The closest thing to sitting at the controls of a real-world cockpit is recreating the experience at our home computers and Xboxes. Anyone can use flight simulator software paired with a mouse and keyboard, but real aviation fans and pilots know that realistic control feels are the secret to transforming your flight sim experience.
The four key components you need for the most realistic flight sim experience are:
- Yoke or stick
- Throttle quadrant
- Rudder pedals
Today we’re doing flight sim hardware comparisons of two of the top brands to help you ID the best flight sim gear for your in-home cockpit.
The contenders? Honeycomb Aeronautical and Turtle Beach.
We’ll start with a quick rundown of the component options each brand offers then get into the details of how they compare.
Turtle Beach Flight Sim Hardware
Turtle Beach’s full lineup of flight simulator hardware components are available individually (other than the yoke and throttle which come as a set). This means you’re free to build your flight sim set-up as you like adding new components and swapping out existing ones to create the best custom configuration.
The current Turtle Beach collection includes:
- VelocityOne Flight Simulator Yoke and Throttle
- VelocityOne Universal Rudder Pedals (for Xbox and Windows PCs)
- VelocityOne Flightstick Universal Simulation Controller (for Xbox and Windows PCs)
Honeycomb Flight Sim Hardware
Honeycomb flight simulator components are available individually like Turtle Beach, but if you’re shopping for more than one piece, check out the bundle pack deals first.
A range of single pieces and bundles makes Honeycomb a powerful choice for both pilots who are building entirely new sim setups and those who just need to add one more component.
The current Honeycomb collection includes:
Honeycomb Flight Sim Bundles:
- Alpha Flight Control Yoke + Bravo Throttle Quadrant
- Alpha Flight Control Yoke + Microsoft Flight Simulator Standard Edition Digital Download
- Alpha Flight Control Yoke + Bravo Throttle Quadrant + Microsoft Flight Simulator Standard Edition Digital Download
Round out your Honeycomb set-up with these add-ons and adaptors:
Turtle Beach VelocityOne Yoke vs Honeycomb Alpha Yoke
Now that we’ve done a quick overview of what each brand offers, let’s compare their three core components side by side starting with the yoke.
Your choice of yoke is important because this single component has the ability to make or break the realism of your flight sim experience. So, which is better, the Turtle Beach or Honeycomb?
Both yokes were designed by pilots and aeronautical engineers to provide a realistic flight experience complete with a 180° yoke handle rotation. Both controls also feature a PTT button on the left handle.
For Xbox simmers, one of the biggest advantages of the Turtle Beach model is that it is fully Xbox compatible out of the box with no adapter needed. Of course, the Honeycomb can also be made to work with your Xbox – you’ll just need to add the Xbox Hub.
The Honeycomb Alpha can be purchased on its own making it a good choice If you already have your throttle and just need the yoke. In contrast, the Turtle Beach yoke is always packaged with the throttle into a Universal Control System, which is great for pilots who are just building their sim setup and need all the components.
The face of the Honeycomb yoke is clean and nondescript with the buttons and switches primarily on the panel. The Turtle Beach yoke, on the other hand, is feature-forward with a full color Flight Management Display on the yoke face and an authentic status indicator panel on the dash.
Turtle Beach VelocityOne Throttle vs Honeycomb Bravo Throttle Quadrant
A functional dedicated trim wheel is high on the list of desired throttle quadrant features, and you’ll find it on both the Turtle Beach and Honeycomb offerings.
One of the most significant differences between the two unis is that the Turtle Beach has dual lever and vernier controls plus 10 programmable buttons while the Honeycomb comes with 6 levers and 7 two-way programmable switches.
Both units include removable lever handles so you can customize your controls to match your selected aircraft.
Turtle Beach VelocityOne Universal Rudder Pedals vs Honeycomb Rudder Pedals
The Turtle Beach and Honeycomb rudder pedals are designed for adjustability and realism. Both units have integrated hall effect sensors on all axes for precise flight coordination and minimized overcorrection.
The Turtle Beach VelocityOne pedals feature a single, return-to-center rudder axis that provides ultra-smooth movement and accurate directional control. On the Honeycomb, realistic handling is achieved with an innovative belt drive system.
The pedals on the Honeycomb can be fine tuned for comfort and realism thanks to an adjustable tension knob and adjustable feet angles.
Adjustability on the Turtle Beach model is achieved with swappable sets of springs, adjustable pedal width, and two sets of swappable pedals to better mimic private planes versus airliners.
Neither set of pedals is going to slide away from you during complex maneuvers. The Honeycomb has reversible carpet spikes with a large rubber grip surface to grip on any medium. Turtle Beach also has carpet spikes and pads, but if you want to permanently mount your pedals, you’ll appreciate its pre-drilled mounting holes.
It’s your turn
What does your current home flight sim setup look like? Have you tried out either the Honeycomb or Turtle Beach VelocityOne systems? If so, we’d love to hear your thoughts and why you chose the brand you did. Any suggestions for other pilots or enthusiasts who are just building out their first flight sim setup?