Turtle Beach is a company known for its quality gaming headsets, meaning that they can often be rather expensive (the Elite 800x Xbox One headset is £229.99, for example), but recently they have released the Recon Chat headset, a cheaper alternative, and we have been testing one for the past few weeks during our various excursions into the world of PS4.
First of all, the open earcup means that you can hear the world around you relatively easily, which is helped by the fact that your other ear is also left uncovered. However, this comes at a cost. The sound can sometimes sound a bit faint with the added distance away from your ear, which isn't helped by outside noise interference, so we had to turn our volume up, although that didn't pose a major issue.
This open ear-cup is also meant to be glasses friendly as well, and while we could see how it was glasses-friendly, as it's missing a section of foam where the glasses arm goes (hence the open design), in our opinion we've never had trouble with glasses and headphones before, and this didn't seem to offer any significant improvement on any other headphones in this regard.
One major plus about the headset is that it's lightweight and very manageable, weighing only 120g and being assembled in just two pieces: the plastic head-grip and earcup. These can then be readjusted and disassembled just as easily, in case you want to stow it away. Connecting it to the controller is simple; once you click the two pieces into place it's just a case of plugging the 3.5mm cable into either your PS4 or Xbox One controller and away you go (just make sure your Xbox One controller is compatible).
Once plugged in, there's a control on the wire about 30cm down the cable away from your face with a switch to mute the mic as well as a dial to adjust the volume, both of which are straightforward to use. The mic itself is incredibly adjustable as well, since it's bendable and can be twisted and positioned as you see fit, no matter what ear you have the headset on.
In terms of the foam, we'd quite like that aspect of the headset to be a little softer, as after extended usage it became a little uncomfortable, especially the foam around the earcup, which seemed to be protruding quite far from the plastic itself, and was rather rough. The foam on the head-grip, however, was fine, and didn't bother us at all.
Chat audio quality through the headset is good when you get it at the right volume, so there's no complaints on that front, and it's nice to have the game audio coming out of the screen so you can hear it out of the other ear, we found. In terms of the quality of our voice, the feedback we got and recordings we heard also indicated high quality too, so again there's no complaints.
Overall, the Turtle Beach Recon Chat has its shortcomings, but as a cheap alternative to other, more expensive headsets, it does what it needs to and is light and manageable. Despite the being a little rough around the earcup, the headset as a whole was comfortable to wear as well, and with good audio quality both when receiving chat audio and speaking into the microphone, we'd recommend this to anyone looking to get a basic headset.