Review: Turtle Beach Vulkan TKL Pro II (PC)

Turtle Beach makes keyboards? Yup. Are they any good? Absolutely! Is it mechanical? Yes and no—it’s Hall Effect…more on that later. Let’s dive into the Vulcan II TKL Pro.

What is the Hall Effect? Instead of a physical switch, it’s basically magnets. When a conductive material has an electric current and a magnetic field perpendicular to the current, it shows the Hall Effect. Named for Edwin Hall, It makes a voltage (called the Hall voltage) across the conductor in a direction perpendicular to both the current and the magnetic field. This change in voltage is what’s used in Hall Effect keyboards to detect when a key is pressed. Since it requires no moving parts (other than the magnet moving) Hall Effect switches are great for applications that require a great deal of repeated actions. If you’ve followed the Joy-con saga with the Nintendo Switch or ever experienced stick-drift, then you’ll understand right away the value of using Hall Effect over potentiometers.

Is Hall better or worse than Mechanical? Neither really…It’s different but when it comes to these things, everyone will have a preference. Is it better than rubber-domed keyboards? Absolutely and it’s an objective upgrade over any rubber dome keyboard.

One of the unique features of this keyboard is Hall Effect Linear Switches. They feel great, and the ability to adjust the actuation point in software is fantastic. Out of the box I found the actuation point to be too short. I was able to pop over to the software and adjust the actuation point to be more to my liking. Please note that the actuation point can be adjusted without the software, but I found it easier to just drag the slider inside of the Turtle Beach control software.

Excellent pre-set effects and unlimited options in software! Simple to change modes using the keyboard. Lights are vivid, full RGB, and adjustable. Lights will automatically lower when not in use and any ‘animation’ will pause, a very welcome feature for times when you want your computer on but don’t need the keyboard to light up your room like Times Square.

The keystroke is very smooth, but it does not have that clickyness that some mechanical keyboard enthusiasts may prefer. Since the Vulcan II TKL Pro uses standard t-shaped key caps, swapping them is a breeze. The typing noise of the keyboard is a subdued yet satisfying sound. This may not appeal to everyone, but I enjoy it. Many mechanical keyboards are too loud, and they interfere with mics when gaming or annoy other people in the room. If you want that loud crunchiness, this may not suit you. But, if you are like me and need something that can be used when others are around, this is as good as it gets! The more I write this review, the more I like the smooth movement of the keys. It may require some adjustment, but it feels like butter.

At an MSRP of $149.99 USD, I’m happy to say the quality of the construction is very high. When I attempt to bend the keyboard slightly, there is hardly any flex, and the keys are stable and firm when typing—even with the kickstands extended. As for keycap wobble, there is almost no horizontal wobble but there is a slight vertical wobble. I want to be clear that this wobble was only present when I physically wobbled a keycap. The volume knob is very nice, and I can sense each distinct notch on the device, making it simple to change the volume precisely. Pushing down on the knob has a satisfying click that mutes the computer as well. The wrist pad has an ideal mix of firmness and comfort. I only wish that it was attached (or could be attached) to the keyboard somehow. Having it so that it was a separate piece of material may be preferable for some people. Ultimately, it isn’t a major issue and did not reduce my love of this keyboard.

As expected, the keyboard is fantastic for gaming. I tested it with XDefiant, Call of Duty, Microsoft Flight Simulator, and Halo Infinite. As I expected, each game was comfortable and smooth to play with the Vulcan II TKL Pro.

Another selling point of this keyboard is its ability to emulate a controller. The feature allows the user to map keys to controller inputs, like D-Pads, analog sticks, and buttons. The feature is easy to use and can be great for emulation and for games that require controller input. It’s something I plan on continuing to experiment with.

Another interesting feature has to do with how the Hall Effect allows for rapid inputs without having to fully release the key. This is quite a departure from traditional mechanical switches that need to be released before another key is pressed. I have found that it took some remapping of my muscle memory but now that I’m used to the rapid trigger, I’m not sure I can go back!

The companion software, Turtle Beach Swarm II, works well and is simple to use—and optional (note: the software is required to update the firmware to enable all features). But changing the keyboard settings will be easier with it than using keystrokes. I also liked that I didn’t have to register to use the software! As I said before, I really like how easy it is to change the actuation point—you can do it for each key or for all of them. I chose the latter but if you play and work a lot, you’ll appreciate this level of sensitivity control.

The Vulkan TKL Pro II is a fantastic keyboard at a competitive price. If you’re in the market for a keyboard, don’t sleep on Turtle Beach! The keyboard (and software) is packed with features in a visually appealing package. The Vulkan Pro has become my daily driver and I plan on using it for the foreseeable future!

  • Ryan LePore

    Ryan is a lifelong gamer who has been fascinated by video games since he first played Super Mario Bros on the NES. He enjoys playing a variety of genres, from action-adventure to strategy to simulation to shooters, these days he prefers to play them on his custom-built PC. He may be addicted to upgrading his PC hardware. Ryan works in the tech industry, where he applies his skills and knowledge to create innovative solutions for various problems. Ryan loves all things technology, and he believes that video games are a form of art and entertainment that can enrich our lives.

Review Performed Using a Vulkan TKL Pro II Provided by Turtle Beach
  • Feature Set
  • Comfort
  • Ease of Use
  • Design
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