Tuesday | September 27, 2016
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Turtle Beach Elite Pro Review (Headset, Tournament Mic and Audio Controller)

Turtle Beach Elite Pro Review (Headset, Tournament Mic and Audio Controller)

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Turtle Beach Elite Pro Review – Software

Although the Elite Pro Audio Controller will work without a driver/panel we can download and install the Ear Force Audio Hub. That lets us manage the profiles on the audio controller and when available, update the firmware.

Turtle Beach Elite Pro Review – Conclusion

Starting with the build quality of the headset we have a product which feels like it is built to a high standard. For example, there is some nice chunky metal used for the headband arms, the ear pads are finished with high-quality material and each of the main cables is chunky with each connector offering a nice solid fit.

As far as design goes, overall it is quite minimalist and we like that. The use of orange could have been a bit over the top but Turtle Beach have kept it to a minimum and in the end, it just adds a touch of interest to an otherwise plain finish. The tension sliders on the headband really don’t feel like they do much, there is a slightly different feel at each end of the scale but not to the extent two inches of movement on each side would suggest. On the plus side glasses wearers will no doubt find the glasses relief feature a real win. We like that the main cable and mic are removable which should mean we can replace them over time should any issue arise with no need to replace the whole headset.

Moving on to the extras, we have two components which are also impressive. Starting with the mic, it offers plenty of movement and just the right amount of resistance. It can be pushed up out of the way very easily and does look quite chunky and cool. The Audio Controller is the main area of interest, though. It is a nice solid box, some soft touch coating would take it to another level as it could be accused of being a touch plasticky, though it looks decent. The controls are all very easy to use and placed in a way that means we are unlikely to hit the wrong one. Having said that, maybe a different shape/texture on each of the sliders and buttons would have made control easier without looking away from the screen. We also found the LEDs a little odd. The mic mute and volume are fine, as are the preset and surround buttons. The sliders each have LEDs, also fine but for some reason, Turtle Beach have chosen to illuminate their logo but not the descriptions above each slider stating what function is activated. In good light, and over time, we’ll learn this but it doesn’t make things easy in the first few days as you need to look away from the game to try and remember which of the two centre sliders was noise limitation and which was mic boost.

As far as audio quality and day to day use goes, for the most part, it was a very positive experience. The worst we could say is that in some use cases the noise cancellation on the mic was too sensitive so when high up on the slider it was actually fading out our voice. Not just the background noise. Easily fixed, though, just move the slider back a bit. It would have been nice to have some sort of LCD on the audio controller to say what profile was active as trying to remember what each combination of eight LEDs is assigned to is near impossible.

All of this is pretty minor though and becomes even less of an issue when making use of the headset for gaming or media. The Elite Pro is a very comfortable headset to use. The fit on the side of the head is good, just the right amount of pressure. The weight on the headband ok, maybe leaning a bit towards heavy but it never became uncomfortable. You just become aware that you have a chunky headset on.

There is a noticeable change in quality between the standard and tournament mic which makes the latter worth a purchase for those not ready to move to a stand-alone model. We assume the standard mic is offered to keep those with an existing mic happy that they haven’t had to pay more for something which won’t be used. That’s fine. When gathering feedback from those listening to our voice on the Elite Pro (with tournament mic) they noted that our audio was nice and crisp, decent clarity with minimal background noise. That said, they were of the opinion that a stand alone mic was better. No surprise there, but an admirable showing from Turtle Beach.

Gaming audio was a real highlight on the Elite Pro. When using the DTS/Gaming mix there was a noticeable difference between each of the four profiles, each offering a unique attribute that will help in competitive gaming. Such as the ability to highlight enemy footsteps. Movies too benefitted from the DTS-based profiles. Plenty of boost where needed, nice clear voices from the actors. Where the virtual 7.1 didn’t really enhance the experience was in music. We found that across the profiles the sound wasn’t great for music, some had too little base, others lost the vocals in the mix, there was too much echo elsewhere and the midrange was really loose in others, lacking any snap or punch. The good news is that this is completely resolved by turning the DTS off and going with the natural profile. Bass and Treble Boost was also a decent option, down to taste really but overall in stereo mode the Elite Pro was a very capable headset for music playback.

Summary: At $200 for the headset, $129 for the controller and $30 for the tournament mic the Elite Pro is a significant investment for any gamer. That said it is built well and offers loads of functionality across multiple platforms which adds value. When we also take into account that it excels in its main task of gaming audio and has the added bonus of impressing in movies and music too, it is easily worthy of our Gold Award.

Gold Award

Summary
Review Date
Reviewed Item
Turtle Beach Elite Pro Headset
Author Rating
5

About Author

Stuart Davidson

Stuart Davidson is Senior Editor at HardwareHeaven having joined the site in 2002.