It was about this time last year that Turtle Beach came out with the Recon Xbox Controller, and despite its somewhat ugly appearance on the surface, we loved it so much that we're still using it consistently to this day.

Now, Turtle Beach has returned with a variant of the Recon controller called the "React-R", and the difference this time around is that the company has cut certain features of the Recon to bring the launch price down by $20.

The good news is that the new Turtle Beach React-R Xbox controller is still a fantastic choice if you're looking for a budget option, proving one of the most comfortable controllers on the market (even including the official Xbox Wireless Controllers), and also coming equipped with a few handy audio features to enhance your experience.

The reason the Turtle Beach React-R is so comfortable is largely down to its ergonomic textured grips, handles and triggers, which result in a feeling that's not too dissimilar to Xbox's primary Wireless Controller design. Compared to the Recon controller, it's almost identical, but the grips aren't rubberised and the RB and LB buttons aren't textured this time around. Despite this, it slots really comfortably into the hand, and even though it seems a bit plasticky at first, it doesn't give off a "cheap" feel like some other third-party controllers do.

Just like the Recon, the analog sticks are great to use, the face buttons are pretty much standard fare, the bumpers and triggers are built well and offer just the right amount of feedback, and the d-pad also feels perfectly fine and responsive, despite being slightly clunkier than the one you'll find on official Xbox Wireless Controllers.

As for audio features, that's where the differences are a bit more prominent. The Recon allowed you to do things like choose from a variety of EQ options and alter various other settings via a selection of buttons at the top of the controller, whereas the React-R takes away most of those buttons. You can't do the EQ thing anymore, but you can still access Superhuman Hearing mode and mute your mic, while the d-pad allows you to alter volume settings on the fly.

The question is, should you pay a little less and get the Turtle Beach React-R Xbox Controller instead of the Recon version? It depends. The Recon offers some handy benefits for audio fanatics specifically, and if you can find it on sale (which it has been recently), it's worth paying just a little bit more for that premium Turtle Beach experience.

To be honest though, just in terms of general use, we love them both pretty much equally. The Recon is slightly more preferable if you're going to be using a headset regularly, but for an "affordable" controller, we're really impressed with Turtle Beach's efforts with the React-R.

Yes, the wired requirement is still a downside, but otherwise there's very little to grumble about here!

(It should be noted that according to some Amazon reviews, the Recon has had occasional issues with faulty triggers and stick drift for some buyers, although that hasn't been our experience. We've been using ours for about a year now, and it's been absolutely fine. We can only hope the React-R will give us the same experience - it's been great so far.)

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Have you bought the Turtle Beach Recon Xbox controller? Let us know what you think of it below.