Turtle Beach Ear Force XL1

Turtle Beach Xl1 vs. Xla Headsets

Review Author: Craig H

Review Date: December 01, 2013

Rating: xl1 Ratingxl1 Ratingxl1 Ratingxl1 Ratingxl1 Rating (4 / 5)


Having reviewed the XLa headset the other day, I was pleasantly surprised when I came across a set of the XL1s while I was out shopping. Here is a Turtle Beach XL1 vs. XLa review that compares the two units.

Buy from Amazon


The XL1 and the Xla headsets from Turtle Beach are based on the same design. These are both wired headsets and can be used on the XBox 360 and will work for the XBox One with the adaptor. Currently, you can use these with both the PS3 and PS4 consoles, use with a PC is possible with the right sound card that provides RCA jacks.

Both headsets get their power from a USB port so you will not need batteries or offline time to recharge them. Each provides separate game sound and chat volume as well as a bass boost feature, the controls for these are on an inline amplifier attached to the cord.


Both the XL1 and XLa headsets look similar.  The 40 mm speakers in the XLa have been bumped up to 50mm in the XL1.  This change from  40mm speakers to the 50mm speakers makes the XL1 over the ear (circumaural) .  Over the ear will block out more of the noise from your environment and are just a whole lot more comfortable.

Sitting on the ear is the major complaint that I hear from the XLa users.  They can be uncomfortable for long sessions in game. This was my experience as well, eventually you get used to it but why should you have to.

The 50mm speakers in the XL1 provide you with a couple of advantages.  You get a better sound, they are more responsive  and comparable to the higher end Turtle Beach headsets.

Stereo Sound

The XL1 and XLa headsets are Stereo Sound.  You will be able to hear much more in the game but they are not directional.  You can pick out which side someone is coming at you from but won’t know where they are on the left or right.

If you want to upgrade these to Surround Sound to give you a more precise idea about your threats, a DSS2 amplifier can be purchased and put in place of the inline amp that comes with these units.  Both are retrofitable.  The XL1 becomes a DXL1 with this modification.


Both units have a microphone that is quite responsive, it doesn’t have a foam protector(known as a pop-shield) so you might experience some clipping with p’s and hissing when speaking the “sh” sound.  If you are unconcerned with these drawbacks, the mic is fine for normal use.

There have been some reports of the Turtle Beach XL1 microphone breaking.  This is easy to fix in most cases by replacing the cable and puck that runs to the controller.  You can get a replacement online so there is no need to replace the headset if this happens.  You will want to verify the mic is working before you buy a new cable.

 Side By Side Comparison

Turtle Beach XL1

Turtle Beach Ear Force XL1

  • 50 mm Speakers- Over Ear
  • Independent Volume Controls
  • Stereo Sound- Upgradable to Surround Sound
  • Amplified
  • Talk Back Microphone
  • Bass Boost
  • $23.18(Prices may be subject to change)

Buy the XL1 Here

Turtle Beach XLa

Turtle Beach EarForce XLa Headset

  • 40 mm Speakers- On Ear
  • Independent Volume Controls
  • Stereo Sound- Upgradable to Surround Sound
  • Amplified
  • Talk Back Microphone
  • Bass Boost
  • $29.83 (Prices may be subject to change)

Buy the XLA Here