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Turtle Beach Elite Pro review: Is this the pro gamer’s headset of choice?

Vaughn Highfield
24 Jul 2017
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
350
inc TAC and noise-cancelling microphone

Turtle Beach goes after the tournament crowd with this excellent 7.1 surround-sound headset

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Turtle Beach has, for the most part, been the pack leader when it comes to gaming headsets for consoles, but it’s been much less prominent in the PC space. The rise of eSports, however, has given Turtle Beach good reason to take aim at the pro PC player as well, and the Elite Pro and its various attachments are well suited to both.

First off, it has to be said that Turtle Beach has absolutely nailed the art of making the Elite Pro feel special. It all starts with the packaging, which is a high-quality sleeved box with the headset elegantly presented inside.

It’s clear the US peripheral manufacturer is trying its hardest to make you feel as if these cans are worth the £170 asking price, and that’s before you add in the £150 competition-grade Tournament Audio Controller (TAC) and £30 noise-cancelling microphone.

Thankfully, they do feel like they’re worth every penny. While I spent most of my time using the Elite Pro in conjunction with the TAC – even without its added amplification, chat mixing and audio-equaliser presets – the Elite Pro makes for an excellent gaming headset.

Turtle Beach Elite Pro review: Design and comfort

Turtle Beach loves to throw buzzwords around – adorning the box are such snappy phrases as “ComforTec Fit System”, “AeroFit Ear Cushions” and “ProSpecs Glasses Relief System” – but despite the hyperbole, they’re fantastically comfortable headphones to wear.

Not once did I find the headset was pushing against the side of my head during prolonged play, nor did it ever feel like my ears were getting too warm. For me, the most welcome addition was the “ProSpecs Glasses Relief System”, which is simultaneously the geekiest and most welcome addition to any headset ever.

It’s a simple idea, but an effective one. An adjustable indentation in each earpad pulls the pad in at the point that it contacts the arm of your spectacles, reducing the pressure considerably. If you wear glasses, you’ll know just how great an addition this is.

Turtle Beach Elite Pro review: Audio quality

Thankfully, the Elite Pro isn’t just about comfort. Audio, which is delivered by a pair of beefy 50mm drivers, is also superb, even without using the optional Tournament Audio Controller (TAC). The headphones don’t come into their own, however, until you hook up the TAC, unlocking the Elite Pro’s DTS 7.1 surround-sound capabilities plus a host of other key features.

The TAC contains presets for watching films or listening to music, but it’s the Game mode that you’ll use the most, and there are a number of options to choose within that. I found that “Shooter” was excellent for the likes of Call of Duty and DOOM and still perfect for other bass-heavy titles such as driving and action games.

Knocking it into “Footstep Focus” or “Superhuman Hearing” knocks the bass down and ups the treble – handy for pinpointing the direction bullets are being fired from or the sounds of creeping shoes on gravel and grass. I can’t say I’ve ever found Call of Duty as enjoyable as I have while wearing these.

The TAC also allows you to set up perfectly tuned chat audio. You can daisy-chain multiple units together to create lag-free local chat networks, which is great for LAN parties, but also tweak levels to boost your own microphone level, limit background noise, custom-mix game and chat audio, and even set a monitor volume so you can hear yourself speaking more clearly.

Turtle Beach Elite Pro review: Chat

This brings me, rather neatly, onto the Elite Pro’s chat capabilities. As you’d expect for a tournament-grade headset, it comes with a removable microphone in the box. As a microphone, it’s nothing particularly special, but Turtle Beach has done a good job of ensuring that audio is clear and the mic is relatively unobtrusive and secure.

In all honesty, the packaged mic will be perfect for 99% of you. For that 1%, however, there’s a swanky optional noise-cancelling microphone attachment you can buy. Using two microphones to cancel out background noise, this is perfect for those wanting to use the Elite Pro at a tournament or in a noisy gaming environment – such as a gaming bar. Even just through the voice monitor, it’s audibly cleaner and crisper than the default microphone.

Turtle Beach Elite Pro review: Verdict

The only downside I can think of for the Elite Pro is the price tag. Paying £170 for the headset itself is perfectly reasonable for how good it is, but it’s a bit much to ask for another £150 for an audio controller to make the most of your purchase. Other headsets that ask the same tend to be a little cheaper, and you can pick up many excellent gaming headsets that come with their own breakout box for digital audio and are wireless for less than the price Turtle Beach is asking for.

But those headsets just aren’t as comfortable to use, nor as well engineered for the long stints and tournament-style play that these are. All in all, if it’s the pro option you’re after, you shouldn’t look much further than these.

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