TURTLE BEACH REACT-R Review | Inexpensive gamepad with some extras

 With the Turtle Beach Recon, the manufacturer has made a gratifyingly successful start in the gamepad segment. But that doesn't seem to be enough. Another gamepad follows with the React-R, which at 44.99 euros is significantly cheaper than the official gamepad, but still includes some extras such as programmable additional keys and Turtle Beach audio features. The question arises as to where the manufacturer had to make compromises in order to reach the price. Surprisingly, there aren't many...


Somehow you always ask yourself a little why you actually need a controller other than the Xbox gamepad. After all, the wireless Xbox controller is almost perfect in terms of functionality and ergonomics. Basically, it can only be extra requests that make other gamepads attractive, but often these extra requests are also very expensive. Turtle Beach works in exactly the opposite direction, trying to offer extras at an attractive price.

TURTLE BEACH REACT-R Review

At 44.99 euros, the Turtle Beach React-R costs significantly less than an Xbox controller, but with the big disadvantage that it can only be operated with a cable, namely on the PC and on the Xbox consoles. Despite the low price, it still offers some audio functions as extras, but also two additional buttons on the bottom - more on that in a moment. The cable is quite long at 2.5m and detachable thanks to the Type-C connection. However, wireless operation is not possible. Amazingly, it even comes in two color variants – one black, the other white, and light purple.

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One difference becomes clear quite quickly: although the React-R is processed very cleanly, it does not appear to be as robust and high-quality as the Xbox original. You have to cut corners somewhere, but at least the React-R doesn't feel like it's going to fall apart after a few days. We will keep an eye on the longevity of the gamepad and add to the test if there are any abnormalities.

TURTLE BEACH REACT-R Review

Otherwise, the 271-gram light React-R is very much based on the original in terms of ergonomics. However, one discovers some differences in the details. The handles are textured and the surfaces of triggers and bumpers are much larger. The middle keys have slipped down quite a bit because three additional keys have been installed above them. There is also a 3.5mm jack for a headset. Overall, the controller feels good in the hand, is relatively light and comfortable.


Let's talk about the additional keys. The same allows you to mute the microphone, game chat volume and the Turtle Beach feature Superhuman Hearing. You can also use the middle button to do button programming: just double-press, then the button you want to map to, then the button you want to map from. Easy to do on-the-fly in seconds.

TURTLE BEACH REACT-R Review

Regarding the audio features, it should be said that they only come into play if you plug a cable headset with a jack connection into the controller. The functions do not work with USB or wireless headsets. Superhuman Hearing is a Turtle Beach headset feature that has been known for some time and is intended to improve the perception of details and small noises in games. For my part, I've never really warmed to it because it falsifies the sound image too much for me. A matter of taste.


In practical use, the React-R actually does quite well once you get used to the feel. The arrangement and function of the buttons, sticks, and triggers is great, and the controller lies comfortably in the hand. You have to get used to the fact that there is another row above the "normal" Xbox buttons - at the beginning, I liked to hit the audio buttons on the start and menu. But at some point the stupid skull gets it and then it works.


CONCLUSION

Inexpensive gamepad with good extras

At a price of 44.99 euros, the React-R belongs to the “cheap group” of third-party gamepads, but can clearly set itself apart from the rest of the botch in terms of quality, even if the haptics don’t exactly knock you out of your feet. The ergonomics are based on the official Xbox gamepad and only change details, such as the significantly larger triggers and bumpers. The two additional keys on the underside are well arranged, easy to program, and have nice and crisp pressure points. The audio features are handy when running a 3.5mm wired headset, except perhaps for the Superhuman Hearing, which has never really grabbed me since its existence. For the price you can get a lot worse - it's almost a shame that there isn't a wireless version (yet).


Pros

  • moderate price
  • pleasant ergonomics
  • additional audio features (only with wired headsets)
  • well positioned additional keys
  • overall well made and functional
  • good functionality for the price

Cons

  • Feel not particularly high quality

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