Turtle Beach’s Elite Pro roster of products is all about serious gamers, and the company has packed the two marquee offerings in that range with features to make them take notice.
The Elite Pro Tournament Gaming Headset and Tournament Audio Controller debuted earlier this year from Turtle Beach at $200 each. The headset features elaborate adjustment options, 50mm audio drivers, and a relief system for people who wear glasses. The amp includes surround sound, several extra ports, and multiple knobs for precise control.
At the same time, Turtle Beach wants to keep up its presence in esports, and that’s where Elite Pro comes in. But does the company’s headset and amp for competitive gamers make sense for you?
What you’ll like
Strong audio isolation and 7.1 surround sound
The headset does a admirable job of pumping out both music and game audio.
I personally prefer open-back headsets, but I get why serious gamers need a headset that’s going to keep external distractions out — and the Elite Pro unit definitely does that. The headset’s snug fit blocks almost all typical room noises, and that’s before you use the active noise cancellation of the audio controller. That isolated audio means you’re getting a narrow sound stage that can make games that take place in wide-open spaces seem like they’re happening in a booth. But it isn’t as completely claustrophobic as some other headsets, and it’s also a small price to pay to get accurate audio from competitive games.
And overall, the sound quality is mostly impressive. I especially appreciate how accurate the surround sound is when using the Audio Controller. That can make a difference in how immersed you feel.
Lots of features
Between the Tournament Gaming Headset and the Audio Controller, Turtle Beach doesn’t want you to miss out on anything. The headset has strong audio drivers and closed cups that isolate sound well. The T.A.C. meanwhile has a built-in amp, the option to plug in an auxiliary audio line, and presets for sound type and surround.The microphone is also detachable, and you can upgrade to a better-performing noise-cancelling mic if you wish.
Not every gamer is going to need everything in this package, but you’ll be happy you have it when you need it.
Gaming headsets have a tendency to look ugly. Razer, Astro, and HyperX can all make fine-looking pieces of equipment, and Turtle Beach is right with them.
The Elite Pro headset has a nice profile that looks both exciting and professional. It doesn’t have any gaudy elements that scream “100% TRUE GAMER” like so many other peripherals in this space. At the same time, it does have a sporty vibe.
What you won’t like
Difficult to get comfortable
My biggest gripe with Turtle Beach’s Elite Pro headset is that I never felt like I could get it to fit on my head well. The device features a comfort-adjusting system, but nothing I tried ever felt right.
The issue is that the headset always felt like it was squeezing my head too firmly. Even when I tuned the comfort sliders to their loosest setting, the bones around my ears would start to feel discomfort after about 15 minutes. This was never painful, and it didn’t even really distract from any games.
But I also never really knew where the headset wanted to rest on my head, and that was distracting. The device has three major points of contact with your skull: each ear and a soft band at the top that mostly interacts with your hair. Something about this build made it so that its weight would hang into those bones around my my ears and at the back of my jaw. The top of my head, however, felt like it was barely providing any support. That made it worse because it always felt like it was going to slide off my head if I tilted it too extremely.
It’s also heavy. You would expect a premium product to have some heft, but I think this pushes that to the extreme. It is more than a pound, and I definitely felt that in my neck after long sessions.
Occasional struggles with certain sounds
While I like the isolation and rich audio in a lot of circumstances, the headset comes up short in others. Sudden bursts of noise in music and in games — like gunshots — would cause some artifacting. It’s not something that I heard dozens of times, but it was frequent enough that I noticed it.
Also the amp inside of the T.A.C. could be stronger. It’s definitely much better at surround sound than at powering volume and range. This means you’re still going to miss some of those details in the sound profile that you might get with a dedicated portable USB sound card.
Try these on before you buy them. I know my melon isn’t a universal barometer of comfort, so you’ll want to see if these work on your dome better than they work on mine. If they do, you’re going to get an audio system that gives you highly accurate, isolated sounds for competitive play. Distractions of the world can’t get to you in these cans, and you’ll have an easy time hearing the precise movements of your in-game opponents.
I wish the amp was a little stronger, but it’s not something that’s going to cause an issue with gaming. And you’ll be so happy with the surround sound, the auxiliary input, and the other features that you won’t really care.
Turtle Beach provided GamesBeat with sample units for the purposes of this review. The headset and T.A.C. are available now for $200 each.