The Elite Pro is Turtle Beach’s latest gaming headset for console and PC crowds alike.
Turtle Beach has combined large 50mm drivers, a sturdy yet adjustable frame, and compatibility with pretty much any device – whether it’s a mobile phone, PC or console. The Elite Pro strikes a decent balance between features, design and sound quality, with impressive results.
Related: Best gaming headsets
Watch: Which headphones should you buy?
The Elite Pro is a fairly chunky headset, with a black design accented by hints of orange. The two-tone design works well and looks good without screaming ‘gaming’. The weight of the headset is reasonable considering its specs – it’s heavier than HyperX’s Cloud II headset, but much lighter than a pair of Blue Mo-Fi headphones.
The top part of the headset features a memory foam band to make for a comfortable fit, and the ear pads are also constructed from a thick ring of memory foam. These are coated in a mixture of leather and fabric, and in combination with the wide-diameter earcups, the fit’s very comfortable. It’s also possible to add tension to a small section of each earcup to reduce pressure on glasses – this is controlled underneath the earcups by a notched strap.
The rest of the headset is made from a combination of metal and plastic, and while it doesn’t necessarily feel cheap, it doesn't look as premium as I would like. Compared to a similarly priced pair of headphones such as the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0, the Elite Pro simply can’t compete.
You do get a lot of adjustment, though, with plenty of vertical headband movement and headband tension control. The earcups also have several degrees of rotation. The end result is a headset that will fit most users comfortably over a long period of time.
Related: Best headphones to buy
This is a stereo headset, but by using the optional ‘Tactical Audio Controller’, you can get virtual 7.1 surround sound delivered into the Elite Pro. Other features of the unit include mixer sliders to control volume and microphone monitoring, aux input, a dedicated DAC – which is likely to be better than the one inside an Xbox/PS4 controller – and more.
I also tested the optional ‘Tournament Microphone’, equipped with a secondary microphone for noise cancellation.
The audio quality in gaming headsets is so often disappointing, and often leaves me reaching for a pair of dedicated cans. Fortunately, the audio quality is arguably the Elite Pro’s strongest feature.
The headset connects to your device via a single 3.5mm jack, which delivers both downstream audio and upstream mic input. This makes it compatible with mobile devices and PS4/Xbox controllers. PC users will need to use an adapter to convert to a two-jack system, but this is not included. Some older Xbox One controllers will also need an adapter to work, which again isn’t provided, but is available from Turtle Beach at extra cost.
I conducted my testing with a Windows 10 PC and a Galaxy Note 4 smartphone, and found listening to the Elite Pro to be a real joy. The audio quality is excellent, whether it’s smooth jazz on the daily commute, decapitating enemy players in Gears Of War, or rocking out to Spotify’s ‘Massive Dance Hits’ playlist.
Vocals are very clear, the mid tones well balanced, and there’s strong bass that delivers a proper thud without becoming overpowering. While I was unable to pinpoint exactly where other players were in tense games of Gears Of War, the surprisingly wide soundstage of the Elite Pro really helped immerse me in the action.
While having virtual 7.1 audio is a welcome addition, it doesn't add enough to the gaming experience to justify the cost of the mixer. Factor in the small amount of background noise it introduces, along with the added cable clutter and it quickly becomes too hard to justify. That, and the fact that virtual surround can’t deliver an experience as good as real surround sound.
The microphone that comes supplied with the Elite Pro attaches to the headset easily, and has a fair amount of adjustment thanks to its mouldable stem. The audio quality should be more than sufficient for VoIP calls, in-game chat and other applications where voice clarity isn't crucial to success, but it’s not fantastic – especially at this price point. It’s a tad muffled and noisy, and I feel Turtle Beach should supply something better at this price.
Those wanting to step up to something a bit more serious can opt for the optional Tournament Microphone, however, which is equipped with a secondary mic for noise cancellation.
When it comes to recording quality, this sadly doesn’t offer any real improvement over the stock microphone. The noise cancelling works really well, but it’s not going to be useful for most buyers, unless you frequently find yourself at LAN parties or professional gaming tournaments. In other words, it’s aimed at players who game in noisy environments, rather than those who want the best-quality recordings. My advice is to avoid it unless you really need noise cancellation.
Gaming headsets often opt for style over substance – bold designs with mediocre sound quality and little thought for long-term comfort.
While it’s definitely in the premium category at £169.99, it manages to strike a very good balance between features, comfort and audio quality.
It’s slightly let down by its mediocre microphone and use of plastic ear cups, but the Elite Pro sounds great and is very comfortable to wear for long periods of time. I wasn’t overly impressed with the optional modules, though, so this is a much better standalone buy.
A great headset for avid gamers, but there are cheaper headsets for those more interested in casual gaming than LAN parties and tournaments.