Published on February 5th, 2015 | by Greg0
Turtle Beach Elite 800: Wireless, Noise Cancelling Gaming Headset
There is something very satisfying about a well-made piece of gear- the way it feels solid in the hand, stable on the head, polished edges and soft, supple materials. We love it when equipment exceeds expectations, when controls work easily, and nothing is too heavy or too light. Today’s gadget is aimed directly at gamers, but includes features rarely seen in the market. Whether you need a better way to listen to Madden or Call of Duty, the latest Mortal Kombat or the next MMORPG, you’ll enjoy the audio performance from this next-generation headset.
The latest thing around our ears is the Turtle Beach Elite 800 Wireless Noise-Cancelling DTS Surround Sound Gaming Headset- and yes, that is its complete title. Built specifically for the Sony Playstation 3 and PS4, it’s also billed as being useful for mobile gaming- though we focused on console use, since it’a a bit large to really want to use with your tablet or smartphone on-the-go. And don’t fret Xbox fans- Turtle Beach has you covered as well, with a separate model we’ll be looking at tomorrow.
This is one of the only gaming headsets that we’ve seen to include active noise cancellation. Passive cancellation is simply a good, tight seal around your ears to block out external noise- but the more sophisticated method is to analyze the noises and create an equal-and-opposite signal to render them basically inaudible. As with others, it won’t work on every sudden scream, but the dual hidden microphones do a good job of capturing and blocking out whirring, regular ones. Wireless headsets are definitely the way to go right now for console gaming, because cords can really get in the way- with PCs it matters less since you’re likely much closer to the screen. Thankfully, the Elite 800 includes a hefty battery that offers 10 or so hours of use between charges, enough for even the longest sessions. One of the coolest parts of the entire package is the magnetic charging system, a super-simple dock that also serves as the hub. Connect via USB and optical audio cabling to your gaming console and you’re all set.
Turtle Beach, though, didn’t include a wall power adapter in the box, which can mean a bit of awkwardness as you are forced to take up one of the console’s precious USB ports. Plus, if you’re not careful, the USB ports won’t be powered when the console is turned off. We loved that you can independently adjust chat and game volume levels, and the DTS surround sound is pretty good- it can help you pinpoint where those shots are coming from, thanks to excellent spatial dynamics. The Elite 800 is quite adjustable, both in terms of fit and audio- it’s among the more comfortable we’ve tested, with plenty of cushiness, large cups, and not too tight of a headband. And though the onboard controls can be too sensitive, we were impressed at how much control you have at your fingertips- everything from EQ settings to the ability to take calls from your phone while still in-game thanks to Bluetooth pairing. It isn’t cheap, but the Turtle Beach Elite 800 is worthy of the name, and the price tag- available now, online and in stores for around $300.