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Review of Turtle Beach HPA 5.1 Surround Headset

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  • Review of Turtle Beach HPA 5.1 Surround Headset

    Available at TigerDirect.com (though $10 cheaper at Fry's Electronics and Newegg.com)

    Refer to the link above for pictures (too lazy to hunt down the manufacturer's link)

    I bought these as a possible alternative to the Medusas that all y'all have been raving about (and I suspect rightly so). However, at $70, and with the reputation that Turtle Beach has, these seemed like a steal.

    Well, first off, know that if you have a CreativeLabs soundcard, you NEED to select your bass redirect in your speaker settings panel (if you still have your creative software from your install cd still installed, not just the driver and audio console) and have your cutoff frequency for redirect set to max. THEN set your inline amp volume to 6 for all speakers, except the sub, which you need to set to max. THEN this puppy rocks.

    I just played a round of 2142 and was BLOWN AWAY by the immersive feel I got. Even the crack of my baur was new (it kind of hurt my ears, until I turned down my front volume a skosh) and immersive. Explosions near me grabbed my attention, and I heard it ALL: rumble, crack, everything. And with the sub woofers up, these things vibrate REALLY nice, so you don't just HEAR, you FEEL as well.

    Included was a 3 port splitter cable so that you could have both the surround headset AND your normal surround speakers plugged in at once. This was a nice and considerate touch on Turtle Beach's part.

    Overall, once I got my bass problems fixed (I had to download the iso for my install cd, since my original install cd was buried somewhere in storage, and even then it would be somewhere where I would have to have dug through EVERYTHING to maybe find it or maybe not), I'm completely satisfied with my purchase. Even listening to music this is nice. I set my CMSS to stereo surround and popped Nightwish's Once album onto random on iTunes and am listening to Dark Chest of Wonders as I type. This headset gives the rumble and clarity like that of my logitech z5300e surround speakers (which I adore and have served me very well) but with even more shake sent to my body without disturbing everyone within 100ft (like it would have with my logitechs and its wonderfully powerful subwoofer).

    The only con is that these aren't the most comfortable pair to wear. I wear glasses and if these aren't positioned right, I get a headache from these pressing against my head too hard (a slight back angle and they feel much more comfortable). Depth of the cup padding is also lacking, and the cups aren't all THAT big so my big Ross Pero ears (yes, I have big ears) aren't totally immersed in the cups, but that's not that big of a problem. However, for some this could be a deal-breaker, so I felt obligated to mention this slight downside.

    Overall, I think these suckers rock. setup was easy, and you get ALOT of line to work with (about 11' or so if using the splitter cable), though for me I could use less line, but I could see how alot of line would be advantageous for many. It's really just plug in and go: much like with the headset, but without switching your audio settings from whatever speakers you normally use to headphones.....just leave your settings on 5.1, and remember to turn on your bass redirect....and that's it.

    For how much one gets, I'm in total amazement.

    I'm never going back to my old el cheapo Labtec stereo headset. I can't wait to see how well these do with some quality 5.1 movies......like LotR.

    Games: GRAW, BF2142, Oblivion, FarCry, Empire At War, R6:RVS, KotOR, KotOR2, MW4: Mercs, FEAR (XP)




    *Hiss* "Oh...crap!" *BLAM* "I'm down....MEDIC!!"

    DirtyLude: "If we kill him and eat his heart, his magic will be ours."

  • #2
    Re: Review of Turtle Beach HPA 5.1 Surround Headset

    Great review! Thanks! Now if we can just find someone who has both headsets to compare them side-by-side...
    Twisted Firestarter
    a.k.a |TG| Harkonian
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    • #3
      Re: Review of Turtle Beach HPA 5.1 Surround Headset

      Thanks for the review, hopefully they'll become more comfortable after a break in period. I'm running about the same inline amp volume as you mention for my Medusa's.

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      • #4
        Re: Review of Turtle Beach HPA 5.1 Surround Headset

        Yeah, the creative labs support forum mentioned that both the Turtle Beach and Medusa 5.1 surround headsets required bass redirection at max cutoff frequency for the soundcard and to run the subwoofer volume on the headset's inline amp up to max with other speakers being run right around midlevel.


        Edit, the reviews weren't kidding when they said that one couldn't wear these for several hours without giving your head a break. These things really cause my glasses ear pieces to dig into my head, no matter how I orient these things. Too bad my prescription is too complex (don't read as: have pop bottle lenses) for contacts to be affordable. I used to have a somewhat similar problem in regards to paintball masks.

        Games: GRAW, BF2142, Oblivion, FarCry, Empire At War, R6:RVS, KotOR, KotOR2, MW4: Mercs, FEAR (XP)




        *Hiss* "Oh...crap!" *BLAM* "I'm down....MEDIC!!"

        DirtyLude: "If we kill him and eat his heart, his magic will be ours."

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Review of Turtle Beach HPA 5.1 Surround Headset

          Hmm that's interesting. Nice review. I also wear glasses and also have a complex and high prescription, so your review has helped me in narrowing down headphone choices. Thanks Hiram! :D
          |TG-18th| Acreo Aeneas
          TG World of Tanks Clan Executive Officer
          Former 9th & 13th

          Pronounciation: Eh-Cree-Oh Ah-Nay-Ess
          Still can't say it? Call me Acorn then. -.-





          SSDs I Own: Kingston HyperX 3K (240 GB), Samsung 840 Pro (256 GB), Samsung 840 EVO (250 GB), Samsung 840 x 2 (120 GB), Plextor M5S (120 GB), OCZ Vertex (30 GB)

          TG Primer and Rules

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          • #6
            Re: Review of Turtle Beach HPA 5.1 Surround Headset

            I have this headset as well and it's great. I totally agree with the above review and yes,there is not enough padding. I do not have big ears, but the padding is not enough to keep the hard speaker coverings from resting on them. I sometimes wear light reading glasses when playing but I don't have much more problem with them then when I don't wear the glasses.
            The Dirty

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