The Turtle Beach React-R is the newest controller from the gaming equipment model, newly available in the USA today for $39.99. It’s a wired Xbox and PC controller with a removable USB-C cable, formally licensed by Microsoft, and it mixes some of Turtle Beach’s audio chops from its headsets into an reasonably priced gamepad.
The React-R is a bit like Turtle Beach stripped down its Recon controller and gave it a barely worse title. For $20 lower than the Recon, the React-R affords good high quality face buttons, sticks, triggers, and two programmable rear buttons. Some of these buttons, significantly the shoulders, sound a bit extra hole of their clickiness — however that wasn’t one thing that felt particularly premium on its pricier counterpart both.
There are textured bumps all alongside the React-R’s shoulder buttons, although not as distinguished as the ones on the Recon. The raised texture alongside the hand grips of the React-R are grippy and cozy sufficient, although they don’t really feel as good as the Recon’s soft-touch rubber grips. However, an enormous characteristic that’s trickled all the way down to the React-R is Turtle Beach’s glorious audio methods.
The React-R has Turtle Beach’s badly-named-but-actually-good characteristic, Superhuman Hearing. Just like on the Recon, when you might have any wired headset plugged in, you possibly can press the S icon button, and the React-R balances the recreation audio combine to attract out appears like character footsteps and gunfire. This was the characteristic that tipped the scales and satisfied me to provide the Turtle Beach Recon the nod for best controller for shooters in our purchasing information. It’s both the greatest gaming audio characteristic round or an incredible placebo impact that leads me to having a greater KDR, however both means, it’s cool to see it supplied in a less expensive pad.
While the React-R inherits Superhuman Hearing from the Recon, different options didn’t make the minimize. It doesn’t have the audio EQ presets, microphone self-monitoring, or Pro-Aim options. I’ll concede that these are possibly much less of an enormous deal right here, so I’m okay with shedding them. In reality, with some of the Recon’s extras shaved off, the React-R turns into a a lot much less complicated controller to choose up and use. All these buttons that had been littering the prime of the Recon like some small, light-up warts? Most of that’s all gone now, and the controller seems to be a bit sleeker for it — even when Turtle Beach needed to go and emblazon an unpleasant REACT-R label on its prime.
One different factor the React-R didn’t sacrifice is fast management of recreation quantity and audio / chat combine when utilizing wired headphones. You now management these by holding the prime button above the Xbox information button and pushing one of the labeled 4 D-pad instructions. Sadly, although, the chat combine management stays an Xbox-only characteristic, because it’s not appropriate with Windows.
Still, the React-R affords fairly a bit for simply $39.99. I think that Turtle Beach was gunning for the likes of PowerA and its Enhanced Wired Controller, which stays a superb possibility — Micro USB port however — because it so steadily goes on sale for well under $30. While the React-R has the edge on PowerA with its audio options and USB-C connectivity, it may study a factor or two in the shade division. The black React-R controller is, nicely, wonderful. But the purple and white mannequin launching alongside it may have used a extra elevated look past its barely ’80s aesthetic — like monochromatic face buttons and a color-matched cable.
The Turtle Beach React-R exhibits some promise in the time I’ve spent with it to this point, and it makes some of the proper sacrifices in the proper locations to achieve a lower cost level. Now, if this $39.99 controller will get discounted with some regularity, it could change into a simple advice for anybody looking for a price range possibility with good added options, particularly for taking part in on-line shooters.
Photography by Antonio G. Di Benedetto / The Verge