Turtle Beach are renowned amongst gamers for producing high end gaming headsets for consoles and PC’s alike. The Earforce Z60 is no different boasting 7.1 DTS Headphone:X Surround Sound technology, audio pre-sets for movies, music and games, detachable microphone and compatibility with pretty much anything with a 3.5mm audio jack. Not bad when you look at the overall package and the price tag of $149 depending on your bargain hunting abilities.
For Turtle Beach, this price point is very attractive, and the features of the headset pretty much tick all the boxes gamers want. But do these feature actually hit the mark and deliver on their lofty promises? Let’s begin by taking a look at the headset build quality and style.
The Earforce Z60 is mainly comprised of plastic, which at first glance looks to be on the flimsy side. Those thoughts are quickly expelled once you get your hands on them. With a sturdy durable feel it’s easy to see these lasting any number of rage quit moments, swiftly packed ‘LAN go bags’ and hours and hours of heavy duty gaming wear and tear. The adjustable headband is easy to change for the more robust craniums amongst us and won’t be moving anywhere once locked into position. Both inner cups and headband are comprised of cushioned material making long gaming sessions comfortable and cosy. The Earforce Z60 also has a surprisingly good detachable mic, with mini goose neck and exceptional sounding audio quality, something that can be hit and miss, in particular with detachable mics.
Overall the style befits that of just about every ‘gaming headset’ found on the market, it’s bulky, shiny and sports an unmissable Z60 logo on each ear cup so everyone in your bedroom knows your using turtle beach. To be fair though the headset looks and feels the part of a gamer’s headset without going over the top or being too ‘in your face’ with the branding. I definitely wouldn’t consider these to be ‘sleek’, but let’s be honest, it’s probably not going to be in a gaming headset category if it was.
We know it looks and feels the part, but does it sound as good as we’d hoped? Unfortunately the hype around the 7.1 Surround Sound HeadphoneX Technology does not quite equate to real world performance in our opinion. Expecting a rich and vibrant sound stage with booming bass and deep rich tones, we were somewhat surprised with the ‘tinny’ and shallow sounding quality in most games or music and an apparent lack of bass. Within movies it did perform better with more weight and depth, but marketed as a Gaming Headset, it never quite lived up our expectations. It did however excel in positional audio quality, which for gamers is one of the most important aspects in a headset. Being able to easily identify the direction of footsteps, gunfire and other audio ques within games is essential, something the Earforce Z60 absolutely nails.
The Z60 features a handy, if not a little gimmicky, inline remote controller allowing you to adjust headphone and mic volume and to switch between gaming, movie and music pre-sets on the fly. A nice thought, but the ability to adjust each pre-set so that it’s tailored to your personal preferences would have made this a fantastic feature. As it is, it serves its purpose without standing out. The pre-sets giving just enough of an audio difference between the modes to know you’ve changed to a different pre-set without making any of them actually stand out from each other. The other minor disappointment with the Z60 was that short cable length, measuring in at XXXmm, it generally required us to be plugging the USB connector into our PC’s front panel IO. In terms of console gaming, unless you like being close enough to the TV to make your eyes bleed, it was nowhere near long enough for comfortable use. Your only other option is to plug them directly into your PS4 or Xbox one controller even though they aren’t officially supported, however you will sacrifice some audio volume with this setup.
Overall the Turtle Beach Earforce Z60 Gaming Headset delivers a robust range of features that most gamers will have on their checklists at an affordable price point. Excellent detachable mic, fantastic positional audio and comfortable and adjustable cups and headband are all home runs for the Z60. It does drop the ball when it comes to the depth and clarity in audio quality we’d like to have heard from these, and the cabling does leave a bit to be desired. At the standard $149 price point, you really do have to weigh up the good and the bad and decide on which side you fall….if you can pick these up on a special for $100-$120, it’s a no brainer!
Shiny, comfy and functional….with a Turtle Beach logo!
If you’re looking for a headset, need to have a good brand, and have a shopping list of features you want, the Turtle Beach Earforce Z60 are strong contenders for your hard earned bear tokens. Look for these on special and you won’t be disappointed.