E3 means games, but not just games. It also means peripherals. Turtle Beach has arrived on the scene with a new generation of Xbox 360 gaming headsets, with the super premium XP500 joining the economy-centric XL1. The former offers 7.1-channel surround sound as well as Bluetooth chatting, while the Ear Force XL1 handles just the basics. These headsets join the recently announced PX3 and Z6A models, all making their debuts at the 2011 Electronic Entertainment Expo in Los Angeles, California.
Like the Ear Force PX5, the new Ear Force XP500 delivers all of the PX5’s features, along with wireless Xbox 360 chat via Bluetooth. Like the PX5, the XP500 incorporates programmable custom presets that allow independent customization of the chat, game and microphone signals. These custom presets are stored in the headset and can be selected on the fly during specific parts of the game to emphasize sounds like enemy footsteps or ammo reloads that might otherwise be difficult to hear.
The XP500 sets itself apart from the PX5 with its ability to function with the Xbox 360 completely wirelessly right out of the box. The included Xbox 360 Bluetooth Chat Adapter (XBA) lets players eliminate the chat wire connecting their headset and controller, making it the first Xbox 360 headset with wireless chat. The XP500’s dual-paring Bluetooth functionality also enables the headset to answer mobile phone calls and stream music from Bluetooth enabled digital audio players while enjoying the freedom of wireless chat. The XBA adapter will also be available for purchase on the Turtle Beach website for PX5 owners looking to upgrade to full wireless Xbox LIVE chat.
The XP500 will drop this fall for $269.95, while the XL1 will ship in the same time frame for just $39.95.