I am in the market for headphones so I visited a few local electronics stores to see what is available; It seems that at least 15% of BestBuy’s floor space is dedicated to headphones, with shelf space allocated in the PC, xBox, Playstation and Wii sections- plus two aisles of additional headphones and ear buds for MP3 players….
Turtle Beach is a long-time player in the headset market and they have a staggering number of headsets for sale (I counted 34 different headsets- just for PC- on their main webpage; note: seven of these are ‘recertified’ models and several others are specific game/movie branding duplicates).
The model names they use do not seem to much sense; most are prefixed with X, DX, XP, PX, DPX, of Z and followed by 1-3 digits plus an occasional trailing letter. The Z-Seven appears to be their flagship, followed by the Z300 and Z22. The first two are wireless models but the Z22 is a wired model (i.e. Z does not indicate ‘wireless’). The Z300 states it is a 7.1 surround sound model, and it seems to share this with the Z-Seven, the DP11, the DPX21, the DX12 and the ‘Charlie’ models- but not the Z22, the PX22, or the X12 (perhaps ‘D’ is for Dolby surround- but not on the Z-Seven or Z300?)
There appears to be zero effort to use model numbers as indicators of what the headset actually does. No matter, I decided to click the top headsets and compare their features:
It appears the person that is in charge of entering in the headset information no longer works at Turtle Beach?
Looking into the comparison, a good deal of information that I would like to know is missing, such as:
- Wired or Wireless?
- Bluetooth Capable?
- Surround Sound or Stereo?
- Battery Life?
One item lists that it supports at least one audio input (stereo 3.5mm aux input jack- but I hope they have additional inputs for 7.1 audio) and another lists it has a USB port (for Chat & Power)…
However, they do take the time to note that *most* of the models I looked at come with a quick start guide and a Turtle Beach sticker (-which no one really cares about).
The Turtle Beach website is pretty, but completely useless for deciding on a purchase.
Instead of me spending another 45m in the aisles of BestBuy trying to decipher what the difference is between the Z-Seven and the Z300 (other than $50) I think I will go try out something from Creative Labs (which appears to make ‘only’ 14 models of gaming headsets) as they include relevant information on their website to help facilitate my purchase decision:
To Turtle Beach: try to work out a comprehensible naming standard that doesn’t looks like you pulled random letters and numbers out of a bag- and please update your website with semi-relevant information on your products…