We've had the new Switch-branded Recon 70 headset on the ol' noggin for a few days now, long enough to get a feel for Turtle Beach's budget offering. Coming in at a very modest £30, this entry-level headset is a striking mix of black and red, differentiating it from similar models designed for PS4 and Xbox One owners. That said, it doesn't make much difference as the headset's basic functionality extends out across all console platforms.
For your money, you're getting a straightforward, no-nonsense headset. It looks good, not so much different from other similar models by the same company, and doesn't look out of place next to a headset costing two or three times as much. That said, when you pick it up, it becomes clear where Turtle Beach has made economic decisions to bring the price down.
Comparing it directly to the Stealth 300, which we've also reviewed, the overall quality of the plastic is exactly the same, and save for a handful of changes to the design of the earcup and headband, these models are very similar in appearance. Closer inspection reveals a smaller cushion under the headband, making the Recon 70 less comfortable over extended periods of play, and the fabric finish we've seen on more premium headbands and earcups has been replaced by a synthetic leather covering that's simply not as comfortable.
The cable is short, which is likely going to be fine if you're playing with the Switch in your hands, but the lack of an audio input on the Pro/Joy-Con controllers renders the Recon 70 utterly useless if you want to use your headset on a Switch while playing on the big screen. We spent some time using the headset to listen to music on a desktop PC, and we found the shortness of the cable to be acceptable, but only just. Elsewhere, those using a Recon 70 with a more recent Xbox controller (one with a 3.5mm input) or a DualShock 4 will find that it works much like any similar wired headset.
In terms of the auditory experience, the 20Hz 40mm speakers are certainly capable enough for an entry-level headset, but this is perhaps not one for all you audiophiles out there. That said, for the price point, it's hard to complain about the sound quality given how well it's balanced. Could it have been clearer? Yes. Could there have been richer bass? Certainly. Still, the Recon 70 offers good value all things considered.
There's one design choice in particular that makes us think that this headset was built with younger gamers in mind. The earcups are just a little smaller than those on the aforementioned Stealth 300, and you can really feel the cushions around the edges of your ear. Smaller ears will no doubt fit more snuggly, which makes this an ideal option for a younger gamer, and the solid build quality certainly helps reinforce that recommendation. We've tested similarly-targeted headsets in the past, and the Recon 70 certainly outperforms the likes of the Snakebyte HeadSet.
The earcups offer 90 degrees of movement, making them comfortable to wear and easier to transport safely. There's a solid flip-down omnidirectional mic on the left cup, but it's a robust thing despite its external positioning. Elsewhere the internal wiring isn't quite as hidden away as we've seen in other headsets, but it's still relatively well protected and we don't foresee this being an issue. Indeed, while the headset doesn't feel luxury, it doesn't feel cheap either, and overall we have to say that Turtle Beach has made some wise decisions when putting this budget alternative together. The Recon 70 isn't a classic, but for 30 quid, it'll do the trick.
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