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Turtle Beach’s cloud-first controller is wired for your Xbox, wireless for your phone and PC

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Turtle Beach includes a clip for a cell phone with the Recon Cloud controller and claims the battery lasts up to 30 hours on Bluetooth. | Image: Turtle Beach

Turtle Beach will have a new Xbox controller next month and will add wireless functionality, although not in the way you’d expect. The Recon Cloud is a new version of the Turtle Beach Recon wired USB-C controller and, in addition to a new “blue magma” colorway, it also features Bluetooth connectivity for use with Android devices and Windows PCs.

The unusual aspect – especially for a controller that costs $99.99 – is that in order to link it to an Xbox console, a USB-C cable still needs to be connected. It is expected to ship on October 16, and pre-orders can already be placed on the Turtle Beach site. That’s a much higher cost than the standard $59.95 Recon, which often drops to about $45 when on sale.

The Recon Cloud has a built-in rechargeable battery rated for 30 hours of playtime via Bluetooth, which can be quickly charged to get approximately 8.5 hours of battery back in approximately 15 minutes. It also includes a month of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate and an adjustable cell phone clip – which attaches to a mounting port on the back of the controller.


Image: Turtle Beach
The Recon Cloud and the included cell phone clip, which fits into the back of the controller.

The Recon Cloud also carries over all the audio and FPS-friendly features of the standard Recon, such as Superhuman Hearing mode, four built-in audio EQ presets, microphone monitoring, adjustable game chat audio mix, Pro-Aim Focus mode, and two programmable rear buttons. Those fancy audio features require you to plug USB-C into an Xbox or PC, which might be forgivable as game streaming isn’t exactly ideal for online shooters where they’re most useful anyway.

The standard Recon controller ranks in our Xbox controller buying guide as a great option for anyone who plays a lot of competitive shooters and doesn’t have the budget for something premium like the Xbox Elite or Scuf controllers. Not sure if spending $100 on nearly the same Recon controller with added Bluetooth makes the same sense, but maybe once tested, the versatility of some wireless connectivity can be useful.

However, the Recon Cloud makes no mention of connectivity to iPhones or iPads, which is strange because those Apple devices usually play nice with support wireless controller. Turtle Beach’s CEO, Juergen Stark, is teasing the company press release that there’s more to come: “The Recon Cloud is the first of our comprehensive line of mobile controllers launching this year, with new products designed for iOS and other consoles coming soon.” Maybe iOS users will have to wait for their own cloud controller, and maybe Turtle Beach’s controller audio tricks might find a new home on the PlayStation 5 or Nintendo Switch.

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