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Getting to visit the DTS booth at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas, I was impressed by the demonstration they had set up to show off their DTS Headphone:X sound processing technology. Basically, this technology emulates a surround sound system out of any pair of headphones. When I inquired about where we could get a retail headset with the technology, they pointed me to one of my favorite headset makers: Turtle Beach. Turtle Beach has been making gaming headphones for quite some time, with a huge number of models in their stable – even some with licensed artwork from video games and movies. Their Ear Force i60 Wireless Media Headset is the first audio product to embed the DTS: Headphone:X technology inside it.

The Ear Force i60 Wireless Media Headset was built from the ground up for those of us in the cult of Apple. It features Apple inspired, white and silver accents as well as a desktop control module/wireless base station that looks like Apple themselves designed it. Along each of the ear cups is a large array of buttons which control features like Bluetooth connectivity, volume, voice effects (more on that later), and EQ settings to name just a few. Unfortunately, all of these buttons to deal with make it easy to remember which one does which – especially when reaching for them while wearing the headphones.

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When I underwent the DTS Headphone:X demo at CES, I was very impressed – and I couldn’t wait to try the technology out. The biggest hurdle in doing so at the moment is that, in order to listen to audio in DTS Headphone:X, the audio needs to be mastered at the source using a special DTS algorithm. Otherwise, it doesn’t get utilized. So, I began the hunt for DTS Headphone:X mastered audio and my attention was brought to the Man of Steel Deluxe Edition soundtrack. When purchased, the disc comes with a code to download the full soundtrack in DTS Headphone:X via the Z+ sound app on the Apple app store. So, I bought a CD… I haven’t done that in a long time. I downloaded Z+, redeemed my download code, and began my Man of Steel listening experience. It was very, very impressive. The effect is eerily realistic and, if you close your eyes, it is easy to imagine yourself sitting in the middle of Hans Zimmer’s orchestra.┬áMy hope is that DTS can team up with more companies and studios to produce films and albums using the technology.

That isn’t to say that the Ear Force i60 headphones do not sound good without DTS Headphone:X. In fact, quite the opposite! The Ear Force i60 headphones feature 50mm drivers that emit some very clear sound through each of the low, medium, and high ranges. The headphones can be accessed and controlled wirelessly via the Turtle Beach app on the iOS platform. The wireless base/control station features touch-sensitive controls and feels exceptionally well-made. I always dislike it when when headphone control units feel cheap or too lightweight.

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I should note that while the ear cup material is comfortable, it doesn’t breathe very well, which caused my ears to sweat after long periods of intense gaming usage. Currently, I am playing a lot of New World Interactive’s multiplayer shooter, Insurgency, and all the explosions, gunfire, and even enemy footsteps come in loud and clear. Despite the fact that these were intended originally for the turtleneck-wearing Apple crowd, they work very well for PC gaming, so don’t be fooled by their Apple-y exterior. In addition to the shooting of Insurgency, I used these while playing the very realistic DCS: A-10C Warthog from Eagle Dynamics. Aside from the ear sweating issue after several hours, I was very pleased by how the headset handled all of the ambient noises of the aircraft. Also worth mentioning is that the Ear Force i60 headphones are capable of both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi wireless communication. This makes the very versatile in that they can be taken with you for travel, so you can use your iPhone or iPod Touch for playing music, etc.

One of the biggest hurdles for the Ear Force i60 is definitely its price point. At $399.95, they fit into the luxury headphone category, and that might be too expensive for some gamer’s pocketbooks – especially when Turtle Beach makes luxury, more gamer-centric headphones. However, if you want something that is a bit more versatile, the Ear Force i60 is a good choice.

Overall, the Turtle Beach Ear Force i60 Wireless Media Headset is a very high quality pair of headphones that feature great sound quality, wireless capability, and support for DTS Headphone: X. It is a bit pricey at an MSRP of $399.95, but the quality behind the headphones is very apparent and, if they are in your budget, you won’t be disappointed. The Ear Force i60’s are available at various retailers – including at Apple stores!

[ezcol_1half]Pros

  • Apple inspired design
  • Great sound quality
  • Long battery life
  • Hidden microphone

[/ezcol_1half] [ezcol_1half_end]Cons

  • Lack of DTS Headphone:X content available
  • Ear cups don’t breathe very well
  • Pricey

[/ezcol_1half_end]

[easyreview title=”Turtle Beach Ear Force i60 Wireless Headset Review Score” cat1title=”Overall Score (out of 5)” cat1detail=”” cat1rating=”4″ ]

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Jerry Paxton

A long-time fan and reveler of all things Geek, I am also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of GamingShogun.com