Review by Katie Tarrant
Edited by Sam Hughes
Reviewed on: Xbox One, PC, Android Phone
A familiar name for many gamers, Turtle Beach are a leviathan presence in the games industry, who possess a rich history of providing high quality hardware. For this review, I will be checking out their Elite Pro Tournament Gaming headset. Designed from the feedback and opinions of top tournament gamers, the Elite Pro headset offers a range of exciting features for optimum gaming experiences that will appeal to players of all interests and levels. The Elite Pro headset is compatible across all platforms, but for this review, I tested it on PC, Xbox One and my Android phone.
Out of the Box
The Elite Pro headset has a sleek black and orange design. The first thing that I noticed was its sturdy build and thick ear cushions. They are built out of a dense gel-infused memory foam with a delicate fabricate interior and soft leather across the outer rim. This design makes for fantastic noise cancelling and a nice capture of the lower frequencies. Trying them on, the comfort was instant, and I could tell they were perfectly designed for sustained wear. They fit snugly and spaciously around my ears and, after testing them across many multiple-hour gaming sessions, not once did they become uncomfortable. I often completely forgot I was wearing them. The headset is easily adjustable with the ‘ComforTec Fit Sytem’ that gives you complete control over the width of the headband, and also the position of the ear cups. It even includes a ‘Pro Specs’ facility to accommodate your glasses when required. To do this, you simply remove the ear cup with a counter-clockwise twist and there is a small tab that you can pull which will indent a groove in to the cup at whatever depth you require.
The Elite Pro is a wired headset and comes with 2 cables, one of which has USB powered amplification, and both of which have a handy mic mute and overall volume attachment for controlling the headset with ease. However, Turtle Beach have also produced an Elite Pro Tournament Audio Controller that includes four faders and a main volume knob; giving you greater manipulation of your headset mix. This, as well as their Xbox One controller adapter can both be purchased separately on the Turtle Beach website. Before trying the headset, I wondered whether the fact that it was wired would become a hindrance but it was far from it. Both cables are long enough that you are never restricted in where you can sit, and if anything it was more practical as I never had to worry about battery life. The cable design was slightly different to what I was expecting, with the amplified cable having a micro USB connection for plugging into the headset itself and a standard USB at the other end. The second cable also had the micro USB, and then a 3.5mm connector on the opposite end. It was nice to have a choice of the two, and naturally I used the amplified USB cable for my PC, and the 3.5mm cable for my Xbox One controller and Android phone.
I tested the headset across PC, Xbox One and also my Android phone and was pleased to get a great result across all three platforms. As soon as I plugged the headset in to my controller, I was amazed at how much depth everything suddenly had, from full game audio to the simple AI sounds of my Xbox dashboard. The Elite Pro comes with 7.1 surround sound and covers an impressive frequency range of 12Hz-22kHz. Naturally my go-to measure for this was Blizzard’s Overwatch, and the clarity that the headset provided brought the game in to a league of its own. With Overwatch being notorious for its stellar audio, the Elite Pro‘s 7.1 surround brought every detail of the game’s soundscape to light. Not only did it make the gaming experience more enjoyable, but I instantly had an edge on my game play as I could effortlessly navigate the playing field through the soundscape alone.
Aside from competitive gaming, I decided to also try the headset with Ninja Theory’s popular Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice. The game has been revered for its use of binaural audio and I figured that would be an interesting test of the headset’s capabilities. The pairing led to one of the most immersive gaming encounters I’ve had so far, with the game’s incredible audio being brought to its highest potential by the crisp quality that the Elite Pro provided. Throughout the game, there were several moments where I physically felt myself turning in my seat or lifting the headset off for a moment, convinced someone was speaking behind me, but really it was just a credit to the effect the audio was having on me. To get a broad measure, I also tested the headset across a few other genres, including games like Smite, Wolfenstein: A New Order, and Ark: Survival Evolved. The headset enhanced my experience in every game that I tried, opening my ears to the finest aural nuances, and really strengthened my engagement in each scenario.
The omni-directional mic is fully adjustable, giving a snug fit around your face so that you can achieve the perfect proximity. It is also detachable which is great for solo gaming sessions or those who prefer not to use a microphone at all. The mic attachment is enclosed in a metal casing with a thick foam tip which reinforces the sturdy build of this headset and leaves me confident that the mic will always stay intact. It gave a clear and well-balanced level on all platforms. The headset also allows live monitoring of your microphone so you can make sure that your input level is suitable at all times. From monitoring my own input and getting feedback from those I spoke to, I was assured that the microphone gave a crystal clear output both inside Xbox One party and game chats, PC Skype calls, and phone calls on my Android.
Interestingly, the only thing I struggled with was the initial level balance on my Xbox between my party chat and the game. At first, the frequencies clashed and I struggled to hear the voices of the people in my party over the game audio. I had a slight back and forth trying to adjust the levels to a point that enabled me to hear everything that I needed to. Nevertheless, after tweaking the settings for a few minutes, I managed to strike a balance that has suited me perfectly across all games that I have played since. The headset allows for everything in your audible environment to be accommodated and regardless of how chaotic the games (or equally the party chat) got, I was always able to hear everything. When playing, the cable’s volume and mute adapter was also an appreciated feature as it was a quick control over the headset when I needed it.
In conclusion, I have found little to fault with this headset and, without a doubt, feel it is worth the £169.99 investment. Until now, I had never appreciated how much value a decent quality headset brings to the gaming experience and now couldn’t imagine myself gaming without one. The Elite Pro was designed to satisfy the features that professional gamers feel are important and it absolutely supersedes across all levels. It excels in the areas of most importance, including quality, comfort, durability, and much more. If you are a fan of audio or an immersive gaming experience, then the Elite Pro headset would be worth its weight in gold. That being said, if the higher end of the spectrum is something you can’t afford, Turtle Beach also offer a miscellany of quality headsets in the lower price ranges to ensure their products can be enjoyed across the board.
The Sound Architect