Turtle Beach Recon 70 Gaming Headset for Nintendo Switch
Turtle Beach Recon 70 headset review: “A great budget headset, with Turtle Beach pedigree, that’s best for consoles”
Turtle Beach Recon 70 Gaming Headset for Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PS5, PS4, PlayStation, Mobile, & PC with 3.5mm – Flip-to-Mute Mic, 40mm Speakers – Black
Turtle Beach has expanded its healthy portfolio of headsets with a new entry this spring (available now in the U.S.; May 31 in the EU). The Recon 70 addresses an area where we haven’t actually seen much action: a headset aimed directly at the Nintendo Switch. The Recon 70 positions itself as the preferred budget option for Nintendo’s mobile console, while also offering compatibility with other gaming devices.
Turtle Beach Recon 70 – Design and Functionality
At first, the Recon 70 bears a striking resemblance to the rest of the Turtle Beach Recon headset lineup, but upon closer inspection, the design is stripped down: a simple yet effective way to, in turn, make the headset lightweight. Features worth commenting on include the slightly skimpy headband padding and the synthetic leather of the oval ear cups, which feel a bit tacky but don’t feel cheap or fragile.
As part of this dial-back design, only a few features apply to the Recon 70. first, it’s important to note that there are 40mm drivers inside the cups to give you gaming sound, while a simple volume knob on the left controls the power of their output. Connections are simple, performed via the 3.5mm audio jack on the end of a short cable, and are very conducive to Switch and console controller insertion and playback. The familiar Turtle Beach scouting down-flip microphone is still present and feels sturdy enough, but not as sturdy as other headset microphones. And while it’s neat – it’s not removable. As an element of flexibility, the Xbox One variant – the Recon 70X, for the same price – offers compatibility with Windows Sonic, so it will be used on Microsoft consoles and on PCs where appropriate who use it to take full advantage of this privilege.
Turtle Beach Recon 70 – Performance
With proof of the headset in the pudding (well, listening), I was curious to see how such a stripped down Turtle Beach headset would perform. I started with a lot of Assassin’s Creed 3 Remastered – in connection with its May comeback on Switch – to see how the headset would render the sound of a single-player, story-based game. This allowed me to get a range of sounds from dialogue to gunfire (limited to 18th century muskets and rifles, of course), combat sounds, and world noises and audio cues. In general, the headset performed well, but the level of audio detail was not as good as other headsets I’ve tested – the real world sounded like wildlife and crowds seemed fuzzy, and the dialogue in particular didn’t have any richness – it felt a bit flat. However, it did work well enough for a few long sessions, and while it did lack some detail and overall richness, the volume level provided by the headset meant I was still immersed in the game.
Turning to Apex Legends next allowed me to test the Recon 70 in a tense battle royale scenario, where the high quality audio can be an instant game changer. For starters, the microphone was great: reliably and clearly delivering my voice to my friends. Hitting the hook. Overall, the audio given to me for all games was also great. The surround sound on the headset was good, the weapons sounded harsh, and sound cues, such as thumps and the general noise of combat, were clear enough to keep me on my toes. Surround sound was not the most seamless I’ve ever experienced, and where, upon closer inspection, there seemed to be a distinct line between the left and right side audio – not seamless, or with unrecognizable transitions, which is the case with other headsets. Generally speaking, it’s not bad in a battle royale environment, but I certainly found its lack of audio detail to be noticeable: in a situation where some standard headset can directly affect your gaming style, the Recon 70 doesn’t really have that ability.
Staying away from multiplayer, I went back and forth between Doom and Divinity Original Sin 2. Shuttling between these games gave me a good comparison and range of in-game audio and soundtracks to analyze for headphones, from bottom-heavy games to head-heavy games with dialogue-filled titles. The combination of Doom’s crunchy weapon and combat noises with Mick Gordon’s booming metal-centric soundtrack is handled very well by the Recon 70 headset. But if there’s one thing all gaming headsets seem to love, it’s explosions and metal. It’s enjoyable here, though once again there’s a lack of audio detail and richness. Divinity Original Sin 2’s medieval-style dialogue-heavy tracks and audio are not handled very well in the headset. Audio detail is once again lost and there is a distinct lack of richness in the dialogue and music.
I had noticed minimal fill when I first pulled it out of the box, and it’s no surprise that the Recon 70 started to get a little uncomfortable after long gaming sessions. The initial tightness and sense of security the headset gives can later turn into painful discomfort. As such, it’s probably the ideal, most comfortable option for Switch players using the console quite naturally for short to medium sessions while traveling or commuting – and at this point, it’s certainly good enough for some light radio or video use if you’re not too concerned with the best sound quality and richness of those media.
Overall – should you buy it?
It’s a good budget headset, and if you’re looking for a Switch companion that you won’t cherish too much or are constrained by a small budget, then this would be a good choice. However, to clarify thoroughly, if you see this as your primary or only gaming headset, then I might encourage you to expand your budget and aim for something more affordable and higher quality, such as the Creative BlasterX H6 or the Razer Kraken – even the Turtle Beach Recon 200 is worth a look. However, the Recon 70 is definitely a good choice in certain situations, such as having a travel headset that you won’t worry too much about getting knocked over or bumped in the rigors of your commute, or as an excellent stopgap headset while you save another one.
It’s a pretty good gaming headset, and while it does have some drawbacks, the Recon 70 is priced at just $40/£30, so it does offer good value for money overall.
- Turtle Beach quality in sound and build
- Great price tag
- Excels in console gaming
- Very limited features
- Lacking a high-standard of surround sound quality
- Dialled back design and comfort
- Parts feel a bit plasticky