Turtle Beach Recon 500 BannerThe Turtle Beach Recon 500 Gaming Headset is an excellent value option for gaming audio and beyond. The headphones boast features that appeal to both casual and multiplatform gamers. The 3.5mm plug offers a wide range of compatibility options with gaming consoles, PCs, mobile devices, and more. You’ll hear everything that matters and more in-game with dual 60mm drivers that separate high and low frequencies. The Recon 500 also delivers with its comfort and design. If you are looking for a budget-conscience solution that punches above its weight class, the Recon 500 has come out swinging. Let’s put it through the paces and figure out if it’s a contender for your gaming space.

Turtle Beach Recon 500 console compatibility

Turtle Beach Recon 500 Compat

One of the best parts of the Recon 500 is the fact that it is “plug and play” with a vast array of devices. The 3.5mm jack it sports makes it compatible with just about every game console you can think of. If you are gaming on the PlayStation 4 or Xbox One and are about to make the jump to next-gen consoles, the Recon 500 is forward compatible. The same goes for the Nintendo Switch family of consoles, the 500 works with them all. A general “rule of thumb” is, if the device your using has a 3.5mm input it will work with the headset.

Recon 500 colour choices

The Recon 500’s come in two different colours, Black and Artic Camo. I did all my testing with the Artic Camo, they look nice, but I would opt for the tuxedo black. I noticed light scratches appearing on the lighter model’s frame and the darker hardware would likely do a better job hiding wear and tear. Overall, the choice just comes down to personal preference, so pick the headset that jives with your style.

Turtle Beach Recon 500 Hardware DesignTurtle Beach Recon 500 hardware design

The Recon 500’s packaging includes the headset, detachable microphone and a quick start guide.

The headphones have a solid build to them, with spacious earcups held in a sturdy metal frame. The headset features Turtle Beach’s patented 60mm “Eclipse Dual Drivers” that provide better control with high and low frequencies. This technology is a first in a Turtle Beach headset and it really shines. In my testing with the previous Recon model, I can confirm the sound is far better in this iteration. I’ll explore this more in the “Audio Performance” section, but the new driver tech is an absolute standout.

Turtle Beach Recon 500 ComfortDesigned for your comfort

The padding of earcups is a fabric material which wraps around plush memory foam. Putting on the headset provides a seal from some ambient noise, but it does little in the way of noise cancelling. I found that the overall extended use was good, but my head did get hot using them. I’ve used other Turtle Beach headsets and haven’t had this issue in the past.

The earcups also feature all the headset’s audio controls. The left earcup features a volume control dial, voice mute button and the microphone arm / input slot. I found reaching for each component while wearing the headphones quite convenient. The design is conducive to making “on the fly” audio tweaks while you play.

Turtle Beach Recon 500 WiredHard wired gaming headphones

The headphones are wired with a braided, 4-foot cord. It offers a decent amount of flexibility with the length, but wireless headphone purists might be turned off by this. If you are a console gamer, the length is more than enough to reach your controller comfortably. On the upside, the wired connection removes the need to charge the headset and expands compatibility options.

If you wear glasses this is the headset for you! The Recon 500 headset is one of the most comfortable headsets I’ve ever tested out with eyeglasses. While wearing my glasses, I felt no added pressure on my ears or temples. The clamp pressure of the Recon 500 has been reduced for a more comfortable fit. Even if you have a larger head and wear glasses, you’ll be presently surprised with how great the 500s feel.

Turtle Beach Recon 500 HeadbandRecon 500 build quality

Aspects of the build quality are very sturdy, but areas like the headband are thinner and feel delicate. The headband is adjustable and metal-reinforced, so it has the extra strength where it counts. The padding on the headband is leatherette, which held up very well with extended use.

When it comes to comfort the Recon 500’s are designed quite well. I found the earcups quite spacious and surrounding padding very comfortable.

One of the features I really liked is the removable microphone arm. This makes the headset more multi-purposed in its everyday use. For example, when I wanted to listen to music on my commute, I could pop out the mic arm. This transforms the 500s into sleek headphones for life on the go. I really like this option and I wish more headset manufactures would opt for removable components.

Aside from the heat issues the headset is comfortable to wear. The adjustable sliders on the headband’s frame helped provide a great fit. The metal sliders allow you to customize the tension around your head providing a comfortable fit.

Recon 500 Audio PerformanceRecon 500 audio performance

The sound quality with the Recon 500 is excellent, punching much higher than its weight class. The massive 60mm drivers deliver rich, clean sound. This audio quality improvement stems from headset’s new eclipse dual driver technology. Each driver is now dedicated to separate highs and lows, the sound range no longer needs to compete with itself, it has its own space. This also allows the midrange audio to really shine with clearer, more detailed sound. This provides a richer audio profile that is very accurate, picking up subtle sounds better like footsteps. The bass is no slouch either offering punchy explosions and more full sounding weapon fire.

Recon 500 Audio MicRecon 500 microphone quality

The Recon 500 features a single removable analogue microphone. In terms of sound, it has great base level audio with distortion-free communication. Voice audio is quite good, and it doesn’t feature any shrill highs, which your teammates will appreciate.

To mute the mic, you’ll need to press a button on the earcup. The button press provides an audible “click” to your teammates, which can be slightly irritating. There is some passive noise reduction with Turtle Beach’s Truspeak technology, but I still had ambient noise coming through my feed. Overall, the mic provides a fuller body sound than previous iterations of the Recon model. It’s another welcome improvement in this latest entry of the 500-series.

Recon 500 Audio FinalFinal thoughts on the Turtle Beach Recon 500

The Turtle Beach Recon 500 is an excellent headset from its audio quality, design and overall value. The sound range with the two-way 60mm drivers is excellent, providing clear, detailed audio. The sound controls are implemented with the gamer in mind, keeping the mute button and volume controls easily accessible on the earcup. Strides have also been made to ensure this is a more comfortable experience with larger plush earcups and clamp pressure reduction. I highly recommend the Recon 500 headset to gamers and music lovers alike. Outside of gaming, I often found myself reaching for the Recon 500s for music and movies. It’s not just a great gaming headset, it delivers with all forms of audio.

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Matthew Rondina
Matthew has been involved in all things tech related since the start of the digital era. He shares his passion for technology in his day job as a teacher and via multiple media platforms. As a long-time veteran of the video game and tech industry, he's covered interactive entertainment and esports on the web, in video series, podcasts, and on international television. You can follow Matthew's tech-venture filled lifestyle on twitter, instagram @dapper_tux.