 plunge to snag a pair of Ear Force PX5s, but still want in on Turtle Beach's preset-powered super hearing? The big boy's baby brother, the Ear Force PX3, just might scratch your itch. We heard these stereo gaming cans ditched surround sound and Bluetooth support to save buyers a Benjamin, but how does these super-saver specials hold up? We tried them on.

The PX3s easily stretched and swiveled to fit the inordinately large heads of Engadget editors, comfortably enveloping our earlobes without making us feel like as if we were being juiced. What's more, the lightweight cans didn't audibly creek, crack, or stress as we pulled on their headband, yielding springy, but gentle reactions to pressure. Result? Happily unsqueezed noggins. The one-touch frequency presets instantly singled out the sounds of gunfire, helicopters, or character voices in a demo of Call of Duty: Black Ops, showing off the same great filtering we saw from the PX5. The PX3s also happen to be the Turtle Beach's first headset to sport a internal lithium polymer battery, reportedly scoring the user 10-15 hours of use per charge.

Still interested in that PX5 plunge, but looking for something in Xbox green? We found the $270 Ear Force XP500 to be functionally identical to the PX5, save a few tweaks in recorded audio notifications (goodbye PS3 mode, hello generic "wireless" mode), a new color scheme, and that wireless Bluetooth "puck" for the bottom of your Xbox 360 controller. Check out our gallery to get a better look, or scope them out yourself when they hit stores later this summer.