Turtle Beach Ear Force HPA

by Rob Williams on February 27, 2006 in Audio & Media

Can’t set up a 5.1 speaker setup, but want true surround sound? Maybe you want surround sound to have late at night when your families in bed?! We are taking a look at a new 5.1 headset from Turtle Beach, and throw many tests at it to see just how good it’s 5.1 capabilities are.

5.1 DVD’s and Audio CD’s

5.1 Concert DVD’s

The two concert DVD’s I used for testing were Lamb of God – Killadelphia and Bad Religion – Live At The Palladium. Both DVD’s use Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound. To do testing, I first listened to a track with my IceMat Siberia’s followed by the HPA. The IceMat Siberia’s were used in conjunction with 5.1 settings also, despite being standard stereo headphones.

I first loaded up “Now You Have Something To Die For” on the Lamb of God DVD. This was the first sign where I actually found a noticeable difference between the two headsets. Randy Blythes voice and the music were really top notch. No matter how high I raised the volume on the headset, there was not a *single* sign of distortion. In truth, I couldn’t even test out the max volume because they were incredibly loud. The guitar playing, drums… everything, it was a pure treat for the ears. There was more range and depth using the HPA’s here, so I am quite happy with them in this instance.

The second test was to listen to “Infected” on Bad Religions DVD, Live At The Palladium. Again, I did notice a difference when moving to the 5.1 headphones. I especially noticed a difference in the guitars and drums in the track; they were much more ‘real’ and clear. The crowd in this DVD is much more evident than in the Lamb of God one, and you can really notice it here. You can hear the crowd cheering through all channels before and even during the song.

I am pleased with the performance when watching the concert DVD’s… I prefer these headphones over the Siberia’s for this purpose. Now I will test out a few music CD’s to see if I can hear a benefit there.

Audio CD’s

For the audio CD’s, I will be using the same discs as I did in my IceMat Siberia review. Bad Religion is my personal favorite band, and if you enjoy punk music, you likely already know their music. DJ Tiësto is a legendary trance artist, and one of the most popular DJ’s in the world.

First up was “Los Angeles Is Burning” off the Bad Religion album “The Empire Strikes First”. The album sounded great on the 5.1 headphones, slightly better than the Siberia’s. I quickly found out that in order for regular music to sound great though, the surround dial on the amp needs to be turned down to about half, or off entirely. It sounds *slightly* hollow when it’s maxed, but turning it down solved the problem. Throughout the song, the 5.1 headphones brought out the background sound more, such as Brooks Wackerman on the drums. It didn’t beat the Siberia’s by much, but some aspects of the song were evidently better.

For the Tiesto album, I tested the headphones out using track 6 on the second disc, “Sounds Rushing”. This is an amazing song with a lot of bass and soft sounds throughout. It’s also a great song to get pumped up while writing a review! Unlike the last song, I found that this one actually sounded better with the surround dial at max. Throughout the song, the background drum beat was much clearer and the entire song as a while was more vibrant. I could hear subtleties better on the HPA’s better than the Siberia’s; I’m impressed.

I’ve been using these headphones for about a week now, and I don’t go an hour without music. It’s time to set my Siberia’s down for a bit because these are my new headphones of choice for music at least. But how about movies? Let’s check out two of the same movies we used in the Siberia review.

Rob Williams

Rob founded Techgage in 2005 to be an 'Advocate of the consumer', focusing on fair reviews and keeping people apprised of news in the tech world. Catering to both enthusiasts and businesses alike; from desktop gaming to professional workstations, and all the supporting software.

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