Let me make this clear: I don't actually want you to buy Turtle Beach's PX5 programmable, wireless headset. Heck, I didn't even want to write about it when its PR rep pitched me a demo. I can't help it — whenever I see coverage of hardware peripherals in magazines or websites that don't specialize in them, I suspect that outlet's only creating a story because it got free product and wants to keep on getting free product. (For the record, no one sent me any for this article.)
So, a little while ago, Turtle Beach showed me the PX5, and one specific developer feature caught my attention: the ability to customize the headset to enhance or subdue sounds in specific ranges. This isn't just about turning up the bass or treble. Imagine, for example, making footsteps in multiplayer Call of Duty: Black Ops louder, so you can hear nearby enemies more clearly….
When I learned that specific customization was possible, I got a little worried. I already struggle to keep my kill/death ratio out of "embarrassing" range; now I have to worry about foes with superhearing as well? That's why I'd rather you people don't buy the PX5….
Ah well — at least I can expose this stuff, so the next time you're getting owned in multiplayer, you can at least feel some slight comfort knowing the guy who downed you maybe possibly could be using one of these headsets.
Here are a few of the other ways the PX5 can enhance specific titles, straight from the developers at Turtle Beach. You can download the sound settings for various games, and they're working on a consumer tool to let you design presets that you can share with others as well.
Call of Duty: Black Ops – Tune out distractions and boost the sound of footsteps to gain a competitive advantage in single and multiplayer games.
Bulletstorm – Boost the sound of in-game dialog, so you can easily follow the story over the explosions and gunfire.
Gran Turismo 5 — Use the PX5’s dual-pairing Bluetooth radio to mix your own driving music in with the game.
Forza Motorsport 3 – Bring up the engine noise and really feel like you’re in the driver’s seat without going deaf every time there’s a…minor…collision.
Dragon Age 2 – Tame the sounds of Kirkwall’s crowds and hear the conversation among your party members clearer than before, or bring up the sound of steel-on-steel crashing and put yourself in the middle of the battles.
Halo: Reach — Make the PX5 become one with your suit, boosting the sound of suit powerups and recharges, gaining a tactical advantage and knowing exactly when it’s safe to run back into the fray.
Dead Space 2 – Hear the world through the ears of a Necromorph and sound like one when you speak in multiplayer.
NASCAR The Game 2011 – Turn down the engines and road noise to hear your spotter more clearly.
Homefront — Crank up the sound of faraway grenades and limit the volume of nearby ones, so you can hear your enemies from far away and avoid blasting your ears with too-loud nearby explosions.
Major League Baseball 2K11 – Turn down the sound of the crowd so you can really experience the noises of the game. Hear the crack of the bat, the dull thud of the ball in the catcher’s mitt, and the pounding of cleats down the baseline.
The Ear Force PX5 is available now for the PS3 and 360 for $249.95. You can learn more about it on the Turtle Beach website.