Last year around this time, we reviewed Turtle Beach’s very first controller product, the Turtle Beach Recon Controller. It was a surprisingly comfortable wired controller that brought staple Turtle Beach audio features to your wired headsets. I did not even mind suggesting it to wireless headset users since the controller itself handled just that well. So, what else could Turtle Beach add to an already solid and feature-rich controller? The answer is Bluetooth and mobile device compatibility. That brings us to the Turtle Beach Recon Cloud.
Turtle Beach’s Recon Cloud controller has all of the features that the Recon brought to the table. It is a wired controller for the Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S and Windows PC. However, it now also supports wireless connectivity with Windows PC’s and mobile devices running Android 8 or higher. The controller sports a whopping 30-hour battery life and comes with a removable and adjustable phone grip.
Let’s dive into the Turtle Beach Recon Cloud controller for Xbox, PC and mobile to see what $99.99 gets you.
Build, Features and Comfort
The Turtle Beach Recon Cloud controller comes in Black and Magma Blue color options. A purchase gets you the controller itself, a 10-foot (3-meter) braided USB-C to USB-A cable and a detachable smartphone clip.
Before getting into the Recon Cloud’s mobile and wireless aspects, let us start with has not changed between the Recon Cloud and Recon we reviewed last year. Aside from the removable smartphone clip, the Recon Cloud’s silhouette and design is practically identical to that of the Recon. As such, much of what I said about the Recon’s general build remains unchanged with the new Recon Cloud.
The Turtle Beach Recon Controller sports all of the standard Xbox One or Series X|S controller buttons while staying close to those button placements. The analog stick, D-pad, and XYAB buttons maintain a traditional Xbox One button arrangement, as does the bumpers and triggers. Here, the triggers are textured, allowing your fingers to maintain their grip on them. You have ergonomic cooling grips around each of the handles as well as the “share button”, a somewhat recent Xbox controller staple. The controller also houses dual rumble motors in both the handles and the triggers for some potent feedback. Lastly, you have a 3.5mm jack at the bottom for connecting the wired headset of your choice.
Specifically on the Recon Cloud, you also have a switch on the bottom for swapping the controller between wired and wireless modes, as well as a Bluetooth pairing button. On the top, there is a screw hole for attaching the removable smartphone grip.
When in wired mode, the Recon Cloud continues to mirror the Recon’s functions and overall feel…
However, many aspects specific to the Turtle Beach Recon Controller make it unique. As it is a controller designed to enhance your wired headset’s overall audio experience, you have a collection of controls for just that near the top of the pad. You have controls for master volume, chat vs game balancing, EQ toggling, Mic Monitoring, controller profile toggling and mic muting. Two of the more unique functions here are the Pro-Aim Focus Mode and Turtle Beach’s staple Superhuman Hearing function.
By default, the Pro-Aim function is mapped to the right rear quick action button, one of two buttons found on the back on the controller. The left back button can be mapped to any of the other main controller buttons. These mappings and more can be saved within up to four individual controller profiles.
Looking at the controller at face value, I really like what Turtle Beach has done here at the base level. Before even diving into headset features, the controller is easy to handle and comfortable to grasp. The controller’s close-to-home shape and button arrangement make it easy to dive into and develop muscle memory for. The ergonomic grips as well as the textured bumpers and triggers allowed the controller to remain stable in my hands, even during frantic gameplay. Lastly, the dual motors installed in the Turtle Beach Recon Controller are strong, offering a considerable level of vibration. If you like haptic feedback in your controllers, the Turtle Beach Recon Controller will not disappoint you on that front.
Going deeper into the Turtle Beach Recon Controller’s feature controls, I was particularly impressed with how Turtle Beach employed this layout. Pressing the Mode button toggles between settings for Mic Monitoring (aka Sidetone), EQ, controller profiles, and Pro-Aim sensitivity. Once the icon for the mode you want to tweak is illuminated, you press Select to toggle through the various levels of that mode. It is a very practical feature control setup that was easy to pick up without even checking the manual. The Superhuman Hearing and Mic Mute buttons were a bit more direct and straightforward. However, it was handy to have the LED’s shine for these features, whenever they were on. Being able to tell whether or not you are muted in less than a second has plenty of value in itself.
When in wireless mode, the Recon Cloud’s specialized audio controls and Pro-Aim functionality is not in play. The removable smartphone grip is capable of grasping onto the larger devices out today, like the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra or the TCL Stylus 5G, seen here.
The smartphone grip’s viewing angle can be adjusted to your preference. Simply loosen the hinge using the knob on the right, move the grip forward or back, then tighten the hinge with the same knob to lock your desired viewing angle into place.
The grip on your mobile device is quite secure with the insertion and removal your device being fairly easy. The controller continued to be comfortable to handle, even with the added 213g of weight from the TCL Stylus 5G. Since you are able to freely adjust the viewing angle of your mobile device, handling remained solid whether I was sitting upright or laying on my back.
The overall design of the Turtle Beach Recon Cloud controller maintains the same level of comfort and ease of use as the Recon. The controller simply feels great when handled, with or without the vibrations engaged. As it was with the Recon, the D-Pad on this controller was very easy to manage, thanks to its protruding plus sign design. Given my love for fighting games, the D-Pad on any controller I use is of particular importance to me.
This leads us to More Features and Performance…
More Features and Performance
As it was with Build, Features and Comfort, my experiences with the Recon Cloud’s niche features were pretty much identical to that of the Turtle Beach Recon…
Now to dive deeper into the features that the Turtle Beach Recon Controller grants your connected wired headset. Let us start from leftmost icon and move to the right. Just to note, all of my trial gameplay with the Turtle Beach Recon Controller was done while connected to the Logitech G Pro X wired gaming headset.
Mic Monitoring is a function that I personally must have with any gaming headset I use. I naturally talk loudly in the heat of battle, and I practically shout when I cannot hear myself speaking. As such, having four levels of control over this function straight from the controller was quite the luxury. As with all of the mode functions, the dots in the center help denote what level of the function you have it set to. Knowing full well how loud I am, I cranked Mic Monitoring up to level four, enjoying comfortable and effortless communication with my teammates.
The four EQ settings available through the Turtle Beach Recon Controller were Turtle Beach’s Signature Sound as the default, Bass Boost, Bass & Treble Boost, and Vocal Boost. When I was not playing a first-person shooter, I found Signature Sound to be the right balance for most of the games I played. When it came to music listening via the Youtube app on Xbox One, I leaned on Bass & Treble Boost to give me that nice deepening of the bass while enhancing the instrumentals and percussion. For the most part, I stuck with Signature Sound for non-shooter gaming, and Bass & Treble Boost for the bulk of my media consumption.
The controller icon signifies the controller profile you are currently using. Here is where you can toggle between controller profiles on the fly. Both buttons on the back of the controller are mappable, which you can save your settings in up to four different controller profiles.
The fourth mode, Pro-Aim Focus Mode, allows you to determine the reduction in right thumb stick sensitivity whenever you hold down the mapped Pro-Aim button. You can suppress your thumb stick’s sensitivity in up to four levels of severity, with level four being the tightest of the settings. With Pro-Aim engaged, you can quickly lower your sensitivity whenever the need strikes. This is perfect for gamers that use a high sensitivity setting but want it nice and low when attempting those long distance snipes.
As for the two buttons on the sides of the Mode and Select buttons, the rightmost button is a self-explanatory mic mute toggle. Not to simply brush this feature off, I really liked the bright red LED indicator that clearly shines red when I am muted. This is perfect for wired headsets that either do not clearly indicate the status of their mic or lack onboard mic muting functionality all together.
The button on the left is the real deal here. It is the toggle button for Turtle Beach’s Superhuman Hearing feature. When toggled on, your headset’s output will highlight the bulk of important high range sounds. Gunshots, footsteps, and gun reloads are brought to the forefront of what you hear, while the audio still gives you a respectable sampling of the other sound ranges. If you noticed that I went out of my way to say that Signature Sound was the EQ I leaned on for non-shooter gaming, this is why. I simply did not play any shooter without Superhuman Hearing on. Picking up enemies in both Apex Legends and Destiny 2 pvp was simply a breeze.
Going into gameplay, the Turtle Beach Recon Controller handles refreshingly well in shooters. Analog sticks movements are accurate and responsive, allowing for precise shots and clean disposal of enemies. Combined with Superhuman Hearing, the controller carried me well through Apex Legends matches. It even got me to the Lighthouse in Destiny 2 this past weekend. This is all without having to employ Pro-Aim functionality. After all, the console aim assist in those games more than allow for accurate sniping. Not to mention, the grips on the thumb sticks alone already allow for some pretty solid aim.
Whether it was Apex Legends or Trials of Osiris in Destiny 2, console gameplay continued feel right at home with the Recon Cloud. If I were to swap between the Recon and the Recon Cloud between matches, I would see the same solid results between these two controllers. These controllers just feel great. Plus it was fun to grab that one last flawless win right before Destiny 2’s Halloween event ended. I miss my Colonel chicken mask already.
Now to focus on what separates the Recon and the Recon Cloud, mobile and cloud gaming.
First, I was curious to see how both Apex Legends and Destiny 2 handled on the go. Destiny 2 was removed from Game Pass quite a while ago. Meanwhile, the mobile version Apex Legends still does not seem to work with any mobile controller I try. So, instead I set up remote play on my Xbox Series X|S as I played on my home system remotely from a bar. The latency between my mobile device, my internet connection and my home console admittedly made PVP gameplay dicey, to say the least. Controls continued to feel natural in both games, but it was clear that PVE gameplay was the best option here.
That said, knocking out weekly missions in Destiny 2’s PVE content from a bar felt pretty nice. The Bluetooth on the Recon Cloud allowed for a virtually latency free connection between the controller and my Samsung Galaxy S22. So while I did not feel “right at home” playing Destiny 2 at a bar, I felt close to when I stuck with PVE content.
However, saying what I said about the D-Pad, I could not wait to jump into some fighting games. While still connected to my home console, I booted up King of Fighters XV. This experience fared much better, as making adjustments to that over-the-internet latency is just easier for me in fighting games. After all, if I can make adjustments to mid-match latency during ranked matches against other players, then Story Mode should not be an issue. As such, playing Story Mode on KOF XV from a bar was a lot of fun. I was still able to time and pull off all of the combos that I would be able to do at home. The D-Pad played a big part here, making commands inputs very easy to execute on the Recon Cloud.
Sticking with fighting games, I then moved onto actual cloud gaming with Dragonball FighterZ on Xbox Game Pass. Here, handling and timing felt as good as it did with King of Fighters XV. I traditionally play my fighting games with my controller on my lap. So, being able to play wirelessly and without the smartphone grip was especially handy here.
Last but not least, the 30-hour battery life on the Recon Cloud is quite impressive. Having over a day of continuous playtime makes this controller a solid travel companion, no matter how long your trip is. Since the controller charges while you play in wired mode on console, you will always be ready to continue your game session as soon as you disconnect the controller. Reached a save point in Halo Infinite’s campaign at home but want to continue your session on the go? Just take the controller, the grip, and your phone and continue where you left off while on the bus or at a coffee shop.
We have covered many controllers here. Some were wired controllers that were strictly for Xbox and PC gaming, with no mobile compatibility. Meanwhile, others were wireless controllers with both 2.4Ghz wireless and Bluetooth connectivity, but with no compatibility with the Xbox family of consoles. Here, through the Turtle Beach Recon Cloud, you have a single controller that you can use for console, PC, and mobile gaming. Just like that, it becomes the one solution for all of your Xbox gaming, both at home and on the cloud.
However, the Turtle Beach Recon Cloud goes a bitter further than simply being a highly compatible controller. It is also a high capable one, giving you great handling and a set of useful gaming features to take you to the next level. At 99.99, the Turtle Beach Recon Cloud is a more than reasonable purchase for any gamer looking for that one controller solution for both Xbox console and mobile gaming. If you are in the market for an Xbox controller that you can take out of the house, and you are curious about Turtle Beach’s Superhuman Hearing features, then check out the Turtle Beach Recon Cloud for yourself by clicking here.
†As usual, there are no affiliate links contained within this post. We were provided a Turtle Beach Recon Cloud Controller and some product stock images for review purposes and were not compensated for this review.