Turtle Beach Elite Pro Headset Review – Both elite and pro, this “tournament” headset is Turtle Beach’s attempt to weld some esports cool points to a brand that’s always been known for solid peripherals.
It uses a straightforward 3.5mm plug to connect to your PC, instead of a fancy digital USB connection, using the four-pole type of connector seen on a cellphone hands-free kit to integrate its microphone signal. Check that the headphone socket you plug it into supports this if you want to use the removable mic. Anyone in need of more options can get the optional Tactical Audio Controller (yes, really), which acts as an external USB soundcard, and costs the same as the headset itself. There’s a noise canceling mic upgrade, too, offering “professional grade chat performance” (who writes this stuff?) for $ more.
The Elite Pro is a serious investment when you’re able to pick up cans and a mic for less than $20 online, so it had better be worth it. If you measure that worth in terms of comfort, it certainly is. After a head-scratching two minutes spent trying to work out how the cable (included in the box, but hidden so well that the packaging contains a message and an arrow pointing to it) fits, it snaps home solidly, and we finally notice the orange flash and shaped plastic that’s meant to guide it in. A designer probably spent a week working on that, and is proud to have created such a foolproof method of attaching the cable right first time. Sorry, Mr Designer. Plugging in the bundled mic— omnidirectional, on a bendable stick—was similarly straightforward.
Once over our stupidity attack and wearing the headset, it reveals itself to be supremely comfortable. The ear cushions are gel-filled and cool against your skin, the headband pressing them lightly into the sides of your head to cut out a lot of background noise. With no sound coming from the headphones, we couldn’t hear ourselves typing as long as we skipped over the keys like a ballerina. A heavier action on a mechanical keyboard could be picked out, as there’s no noise-canceling. Ramp up some music or gunfire, and you’d be hard-pressed to be distracted by anything less than a civil defense siren.
DO ADJUST YOUR SET
The first time you put it on, the headband adjusts to your head, with two sliders above the orange pivot points (which look like a weak spot, but after some rough twisting, seem quite tough), and height adjustment below, enabling you to raise and lower each cup. The pivots enable you to twist the headset so it lies flat on a table, if that’s your thing. The cord attaches to the right-hand cup, and isn’t very long—something to watch out for if you’re not using the TAC, and need to run it to the back of your PC. There’s a useful volume wheel and mic-muting button halfway along its length.
Sound quality, once adjusted to fit your head, is extremely good. There’s no Dolby Headphone cleverness on offer—these are stereo through and through—and without the use of the Tactical Audio Controller, they really are just dumb headphones (this means you can use them with your cellphone or console, too). While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it does make you look at something like the Corsair Gaming series of headsets, or the SteelSeries Siberia 800, with its wireless 7.1 sound, and wonder what you’re paying for here.
The answer is thoughtful design and build quality, two things the Elite Pro delivers. And if having the most comfortable headset matters—particularly for people who wear them for long periods—this is a fine choice. For more options, such as noise-canceling or surround sound, you’ll have to look elsewhere, -ian evenden
- Simple stereo headphones
- not much for price
- expensive accessories
Impedance 32 ohms
Frequency Response 12Hz-22kHz
Design Style Semi-open
Microphone Type Omnidirectional
Cord Length 11 feet