Turtle Beach Elite Pro review: Tournament quality headset and audio controller

Audio / Audio Hardware Reviews / Gaming / PC / PlayStation / Reviews / Xbox
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The Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament Headset and Tactical Audio Controller team up well to offer great sound and clear chat in noisier environments.

While sound cues are important to gamers, especially in multiplayer, there may be times when you need to focus on the vocal aspect of team chat while gaming as well. Our Turtle Beach Elite Pro review takes a look at a tournament-ready headset which allows gamers to quickly fine tune game and chat balance when coupled with the Tactical Audio Controller.

Specifications

The Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament Headset has the following features and specifications:

  • ComforTec™ Fit System – Experience another level of comfort with this revolutionary, adjustable fit system
  • Aerofit™ Ear Cushions – Revolutionary materials block outside sounds and keep your ears cool for distraction-free play.
  • ProSpecs™ Glasses Relief System – Comfortably wear both your glasses AND headset thanks to our patented, pressure-relieving technology
  • Pro Gaming Microphone with TruSpeak™ Technology – Be heard loud and clear with this professional quality mic
  • 50mm Nanoclear™ Speakers – Immerse yourself in the game and hear your teammates clearly, thanks to our signature eSports tuning
  • Circuit Pro™ Cable System – Quickly connect the Elite Pro headset to all Elite Pro accessories with one universal connection
  • Speaker Frequency Response: 12Hz-22kHz
  • Speakers: 50mm NanoClear
  • Microphone Design: Removable Omni-Directional Gaming Microphone
  • Headband/Earpad Material: Spandex, Leather, Gel infused memory foam
  • Earcup Design: Over-Ear
  • Audio/Mic Connection: 4 pole 3.5mm jack
  • Weight: 390g
  • PS4, Xbox One, PC

The Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tactical Audio Controller has the following features and specifications:

  • DTS™ Headphone:X 7.1 Surround Sound – Pinpoint the exact location of every sound with immersive 7.1 surround sound
  • DTS™ Surround Sound Modes – Personalize your audio preferences with a variety of audio presets and sound modes
  • Genre Specific Audio Presets – Easily customize your audio preferences with a variety of presets
  • Create an Instant Local Chat Network – Enjoy seamless, lag-free chat during LAN events or tournaments
  • Stream Output – Broadcast your gameplay and chat streams in real-time.
  • Superhuman Hearing™ – Hear every single thing around you from enemy footsteps to distant vehicles to weapon reloads.
  • External USB Surround Sound Card – For gamers on PC and Mac, the Elite Pro T.A.C. also serves as a full, external USB sound card offering DTS™ Headphone:X 7.1 Surround Sound.

What’s in the Box

Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament Headset

  • Elite Pro Tournament Gaming Headset for PS4, Xbox One, PC
  • 3.5mm stereo cable with inline volume control
  • Guide included
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Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament Headset contents.

Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tactical Audio Controller

  • Elite Pro Tactical Audio Controller
  • Mini-USB power cable (~10.5 ft)
  • Micro-USB programming cable
  • Digital optical cable (~13 ft)
  • AUX/Stream/Xbox One chat cable (~3.5 ft)
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Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tactical Audio Controller contents.

Design

Elite Pro Tournament Headset

The Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament Headset is a solid looking gaming headset. At first glance, the earcups look a bit thicker than your standard gaming headset by as much as a third. The headband is a floating headband design, with the Turtle Beach ComforTec Fit System which has unique tension controls to adjust the tightness of the headset to your personal preference and a separate head-size adjustment. The dual adjustment system allows you to independently control the earcup position and headband tension which gives a much better and more comfortable fit.

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The ComforTec™ Fit System really allows for a custom comfortable fit.

Each earcup is attached to the headband on a swivel point which rotates back almost a full 90°. The earcups are adjustable up and down between three adjustment heights, and the outside of each earcup features the Elite Pro logo. A tiny hole displays which adjustment height you have that earcup set to as well. The earpads on each earcup are constructed from Asahi spandex fabric and gel-infused memory foam. The earpad has leather on both the inside and outside of the earpad.

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The earcups are attached via a twistable hinge, and the ear pads have leather on the inside as well as outside.

The ear pads attach to the earcup by twisting into place, a feature that allows you to remove them and adjust the ProSpecs Glasses Relief System which is simply a piece of plastic on the back of each earpad that has 5 holes in it. Pull the tab and set it into one of the holes and you’ll notice that the other side of the earpad indents slightly, allowing a bit of space for glasses. It actually works quite well and you definitely notice the difference when the ProSpecs Glasses Relief System is set and when it isn’t while wearing glasses.

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It’s a subtle dip but makes a world of difference for those of us that wear glasses.

The detachable microphone and audio cable lead are both attached to the left earcup. Once attached, the microphone swivels up and down, and the arm is adjustable as well for prime microphone placement. The included 3.5mm stereo cable connects to a slightly larger housing roughly three inches below the left earcup. Roughly 18″ below that is the inline volume control with an orange microphone mute switch.

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Inline volume control with mic mute switch.

Overall the Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament Headset is very comfortable, even when wearing for extended gaming sessions although I do find it slightly heavier than most other gaming headsets.

Tactical Audio Controller

The Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tactical Audio Controller (TAC)  is a small rectangular box roughly 3 1/2″ wide by 5 1/2″ long. The bottom edge is about 1″ thick, while the back edge is just about 1 3/4″ thick giving it a slanted look. This slanted design also makes the front panel a bit easier to see as it is angled towards you when you glance down at it.

The front edge of the TAC has three 3.5mm audio ports: a headset with microphone port for standard headset use, a microphone port for use with the Turtle Beach Tournament Noise Cancelling Microphone, and an Xbox One controller audio port.

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Turtle Beach Elite Pro TAC front view.

Turning the TAC around, you’ll find the AUX-In port, Stream Out port, Mini-USB port labelled Main for power connection, Micro-USB port labelled Program Only for updating the firmware on the TAC (covered by a removable rubber plug), a switch that allows you to toggle between PS, PC/Mac, Xbox One, or Xbox 360, two LAN ports (one out, one in), and two optical audio ports (one out, one in).

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Turtle Beach Elite Pro TAC back view.

The front panel has four main sliders: Game/Chat Balance, Background Noise Limiter, Outbound Mic Boost, and Mic Monitor Level. Each slider is slightly curved inward, making them easy to slide up and down. Below the sliders is the master volume adjustment dial which has a nice silver finish and textured outer edge. Pressing down on the dial mutes audio. In addition, there is an outbound mic audio mute button to the lower left of the main dial volume. Finally, there are two buttons above the sliders: Presets and Surround Mode. The Surround Mode button toggles between Game, Movie, Music, and Surround Off modes, and each mode is indicated by the number of lights lit above the Surround Mode button. The Presets button toggles between four audio presets depending on what surround mode you have enabled. For example, when in Game Mode you can choose from Signature Sound, Shooter, Superhuman Hearing, or Footstep Focus presets to adjust the sound on your headphones to your liking.

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The Elite Pro TAC has four sliders, a preset button, and a surround sound button.

Ease of Use

I tested the Turtle Beach Elite Pro TAC on both PC and the Xbox One. PC setup was a breeze, simply plug the TAC into an available USB port and connect the Elite Pro Tournament, or other headset into the 3.5mm headset port on the front of the TAC. Once connected, set your default playback device to ELITE GAME and configure it to 7.1 Surround Sound. Likewise, set your default configuration device to ELITE CHAT.

Xbox One setup isn’t difficult but does require a few extra cables. The TAC needs to be connected via USB for power. Next, connect the optical audio cable from the TAC to your Xbox One. Using the game controller port on the front of the TAC, connect that to your Xbox One controller via your 3.5mm audio port on the controller or the Xbox Stereo Headset adapter. Finally, connect your Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament Headset (or other 3.5mm gaming headset) to the TAC headset port.

Once setup, it’s as simple as pressing the Surround and Preset buttons to get the audio experience you want, and adjusting the sliders on the TAC to fine tune your game/chat balance and microphone settings for maximum chat clarity.

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Once connected, simply adjust your volume levels with the sliders, presets, and main volume knob.

In both cases, you can daisy chain multiple Elite Pro TACs together using standard Ethernet cables to enjoy seamless, lag-free chat at LAN events and tournaments. While we didn’t test this out, given the performance and sound of the TAC with the Elite Pro Tournament Headset indicates that this functionality should work seamlessly as well.

Sound

On their own, the Elite Pro Tournament Headset sounds decent enough, with a nice balanced range between lows, mids, and highs. Explosions and bullets in Battlefield 1 were very authentic sounding while the roaring engines, squealing of tires, and even weather effects made you feel even more like you are driving an actual race car in Forza Motorsport 6 or Forza Horizon 3.

When connected to the Elite Pro TAC, the Tournament Headset sounded much better as you’re able to choose from a number of surround sound and mode presets. These presets can be changed on the TAC using the Ear Force Audio Hub software (more on that in a minute). While it would be nice to be able to fine tune your sound settings even more, the presets worked well enough for toggling the sound for the gaming sound experience of your choosing. The surround sound presets really do make a difference in hearing what’s going on around you, especially on the Xbox One.

I tried a couple other gaming headsets with the TAC and had mixed results. There is no question that it works best with the Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament Headset, and possibly other Turtle Beach products but that’s usually par for the course.

Microphone/Voice Quality

The default microphone/voice quality on the Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament Headset was described as quiet but clear. Once connected through the TAC, the microphone was easily adjustable using the Outbound Mic Boost and I was able to make it louder while retaining the clarity.

Software

The Ear Force Audio Hub software allows you to update your Elite Pro TAC as well as swap out the presets that are available on it. The software is pretty simple and requires that you attach the TAC using the Micro-USB cable through the program port. Once connected, it will scan for software updates and if one is available will update your TAC. Once it has checked for and applied any updates, you can select a current preset from the TAC on the left side and one from the full list of presets and update the TAC with your new preferred preset.

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If you really want to, you can change the presets for each surround sound mode.

To be honest, while the preset swapping is easy enough, between the four surround sound modes and pre-assigned presets all the possible presets are already programmed on the TAC.

Price/Value

The Elite Pro Tournament Headset isn’t the cheapest on the market, but it’s definitely comfortable, well constructed, and offers great gaming sound — even in noisier environments (like LAN tournaments). The TAC definitely boosts the sound quality and options of the Elite Pro Tournament Headset but is something most gamers could probably get by without. If you frequently play in large groups or tournaments, the TAC will definitely allow you to adjust your sound and chat settings to exactly what you need in such an environment.

The Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament Headset and TAC aren’t cheap and come in with an MSRP of $199.99USD each — a steep price for some if you’re picking up both. You can save a few dollars on the headset on Amazon as it is currently selling for around $187USD.

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The Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament Headset sounds decent on its own but really shines when connected to the TAC.

Wrap-up

The Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament Headset offers great gaming sound and comfort, especially in noisier environments. The Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tactical Audio Controller extends your sound options as well as fine tunes your chat for even further clarity.

Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament Headset

Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament Headset
4.6 Out of 5
Nailed It
Comfortable, decent sound. The ProSpecs Glasses Relief System makes a surprisingly big difference for those who wear glasses.
Needs Work
A bit pricier than other options. Personally found them a bit heavy, but not uncomfortable.
Bottom Line
The Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament Headset offers great gaming sound and comfort, especially in noisier environments.
Design4.75
Sound4.50
Microphone/Voice Quality4.50
Price/Value4.50
  Purchase from Amazon  Purchase from Turtle Beach

Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tactical Audio Controller

Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tactical Audio Controller
4.7 Out of 5
Nailed it
Easy to use and configure. Includes nice long cables for optimal gaming setups. Can daisy chain for private chat sessions.
Needs Work
Setup on the Xbox One requires quite a few cables. Bit on the pricey side.
Bottom Line
The Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tactical Audio Controller extends your sound options as well as fine tunes your chat for even further clarity.
Design5.00
Software/Ecosystem4.00
Ease of Use4.75
Performance5.00
Price/Value4.50
  Purchase from Amazon  Purchase from Turtle Beach
*We were sent a review sample of the Turtle Beach Elite Pro Wired Tournament Headset and Tactical Audio Controller for the purposes of this review.
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