"Worthwile if you don't want to wake anyone up..."4.0 starson by mouseclick
Pros: Good quality. Works as advertised - mostly. Actually is slightly better than your home stereo because the sound is right in your ear. Setup is easy.
Cons: Button placement can be confusing. Some hiss when there is no audio. Expensive. Might not be loud enough for the most discerning of audiophiles but certainly loud enough for most.
Summary: In a nutshell, the X41s are very good. I have mine for an XBox 360 Elite. Setup is simple and quick. If you have a universal remote (I have the Harmony One) and previously were using external 5.1 sound, don?t forget to reprogram the remote to not go through your home stereo. That is unless you still want to have 5.1 through your home stereo. For me, the purpose was to not have to so I don?t wake everyone up with late night gaming and still have 5.1 sound via the X41s (actually, they are 7.1). So, that?s the good viewpoint ? overall, they are worth it. In researching which ones to buy, I read some folks complaining about loud crackles and pops. I don?t have this problem. The manual actually covers this, stating if you get crackles and pops, you probably have it too close to another electronics device and it is causing interference, or you have it too far away. I have mine setup next to the XBox, probably some 6 inches away and I sit with the wireless headset around 12 feet away and I get no crackles or pops.After playing with these now for a couple of months and many, many hours, here's an update on some negatives. Still, overall, I'd rate them 4 stars... The crackle noise folks complain about is likely due to batteries dying. But, I replace the batteries and it goes away. The cable for the chat can very, very easily com unplugged as it is easy to accidentally snag it with your hand during play and they pop out too easy - nothing to lock it in. This cable is also the cause of hiss problems. Turn up the chat volume and you get a loud hiss. Could be the cable quality or could be console quality, not sure which but if you have chat too loud, it is bad. Chat with certain players is too loud, while too low for others - hard to get the perfect volume (the difference with how loud some people are is like one yelling and one whispering). The volume control on chat is bad - either too low or too high and difficult to get the perfect volume because of old-style wheel turn for volume
The volume level is good enough for me but, I can actually see some folks who might want it louder. If I had to try and paint you an analogy as to how loud they are ? imagine driving and that car next to you has their stereo loud enough you can make out the lyrics of the song playing (both your windows being down). Now imagine you were sitting in their car ? that?s how loud it is. But, some folks that might be looking for high performance headsets might actually want it loud enough that three cars away could make out the lyrics (and suffer hearing loss in the meantime). The bass boost is OK but, not great ? you can tell a slight difference. Despite claims on the Turtle Beach website that it is so quiet when you first turn them on that you don?t know if they are working or not, I do hear a noticeable hiss but, the hiss does not have any impact on my game play (I don?t notice it once I start playing). I used the flimsy optical connect that came with it (very, very thin and appears to be low quality). Perhaps a better grade of optical connect may get rid of the hiss or at least lessen it (I still have to try this). There is no warning on battery life going down so, just plan to buy a set of rechargeables or have a set of batteries on standby. You will not be warned (except maybe degraded performance) that the batteries are low ? plan to swap them every 10-15 hours of game play so there is no concern that they?ll give out during game play. The volume, bass boost and power controls are all close together on the headset so, it is easy to accidentally hit the wrong button (for example, to turn off bass boost when you meant to change the volume). That?s about it from the complaints department. Oh yeah, they are expensive at around $170-$220. Paying that much for headsets just has that perception because they seem like dumb devices (I paid $199 for my iPhone) but, if that is not a problem to you, you should be pleased with the X41s.
Updated on Jan 17, 2010