Once upon a time, a headset was just that… a headset. Plug it in, slap it on, and game away. The past few years have brought advancements to audio from 7.1 Surround Sound to positional audio and everything in between. Some Turtle Beach headsets come equipped with the company’s Superhuman Hearing EQ setting, but does it really make a difference?
According to a recent study called the “Turtle Beach Superhuman Hearing Challenge” by Real Industry, more than 100 college gamers played with and without the Superhuman Hearing setting enabled. Games played included APEX Legends, Fortnite, and Call of Duty: Cold War on both PlayStation and Xbox consoles (roughly half on either console). After playing for an hour without the setting, gamers tracked their KDR — or kill/death ratio — a popular stat in first-person shooter games. Gamers then played for another hour with a Turtle Beach headset equipped with Superhuman Hearing.
“In testing the impact of Superhuman Hearing, we sought to determine whether Turtle Beach’s technology gave gamers an advantage in first-person action games, as evidenced by the number of opponents they were able to defeat and the length of gameplay. The results show that with Superhuman Hearing turned off, most of the students had a Kill/Death Ratio (KDR) of 1.9 or less. In contrast, with Superhuman Hearing turned on, the number of players with a 4.0 K/D ratio or higher more than doubled. KDR is a common metric used in first-person action and Battle Royale games that measures a player’s effectiveness of defeating enemy players.”
Humera Fasihuddin, Chief Designer, Real Industry
So what exactly is Superhuman Hearing? The setting, which used to be exclusive to specific Turtle Beach gaming headsets like the Stealth 700 Gen 2, “amplifies key in-game sounds like approaching enemy footsteps and nearby weapon reloads, incoming enemy vehicles carrying reinforcements, and more.” Recently, the company announced its Recon Controller for Xbox which brings the feature to any wired headset you might have laying around. We’ll have that review coming in the next few days, so be sure to check back. In the meantime, you can read more about Superhuman Hearing on Turtle Beach’s website.