You don’t have to be a bona fide audiophile to enjoy listening to a home theater setup. Nowadays the 5.1 system is as ingrained in our culture as the stereo system was for our parents. For those lacking in space/money to invest in a true home theater setup for the PC, and those who like a little privacy while gaming/seeing DVDs, there’s the option of buying in a 5.1 headset. The Turtle Beach Ear Force HPA-2 is aimed at gamers and people who want to have a small home theater experience without waking up the neighbors. Let’s see how it fared.
The Ear Force HPA-2 comes with the headset itself, which is kind of huge, and a staggering amount of wiring. There’s a cable coming from the headset that you have to hook up to a small amplifying unit by a DIN connector, and from that you get a long wire that splits into five other wires, four ending in 3.5 mm minijacks (front, center, surround and sub-woofer channels) and one terminated in a USB plug (to power the amplifier). There is also a set of splitter cables to connect the Turtle Beach to 5.1-channel multimedia speakers. Finally you have a removable microphone. Overall the setup has 11.5 feet (3.5 m) of cables.
The amplifier has a general in-line volume control as well as separate volume controls for center, front, surround, and sub-woofer channels. The unit should rest upon the table (taking up more space), being midway the whole wire, which also features a shirt clip.