Turtle Beach has recently decided to make a push into the Mac space and become a force in market for Mac gamers. The result is a very impressive and beautifully designed headset that is a must have for anyone that is gaming on a Mac. Sure it is a niche market, but the beauty and function of this headset sets it apart in a market that is full of competitors. There are some faults, as most headsets have, but the overall package is impressive and definitely a worthy addition to the Turtle Beach line.
Let’s just cut to the chase, the sound that comes out of the i60 is excellent. The i60 features a set 50mm drivers in the headset which provide more than enough power to perform to even your most stringent expectations. Most headsets utilize a 40mm setup, but in this headset you are getting a bigger speaker for deeper and fuller lows and louder sound in general. The headset also comes with a number of pre-programmed equalizer settings which can be switched with the press of a button on the headset itself. A voice prompt will tell you which setting you are using at the moment, so you won’t have to play with software settings or profiles in the middle of what you are doing. Getting the most out of your headset was never easier and more convenient. Of course, you can always play with your iTunes equalizer settings for an even deeper layer of sound customization.
From a pure performance-based perspective, what you are able to get out of the i60 is impressive compared to other wireless options on the market today. The base response is very deep so if you prefer a lot of bass in your games or music, this headset is a great option. However, the i60 manages to sound great in just about every situation we subjected it to. Whether you blasted music at max volume, used it for gaming while chatting with your friends or just answered your phone, the headset always managed to sound crystal clear and was free of distortion. The headset even allowed us to pick up even the subtlest of sounds showing us that the headset didn’t even break a sweat when we gave it our worst. There is literally nothing else you can ask of this headset as far as how it sounds. We were very impressed with its performance and we aren’t easy to please.
While the i60 is big on sound, it also contains a number of features that give you even more to love about this headset. If you own a Mac, this headset has plenty of platform specific options that make it an even better buy for you. After all, this headset was designed with Apple enthusiasts in mind.
As we mentioned earlier, this headset features a 50mm driver in each ear. This is a very powerful speaker for this kind of application, but the results speak for themselves. You are given a loud, clear and rich sound from the headset which is exactly what you want. The headset also has a built in mic that is flush with the headset’s chassis. Since the mic is internal and not boomed, you can’t adjust the mics location relative to your face, but it still does the job well. There is some loss of noise cancelling so your friends might pick up a little extra background noise, but it wasn’t excessive in any capacity and it was perfectly within acceptable parameters.
Obviously, this is a wireless mic but it connects via Bluetooth which really open up how you can use this headset. You can pair the headset with your iPhone or iPod and stream music, movies or games and even answer calls. We also found that it connected to our Android devices and works just fine outside the Apple product line, however, if you don’t use an iPhone you won’t get to access all the phones secondary functions. Things like Siri or voice command work best when used with Apple products. We really liked the headsets capability to connect via Bluetooth and it really makes this headset much more versatile than other headsets on the market.
The i60 uses a separate transmitter when you connect it to a computer which gives you another level of control over your media. You can independently control the headset’s volume and chat volume all on the same wheel. It works great and it looks great with a Mac set up, as well. The transmitter also has a nice range that allows you to step away from the computer without having to stop listening to your music or movies. We really enjoyed the styling and functionality of the headset / transmitter combination and it made the headset very easy to use and pair without the need for software.
While the i60 far surpassed our technical expectations, the only flaw that gets in the way of making this headset perfect is the price. The headset has an MSRP of $399.99, which is a significant investment to make in sound for any kind of application. Even tournament grade headsets, which the i60 is not, doesn’t cost this much money. While we feel that this headset is the finest wireless headset that we’ve tested especially in the wireless category, it is a lot to ask gamers to shell out this kind of money. However, if you have the money and you are okay with making the investment, you’d be hard pressed to find a better quality comparable headset. We felt that while it was easy to find cheaper options on the market today, finding the quality that you get with this headset is rare. While spending $399.99 is a lot to ask, you certainly get what you pay for.
Ease of Use / Comfort: 10
The installation of the i60 was very easy on both Mac and PC applications, despite the Mac/Mobile designation. You simply plug-in the control module to your computer and it is immediately installed and activated. Then you just turn on the headset and you are ready to go. From there you can use the toggle switch to go to the profile that sounds best to you. It really doesn’t get much easier than this. You only need one open USB connection and the hardware does the rest for you. All the sound and headset controls are located on the back of each ear cup. They control everything from switching equalizer settings to muting the built-in mic. The buttons are raised and changing any options via the headset controls are prompted by a voice confirmation. You shouldn’t need to see what button you are pressing and the voice prompts ensure that you are adjusting the settings you want to adjust.
From a comfort standpoint, this headset is very comfortable. It features an over-the-ear design with several points of articulation for optimal fit and comfort. The cups fold flat for easy storage and they move to accommodate the contours of your head. The headband itself is also padded nicely with just enough padding to allow you to game for as long as you like without any difficulty or discomfort. Both the headband and ear cups are coated in a soft faux leather finish to add that little extra layer of comfort. All in all, this headset feels great, it is easy to use and it looks great too. This headset is truly the “complete package”.
Overall, the Turtle Beach Earforce i60 is one of the finest headsets we had the pleasure to test. It manages to do everything well from the sound quality to the build quality, there is plenty to appreciate with this model. While the headset is quite expensive, it may not fit most modest budgets and it wouldn’t do well in some specific situations, but if you can scrape together the money for this headset, it is worth every penny. We loved this headset and we know you will too, so we give it our Editor’s Choice recommendation, the highest honor we can bestow.