Every now and again, something comes along that opens your eyes to how good a company can be. For a few years, I personally have been avoiding Turtle Beach products after being sent a second-hand review headset for one of my first tech reviews. Unfortunately, the headset itself was of such poor quality that the plastic holding the earpiece to the main headset weakened and broke completely within a week, and I didn’t want to review something that I thought was such poor quality and couldn’t give fair and unbiased thoughts about.
Move along a couple of years and I suddenly find myself in contact with Turtle Beach again (or at least their PR Partners here in Australia). I have been lucky enough to have been sent some of their brand new products: the Elite Pro Headset and Stream Mic. Now, here at The Outerhaven, we have been a mostly Hyper X touting website with a bit of Razer here and there. Well, I can tell you now that if Turtle Beach keeps up with the amazing quality they have presented here, then you’ll be seeing a lot more Turtle Beach product reviews and endorsements on the site.
(Please note that any expressions of enjoyment or endorsement are of Karl himself and do not represent any official endorsement, sponsorship or advertisement of Turtle Beach products by The Outerhaven as a whole.)
Name: Turtle Beach Elite Pro Headset
Manufacturer: Turtle Beach
Platform: Playstation 4, Xbox One & PC
Price: AUD$299.00/USD$199.95 (Bundle with Elite Pro Noise Cancelling Mic & Elite Pro Tactical Audio Controller: AUD$499/USD$399.85)
Release Date: Out Now
Contains: Headset & Detachable Microphone
Disclosure: Turtle Beach Elite Pro Headset provided by Turtle Beach & PR Partners for review purposes
High-Quality Audio and Comfort
The Turtle Beach Elite Pro headset is the most comfortable headset that I have ever had the enjoyment of using for hours on end. I thought it would be impossible for anything to beat the comfort of my Hyper X Cloud Mavs, which are fall asleep comfortable, to begin with -but the Turtle Beach Elite Pro headset is forgotten the moment it’s placed on your head. It really is that comfortable.
During my day job, which has me at a computer for many hours on end doing data entry, I use the Turtle Beach Elite Pro headset as my main headset for my MP3 player. So, what will happen is that I will put the headset on and the world just disappears. The padding, though looking very thick, is very soft and sorta melts against your head to the point where I forget that I am wearing it. Also, as someone who wears glasses constantly, it’s great that the padding will mold itself around the rims of my glasses so that I don’t feel any pressure against the rims.
As for sound quality, the 50mm Nanoclear speakers are amazing! You get a full surround sound experience through the two speakers, and with the additional boost the headset gives my MP3 player, I can rock out to some extremely loud Metallica. At the same time, the noise canceling works both ways, so not only does it block out the outside world (much to my Team Leader’s dismay), but it stops any noise bleeding out and annoying my co-workers. Speaking of the boost, you could almost use the Turtle Beach Elite Pro headset as a set of mini-speakers–the boost is that good.
The Turtle Beach Elite Pro headset is designed to by used with the three major gaming platforms (PC, PS4 & Xbox One); now, while I haven’t had a chance to see how it works with an Xbox One as I do not own one, I have had the chance to use the Turtle Beach Elite Pro headset with my Playstation 4 in a few party sessions of Grand Theft Auto V with a couple of friends. Even at the lowest noise setting (done due to a bad cough I had at the time), the microphone was able to pick up everything in crystal clear sound… Which annoyed my friends a couple of times. For a microphone that looks to be nothing special, Turtle Beach have gone out of their way to make sure that it is up there with some of the best microphones available.
Elite Pro, Elite Drawbacks
If there is anything that is not so great about the Turtle Beach Elite Pro headset, they are a couple of small things.
The first thing is that for a headset that is designed to be used with a PC, having a 3.5mm cable line is a terrible idea. Instead of having separate 3.5mm jacks for both the microphone and headset that is customary for most desktop sound cards, it seems that Turtle Beach is wanting this to be used more with laptops instead, which while working really well, is annoying for those of us with real PCs with real sound cards. Having to go with either the Turtle Beach approved 3.5mm jack splitter at $5.95 or risking a lower quality with an eBay special at $2 is off-putting, to say the least.
This also brings in the other problem with the Turtle Beach Elite Pro headset. While the headset itself is a great piece of tech, you feel that you aren’t getting the whole experience without buying the whole Elite Pro suite of products, which include:
- Elite Pro Tactical Audio Controller (AUD$269/USD$199.95): An external USB Sound mixer that would make balancing streams a whole lot easier
- Elite Pro Noise-Cancelling Microphone (AUD$59/USD$29.95): A higher quality microphone that blocks out room noise so you can be heard without issues
- Elite Pro Tactical Audio Adaptor for Xbox One (AUD$69/USD$59.95): Like the PC controller, but for Xbox One
- Elite Pro A.M.P. for Playstation 4 (AUD$69/USD$39.95): Like the PC Controller, but for Playstation 4
That’s a lot of cash to hand over to “get the most” out of something that is already a high quality headset. It almost seems like Turtle Beach wants you to use their products, but at the same time wants to make sure that they get every last dollar out of your pockets. This might be something that professional streamers & eSport gamers might consider, but for the casual consumer, this is something that is going to turn them away and adopt something like Hyper X, which features high quality at a more consumer friendly price point.
The Turtle Beach Elite Pro headset is something that I think is going to be my main headset once I’m done with it at my day job. However, it’s something that I would never have picked up on my own as the price point is way above what I would pay for a headset. The downside of having to buy an audio splitter in order to get it working with my PC is another drawback that could easily be addressed by just giving us the splitter for free (Hyper X put a headset/microphone joiner cable in with their headsets). But now that I have the headset, I don’t seem to think I’ll ever be able to find something better, especially with my upcoming overseas travels. For an all-in-one headset, the Turtle Beach Elite Pro easily stands up to it’s name in quality, and that’s a damn good thing.
Name: Turtle Beach Stream Mic
Manufacturer: Turtle Beach
Platform: Playstation 4, Xbox One & PC
Release Date: October/November 2016
Contains: Microphone, Mic Stand Base, Mic Holder, Boom Mic Attachment & USB 2.0 Cable
Disclosure: Turtle Beach Stream Mic Headset provided by Turtle Beach & PR Partners for review purposes
Small Microphone, Big Output
Talk about something that I wasn’t expecting… literally. I arrived home one day and a box was waiting for me. Now I knew I wasn’t expecting anything from anyone–PAX Aus is about to happen and everyone is preparing for that–but to find that contained in the box was the unreleased Turtle Beach Stream Mic was a true surprise. Now what was even more surprising was that for such a small microphone (The whole thing is 15.5cm/6.1inches tall), it captures audio at a clearer and less noisy quality than my expensive Yeti microphone does!
To give you an idea of the difference, the Yeti microphone I have been using required me to build a small sound proofing box to contain it in so that I could reduce the excess noise that it would pick up. The Yeti would pick up the low hum of my PC, the vibrations on my desk, and anything that hummed or buzzed in the background. While that means that it’s a good high-quality professional microphone, it is way too sensitive for what I need to do. The Turtle Beach Stream Mic, on the other hand, is now sitting right in front of me on my desk and doesn’t pick up any vibration, no low hum from the PC or anything else in or around my room, all while keeping a high level of quality that is needed for audio recording for video production. An amazing difference for two high profile microphones.
Given that that Turtle Beach Stream Mic is a USB powered microphone, it is universal for all three of the main gaming platforms too. Now while I could use it on my PS4, I wouldn’t bother due to having to push a manual mute button when I had nothing to say, something that is better suited to a headset of the Elite Pro kind. But for a PC set up, this is the perfect microphone.
The Turtle Beach Stream Mic has 4 settings to pick up audio. A direct forward facing mode for commentary, a two-way mode for interviews, an all around mode to pick up a party or something like that, and a more open version of the forward facing mode for more open rooms. Each mode has amazing pick ups for the technology and once you know what you are doing, you’ll sound like a million bucks.
In the end, these two pick-ups from Turtle Beach are of amazing quality. As I said earlier, the Turtle Beach Elite Pro headset is probably going to become my main headset. The headset is comfortable and plays audio extremely clear that I don’t think anything can top it. As for the Turtle Beach Stream Mic, it’s already out-classed my Yeti microphone, which I have been using for commentary in video reviews, so expect to hear the difference yourself in the upcoming video reviews I put out here.
However, the one thing I’ll say about the Turtle Beach product line is that you are going to be hit hard in the hip pocket. The price point of the Turtle Beach Elite Pro headset and the Turtle Beach Stream Mic is a bit too high for the casual consumer and is more geared to those people who want to make gaming into a business more than a hobby. The need for the rest of the Elite Pro series of products to get to the next level is a bit of a drawback too, but would be a worthy expense for people who want a full streaming set up without having to go full audio nerd.
If you’re willing to drop the cash, then Turtle Beach is the brand for you. Their products are very durable and the sound quality in both capturing and playing audio is second to none in the gaming world. I’d happily recommend anyone who is serious about their gaming to pick these two things up right away and give them a go.