The sound quality of the Ear Force P21 Gaming Headset
is excellent. When I tried it out with the PS3 version of Ghostbusters
, at times I forgot that I didn't have my home surround sound system turned on. And, that's saying something; my surround system sounds pretty good. The stereo audio sounds best with the Expander feature turned on. This is a built-in feature of the Ear Force P21 Gaming Headset
for giving the audio a wider stereo sound.
Actually, what you get in the Ear Force P21 Gaming Headset is, essentially, two headsets in one. First, there's the stereo headphones. These get their sound from a mini phono plug. The other headset built into the P21 is a mono USB headset. What does this mean? Well, for one thing, when you use it with a PC* or Mac*, you'll need to set up your audio devices appropriately. This isn't a big deal, really. Just a few clicks in your configuration. (In Windows, for example, this would be in the Control Panel's Sounds and Audio Devices tool.)
Having a headset and a "separate" headset presents a lot of opportunities, which the P21 Gaming Headset capitalizes on nicely. Specifically, the P21 monitors the volume of the game's sound and automatically boosts the level of the chat volume to compensate with its built-in "Chat Boost" feature. Additionally, there are separate volume controls for the game audio and the chat audio on the in-line audio control box, as well as a bass level control for the game audio. Finally, since the headphones are noise-cancelling headphones, the P21 Gaming Headset uses this noise-cancelling functionality to remove the game sounds that are picked up by the chat mic - pretty cool.
Another very important feature for me is comfort. The Ear Force P21 Gaming Headset is very comfortable, with ear cups that have padding material covered with a jersey-like netted material, allowing airflow to keep your ears cool during extended gaming sessions. The microphone is a very flexible, rubber-coated boom mic that will go wherever you want it to and then stay there nicely. When the mic is not needed, you can swivel it up alongside the side of the headphones to move it out of your way.
|*Out of the box, the Ear Force P21 Gaming Headset works with the PS3. With adapters available at Turtle Beach's website, however, it is possible to use this headset with PC or Mac computers.|
- PS3: Any model of PS3. One free USB connection is required for using the chat functionality. If you are using the PlayStation AV-Out cable, the Ear Force P21s can connect in-line with the Red and White (audio) connectors. If you are using HDMI, you would need to intercept the audio signal elsewhere (I used the headphone out on my Home Theater tuner) or configure your PS3 to use HMDI for video and the PlayStation AV-Out for audio, then use the in-line option.
- PC/Mac: Free USB connection, use included mini-phono plug to RCA connectors splitter.