ORIGINAL PUBLICATION DATE: July 29th 2013

NOTE: With the upcoming release of the Playstation 4, and Sony’s confirmation that it will support USB headsets at launch, we decided to bring the review back to the front page as an option for those looking for a PS4 gaming headset.

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The Turtle Beach Ear Force XP Seven could be considered Turtle Beach’s flagship headset. It is the official headset of MLG (Major League Gaming) and offers some serious sound quality. The headset is compatible with PC, PS3, Xbox 360 and mobile and should be compatible with Playstation 4 when it launches (it is a wired USB/optical audio headset). Read on for our full impressions on this impressive piece of gaming kit…

The XP Seven is, at heart, a headset for pro-gamers. It offers a crazy amount of customisation and comes in an all-inclusive package. In the box is a myriad of cables and components, designed to make the headset compatible with many different devices. You will find, inside, the headset itself, a detachable mic, the AUC (audio control unit), the console interface, the headset breakway cable, a USB cable (for consoles), an Xbox 360 chat cable, a digital optical cable, a PC speaker cable, an extension cable for the AUC and 3.5mm auxiliary cable and a mobile adapter cable.

The Audio Control Unit is the heart of the device. On it, you will find firstly the main volume control, a large dial surrounded by white lights which light to show the current volume. A push of this button instantly mutes all sound. Surrounding the volume dial are a number of capacitive buttons including the speaker position (to adjust position of 5.1 surround speakers), individual speaker volumes (which are controlled by pressing the button, then using the main volume dial), the 5.1 surround sound toggle button, the chat mute button and the master volume button, along with a Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound indicator. Further down on the ACU are 8 preset buttons, which function for 8 game presets and 8 separate chat presets. Along the side of the ACU are volume sliders for talkback (hearing your own mic through speakers), chat and auxiliary in (such as from an MP3 player/phone). At the base of the ACU are three inputs, one for the headset, one for the auxiliary input and the last for the Xbox 360 chat cable.

The console interface is a small box which has a digital optical audio port on the back, as well as a passthru (allowing you to output the digital optical input to an additional device), a USB port (for connection to console for power and chat) and finally another auxiliary input (for a phone or other device). On the front are the connnections to the ACU, a USB cable and a 5-pin DIN connector. This will allow you to connect the headset to the PS3 or Xbox 360 (with use of Xbox 360 chat cable).

As you can see above, although this is an expensive headset, Turtle Beach have spared no expense in making sure you have all the cables necessary to use the device. They even included the additional 3.5mm auxiliary cable to allow you to connect the headset to a music-playing device. Thankfully, the sound quality of the headset matches the quality of the physical product itself, and provides extremely impressive 5.1 surround sound.

We have been using the headset with all our game reviews for the last month, across PC, PS3 and Xbox 360 and we can certainly say that it matches up to the quality it promises across all platforms. The digital 5.1 surround sound is very, very realistic and really feels like true surround sound in your ears. Every equisite detail of the game can be heard in the highest of quality through the headset, which really assists in online games where the position of the enemy needs to be known.

The chat quality is generally extremely clear, particularly on PC where more resources are available to developers to provide high quality chat connections. I had no issues across my use of the headset on all platforms in discussion with friends while gaming. The quality remained of my voice remained high akin to their voices in my headset. It is certainly a headset which focuses just as much on chat as game sound.

The software suite included with the headset is extremely comprehensive and is one of the most, if not the most, advanced sound adjustment suites I have ever seen included with a headset. Whether you want to adjust equalisation, individual volumes, low and high threshholds, bass and treble, volume amplification, chat quality and threshold or almost any other option you can think of, you will be to with the XP Seven software suite.

The headset also has an extremely high build quality. The leather earcups are extremely comfortable for long gaming sessions, and the joints in the headset all seem very sturdy. The earcups have a metal plate under the customisable plates, which increases sturdiness. On the topic of customisable plates, the headset allows you to purchase custom plastic plates to put on the outside of the cups, allowing you to give the headset your own feel. The cushioned top of the headset adds comfort, and makes it look like a premium product. Overall, the headset has fantastic build quality and is a comfortable, sturdy option.

The price of the headset is $279.95 (~€249.99/£229.99). While this is expensive, it is good value for the level of quality (both in build and sound), compatibility and reliablility you are getting. The XP Seven is one of the most gamer-focused headsets I have ever seen, and is definitely worth buying if you are looking for a high end 5.1 surround sound headset for gaming. Turtle Beach have always been reliable and focused towards gaming, and this headset is their most ambitious gaming headset yet. I have no doubt that it deserves a GOLD AWARD.