Published on February 11th, 2014 | by Greg0
Turtle Beach Ear Force i30: Quality Gaming Audio For Mobile Devices
While PC and console gamers have long been offered an endless array of geared-for-gaming accessories, mobile users have mostly been contented with speaker docks along with wired and wireless headsets that were more general purpose. Even if Flappy Bird might not be the best game out there to show off your system or your skills, there are plenty of iOS and Android games that compete head-on with the Xbox and PlayStations and Wiis of the world.
The Turtle Beach Ear Force i30 headset is a show of force from this venerable company, treading into new territory. While we’ve tested out many of their headsets in the past, this is one of the first we’ve seen that is specifically aimed at the growing legion of users who prefer to play games on their iPads and iPhones and want better headphones than earbuds to do so. Certainly, you can use these for music and any other purpose- we listened to dozens of albums and watched movies as well- but these are a great choice for any fan of titles like Bastion, the Infinity Blade series, XCOM or first person shooters where audio can really matter.
The best feature on these is a pretty killer app. The freely available download allows you to finetune your EQ settings, plus the active noise cancelling is a great way to remove the distractions from your surrounding environment and focus. Normally, noise cancelling is for travelers, who can mute the hum of planes and trains, but we confess that these aren’t necessarily built to be totally mobile- they don’t fold up tight and few obvious concessions were made to portability. Instead, we’d consider these a more indoor, lifestyle, media headset, perfect for sitting at home or at a desk, useful for listening to music while studying and enjoying a game to yourself while taking a break from the books.
The i30s might have an “i” in the name, but we used them with a range of devices, from smartphones to the Nintendo DS and PSP /PS Vita. Battery life is decent if unimpressive when using noise cancelling, but it’s optional. There are built-in dual mics that do a good job of picking up your voice without too much background confusion for calls. And they are pretty hefty, but more durable than most we’ve seen thanks to solid metal components. Controls take some getting used to, but are handily placed on each earcup, and we liked the engineering that includes audible alerts- this set really speaks to you! And the memory foam cushions and adjustable band, plus nice firmness, meant this was a set that felt comfortable for most users.