Are you a gamer that likes to play late into the night and that doesn’t want to disturb your spouse or roomates from the booming sound of explosions and gunfire? Then Turtle Beach may have the answer for you.
The DSS itself is a small and very light device with an overall good build quality. The LEDs shine blue and bright. The unit gives you two audio input options, one is your basic 3.5mm jack for Pro Logic II and the other is an Optical TOSLINK for giving you 7.1 surround sound support. Your output options are your standard 3.5mm headphone jack and a USB slot for headphones that need to be powered. The USB slot comes in very handy since it eliminates the need of taking up more USB slots on your Xbox 360. To power the DSS you just simply plug it into any USB on your console or PC. Once its powered there are 4 bright blue led lights that are clearly labled digital in, Pro Logic II, Dolby Digital and Dolby Bypass. The Dolby Bypass LED also doubles as a button to select which sound mode you would like to hear. On the side below the LED lights is a dial to change how much bass boost you want for a paticular game. On the opisite side is a switch to turn the DSS on or off.
Turtle Beach Ear Force DSS Processor features
- Stero output with volume control
- Headphone Amplifier: Stero 35mW/ch, THD <1%
- Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
- 150MIPS Digital Signal Processor for Dolby Processing
- Optical TOSLINK digital audio input compatible with 48kHz digital audio stream
- Maximum analog stereo input with volume control on maximum setting: 2Vpp (700mV rms). Input sensitivity may be adjusted to accept higher level signals by lowering the volume control
- Dimensions: Height 3.0 in (7.5 cm), width 2.125 in (5.5 cm), depth 0.75 in (2cm)
- Weight: 1.4 Oz (40g)
- Power requirements: 5VDC @120mA max
Shooters, such as Battlefield and Call of Duty, really sound like the action is going on around you, with bullets whizzing by and explosions booming in your ear. Another thing to note is how much it amplifies footsteps and where they were coming from, making it easier to get the jump on your opponent before they get you. It also worked well with music games such as Rock Band 3 which made it much easier to hear the music track over the beating of drumsticks on the drums.
So what if a game doesn’t support Dolby Digital 5.1? The DSS automatically converts the sound to Dolby Pro Logic, which simulates surround sound.
Another great feature of the Ear Force DSS is that it can be used with almost anything that has an audio source. You can use it with your PC, Home Theater System, iPod, iPhone, Zune HD or mp3 player and not just your video game console, which is great if you want to watch a late night movie without waking your family or the neighbors.
Probably the biggest disadvantage the DSS has is its price point. At $89.95, it will probably steer most causal gamers
away but at a price that I feel more audiophiles and hardcore gamers would have no problem buying.
- Works with any stereo headset.
- Sounds great. The difference between regular stereo sound and DSS can really be heard.
- Having a built-in USB port helps for headsets that need to be plugged in for power.
- Price point may be to steep for some people.
- Can add more wires.
- Bass boost could add a little more punch.
The DSS offers a great surround sound option in a small package, which can be good for gamers that don’t have a lot of space for a surround sound system or that don’t want to wake the family or neighbors. However, casual gamers will probably be turned away by the price point, while hardcore gamers and audiophiles wont mind paying the price.