It’s time to review my personal favorite of the Turtle Beach revamped series of headsets: [easyazon_link asin=”B002KSPL36″ locale=”US” new_window=”default” nofollow=”default” tag=”vicdor-20″ add_to_cart=”default” cloaking=”default” localization=”default” popups=”default”]the Turtle Beach X31[/easyazon_link].

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In a nutshell, I think these headphones are great. They’re wireless, they’re extremely comfortable and they provide a great sound quality with the ability to use chat features with your Xbox. In some of my other reviews that I’ve done, such as for the X41s, I felt as though the overall experience was coming up short in comparison to others around the same price range. That was a big factor in preventing me from settling on them as my preferred wireless headset from Turtle Beach.

The X31, for a couple of reasons, I found a whole lot more enjoyable. I really liked the X12s (which I wrote about here) that were an upgrade on the X11s, but the X31’s wireless capability is something that appealed to me a whole lot more than these. It also seems to be more in line with the X11/12s which are very good headsets.

There are downsides to the Turtle Beach X31s of course that I’ll talk about later on in this review. There is one particular drawback to using the Turtle Beach wireless range which I’ve mentioned in my article for the X41s. I’ve not experienced it too greatly but I know others have.

I’ll go into more detail about that later, but for now let’s start the review by looking at the design.

Design

This Turtle Beach x31 review began with an unboxing of the babies. First and foremost, when you pull the headphones out of the box, you’ll realize how solid and sturdy they feel. They’re perhaps a little on the heavier side compared to the PX21s for example, but I’ve had no issues while wearing them.

I want my headphones to be solid. It makes me feel like I’ve actually bought a quality headset and I definitely got that impression with these.

The X41s sport a familiar black and white design that you’ll see elsewhere in the Ear Force series and they also continue with a theme of maintaining high levels of comfort. Turtle Beach have made a good impression on me in regards to making comfortable headsets and I expected no less from this particular range. I wasn’t let down.

The earphones are cushioned very nicely with a cloth material. I’m a big fan of leather earpads normally but the cloth on the X31s feel softer than leather alternatives. As an overall experience with cloth, this has to be the best for me.

The cups sit nicely over your ears like other Turtle Beach headsets for maximum comfort. I can handle long gaming sessions and watching back-to-back TV shows for hours on end with a headset on, and experience no discomfort on my ears. I’ve heard some people complain about the X31s being a bit too heavy whilst sitting on your head, but isn’t something I’ve personally experienced.

The microphone is NOT detachable. Some people won’t like this but for me, I’m used to it. It follows similar designs as other Turtle Beach headsets with a strong but flexible metal arm that you can twist and turn into whatever position suits you best. What I didn’t like about it, though, is that it came with a big, black foam hat. I thought it was a bit of an eyesore so I took it off.

There is a microphone monitoring system in the X31s which I’m glad to report because some people look for headphones specifically for this feature. I’m not too fussed about it but I can see the benefit of being able to hear how loud you’re talking whilst having explosions and gunfire, or loud exhausts and engines bellowing into your ears.

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Controls and Wireless

The controls to monitor the headset are found on the left earphone at the bottom and are extremely easy to use. Conveniently, the design helps you determine which button you’re pressing by the feel of it so you don’t have to take the headset off and check.

There is a little rectangle button for effects with the X31 with three separate modes on them. The first is a bass boost, which simply initiates the bass in the headphones. This is really, really good and makes powerful sound effects like explosions or an engine revving carry a much heavier presence.

The second effect is a 3D sound simulation. The operative word here is “simulation” because it’s not real 3D sound like a surround sound system would provide. It’s more a “widening” and in all honesty, isn’t really that impressive. It makes the game sound a bit hollow and wasn’t something I bothered with. The third effect is a combination of the previous two effects.

The X31s come with a standard scroll to control the volume of the headset. These headphones can get extremely loud so be careful with them! I’ve had a few instances where, out of instinct, I’ve had to suddenly chuck them off my head to avoid destroying my ear drums! It gets even louder with the Chat Boost feature that Turtle Beach have adopted with a few different headsets that are in the X31 too.

If you’re playing loudly enough and have the Chat Boost on, the chat volume will automatically increase along with the game volume, so the chat doesn’t get drowned out. If your mates are quiet and start speaking at a particularly loud point in the game, you can expect to lob your earphones to the other side of the room in pain.

They’re cool controls to play around with and simplistic in design. I’m sure if you buy these headphones or already own a pair you’ll create your own custom settings and adjustments based on the games you play and your preferences.

On the left earphone, you’ll also find the port into which you plug your Xbox controller. This allows you to use the chat features. You can use these headphones for the Playstation as well, but you’ll have to make do without being able to talk.

The wireless features are simple to set up but I’m not going to go into how to do that. However, I can tell you that it’s a pretty straightforward process. Some wireless headsets will leave you confused and with a mess of wires and boxes, but the X31 couldn’t have a handier set up.

I’m a big fan of wireless headphones and controllers which is why the X31s are my favorite headset in the Turtle Beach range. With some wireless headsets, the wireless signal is dependent on the line of sight with the receiver. If someone got in the way for example, the signal weakens. This isn’t the case with Turtle Beach’s headsets and the sound doesn’t drop. In fact, it has a range of around 30 feet.

The one issue with the X31s, very much like the X41s, is that there is a bit of interference with wifi routers and some mobile phones. This is what I mentioned right at the beginning of this Turtle Beach X31 review.

Turtle Beach X31 Popping Problem Solved!

Occasionally, you encounter the infamous Turtle Beach x31 popping and crackling noise problem. This also happens with the x41 gaming headset. It wouldn’t be such a nuisance, except for the fact that it doesn’t get masked by in-game sound.

Luckily, I’ve scored the net for a solution to the Turtle Beach x31 popping and crackling dilemma! And it works for the x41s as well. Watch the video below to see it!

The x31s have been known to cause some wifi routers to disconnect from the internet altogether. But it’s very rare. Most of the time, it’s simply a case of moving the router away and…problem solved!

Mobile phones causing interference is likewise very rare.

Now, before we wrap up this Turtle Beach X31 review, let’s look into the sound.

Sound Quality

Before I tried the Turtle Beach X31 headphones out for the first time, I did a bit of research and found differing views on the sound quality of the headset.

Personally, I found them to be very impressive. I had hoped that they would’ve been a surround sound headset but sadly it runs on a stereo signal. For a stereo sound headset, though, they are quite clear and defined.

With the bass boost on, it really improves the overall sound profile. But as I mentioned, I’m not so keen on the 3D simulation. Like other stereo headsets, you’ll be able to identify which direction a sound is coming from but you won’t be able to tell if it’s high up or down below.

The 3D simulation feature isn’t going to benefit every gamer, but depending on your personal gaming needs and preferences, it may prove to be a useful feature.

At around $100, you’re getting a very crisp sounding headset. I wrote about the X41s being disappointing and not justifying the price tag even with the surround system. With the X31s, it’s the complete opposite. This headset actually exceeded any expectations I had for the sound quality, which is the primary reason it left such a good impression on me.

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Gameplay Video

Are These Worth Buying?

So, overall from me, it’s a definite yes. The X31s are an extremely solid piece of equipment in both its sturdiness and overall functioning.

It’s rare that people are so positive about stereo headsets these days with more demand for surround sound but I can’t fault these as much as I thought I could. They really are a very good headset.

The X31s give me exactly what I want from a headset. They allow me to chat to my friends along with the game noise, they are extremely comfortable and best of all, they’re wireless and look great.

The only major negative I can think of is the interference with the wifi. Luckily for me, I don’t have any issues with it but I know it can be enough to put some people off. If you live in a small apartment for example, or there’s no way to move your router, you’ll have to either nut up and accept the fact you’ll have a bit of interference or go for a different brand or wired alternative.

Other than all of the positives I’ve mentioned about this headset, they’re a great price at around $100, depending on where you shop. They’re great value for money and are definitely a headset I’d recommend whether an experienced audiophile, casual gamer or a newbie.