The Turtle Beach Recon 70 represents sublime value for money. It’s a wired gaming headset that packs a retractable microphone and doesn’t skimp on the most important ask; sound quality. And with a budget-friendly price, it’s easy to replace in a pinch.
- Loud, clear audio
- Decent looks
- Relatively comfortable
- Very plasticky
- Some exposed wires
- Loud, balanced soundEverything comes together to create a balanced soundstage that should suit almost scenario.
- Flip-to-mute microphoneTilting the microphone arm out of view automatically cuts off any pickup.
- On-device volume controlUnlike some other cans, the Recon 70 set includes on-device volume adjustment.
Back in my day (the late 00s), it was easy to believe that your FPS ineptitude wasn’t down to ADHD-fuelled run n’ gun tactics, but to your lack of a Turtle Beach headset. If you didn’t have a pair, you were at an immediate disadvantage: adapt or be destroyed.
Despite mass adoption of headsets and prime competitors in the form of Razer, Astro, and more, Turtle Beach continues to carve out a niche, riding the highs of its own legacy branding.
The kids of that generation now bestow the knowledge of Turtle Beach to their offspring as if nothing has changed. And has it? The bargain Turtle Beach Recon 70 begs the question.
Design and Features
- Available in plenty of colours
- Comfortable over time, flexible, and not too tight
- Stubby flip-to-mute microphone arm
Clad in sturdy white plastic, but available in a slew of colourways to suit your taste or your platform of choice, the Turtle Beach Recon 70 wired headset can take a decent beating. Given headsets are known for being accidentally yanked, purposefully thrown, and haphazardly squashed under the wheels of a chair, that’s good.
There’s decent flex in the construction, and the blue wire, coloured to match the hinges and headband, doesn’t look like it’ll give up the ghost in a few weeks. Would a braided cable instil more confidence in its longevity? Absolutely. But the thin wire visible between the headband, presumably linking the left and right drivers, is the key concern. One snag and it’s done.
On the left cup is a short retractable microphone with lift to mute, and the back of the same cup sports a cheap-as-they-come volume wheel. By comparison, the right cup has very little going on. Nothing at all. Both have a small amount of flex to fit the shape of your head, and cushions that, while thin, are surprisingly comfortable to wear for longer periods.
The cushioning in the headband is similarly slim, but its biggest issue is that it just doesn’t span enough of the frame to comfortably fit bigger skulls. There’s little else that says this is a headset designed for kids, but at this price point, it also likely is.
The sliding ratchet system on either side of the headset allows for a few inches of adjustment. The band can also stretch far wider than I need it to. It may not be the most plush solution out there, but the whole thing should fit most people.
Just be aware that sliding the cups down will expose more of the cable that pairs the 40mm drivers in each cup. If your kids like to pull, tug, and fidget, it could present another possible breaking point.
Packaging is simple, with the outer carton housing more cardboard to lightly cushion the headset within. It’d be nice to see Turtle Beach shed the plastic wrapping sometime soon, but there isn’t a huge amount of it here. There’s little in the box to wrap in the first place.
Sound and Mic Quality
- Solid, balanced audio quality
- Bargain basement microphone
- No adjustability beyond volume
Crank up the volume and the Turtle Beach Recon 70 will hold it. Next to a few other headsets I’ve tested, they get louder than you might expect.
There’s certainly a risk of unsupervised children damaging their undeveloped ears this way, but with most consoles having volume limiters in their parental control panels these days, you can at least minimise the risk. For the adults in the room, it simply means they’re loud enough to get you in the zone.
Using them in Granblue Fantasy Relink on the Steam Deck, there was a solid balance between hectic explosions, ambient noise, and dialogue lines. In Overwatch 2, footsteps were distinguishable, and voice lines were clear enough to make out which ultimate moves were being triggered in the heat of the moment.
There’s always going to be room for improvement in the bass department, but they put in a good fight. They don’t sound tinny or high on the treble; again, they’re a reasonably balanced pair of cans that, at this price, sound surprisingly up to par.
Being over-ear headphones, there’s some natural sound isolation to glean from these. At moderate volume and beside each other, my partner couldn’t hear my game over his own. I could hear his coming from the TV in front of us: It was easily audible, but soft and, most importantly, nowhere near loud enough to stop me from hearing my own.
The microphone, on the other hand, is far from superb. It’s serviceable, but you’ll be sounding like a muffled helicopter pilot more often than not. Background noise cancellation is rather aggressive, creating noise of its own in an attempt to isolate your voice for the sake of your listeners, but it’s far from unusable.
You won’t be recording your next YouTube epic with this one, but you’ll be able to tell your teammates to back you up. That’s what matters.
Should you buy it?
You want an inexpensive headset that still performs
At just £30, the Turtle Beach Recon 70 sounds as good as you can reasonably expect. The microphone gets the job done – if you even need it at all.
You want a gaming headset you can take on your travels
Though the shell can likely take a couple of knocks and scrapes, constant twisting is likely to cut the audio cable’s lifespan considerably. If that goes, it’s game over.
The Turtle Beach Recon 70 surprised me. I haven’t used a headset around this price point in close to a decade now, so my expectations may be skewed, but I’m still genuinely in awe of what you get for £30.
There’s nothing fancy going on here, but I also expected to see more cut corners. Easily serviceable sound and easy connectivity between 3.5mm-equipped game controllers make these cans perfectly suited to Xbox, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation, and even still most phones, laptops, and PCs.
With the Turtle Beach Recon 70 at £30, there’s no reason to entertain the imposters at this price point. Doubling your money can get you the popular Astro A10 Gen 2, with the Razer Kaira X and HyperX Cloud Stinger 2 cans also within reach. But if you’re shopping for a little kid, a turbulent teen, or don’t need a studio-quality microphone and wireless connectivity, the Turtle Beach Recon 70 is hard to beat at this price. Check out our Best Gaming Headset guide for more options.
How we test
Every headset we test is used for at least a week. Various things are tested: Ease of use, is it suitable for everyday use, gaming or work. We test what platforms it works best on, and what connectivity options it has, e.g. Bluetooth, wireless, and any software it comes with. If applicable, we also test battery life.
We also evaluate its audio playback quality with music and games.
Used over the better part of week for gaming and listening to music.
Compared to other popular products at and around its price point.
Connected to various devices.
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Unless you add a third-party audio sender/receiver into the mix, the Turtle Beach Recon 70 cannot be used wirelessly. It’s a wired experience.
Absolutely. So long as there’s a 3.5mm headphone jack to plug in to, the Turtle Beach Recon 70 will accept just about any audio source. The microphone, on the other hand, isn’t guaranteed.