Wireless Earbuds

Review Turtle Beach Recon Spark : A Comfortable Headset Let Down By Its Sound Quality

Turtle Beach’s new Recon Spark headset is a low-cost, over-ear gaming headset that costs $49 and is made to work with all consoles, PCs, and mobile devices with a 3.5mm headphone jack. Even though it is priced like one of the best budget gaming headsets, it has some features that are only found on higher-end headsets. But it’s a crowded market, and Corsair has recently shown with the $39 Corsair HS35 and $49 Corsair HS50 that they are very strong.

1. Design

The 40mm speaker drivers are at the front and center of the Recon Spark. They are housed in ear cups that aren’t too small or too big, so they fit easily around my ears, which aren’t too small or too big.

The Recon Spark headset is mostly made out of plastic. The shell of the ear cups, the mic arm, the headband, and the sliders that let you change the size are all made out of plastic. On the left ear cup, there is also a small volume knob made of plastic.
I bent the headphones a little bit, which is more than most people would do, and they didn’t break. They didn’t even creak, and the only sound they made was a slight clacking as the sliders that changed the size moved in their housing.
On the other hand, the plastic feels rough when you touch it. It isn’t covered in anything, and it has a lot of sharp corners. Still, it’s better than the hard angles I had to deal with on the IOGear Kaliber Gaming Fokus II mouse, since these headphones don’t have any hard angles that get stuck in my ears.

One part of the building isn’t made of plastic. Metal is in the headband, but it’s in a place where plastic is, so it doesn’t really stand out. When the sliders to change the size are moved out, you can see it best. It’s a nice touch that makes it look like the Corsair HS35, whose adjustment sliders are also made of metal.

The Recon Spark headset doesn’t care much about comfort. The top cushion isn’t very thick, which puts pressure on the top of my head. Aside from that, the comfort is fine, but nothing special. The memory foam in the ear pads is just enough to spread out the pressure and stop the clamping force from pushing the speakers into my ears. The ear pads are mostly made of fake leather, but the inside is made of mesh to let air in. The holes in the pads are also big enough that they don’t put too much pressure on the edge of my ears.

The ear cups can turn and swivel a lot, so they can be adjusted to fit properly around the ears. But the size adjusters on the headband don’t move out very far, so the headset won’t easily stretch to fit around bigger heads. When I bend the headband, the very top bends more easily than the sides. It will even start to bend in the opposite direction, which is something I’ve never seen in a pair of headphones before.

The ProSpecs design of the ear cushions keeps them from putting too much pressure on the earpieces of glasses. This is done by using softer foam in that area. Sure enough, when I put on a pair of sunglasses, I didn’t feel any weird pressure points. In terms of comfort, though, the Recon Spark is just a little less good than the Corsair HS35.

The microphone is a good part of the design of the Recon Spark. It has a flip-to-mute feature that works just fine. And even though the mic is on an arm that can’t be moved, it stayed at the side of my mouth so it didn’t get in the way when I tried to take a drink during a game.

The Recon Spark is mostly white, with lavender accents on the size adjustment slider, the Turtle Beach logos on and inside each ear cup, the cable, and the strip of plastic where the ear cups meet the cushions. Only the last part has a metallic, shiny look that would have made the design more interesting if it were used elsewhere. Most likely, you’ll either love or hate the way it looks. The cable is made of rubber and ends in a 3-pole connector. However, Turtle Beach includes a splitter cable that makes the cable twice as long.

2. Gaming

The performance by Recon Sparks can be described as good and OK. In other words, there is nothing bad about it, which is impressive for a headset of this price. The 40mm drivers are pretty standard for a cheap headset, but there are some with 50mm drivers that cost about the same. Still, they are pretty good at making noise. I used the Recon Spark headset to play games and listen to music for hours, and the sound quality never let me down.

I played Friday the 13th for a few hours, and as Jason crept around the camp, the headset gave me all the creepy vibes I needed. The sound in Insurgency: Sandstorm was clear and strong. Explosions and air strikes blasted through the headset, and the shouts of enemies in nearby buildings were as real as I’m used to in this game. When I had to listen for enemies, I could tell where they were coming from and point my crosshairs in the right direction.
The fake leather lining of the ear pads helps block out some outside noise. When music was playing, I could easily block out most of the other noises in a busy cafe. That’s a step up from the Corsair HS35, which didn’t block out much sound, and the headset didn’t get too hot inside.The Recon Spark headset has a good to great balance of tones. Aside from how well it held up in games, I also listened to a lot of music, where the balance is even more obvious. The mid-high vocals, background sounds, slow-building atmosphere, and violins all came together beautifully in The Man’s Sleep Forever. Even when the lowest notes were played, nothing was lost. When I listened to Spiteful Intervention by Of Montreal on the Corsair HS35, the bass frequencies drowned out the treble, but the Recon Spark got the balance right.

The Recon Spark’s performance has some highs and lows, but nothing goes so low as to be bad. And the sound quality is good enough to make up for the mic.


The Recon Spark goes head-to-head with other inexpensive headsets in its class. It sounds great, has a decent mic, is well-made, and is comfortable enough to easily justify its $49 price tag. But the $39 Corsair HS35 is more comfortable and better made, and the $39 HS50 has fewer problems.

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