The Ear Force X41 Improves Upon the Best Xbox 360 HeadsetS

This photo? It's of the Ear Force X4. I liked the system quite a bit back when I reviewed it. Now, the latest edition of this Xbox 360 wireless surround chat-ready headset sounds even better with one really great update.

The Ear Force X41 Improves Upon the Best Xbox 360 HeadsetS

(This is the new model. It looks similar, I know.)

The infrared system seen in the X4 has been swapped out for a 2.4Ghz RF system in the X41. In other words, you should never get any hiss on the line from interference or loss of line of sight. The other big upgrade is that the formerly Dolby 5.1 headset now supports Dolby 7.1. I'm not convinced that most users will tell an immediate difference, but surely the detail looks nice on the box.

(Oh, and the less-promoted upgrade is that the X41's transmitter runs off Xbox 360 USB if you'd like, so there's no need for an AC adapter. Neat.)

Sadly, manufacturer Turtle Beach didn't solve the Ear Force's biggest flaw: its lack of a rechargeable battery pack. While there aren't many other headsets that offer such a niche solution (wireless surround sound gaming with integrated Xbox chatting), most surround sound headsets exploit lithium ion tech so you don't rip through so many batteries. And for $200, it's hard to believe that the X41 goes cheap on the power. [Turtle Beach]