Turtle Beach Recon 70 review: Quite possibly the best affordable Xbox and PC headset

This $40 headset is easily worth every penny.

Windows Central Recommended Award

Turtle Beach is known for its gaming headsets above all else, with a range of options at every price point, for every device imaginable. Some of its higher-end headsets like the Turtle Beach Elite Atlas provide truly great sound, but you'll pay for it. If your budget doesn't quite stretch that far, or you're buying a gift for a loved one or relative, Turtle Beach has more affordable options, such as the Recon 70.

The Recon 70 combines some of Turtle Beach's recent design updates in the wireless Stealth 600 and bakes it into an affordable, $40 wired headset, compatible with every 3.5mm device out there.

After going ears-on for a week with this headset, it's clear this is one of the best affordable headset options on the market right now.

What you'll love about the Recon 70

The Turtle Beach Recon 70 is a surprisingly high-quality $40 headset, albeit with a totally no-frills approach to its feature set. Save for the flip-to-mute mic, which has become standard on many Turtle Beach headsets, there are very few noteworthy features. The Recon 70, however, thoroughly nails the basics.

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Speaker size40mm neodymium
Frequency response12Hz to 20kHz
FeaturesBuilt-in flip-to-mute mic,on-ear volume controls
Connectivity3.5mm wired(PlayStation, Xbox, PC, Nintendo Switch, mobile)

The Recon 70 marketing claims that this headset has "premium" cushioning on the speakers for your ears. It doesn't feel as nice or as thick as the airy fabric cups on the Turtle Beach Elite Atlas, but it is comfortable to wear for long periods of time. I had some reservations about the stingy amount of foam used on the top headband, but the broad shape of the headband and adjustable earcups ensures that it remains comfortable. The headset is also very light, comprised of attractive matte plastics that come in a range of color options, to match various consoles. You can grab a white version for the Xbox One S, a red version for the Nintendo Switch, or a blue one for PlayStation.

Sadly, there are no simple black or grey options for those of us who prefer muted colors, but you can spend a bit extra on the similar Atlas One if that's more your fancy.

When it comes to sound, the Recon 70 delivers. Turtle Beach's audio tuning accentuates the highs, where tactical audio cues often sit, for things like footsteps and so on. Coupled with Dolby Atmos, the headset provides a high-degree of positional awareness, which can bring advantages in competitive games. Additionally, the microphone is rock solid, with added convenience from the ability to mute by flipping it backward. Unlike some 3.5mm headsets I've reviewed for Xbox One, the Recon 70 doesn't echo back to those in party chat with you, even when you have everything on maximum volume.

Honestly, there's almost nothing to really dislike about this headset, save for a couple of minor feedback gripes.

What you might dislike about the Recon 70

Turtle Beach Recon 200

Turtle Beach Recon 200 (Image credit: Windows Central)

There's very little to complain about with the Recon 70, at least when you consider its price. Most of the things I would like to see in a headset would have inflated the price, so take this as a list of things worth being aware of.

There's no mic monitoring, and given the relatively isolating nature of the earcups, you might find yourself accidentally yelling since you're unable to hear your own voice while using them.

Additionally, while the sound quality is good, the highs are a little too aggressive and often drown out sounds that I feel should have a bit more pep. I shouldn't be able to hear footsteps more loudly than a booming explosion on the low end, for example. Footsteps might be more tactical, sure, but the result is a less-than-natural-sounding experience that is handled better on some of Turtle Beach's more expensive options.

Should you buy the Recon 70?

The Recon 70 is a solid option for those looking for an affordable heaset, with robust construction, comfortable design, and decent audio quality. There are no glaring issues, like microphone echoing on Xbox or PC, and while it has no bells and whistles, the flip-to-mute mic is a nice touch. Turtle Beach has nailed all the right features with the Recon 70.

There are no real downsides with the Recon 70 headset, for its price. This is an ideal headset for folks with slimmer budgets.

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!