Turtle Beach Z Seven Ears-On: PC Gaming Gets an Earful

Of the many new headsets on display at Turtle Beach's booth here at E3, the one pair that really caught our eye was the company's Z Seven for Mac and PCs. Priced at $249, the Z Sevens are the first PC headphones to offer uncompressed surround sound audio. Naturally, we had to go ears-on with the Z Sevens to hear just how good they sounded.

The Z Sevens include a variety of interesting features including their own audio control unit (ACU) that lets you configure things such as volume, surround sound and chat settings. The ACU also offers its own presets if you don't feel like customizing your audio experience. Turtle Beach says this is the first time a PC headset has included an ACU, and it certainly paid of during our testing, allowing us to setup and save our own audio profile quickly and easily. The feature even works when listening to music, so you can set audio profiles for specific genres like rock, country or hip-hop.

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In addition to the ACU, the Z Sevens also include the ability to change the direction of the surround sound, ensuring your listening experience is tailored to your liking. Dynamic boost automatically increases the the volume of your game's chat client when the action starts to get intense and lower it when things calm down.  An optional Speaker Mode lets you plug your external stereo speakers into the ACU, allowing you to carry over your audio profiles to any compatible device.

But a headset is nothing if it's uncomfortable. Thankfully, Turtle Beach has packed the Z Seven's cans with memory foam, to help provide listeners with an exact fit. The ear pieces can also fold flat for when you wear them around your neck and unfold when you need to put them on. Best of all, if you want to use the Z Sevens to listen to music on the go, you can take off the microphone boom and start rocking out without looking like a tool.

Daniel P. Howley
LAPTOP Senior Writer
A newspaper man at heart, Dan Howley wrote for Greater Media Newspapers before joining Laptopmag.com. He also served as a news editor with ALM Media’s Law Technology News, and he holds a B.A. in English from The Richard Stockton College of New Jersey.