Published on July 12th, 2016 | by Greg0
Turtle Beach Elite Pro Headset & TAC: A Gamer’s Companion
Multi-platform support is a tough nut to crack- it’s hard enough for a manufacturer to get a single platform handled well, much less try to deal with multiple different companies and their various rules, regulations, specifications, and processes. That’s why some devices focus on a specific console (Xbox One or PS4) and some work with both of those but not so well with your PC computer. This is true for controllers, and it’s also true for today’s focus: headsets. Your video game system may come with a headset, and you may have tried using others, but serious gamers know that there is a wide world of possibilities and some confer a competitive advantage.
Take the Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament Gaming Headset. It’s a wired model, which is usually preferred for stability and performance, and they’ve designed it from the ground up to be one of the most eSports-focused headsets on the market. Aesthetically, it screams ‘gamer’ and it works quite well across the various platforms. We tested it on all three systems, in a variety of games including the recent FPS Overwatch (and plenty of other titles as well). Inside each earcup, you’ll find their touted new 50mm ‘NanoClear Speaker’ drivers, which they claim were created specifically for eSports. And on the side, you’ll find a removable boom microphone, which was bendable and baffled for better acoustics.
But it’s some of the other parts that were more interesting: like the headband adjustment system, with nicely tactile knobs for fine-tuning your fit. The ear cushions, as well, deserve some attention: made from spandex fabric with gel-infused foam, the walls are real leather. They were comfortable indeed, the perfect balance of firmness and pliability, but the really nifty part for some staff was the glasses relief system, which creates a narrow channel for your frames to fit within, the better to avoid stress on your temples (which can create headaches quickly, as any gamer with glasses can attest). A noise-cancelling microphone is available separately, and wasn’t tested.
But we did get a chance to use the Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tactical Audio Controller, or TAC, which serves as a surround sound mixer and amplifier. You can use it with other headphones, but it’s designed to work best with theirs. And though it doesn’t offer true channel controls or serve as an equalizer, you can easily adjust your microphone or game volume, or even adjust the background noise settings so your teammates won’t get distracted by the movie playing in the next room. Easy muting and presets are nice, and the various pieces felt solid. Our favorite part was definitely support for DTS Headphone:X 7.1 Surround Sound, which allows unparalleled directional audio and pinpoint accurate reproduction, allowing to track enemies easily. We did face some issues with the TAC- low-level noise that wasn’t present without it, a relative lack of power for an amp in this price range and thus a fairly low volume ceiling. During movies and television shows, audio could sound distorted, but this is definitely aimed at gamers.
Which leaves only cost as a factor- at $200, online and in stores, the Turtle Beach Elite Pro TAC didn’t quite feel worth it. The Turtle Beach Elite Pro Gaming Headset was certainly worth the pricetag though, and competitive at $200- it might just launch your eSports career, or at least help you up the ladder a bit.