Whenever I get involved with something, I jump in with both feet. I was always playing video games, but when I was younger I wasn’t that heavily into FPS games, I was more into RTS games.

Now you are most likely asking… what the hell is Joe talking about?

RTS stands for Real Time Strategy. I fell in love with Starcraft. In RTS games you are the general and you control your entire army. Mine this, build that, attack here, etc. I started training and doing Jiu-Jitsu because I needed to get away from these kinds of games.

FPS stands for First Person Shooter. When I had ACL surgery and was laid up in bed, I needed something to kill time so I got into playing Call of Duty: World at War. In FPS games, you are an individual soldier and you run around. Its a first person perspective and you see down the barrel of your gun.

While the audio quality isn’t that big of a deal in an RTS game, its HUGE in a FPS game. You just heard gunfire… did it come from the left or from the right? Knowing could mean the difference between living and dying. So a headset will let you pinpoint where noises are coming from.

Going even further, with a headset you hear very faint noises much better. You can pickup faint foot steps, guns reloading, mines being set and many other things. Knowing exactly where a faint noise is coming from can give you a huge jump on your opponents and give you the edge needed to come out on top.

I am always looking for that advantage in everything I do… whether it’s in training, fighting, paintball, street hockey or video games. I wasn’t going to let others have that advantage on me and not use it against them.

I got the Turtle Beach X31’s for Christmas last year. They are around $100 bucks but if they broke today I couldn’t go out and buy another set fast enough. There is nothing worse than being an adult (sometimes) and getting decimated at a video game and then listening to trash talk by some prepubescent little kid. If you really want to stick it to those badass little 14 year olds… this is the way to go. They got their headset and are listening for you… so you need to do the same.

Isn’t your pride worth 100 bucks?

You can also blast the headset at night without waking the rest of the house with gunfire and explosions. The headset will not, however, let your girlfriend sleep while you scream like a 7 year old at everyone that kills you. For that you need to learn to act like an adult.

Edit: After I wrote this article, I got a TON of messages from people telling me to try the Astro A40 Audio System. The A40 is a two piece system… it’s a headset and then a mixamp.

The headset gives legit surround sound because there are 4 speakers in each ear cup which is SUPER clear. The ear cups are also larger and fit more comfortably. I have huge ears so they definitely help me! The Astro A40’s have a wire and don’t need any kind of batteries. If you play a lot, you will save money in batteries and they will eventually pay for themselves if you take good care of them.

The mixamp has two balance knobs. The first allows you to easily control the balance of the chat volume to the game volume, while the other gives you volume control. It also connects to the xbox using an optical audio cable which is much nicer.

After using both, the Astro A40 is 100x better. I was impressed by the Turtle Beach X31’s, but I was even more blown away by the Astro A40 and I had high expectations going in. The downside is that the Astro’s are way more expensive and cost $250 compared to the $100 Turtle Beach’s.

Bottom Line: If you can play a lot of games, only want the best and can afford to spend $250 on a headset, you will not regret buying the Astro A40’s. If you are more of a casual to serious gamer and are on a budget you will be happy with the Turtle Beach’s.