Turtle Beach manufacturer is back in Brazil with its line of gamer headsets. And one of the models brought to the country is the Recon 200. The accessory is wired, has audio amplified by a rechargeable battery, flip-to-mute microphone and compatibility with Xbox One, Series X/S, PS4, PS5 and Nintendo Switch. It is also possible to use it on PC and mobile devices. But is it worth R$729.90? You find out in this review.
For this review, the Recon 200 was tested (over 1 month) on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S, Nintendo Switch and PC (Windows).
Review of the Recon 200 headset on video
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The Recon 200 was provided by Turtle Beach as a donation and will not be returned to the company. For more information, visit tecnoblog.net/etica.
Design and comfort
When taking the Recon 200 out of the box, a neutral yet elegant look catches the eye. The model I tested is completely black, but there is the option to find it in white color (stem, microphone and outside shells) as well. I’m a fan of more discreet gaming headsets. In my opinion, not everything needs to have RGB or look like a Christmas tree. Its structure, as a whole, is based on reinforced plastic and metal.
The top of the stem has a light texture with the name Turtle Beach carved into it. On both sides, near the height adjustment area, there are three more notches. Again, discreet and elegant. The style of the ear shells follows the same design as the stem and there is a central “break” that allows the shell to be moved for a better fit on the head.
On the inside of the shaft, at first, I was a little worried that it had only a thin foam in the center, to cushion the contact with the head, and nothing else. Even for those with a lot of hair, it might be a little uncomfortable. Headset height adjustment is done in the traditional way: pulling the boom up or down.
The flip-to-mute (turn to mute) mic is not very long, and when you leave it in off mode (with it vertical or turned a little farther back), the mic respects the spatial boundary of the shell, which makes it follow the design.
The 3.5mm cable measures 1 meter and 30 centimeters and is attached to the left shell. Furthermore, it is protected by a rubberized cover. In this case, my criticism is not so much that I prefer cables covered by braided nylon, but that it cannot be removed. If you have a problem with the cable or, for example, if your pet chews on it, you will need to buy a new headset.
Returning to the structure of the ear shells, a positive point to highlight is their mobility. You can move them in and out, and the break I mentioned earlier helps in this process. In addition, you can also rotate the shells to one side to form a 180° angle. These options help you to fit the headset better to your head.
The removable shell memory pads are covered in faux leather on the outside. This helps to isolate a lot of outside noise, but you’ll still be able to hear someone calling you, for example, if the volume isn’t too loud. Inside the earpiece, the covering is in fabric and I believe that the choice was made not to heat the ears so much. If that was the intention, then it was successful.
After all that, is it comfortable to use the Recon 200? As I said at the beginning of this review, I used the Turtle Beach headset for 1 month and only now, weeks later, it stopped bothering a bit. Once you take it out of the box and wear it for the first few hours, even days, you’ll feel it pressing on your sides a little more than you think is comfortable.
Fortunately, with time of use, the feeling of tightness decreases. However, this is not to say that the headset will be slack on your head. On the contrary, you will remember that you are using it constantly. You can also move your head freely and lower it so it won’t fall. Understand “moving your head at will” as routine and natural movements that you can do when wearing a headset.
Controls, connectors and battery
The Recon 200 has a few simple controls located on the back of the left shell. In the upper part is the general volume adjustment and, just below, the wheel to adjust the microphone volume. In addition to the sound controllers, the headset also features a switch to toggle between off, PS4 and Xbox. Finally, at the bottom, there is a micro USB connector (which could be USB-C) to recharge the battery. The USB to Micro USB cable is included in the box.
You might be asking yourself: Why do I need to charge the battery of a wired headset? Isn’t it just plug and play? Then no. The Recon 200 features an audio amplification feature that can only be used with the accessory’s internal battery charged. In other words: you can’t use the device unloaded or with the key turned off.
This made me very strange at first, because for me it’s completely counter-intuitive. If it’s wireless, you can pair bluetooth or plug in the USB dongle and charge the phone’s battery. If it’s wired, just plug it in and that’s it. But that’s the way it is on the Recon 200 and you’ll need to accept that if you’re going to buy it.
Also remember to turn it off when you’re not using it, because the headset doesn’t turn itself off due to idle time. If you forget that, it’s quite likely that the entire battery will drain and you’ll be on hand when you need it.
Unlike what happens in wireless headsets, when the Recon 200’s battery is about to run out there is no audible warning, like a few beeps, indicating this. The accessory simply switches off abruptly and that’s it. The first time this happened, I thought I had a problem with the game or the console, but it was only the headset that ran down.
Fortunately, the battery lasts about 12 hours and takes around 3 hours to recharge. So, in the meantime, you can use a backup headset – if you have one. If you don’t have a spare phone, the tip is to always let it charge a little after using it.
Even though the Recon 200 was designed with consoles in mind, it’s also possible to use it on PC (I haven’t tested if it works on macOS). If your computer uses separate audio jacks (green/pink) you will need to purchase an adapter. But if you want to save money, or not have this job, you can plug it into the PC’s USB using some 3.5mm/USB extender from another headset. Cell phones and tablets, with 3.5mm input, are also supported.
Sound and microphone
Speaking first of the PS4 and Xbox options, in the headset key, they can be activated and used on any platform that the Recon 200 supports, including PC, Nintendo Switch and mobile devices. The difference between one option and the other is in the audio level. And that’s where the story of having to charge the battery of a wired headset comes in.
Drums are used in the audio amplifier for each of these modes. If the switch is set to PS4, you’ll notice a sharper treble and the overall feeling of a louder sound. On the Xbox option, bass is more noticeable. In both cases, the audio is very good and allows for a great feeling of space when playing.
I only noticed some hiss when the accessory is turned on to the console control, or directly on the Switch, but no sound is playing. Nothing terribly noisy and it’s only more noticeable if the volume (general or mic) is turned all the way up, but that needed to be mentioned.
Now about the microphone, I have to say it was a very positive surprise. I never put much faith in headset mics, but the quality of the audio recorded by the Recon 200 was above what I expected. I just think this self-monitoring feature is a little unnecessary to avoid shouting, but maybe that’s just my pet peeve.
The mic is fixed, omnidirectional and, even though it’s a little far from the mouth, it has a good noise filter, your voice is clear and without that muffled feeling, as if you were talking with a bucket over your head. I still wouldn’t recommend it for video recordings or podcasts, for that it’s good to use a separate mic, but I think for streaming it would do a good job.
Recon 200: is it worth it?
Yes, if you don’t mind having to recharge the battery of a wired headset. The audio quality, in PS4 and Xbox modes, is overall very good and the microphone was a very positive surprise. It lacked, however, a kind of warning for when the battery is running out, as well as a USB-C connector to recharge it. For a headset that proposes to meet the next generation consoles, which use the USB type C standard, Turtle Beach would have been good to follow this trend.
In addition, its look is very elegant, the ear shells have a good proportion, around 8cm x 10cm (width x height), and are not huge on your head. The versatility of use on multiple platforms, with the same accessory, is also something to consider especially if you are thinking of purchasing a gaming headset for different uses.
The manufacturer’s suggested price of R$729.90 is perhaps not the best of both worlds, but it is possible to find promotional values for the launch. It’s worth keeping an eye out, as the Recon 200 delivers what it purports to be: a great and versatile gaming headset to accompany you in any gameplay.
Recon 200: technical specifications
|Loudspeakers||40 mm with neodymium magnets|
|Frequency response||20 Hz–20 kHz|
|phone design||Circumaural (closed)|
|rod pad||Synthetic leather with foam padding|
|Ear pads material||Synthetic leather with memory foam padding|
|MIC||Fixed omnidirectional flip-to-mute microphone|
|Weight||512 grams (gross with packaging)|
|Integrated controls||Volume wheel, variable microphone monitoring and Xbox/PlayStation switch button|