Why I won’t recommend Turtle Beach PX21’s

| September 19, 2011 | 1 Comment

Early this year I was on the hunt for a new gaming headset. I wanted a set that had excellent in/out audio quality and had to be compatible with the PC, Xbox 360 and PS3.

After posting a few questions on Twitter I started reading what everyone else had to say and decided to go for the Turtle Beach Earforce PX21’s  costing approx £60.

The headset was extremely easy to setup on both consoles and the PC. The sound quality was excellent and I was glad of the purchase. A few months in I started noticing some little flaws that went from bad to worse.

Connected to Xbox 360

To use the Xbox Live Chat the PX21’s needed to be plugged into the Xbox 360 controller with a small audio cable that’s supplied with the headset. It wasn’t until I started charging my controller using the play & charge kit and having the PX21’s connected at the same time that I noticed a loud humming sound. Other people in the chat could also hear the humming sound and it was also annoying for them as it was for me. Disconnecting the controller charger and the humming sound would stop. I’ve tried using a 2nd controller with the same results.

Although this does not happen with any other headset that I have its impossible for me to say this is a problem with the PX21’s. Please see the bottom of this post for more information.  Although I have had one other person tell me they have the same problem.

Connected to PC or Laptop

I use Skype a lot for playing multiplayer games so the PX21’s worked perfect for combining in-game audio along with the Skype call. It wasn’t until later that a loud crackling and hissing noise would appear every time the headset was plugged into a USB port. These same sounds would occur on all PC’s and Laptops with some worse than others. Trying different cables, USB extenders, hubs etc wouldn’t solve the issue.

They finally broke

 I don’t use brute force when using gadgets or accessories and my PX21’s were no different. Unfortunately when adjusting the mic a little bit I heard a crack so I let go and took off the headset only to see a small piece of plastic that holds the mic in place had broken off. I now have a wobbly mic!

Here is an image of the current state of this crack.

Earforce PX21's

Broken PX21's headset

The mic no longer stays in place as more plastic had “fallen” off without me even touching it.

From what I see this plastic is not strong enough to hold the mic in place. If the mic is adjustable this plastic should either be stronger or metal for better strength.

I spoke with a number of people about this and it just so happens they have been experiencing problems with their PX21’s and even two of them has just sent away an RMA and are waiting for an exchange.

I decided to cut my losses with these headsets and upgrade to the Tritton AX’s Pro’s with an extended exchange warranty.

UPDATE: I should point out that the above mentioned audio problems are not specific to Px21’s or Turtle Beach headsets. I have posted how to fix bad audio with gaming headsets as a follow up to this post.

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    1. Callam says:

      The crackling and hissing isnt actaully an issue with the headset its actaully the sound card and can be avoided by turning the volume down on the built in mixer.

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