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Hello all,


I have been helped by this community tremendously and so this is just a small amount of information that hopefully will be useful to some folks interested in these gaming headsets. I hope this forum is the right one, but please move this if I goofed.


I have an XBOX360 and a 42" Panasonic U25.


I used to own the Turtle Beach X3 set and it was okay. It was a mostly wireless stereo set, which used infrared to communicate signal to the headphones and a wire running from the headphones to the controller for chat. They worked pretty well, but had some drawbacks. They accepted stereo analog inputs (red,white) which was perfect at the time (my old tv had those outputs). They were plenty loud and detailed, but had noticable hiss from chat volume and from regular sound signal. Line of sight could be an issue with them due to infrared signal, so they would drop game sound if I moved around a corner or into the kitchen for a break. To be honest, this didn't bug me much, but some people might not like it. Comfort was okay for short sessions, but my ears would begin to hurt after a while because the cups press on them constantly. Oh well, they were fine for a couple years and to be honest, I didn't know any better.


Then I bought the U25 and it had no analog outputs so I decided to upgrade to a digital headset.


Enter the Turtle Beach X41. These were 7.1 surround sound, use an optical cable input and and RF signal to communicate game sound to the headset. Right away I noticed a huge leap up in sound and comfort.


For comfort, the X3 and X41 are not in the same league. The X41 was circumaural and so they did not sit on my ears at all. My ears never became sore or fatigued. This was a wonderful step up in comfort. They felt great.


I was blown away with the sound improvement. They were really very open sounding and communicated directionality very well (even though I later learned that I was only sending a stereo signal to them - more on that later). There was less hiss, although a bit was still noticable. Also, the game sound never dropped out. The RF certainly made those aspects better. Bass was only okay, but really, I was happy overall with their sound quality.


I wanted to like the headset due to sound and comfort, but ran into some issues. First, they moved the chat controls off of the "puck" attached to the controller and onto a unit located mid-wire. This was less handy for switching from mute to active chat and adjusting chat volume. Not a big deal, but I didn't like the change. Next, I did not like the battery compartment as well as the older X3. It was more clunky and I had to remove the headset to change batteries each time(the X3 was easy enough to do the change while still on my head). Again, a small nitpick, but somewhat problematic becasue this set ate batteries faster than the X3 did.


Finally, the deal breaker for me was the RF interference. It was terrible on my set. I have a 2.4gH phone system and a wireless router (g). The interference was in the form of brutal pops, cracks and, at times, lasted for over 1 minute. When it started, I had to remove the set from my head immediately to avoid hurting my ears. I tried all of the tips that the manufacturer sends with the unit, but nothing worked to remedy the problem. I could play for 30 minutes with no issues at all, then, all of a sudden, it would start. Turning the set off and on didn't help. Moving the RF tranmitter far away from my router did help to an extent, but I still had the feedback issuses from time to time. For $200, I wanted to have no issues at any time.


I brought them back and bought the Tritton AX Pros. (5.1 surround) This set is less money than the X41s because it is wired. That said it is far better in quality, features, and sound. I will be keeping these for a while.


First the cons. I mentioned they are wired and let me tell you, wires are everywhere. They come with a digital converter box that needs signal from one wire and power from another. Then the headset is wired into the same box for signal and into a "Y" adapter from the box for power. So this little box has three wires connected to it and one wire going around it for headset power. Then you have 12' of wire running to the headset with a large, lit inline controller near the headset. Also running from the controller is a wire that connects to the controller for chat. Wires are all over the place. In my setup, this is no big deal as I am close to the tv, can hide the box in the cabinet and sit in the same spot when I play. Some folks may not have this advantage and so be aware that the wires are quite daunting - especially when putting the headset away or pulling it out...


The next con is the comfort. It is circumaural, but the headset is heavier and tighter than the X41s and offers little adjustment. If you have a big knot, I might recommend looking elswhere.


Finally, the chat controls are in line just like the X41s. I like the puck style better and so this is a drawback.


Now the pros. Quality is very high. This feels like a very solid chunk of technology and is less plastic feeling than the X41. No batteries to change due to the wires. I won't miss the battery changing.


Sound was very good to start. Not quite as open or spatial as the X41s, but much more powerful and smooth. Also, you can tweak each set of speakers (there are 4 in each cup) individually. So you can boost or cut the fronts, center, rears and "subs" as you wish from the inline controller. Neat.


The decoder box is tweakable as well and you can set up delay in the center and surround channels. Also, the box takes stereo signal and "upconverts" it to Dolby Pro Logic. It tells you when it is doing this with a little light that toggles on and off as you select that feature.


The thing I noticed was that no matter what I did, I could not get the box to display Dolby Digital sound. It simply would not light up. Sure enough, I learned that when it is receiving a Dolby Digital signal, it automatically toggles that setting to on. Mine would not do that. I was confused at first, but then (thanks to these forums) I learned that some televisions truncate the digital signal to 2 channels. Sure enough, my tv was doing this and so where I thought I had surround sound in both the X41s and the AX PROS, I only had a digital upconversion or interpretation of surround sound from a stereo signal. Both sets still sounded pretty good, but I was anxious to get the setting right.


After rewiring the XBOX, the tv and the digital converter box, I now have a true Dolby Digital signal running to the AX PROS. The light on the box is lighting up and everything...It is amazing. Directionality is unreal. I can hear things all over the place and in just a few games, I was playing MUCH better than before. Literally, I was shooting before a bad guy turned the corner because I could hear him running up on me. He walked right into my bullets. It was like magic. Every sound in Black Ops was right where I expected it to be. Helicopters can be avoided just from listening to them. Truly spectacular.


If you have read this monstrosity so far, you might pick up on the fact that, unfortunaltely, due to my own wiring snafu, I cannot compare the sound of the X41 directly with the AX Pros. I never did send a true Dolby Signal to the X41. Still, the RF drawbacks were enough to get rid of them. The AX Pros are unlike anything I have ever heard. Very powerful, fully tweakable and uncanny precision for 360 degree directionality. They are also less money.


I am very happy.


If you have any questions please let me know and I will do my best to answer them with what I know.
 
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