Turtle Seashore Xbox Recon controller evaluation: Sport audio mixing made simple

MSRP $60.00

“Turtle Seashore’s Xbox Recon controller is loaded with creative and helpful on-board options at an incredibly low value.”


Nice construct high quality

Sturdy audio management

Effectively-placed again buttons

Helpful Professional-Purpose characteristic

Wonderful worth



Conflicting options

At any time when a brand new online game console drops, third-party producers get to work. There’s all the time a race to see who can create must-own equipment that outsmart console makers themselves. That’s particularly obvious with controllers, the place firms tackle the inconceivable process of bettering gamepads which have been completely engineered by giants like Sony and Microsoft.

It takes plenty of inventive effort to perform that lofty objective, however Turtle Seashore has struck gold with its Recon Xbox controller. Somewhat than making an attempt to outdo an everyday Xbox controller’s primary options, it gives a wholly new imaginative and prescient of what a controller can do. Turtle Seashore has basically constructed a sound mixer right into a controller, giving gamers a solution to EQ audio, regulate sport quantity, and even management voice chat on the fly. It’s precisely the sort of innovation one may count on from an organization finest identified for its headsets.

The Xbox Recon isn’t only a area of interest product for devoted audiophiles; it’s a superb console companion that rethinks the utility of a controller. Its wired setup and some sophisticated choices maintain it again from being the last word Xbox controller, however a low value level makes it a severe different to Microsoft’s baseline Sequence X controller.

Assembly the baseline

With any third-party controller, there’s all the time an important bar that must be handed: It must have all the fundamental performance of its first-party counterpart. Corporations like PowerA have created advanced controllers for consoles just like the Nintendo Swap that includes additional options on the expense of rumble and Amiibo assist.

The Recon cuts no such corners. It has every little thing one involves count on from an Xbox Sequence X controller. The button format is an identical, with minor tweaks to some positions. The joysticks don’t really feel all too totally different, it rumbles simply as anticipated, and it even contains an eight-way D-pad, which is lacking on another third-party Xbox pads. Even with some slight variations, every little thing is in its proper place.

Actually, the Recon even goes just a little farther in some locations. It contains cooling grips and options two mappable buttons on the again, neither of that are included on the usual Xbox wi-fi controller. Resulting from the truth that it doesn’t use batteries, it’s additionally a bit lighter than Microsoft’s controller.

The Recon cuts no such corners. It has every little thing one involves count on from an Xbox Sequence X controller.

The one disadvantage right here is that the Recon can really feel just a little extra toy-like than the subtle Xbox Wi-fi Controller. That’s hardly a lot of a knock, although. Turtle Seashore simply passes the primary take a look at right here by making a controller that checks each field and provides some tweaks of its personal, all whereas assembly a comparable $60 value vary.

Superhuman sound

If the Recon simply stopped there, it could be a superbly appropriate third-party choice. However the truth that I haven’t even talked about its core perform but speaks to how strong a bundle this finally ends up being. The Recon is constructed with audio in thoughts and contains a number of methods to tweak the sound in a mini command heart on the prime of the controller.

With a number of fastidiously positioned buttons, gamers can individually regulate sport and chat audio individually. That enables anybody to basically combine audio on the fly with out diving into menus and making changes. Often, one would wish exterior instruments to do that, so the truth that it’s constructed proper into the Recon is tremendously helpful. It even incorporates a mute button that enables gamers to chop their microphone with out fiddling for a button on their headset.

I can’t consider any online game controller that’s ever even aimed to do what Turtle Seashore has completed right here.

I did discover that the chat management didn’t appear to work proper on PC video games I examined. When enjoying Again four Blood’s beta utilizing in-game chat, bumping down chat quantity had no impact. That left me unclear on the place precisely I may use that characteristic exterior of enjoying on an precise Xbox.

Going one step additional with audio, the controller options 4 equalization presets that permit gamers toggle between totally different sound profiles. Gamers can increase the bass, prioritize sport chat, enhance treble, or go for a extra even combine by way of Turtle Seashore’s Signature Sound choice. There’s additionally a one-press button that prompts Superhuman Listening to, which boosts quiet seems like footsteps (although I discovered that it simply turns up every little thing basically).

All of that comes collectively to provide gamers full management over the sport audio. When enjoying Final Cease, I may rapidly swap my EQ to prioritize voices on the fly. Throughout a musical montage, I may simply as simply flip the bass on to spherical out the orchestral rating. Gamers will most definitely choose their favourite presets and depart it at that, however I discovered myself flipping forwards and backwards only for the sheer novelty of all of it.

I’ve to emphasise how spectacular it’s that each one of that is occurring with none form of software program or driver set up. All of those choices are housed throughout the controller itself. I can’t consider any online game controller that’s ever even aimed to do what Turtle Seashore has completed right here. Having the ability to regulate microphone monitoring or increase bass simply as one would faucet a button to leap is extraordinarily spectacular and makes the Recon a real, one-of-a-kind controller.

Perks and quirks

With all its bells and whistles, the Recon nonetheless has a number of notable quirks. Most significantly, it’s a completely wired controller, which is its most important sticking level. For many who don’t need to thread a mesh wire from their Sequence X to the sofa, that is perhaps a tricky promote. It doesn’t assist that gamers want to make use of wired headphones right here too, including some cable juggling. That’s made the Recon extra of a go-to for my PC than my Xbox, as enjoying tethered is extra frequent in my very own PC setup.

It’s crammed with nice options, although every provides mounting complexity to the gadget.

The controller additionally options two mappable again buttons, that are completely unobtrusive, although that’s not with out some points. The triggers can’t be mapped to again buttons for some purpose, nor can button mixtures. On the plus facet, gamers can arrange 4 totally different mapping profiles and flip between them rapidly. I had A and B mapped to at least one profile and the best and left bumpers set on one other, for instance.

The again buttons even have some odd interactions with the Recon’s different particular characteristic (sure, there’s extra): Professional-Purpose. When the choice is enabled, gamers can maintain down the right-back button to scale back stick sensitivity. For instance, one may press it whereas aiming down sights to drastically drop the sensitivity straight away and permit for exact aiming. There are even 4 totally different presets for Professional-Purpose. The one concern is that you may’t actually map a management to the again button and use Professional-Purpose on the identical time, or else you may leap each time you attempt to goal. It’s a tremendous characteristic for a controller, however one which butts heads with another choice.

That’s the story of the Recon basically. It’s crammed with nice options, although every provides mounting complexity to the gadget. Making an attempt to tab by means of EQ presets or map buttons on the fly could be a little bit of a circus, and you’ll’t all the time make the most of each characteristic directly. In comparison with the magnificence of a standard Xbox controller, the Recon can positively really feel complicated the primary few occasions you employ it.

However that’s a vital trade-off contemplating how a lot the controller can do with no exterior software program. Turtle Seashore has loaded a $60 controller with on-board options that different firms had but to dream up. Contemplating that the value and construct high quality is completely as much as snuff with Microsoft, you actually solely must make the most of one additional characteristic to get your cash’s price. Even in case you solely find yourself utilizing Professional-Purpose or one thing as small because the mute button, you’re getting extra performance than a standard Xbox controller. It’s stunning that this received’t run gamers $100, however you received’t hear me complaining a couple of whole lot.

Our take

Whereas third-party controllers could be a dangerous proposition, the Xbox Recon cuts by means of the noise by doubling down on Turtle Seashore’s strengths. The audio-first controller offers gamers plenty of useful options that make it simple to tweak the sound combine on the fly. Even with some notable quirks, Turtle Seashore is doing one thing really distinctive right here, which makes the Recon stand out in a subject that’s solely going to get extra crowded.

Is there a greater different?

For a primary wi-fi controller, the baseline Xbox Sequence X continues to be your finest guess. The hybrid controller-mixer setup is considerably first-of-its-kind, although.

How lengthy will it final?

It’s all the time laborious to say with third-party controllers, however Turtle Seashore is thought for high quality merchandise. Will probably be stunning in case you don’t get a number of years out of it.

Do you have to purchase it?

Sure. The Xbox Recon is a surprisingly helpful controller for gamers who use headphones whereas in-game or for anybody on the lookout for some additional button customization.

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