Hands on: Turtle Beach Ear Force XP Seven Headset review

MLG license for the hardcore, memory foam for the soft

What is a hands on review?
Turtle Beach's new flagship headset

Early Verdict


  • +

    Fantastic sound quality

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    Compatible with everything, from consoles to mobile phones

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    Noise isolating on-ear cups

  • +

    Memory foam headband

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    Interchangeable speaker plates


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    Relatively expensive

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    No wireless equivalent

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Turtle Beach took to CES 2013 with a lot of headsets for gamers, the best of which was its flagship Ear Force XP Seven Headset.

These cans are so named because they'll probably earn you extra XP with its pinpoint direction sound quality - hearing footsteps in Call of Duty: Black Ops 2 just got a little easier.

In addition to being MLG Pro licensed headphones, the XP Seven comes with an external Audio Controller Unit that amplifies the surround sound experience and adds powerful presents and customizations.

The chatter from your teammates is able to match the sound effects pumping through these 5.1 Dolby Digital cans thanks to a dynamic chat boost feature. It raises the volume if, for example, there's a loud explosion going on at the same time.

Best of all, while you're able to hear everything that's going on in a videogame, you can't hear anything outside of that. The noise isolating on-ear cups take care of all distractions.

Turtle Beach Ear Force XP Seven Headset review at CES 2013

Ear Force XP Seven cans on display at CES 2013

Comfortable and Customizable with capital Cs

Turtle Beach designed its Ear Force XP Seven headset to be comfortable thanks to memory foam cushions on the ear cups.

Memory foam also lines the headband of the Seven series, making it feel like you've just rested a small pillow on top of your head. It certainly beats the nylon material used by other headsets, including the budget options from Turtle Beach.

Compared to similar high-end headsets like the wireless Astro A50 Gaming Headset, the Ear Force XP feels lighter on top of the head and therefore more suitable for videogame marathons.

Turtle Beach's Seven series is also customizable, which is comparable to the Astro A40 and A30 headsets, thanks to interchangeable speaker plates on the sides of the two cans.

Just as convenient is the ability to detach the microphone and boom when going outside of the house and being able to plug a 3.5mm cable directly into the gaping output.

Turtle Beach made the Ear Force XP Seven headset customizable

Turtle Beach made the Ear Force XP Seven headset customizable

Add Compatible to that C list

Something else TechRadar was disappointed with on the otherwise stellar Astro A50 headset was its lack of out-the-box connectivity with everything but consoles that had a Toslink.

Turtle Beach is taking care of this by including cables that are compatible with standard PC, Mac, and mobile setups, not just videogame console configurations.

After all, if you're going to splurge for an expensive pair of gaming headphones, you might as well get the cheap cabling for free, too.

Being able to use the Ear Force XP Seven out-of-the-box with every current generation system that you own is peace of mind that expensive headsets should come with.

Turtle Beach Ear Force XP Seven price and release date

The Ear Force XP Seven headset carries a premium price

Ear Force XP Seven price and release date

Turtle Beach's tournament-grade Ear Force XP Seven headset is scheduled to come out Q1 2013, with retailers currently indicating a more precise March 1, 2013 release date.

Both the official company line and retailer's pre-order price are in sync, though. The XP Seven model will cost USD$279.95 (around £175, AUD$266).

Turtle Beach does have two alternate options for your ears if you don't have that kind of money coming out of your ears.

The Ear Force Z Seven headset, which is designed for PC, Mac and mobile gaming, is a little cheaper at $249.95 (around £156, AUD$237).

The lower-end Ear Force M Seven headset model, meanwhile, loses the Audio Controller Unit and MLG license in exchange for a budget-friendly price of $149.95 (£93.81, AUD$142).

An external audio controller unit comes with the XP 7 headset

An external audio controller unit comes with the XP 7 headset

Early Verdict

The noise-canceling Ear Force XP Seven headset offers stellar 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround Sound inside of two comfortable cans.

Its advanced Audio Controller Unit, noggin-friendly memory foam, and detachable microphone make it the most compatible, comfortable, convenient headset from Turtle Beach to date.

Matt Swider

What is a hands on review?

Hands on reviews' are a journalist's first impressions of a piece of kit based on spending some time with it. It may be just a few moments, or a few hours. The important thing is we have been able to play with it ourselves and can give you some sense of what it's like to use, even if it's only an embryonic view. For more information, see TechRadar's Reviews Guarantee.