As an avid gamer with a full-time job and a young family, the only times I get to play are usually late at night when the household is well asleep. This negates getting a fully sick 7.1 surround sound system with overhead subwoofers, so in order to get the full aural experience the only logical choice is investing in a headset. However, like many gamers who are continually bombarded with AAA releases and Steam sales, I’m not particularly made of cash money. I have the added complication of having multiple consoles and a PC to cater to as well, and am not interested in buying multiple exclusive pairs of headphones to get the most from my games. The PX24s represent a good choice for those on a slight budget but not wanting to compromise on quality, and while they don’t have some of the bells and whistles of more expensive models, their simple cross-compatibility and some interesting and unique audio features make them well worth the $150 AUD asking price.
Featuring a standard compact black design, the PX24s are an over-ear closed cup design with 50 mm speakers in each ear. They make use of a standard 3.5 mm audio jack which makes them compatible with any devices featuring this input including PS4, Xbox One, PC and mobile devices. It should be noted that older Xbox One controllers won’t feature this standard 3.5 mm port and will require a proprietary adaptor (available from Microsoft for about $40 AUD) They also feature an omni-directional flexibly adjustable microphone for game chat that can be completely removed if required.
What makes these headphones interesting is the addition of a rechargeable battery-operated inline internal amplifier called the Ear Force Superamp. While this mixamp won’t necessarily give you full intimate control over audio levels, it does enable a couple of cool features. This includes the ability to control virtual surround sound, which it does quite a good job of emulating given it has only the single speaker for each ear. If it doesn’t suit the game you’re playing you can simply turn this feature right down to have the sound output in full stereo. Also of note is the ability to easily adjust chat audio so you’re not yelling at your friends or deafening yourself with the dulcet tones of your own voice. Probably one of the coolest features the Superamp provides is the ability to turn on something called Superhuman hearing. This amplifies certain sharp sounds like footsteps, reloading guns and grenade pins being pulled. As a big fan of adversarial online shooters, I found this was a huge help in knowing if someone was in my vicinity, and coupled with the virtual surround sound it will be rare that someone will manage to get the drop on you. In Black Ops 3, using the Superhuman hearing feature in conjunction with the perks Dead Silence (dampens the sound of your footsteps) and Awareness (increases the sound of enemy footsteps) means you’ll be sound-whoring like a champ. I found it was also good in Rainbow Six: Siege, where situational awareness is paramount. It does come with a little background buzz though, and isn’t suitable for all games. For instance, playing Alien: Isolation with Superhuman hearing felt like I was in a busy cathedral with every tiny footstep reverberating too loudly off of all surfaces great and small. I will note however that with this feature turned off, the game (whose sound design is quite strong) sounded fantastic, with every creak of the dilapidated ship and every shriek of its alien inhabitant crisply captured. The Superamp has a huge battery time of 20-30 hours on a single full charge, and can be recharged simply via micro-USB.
The PX24s price tag of $150 AUD sits it comfortably and competitively amongst other good quality mid-tier dedicated gaming headphones. They have a beautiful sound quality that will enhance any game experience ten-fold. Whether you’re trying not to wake the baby, getting lost in a Nobuo Uematsu score or are determined to hear the Call of Duty squeakers boasting about their escapades with your Mum in full HD, the Turtle Beach Ear Force PX24s are a fantastic choice and come highly recommended.