Turtle Beach Recon 200 review: This $60 headset seems like it should cost much more

Windows Central Recommended Award

Turtle Beach's new Recon 200 headset's subtle carbon-fiber stylings and feature set are an enticing proposition for just $60, and that includes mic monitoring feedback so you don't yell at your teammates, amplified volume and bass boost.

But realistically, how much bang can you really get for your $60? Let's take a look (and listen).

What you'll love about Turtle Beach Recon 200

Turtle Beach Recon 200

Turtle Beach Recon 200 (Image credit: Windows Central)
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Frequency response20Hz to 20kHz
Speaker size40mm
Connection3.5 mm (120 cm), USB for battery charging
Cup space6 cm x 4.5 cm, oval
Cup styleFaux-leather
CompatibilityXbox One, PC, PS4, Mobile, and Nintendo Switch

Turtle Beach is enjoying a bit of a renaissance at the moment with its headset lineup as it courts esports professionals. Its latest budget option is the Recon 200, which feels deceptively high-quality. The headset is listed with compatibility for Xbox One, PlayStation 4 (PS4), Nintendo Switch and mobile devices, but in testing w,e found that it works perfectly well with PC as well, when set in Xbox mode.

What stood out to me immediately was the really nice design. It uses a lot of the same techniques found in Turtle Beach's previous lineup, including the flip-to-mute fixed microphone, and diagonal pivots on the cups, but the company has included this subtle, sexy carbon fiber-style two-tone finish, which looks great. The headband is also supported on the interior with a strip of brushed metal, which compliments the matte black tones and gunmetal accents found throughout. I really like this more serious Turtle Beach design and hope the company continues with it in the future.

The Recon 200 also doesn't disappoint in the sound department, delivering rich bass notes and crisp sound effects, elevated with surround software like Dolby Atmos and Windows Sonic. While the soundscape doesn't offer the same clarity and distinct tuning found in some of Turtle Beach's more expensive headsets, like the Elite Atlas, it still defies its $60 price point to deliver high-quality sound, with amplified volume and bass, owing to that internal battery. The mic quality is good enough for comms chatter but don't expect any miracles for podcasting or content creation.

Turtle BEach Recon 200

Turtle BEach Recon 200 (Image credit: Windows Central)

For the Recon 200, Turtle Beach also baked in some features powered by an internal battery, charged via an included USB cable. When powered on, the Recon 200 provides mic monitoring, which is adjustable via a dial on the headset. It's a huge step above the software mic monitoring on the Xbox One, allowing you to hear yourself while speaking. Since the headset is quite isolating with leatherette cups, being able to hear yourself speak is a nice bonus to prevent unintentional yelling.

While the Recon 200 delivers big in the value-for-money department, there are some downsides.

What you won't love about Turtle Beach Recon 200

I'm not a fan of the faux leather-style earcups, particularly on lower-end headsets. The lack of cool-feeling materials and foam in the earcups can make them quite clammy over time, even in a cold climate.

Also, I found them to be a tad tight across the top of my head. The cushion at the top isn't very thick at all, making them feel a little harsh to wear, particularly if you're sensitive to that sort of thing. Overall, they are comfortable, but they could certainly be better.

Should you buy Turtle Beach's Recon 200 gaming headset?

If you're looking specifically for a $60 headset, I'd say this is a great purchase, particularly if you value the mic monitoring aspect. The Recon 200 is cheap and it punches above its weight in the audio department, delivering great sound across both PC and Xbox One. The two-tone carbon fiber design looks great, and robust materials, complimented with metal interiors, should see this headset survive a lot of punishment.

While I would have preferred fabric earcups and thicker cushioning across the top of the headset, it's by no means what I'd call bad, especially for younger gamers who won't need to use the Recon 200 on its largest adjustment setting.

Overall, this is a headset that won't disappoint. You could spend a little bit more to get better audio and comfort, but the addition of mic monitoring makes this headset a cut above many others in the price range.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden is a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by tea. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his XB2 Podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!