For online multiplayer, a quality headset is important, whether you’re a highly competitive gamer or just somebody who likes to play casually with friends. The Turtle Beach XO Three is an officially licensed gaming headset for Xbox One, complete with a boom mic and surround sound. At the very reasonable price of $69.95, it’s a great option for anyone who plays online multiplayer or simply wants a more immersive single player experience.
The Turtle Beach XO Three offers high-quality game and chat audio through 50mm over-the-ear speakers. The adjustable boom mic stays out of the way and its high-sensitivity picks up the player’s voice loud and clear. While playing online, it seemed like no matter where I positioned the mic in relation to my mouth, my companions were always able to hear me. As a bonus, it is removable, making the XO Three a viable option for listening to music and watching movies on the go. Its design is sleek so that you won’t stand out among a crowd. Oftentimes gaming headsets look comical when worn out in the real world, but Turtle Beach have crafted a stylish headset that looks similar to a high-end pair of headphones.
Its design features a rugged and robust frame construction, but manages to avoid looking overly bulky. Primarily it is composed of heavy plastic with a plush leather wrap around the headband, which sits softly on top of the head. The ear cups are heavily cushioned and wrapped in fabric, which allows for comfortable long play sessions. Additionally, the outside of the ear cups features three fabric-covered cutout sections. These allow airflow into the ears for ventilation but also helps the bass drivers respond more accurately. Not only do they serve a purpose, but they look stylish. Since this is an Xbox One headset, Turtle Beach have maintained a green and black theme throughout its design. A green band trims out the cushioned ear cups and there’s even some subtle green stitching attaching the leather cushion to the headband. This color scheme looks modern with some nice nods to the platform it’s designed for.
Comfort can sometimes be an issue when gaming for extended periods of time, but the XO Three sits comfortably. Each area of the headset that is in contact with the head (namely the ear cups and headband) are sufficiently padded. The lightweight construction avoids any unnecessary weight on top of the head. Since the padding is so abundant and consistent, it avoids any pressure points. It clings to the sides of your head just firmly enough to offer close contact with the ear drums, but not too forcefully that it puts too much pressure on the skull. Oftentimes, gaming headsets begin to “pinch” at certain areas of the head over time, but I was able to keep it on for multiple hours without any such feeling. Since the ear cups completely cover the ear, you won’t feel the device having any direct contact with cartilage or other parts of the ear. Occasionally, I would remove the device in between matches to allow further ventilation than the exterior cutouts offer.
While this isn’t an ultra high-end headset, it does have a very impressive display of sound. At 50mm, the speakers are large, which allows them to push a lot of air and deliver more power. Gunfire, explosions, dialogue, background music, and distant in-game noise are clearly heard. Even when playing familiar games like Overwatch and Diablo III, I heard sounds that never stood out to me before. With the XO Three, I felt more immersed in games that I had already spent dozens of hours in. The bass has a might to it that I don’t get with my home receiver and stereo speakers.
The XO Three is capable of surround sound which is very immersive, even in a dialogue-based adventure game like Life is Strange. I picked up all the subtleties of the environment such as people yelling in the background, skateboarders riding by, and music from a nearby boombox. It felt like the character I was speaking to was right next to me, creating a more immersive experience. Playing a competitive multiplayer game like Overwatch enabled me to be more aware of my surroundings as I could better understand which directions enemies were coming from due to “visually” hearing their footsteps.
There is also the option to adjust the volume right on the headset’s cable that is connected to the controller. This makes it quick and easy to make changes even in the heat of battle. If you’re talking to teammates via the boom mic, there’s also the option to mute yourself. Quick conversations with housemates can be had without your entire team hearing your discussion.
In addition to being great on the Xbox One, the XO Three can be used with any device with a 3.5mm headphone jack. It can be a great option for listening to music, watching movies, or talking on a cellphone. Surprisingly, it even plugs into a Playstation 4 controller, which is rare for most gaming headsets. They might be a little big to take on a jog or bike ride, but they can serve plenty of non-gaming functions as well.
Other higher-end headsets may offer even more immersion, but the XO Three delivers great quality at a budget price. If you’re not looking to spend three figures on a gaming peripheral, this headset is a very viable option. For multiplayer matches, this is a fantastic headset that provides a significant level of detail. It’s certainly adequate for a surround sound experience, but there are always higher end headsets out there for audiophiles. At the very reasonable price of $69.95, the Turtle Beach XO Three is a fantastic option for the average game.