I am a bit of an oddball when it comes to headsets and audio. I have a large over-ear headset, it’s fantastic but I just can’t stand how clunky it is and the hassle in setting it up. I’ve tried a ton of in ear options. Some have been okay for an hour or two but most become unbearably uncomfortable pretty quickly and lead to constant fidgeting. Hearing that the market leader in gaming audio Turtle Beach was going to offer an in ear option, was an exciting prospect. There’s a lot to love at face (ear?) value here, the price is £24.99, it is compatible with every console and the brand is trusted and beloved. Is it worth getting it though? Let’s find out in this Turtle Beach Battle Buds Review.
The first thing you’ll notice is how lightweight this is while still looking like a premium product. The Turtle Beach Battle Buds design is very sleek and pretty discreet. It isn’t made from cheap plastic either, at no point did I worry that messing around with the mic was going to cause me to accidentally snap this in two. The removable boom mic means that you can easily place the product in storage or stick it in your pocket to take out and use the earphones elsewhere. There’s great customization available for the earbuds as well.
Right away I was very impressed. The max volume on the audio is exceptional, this makes an immediate impression. One of the games I played with these was Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. Using these small earbuds meant I was able to play for six hours last weekend straight without ever feeling uncomfortable. The way the sounds simply leaks through the headset and into your eyes is intensely engaging. I’m not an expert in sound, but I could barely notice a difference between this and the two other (much more expensive) over-ear headsets I own. Booming musical tracks are the one place I did notice the difference, such as Skyrim’s opening salvo. They lacked the weight they normally have but this wasn’t a huge difference, merely noticeable. Where the headset targets, smaller sounds such as footsteps, reloading, movement and chat, the headset excels. For games like Rainbow Six Siege and Fortnite, the headset offers some really neat advantages. I felt much more tactically aware of situations than I ever usually do. Especially in Siege where there is so much technology involved. Being aware of traps or of the proximity of drones really helps you to plan your next moves.
The selling points here are clear: Lightweight and compatibility. If you own a Nintendo Switch then these are an absolute must-own accessory simply because they can come anywhere you go. Being able to break out The World Ends With You on a train and actually enjoy the magnificent soundtrack made my daily trains genuinely bearable instead of the nightmare fueled horror shows they normally are. The amount of customisation is good but one annoyance is the in-line controls. It’s a tough situation, the controls being any bigger would ruin the form factor but for anyone with normal sized hands, it can be a pain trying to adjust setting while playing games. Speaking of games… what did I test these with?
The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim – Skyrim’s booming soundtrack made it an ideal candidate. The game felt alive on Nintendo Switch thanks to the small sound effects making a big impression despite the overall soundtrack not quite hitting the majestic high notes it’s capable of.
Rainbow Six Siege – Ubisoft’s team shooter was a perfect choice. The amount of coordination required to play this game properly means you need to be constantly talking while also keeping your ears to the ground for movement and hazards. These earbuds were fantastic and the chat audio is super clear.
Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice – I’ve mentioned this already but an extended session here felt comfortable and immersive.
Fortnite – Again, despite the manic action, on-screen communication remained clear through these earbuds.
The World Ends With You – This is a game with a soundtrack that completely demands attention and respect. These earbuds really made that possible.
The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild – Stick these in. Head to Hyrule Castle. It’s utterly majestic.
Days Gone – I wasn’t really impressed by the audio in Days Gone, it felt very underwhelming. However, using these really brought the world and the population to life, especially the hordes. It was completely terrifying and gripping to hear the vast amounts of freakers on your tail. It really emphasised the scale of your task and the audio alone conveyed the size of the horde.