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Image credit: Billy Steele/Engadget

Turtle Beach's new headsets have solid audio and won't break the bank

Hands-on with the Recon 200 and Stealth 300.
Billy Steele, @wmsteele
06.14.18 in AV
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Turtle Beach's Stealth 300 gaming headset. Billy Steele/Engadget

With the rise of games like PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds and Fortnite, headsets have become essential gear. Like any other personal audio purchase, there are a range of options, offering loads of features and levels of sound quality -- depending on how much you're willing to pay. At E3, Turtle Beach announced two new wired headsets that offer solid audio and decent features without breaking the bank.

Gallery: Turtle Beach Recon 200 and Stealth 300 hands-on | 13 Photos

The Stealth 300 is the wired version of the Stealth 600 that caught our eye late last year. It's still a lightweight headset with soft earpads that comfortably accommodate glasses. Those pads are wrapped in a mesh fabric, which should be a little cooler than leather during the heat of battle. Like the Stealth 600, The Stealth 300 has on-board controls on the back edge of the left earcup. There are controls for overall volume and variable mic monitoring, so you can adjust the level of your own voice inside the headset.

On the outside of the left earcup, there's a Mode control beside the power button. With this, you can toggle through a number of EQ presets, including Bass Boost, Treble Boost, Vocal Boost and more. The Stealth 300 also works with Microsoft's Windows Sonic tech on Xbox and Windows 10 for more immersive sound. Though there are dedicated versions of the 300 for both Xbox and PlayStation, the headset also works with PC, Nintendo Switch and mobile devices. Lastly, Turtle Beach says you can expect up to 40 hours on a charge.

Stealth 300

For $79.95, the Stealth 300 offers solid sound quality in a comfy headset I could easily wear for hours at a time. During a couple of Injustice 2 fights, the accessory performed well, pumping in audio that was decently crisp and clear with those EQ presets helping to better adjust the sound to the game. Sure, there are more feature-packed options that deliver better audio, but those are also significantly more expensive.

When it comes to the Recon 200, Turtle Beach has another compelling headset for well under $100. The Recon 200 works with all the same platforms as the Stealth 300 and has an Xbox/PlayStation switch on the edge of the left earcup. That's also where the volume wheel and mic monitoring control reside. This headset swaps the mesh fabric for leather on the earcups, but those earpads are still quite cushiony. Though the versions of the Recon 200 I spent time with at E3 had a flat finish on the outside, the final units will feature a carbon fiber-esque pattern.

Recon 200

In terms of audio, I actually preferred the sound quality on the $59.95 Recon 200 to the pricier Stealth 300. The former does have smaller drivers (40mm vs. 50mm), but I thought the overall audio was slightly better on the more affordable model. I felt like there was a little more depth to the sound and a touch more volume, both things that are very important when it comes to audio gear. It does have an always-on Bass Boost, along with support for Windows Sonic. Battery life does take a hit here though, as the Recon 200 will keep you chatting for up to 12 hours before you'll need to plug in.

You'll have to wait a bit to get your hands on either of these though. The Stealth 300 is set to ship in July while the Recon 200 won't arrive until sometime this fall.

Follow all the latest news from E3 2018 here!

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