I must admit, when I saw that Turtle Beach’s Recon Spark is part of its ProSpecs line of headsets with a more glasses-friendly fit, I was sceptical. But I was curious: was this more meaningless marketing guff, or does this newfangled technology actually make a difference?
Well, my four-eyed friends, it turns out that yes, it does.
The Turtle Beach Recon Spark is a very good headset — especially if, like me, you sport a pair of specs as you go about your day. The 3.5mm jack works with basically everything with a 3.5mm port, too, which is a nice bonus.
Unfortunately, as well padded as these are on the sides, the band across the top is a little lacklustre.
A small, thin strip of padding in all that sits between your scalp and the hard plastic band.
Though not really much of an issue short sessions, if you like to unplug from your console and plug into your phone, you may find yourself wishing for a little more padding.
I can’t help but wonder what will be left after a hear of heavy use, though at the price you’ll pay for these, I imagine that a year’s wear and tear is likely going to land just on the right side of acceptable.
It’s also worth noting that, despite housing a standard 40mm speaker in each earcup, the headset feels incredibly small.
I like to think that I have a fairly normal sized head, but my ears only just fit into the earcups.
They’re also a little on the tight side — there is a fair amount of give, so you won’t struggle to fit them on your head, but they’re tight enough that if I’m wearing them when there’s no audio playing I can hear my own heartbeat.
This isn’t a dealbreaker for me, but that will certainly freak a few people out.
The microphone on this headset is something that caught me by surprise.
Rather than the standard flexible mic or the removable mics that seem to be all the rage these days, the Recon Sparks feature a flip up mic that can sit in one of three positions — folded all the way back, all the way down or half-way in-between.
There is a volume wheel at the back of the left earcup, which is handy because unlike in-line controls, it’s always where you expect it to be.
However, there are no other controls to see. I was pretty disappointed with the lack of a mute button until I realised that flipping the mic to anywhere but fully down mutes the mic.
This, I have decided, is genius. No more filling, wondering if you’re accidentally on mute — you know from where your mic is whether it is on or not.
I’ve tested this everywhere from my PS4 to Zoom and the mute function still works. It looks a little silly on Zoom, admittedly, but I’m impressed by the combination of form and function.
Without any inline controls, the lilac cable feels a little left out.
Though it’s a good length for gaming — long enough to reach your PC without dragging on the ground — it feels like an afterthought.
The material feels a little cheap, which is a shame for an otherwise smart pair of headphones.
Having discussed everything but audio, let’s take a look at how they sound. The quality is exactly what you’d expect from Turtle Beach.
The dynamic range is excellent, the audio is sharp and clear and the bass feels nice and smooth.
The treble extension isn’t the greatest that I’ve come across and hearing your own heartbeat is going to be a little disturbing if you’re playing a horror game, but otherwise, no complaints.
The Verdict – 5/5
The Recon Sparks are, in my experience, the very best that the Recon line has to offer. With similar models at both higher and lower price points, I keep finding myself coming back to the Sparks as the best budget headphones that Turtle Beach has to offer. The ProSpecs option really is worth spending a little more on if you wear glasses and the onboard controls are fantastic. This really is an excellent headset.
- The ProSpecs technology makes a real difference
- The self-muting flip mic and on-ear volume control are brilliant
- The audio quality is pretty good, with clear tones until you get into the high trebles
- The headphones are a little too tight
- Nowhere on the packaging goes it mention that the mic is self-muting
- The headset doesn’t hit the same high trebles as some of its competitors
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