Roll the years back and it wasn’t that long ago that any gamer looking for a new headset would be left with just a couple of choices. ASTRO Gaming and Turtle Beach were the forerunners in a marketplace that was in its infancy. Whip forward a decade or so to get back in the here and now, and there are a huge number of other manufacturers vying for a place at the table; pretty much playing musical chairs on a monthly basis. Sometimes it’s the EPOS team who are flavour of the month, at others it’s RIG, or Razer, or even, just occasionally the uber expensive Audeze. Hell, even Microsoft themselves have jumped in on the action with some rather neat official headsets.
Does this mean there isn’t a seat left for the old guard anymore? Are Turtle Beach fighting a battle that they may not win? Well, when they come to market with one of their old products, albeit in newly designed form, the odds are pretty much stacked against them. But you know what, I’ve been pleasantly surprised by the Turtle Beach Recon 200 Gen 2 multiplatform gaming headset.
Honestly, open the wallet and get a purchase in on the Turtle Beach Recon 200 Gen 2 and you’ll know exactly what will be delivered your way. This is a Turtle Beach headset through and through, from the slightly plastic feel, through to the overall design cues, the sound and more. That’s not a bad thing though, for if anyone knows what makes a headset tick, it’s the TB gang.
Coming in three different flavours – we’ve been hands on with the gorgeous midnight blue, but the Recon 200 Gen 2 also comes in standard black or white varieties – the Recon 200 Gen 2 is sold as a successor to the previous, and original, Recon 200. Whether there’s enough here to warrant a next-gen upgrade is up for debate, but you can be sure that you’re getting all the usual Turtle Beach goodies included.
That means that the now standard ProSpecs glasses friendly design is in place – and as a glasses wearer, I can vouch for how nice this is – whilst it also runs variable mic monitoring and comes with soft memory foam cushions. Aside from the ProSpecs design, you’ll find the other two selling points on pretty much every headset that comes to market in 2021, so you shouldn’t really see those as a reason to splash the cash.
Why you should though is because as an overall package, the Recon 200 Gen 2, at a mere £49.99, is brilliant value for money.
Yes, it’s really very plasticy, and that may be enough to put many off, but it looks alright on the head and feels fine in use. With some Turtle Beach branding on the top side of the head band, and a little padding on the underneath (just about enough to allow for lengthy play sessions but a little more would have been appreciated), there’s little in the look of this that is going to make you proclaim greatness.
That headband has a full metal band running through the centre, bringing strength but a lightweight feel (this only weighs 255 grams), with it fully adjustable via the usual tried and tested sliding method. The earcups are nothing but plastic ovals either, but they are just about the right side to allow for decent comfort as they encase your ears. They swivel totally, so when you need to rest this headset around your neck, the option is there to do so.
40mm drivers sit inside these earcups and anyone who has ever used a Turtle Beach product in the past will be glad to know that they sound just as decent as any of their other headsets. They are fairly bass-heavy as standard but also come with additional Bass Boost which really ramps things up. With support for stuff like Windows Sonic, Dolby Atmos or DTS Headphone, there’s not really much that this headset won’t be able to deliver.
That sound is amplified too, and whilst the Recon 200 can be used without power in a passive mode, it’s when you flick the switch that the beauty comes about. With all knobs and dials kicking around on the left earcup, you’ve pretty much got all the controls you need in one decent to hit place. There’s a power switch – with options for Xbox or PlayStation depending on your format of choice – a USB-C charging port for power delivery, a full volume control wheel and another that works the middle ground between party chat comms and game audio.
There’s also a permanently attached 3.5mm jack coming out of this cup, with a decently long cable ensuring you can then attach it to your controller of choice. Further, a standard flip-to-mute Turtle Beach is ready for action at all times, flipping out of the way when not in use and moving down to accommodate all voice chat. This is a stubby little mic with absolutely no flex to it, but whilst you may think it would struggle to allow for decent communication, in reality it absolutely does the business.
Again, you’d expect Turtle Beach to know how to integrate a mic into a product and this high-sensitivity option seems to be able to pick up everything loud and clear. Teammates and colleagues have had no issues hearing commands sent their way. Whether they actually acknowledge them and my best intentions, is another matter.
With everything working nicely, Turtle Beach are promising around 12 hours of amplified soundstage being thrust towards your ears. We’ve never felt the need to question these figures and a good charge of the Recon 200 Gen 2 has been more than enough to get us through a good few evenings of gaming. With those USB-C charging properties in the house, it’s never easier to throw the headset on charge to get it powered back up either.
It’s pretty safe to say that the vast majority of gamers will know of Turtle Beach, whether that be the higher end headsets that have found a place in the gaming scene for years on end, or the cheaper options that have popped up to provide similar experiences at a lower cost. The Recon 200 Gen 2 is most definitely on the bottom end of that scale, but it’s right at the very top of the list of those which you can pick up for next to no cost. Unless you’re willing to start dropping triple figures sums at your headset of choice, you really can’t go wrong with what Turtle Beach have provided with the Recon 200 Gen 2 headset. Don’t let the plastic feel put you off – this is a headset capable of much more than it initially lets on. In fact, it’s one that is pleasantly surprising to use.
Huge thanks go out to Turtle Beach for giving us the chance to review their Recon 200 Gen 2 multiplatform gaming headset. It works with Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch, PC and mobile devices that come equipped with a 3.5mm jack.