There's plenty of gaming headsets out there, but most of them are made for sitting at home in front of a television or PC, and there aren't many that will work for the type of gamers that like to get out in the sunshine and fresh air. Turtle Beach swoops in to save the day for mobile gamers with their Ear Force M3 mobile gaming headset, which claims compatibility with all of your portable gaming systems as well as Apple and Android mobile devices.
I stepped out of the office to put the Ear Force M3 through its paces using several different devices, including a PS Vita, 3DS, iPhone, iPod and iPad. Verdict? I came away impressed with this set's sound and features, especially for the $25-30 street price.
The M3 is a compact headset, with cups that softly pad ears to fit to them, but won't cup over to cover them. There are respectable 40mm drivers behind those cushy pads, but they're on rotatable, foldable earpieces that let the whole unit fold up nicely to pack away in a bag, and they're small enough that they won't feel silly alongside your Vita or 3DS. They're also quite comfortable with their nice head band padding and light weight.
This set sounds surprisingly nice for the asking price, with quality that proved to be pleasing for both music listening and gaming. There's a clean, clear sound quality for gaming that I appreciated while playing through Lumines: Electronic Symphony on the Vita and Resident Evil: Revelations for the 3DS, and nice low end response showed up trailers and video clips on my iPad. The built-in mic is situated on the in-line headset control unit, and it seemed to work well in test calls and chats; those on the other end of my calls said that I came in loud and clear.
That in-line unit features multifunction button that changes use depending on the mobile device. On my iPhone I was able to play, pause, and skip music tracks, and during calls I could answer or hang up with a click. While I didn't have an Android device to test these with, users of these devices will be able to do much of the same tricks, and can even launch voice commands with some versions.
As a nice bonus, the M3 comes with a PC adapter, letting you also use the set for PC gaming or chat; the adapter takes the 3.5mm, 4-pole plug and splits it to a dual set for mic input and headphone output. I tried it out with this adapter in a Skype session on my Macbook and had no complaints.
If you're needing a portable, multipurpose gaming headset that sounds good and works with all your devices, the M3 Ear Force is a good choice. They retail for about $40, but if you shop around you can find a pair for as low as $25.
reviewed by Dale North