Turtle Beach Elite 800 Review: Video Game Audio We All Love

(Last Updated On: May 1, 2017)

Turtle Beach is one of, if not the most, recognizable names in the of video game audio. Their headphones can be seen across the headers of professional players and enthusiasts alike.

The Turtle Beach Elite 800s are the most expensive headphones that Turtle Beach offers, coming at a $299 asking price.

Despite this, the extra features that the headphones offer push them to justify this cost. The wireless functionality, magnetic charging stand, and true DTS 7.1 surround sound make these headphones feature rich in the best way.

However, those who are looking for a superb overall listening experience will be sorely disappointed. This pair of headphones, while excellent for gaming in features, does not meet the standard set by other headphone manufacturers.

Quick Specifications

Audio Connection Digital Optical (Game) & USB (Chat)
Speaker Frequency Response 20Hz – 20kHz
Bluetooth      Bluetooth for Music and Phone Calls
Digital Signal Processor DTS Headphone:X 7.1 Surround
Speakers 50mm Speakers
Battery Life    Up to 10 hours of battery life
Digital Wireless Carrier Transmission       2.4 GHz
Microphone Design  Dual Boomless Noise-Cancelling
Headband/Earpad Material  Synthetic Leather with Memory Foam Earcups
Earcup Design Over-Ear

Design and Construction

The Elite 800s come out of the gate with a surprisingly minimalist aesthetic. As opposed to the overinflated trend of gaming headsets, the Elite 800s have clean lines and design that make them stick out from the crowd.

The outside of the earcups can be customized with detachable magnetic plates, making the headset your own. These plates are a nice touch on the design.

Unfortunately, being the highest pair of headphones that Turtle Beach offers, I was disappointed to see a predominantly plastic frame. There are a few metal accent pieces, but the rest of the body is constructed from plastic.

That is not to say that these a flimsy. These headphones feel sturdy in the hand and on your head, but if you’re prone to throw your pairs of cans around, you may want to look elsewhere.

Regardless, the all plastic body houses two 50mm drivers, complete memory foam ear cushions surrounding them. These cushions are nice, providing plenty of comfort for extended listening or play sessions.

However, they are just okay. For $299, I was a little disappointed with the pads considering headphones like the Beyerdynamic DT770 Pros have amazing ear cups at a cheaper price point. Check out the latest discounts and prices anytime here!

On the bottom of the cups, there is a lack of cable input. Yes, these headphones are wireless, but they are only wireless.

Needless to say, there is some quality lost in Bluetooth enabled headphones. So, the lack of a dedicated cable input as an option seems more annoying than practical for those who want a higher quality experience.

Finishing off the earcups are dedicated soft touch buttons for media controls. Tapping the side of the ear cups you can turn the headphones on or off, turn Bluetooth on or off, and control the volume.

To charge these headphones, Turtle Beach includes a magnetic dock that the headphones can rest on to charge. This dock was super convenient not only for charging, but just for having a place to set my headphones.

Often, I have to find an awkward spot to set my headphone when I’m not using them, with the periodic hazard of them falling off (yeah, my desk gets messy). With the dock, my headphones had a dedicated spot, all while charging them up for battle.

Overall, the Elite 800s are solidly designed and constructed. The pair of headphones feels comfortable on the head and held up great for extended listening or play sessions.

With that being said, the lack of metal construction is a slap in the face at $299.

Sound Quality

At $299, the Turtle Beach Elite 800s come out as just sounding decent. Certainly, they fall short of many other pairs of cans on the market.

The first reason for this is the lack of a dedicated cable for the headphones. When passing signal over Bluetooth, there is a bit of quality lost, and this is apparent with the Elite 800s.

The frequency response of 20Hz-20kHz is a bit shocking, especially considering the price tag.

In the low end, there is a steep roll off in the subs that is disappointing for listening to music.

The mids, thankfully, tell a different story. Throughout the entire midrange, the headphones are clear and pleasant.

The low mids are punching, and the high mids aren’t too harsh. I was surprised at how nice the midrange came out in the end.

The top end is a little too pokey. While the highs certainly aren’t oppressive, they do stick out above other aspects of the headphones, being a little annoying for long periods of listening.

With that being said, most of this makes sense when considering the purpose of the headphones. These headphones are specifically made for gaming, and in that regard, they excel.

Quick blasts of subs, explosions, gunfire, and more all translate beautifully on the Elite 800s. The gaming experience on these headphones show why Turtle Beach is still one of the best in this area.

The immersion of the sound is really put into context with the DTS 7.1 surround sound. In most games, I could hear footsteps over my shoulder or gunfire off in the distance.

For gaming, it’s hard to beat surround sound and the Elite 800s nail it in this department.

Additionally, the headphones feature some pretty solid active noise cancellation which is great for an immersive gaming experience.

For the price, looking at pure sound quality, I was disappointed. With that being said, the extra features more than justify the cost and the quality is perfectly suited for the purpose of the headphones.

Communication

For gaming, communicating with your team is essential. Thankfully, the Elite 800s are perfectly suited in this regard.

The Elite 800s feature a hidden microphone in the ear cups of the design. For the distance, this works surprisingly well.

Instead of having an annoying boom arm hanging down in front of your face, the noise cancelling hidden microphone works wonders without being in the way.

In fact, the Elite 800s show off how good your voice sounds in the microphone as well. The headphones allow you to actively monitor your voice to make sure you’re not screaming into the microphone and being obnoxious.

In addition, the headphones also have a compressor built in. This means that your voice will translate at the correct volume in game instead of having awkward peaks and dips.

I was pleasantly surprised with how solid the microphone performed in game. While certainly not anything exceptional, the microphone performed well above expectation for one included in a gaming headset, and for that, the Elite 800s must be commended.

Conclusion

Overall, the Elite 800s are a very solid pair of headphones. The extreme usability and extra in-game features show not only why Turtle Beach is such a big name, but why they charge so much for these headphones.

However, if you’re not concerned about gaming, you’ll be sorely disappointed with the Elite 800s. The sound quality, while not bad, is not suited for listening to music and the cable-less design leads to quite a bit of quality lost.

Regardless, the headphones are solid and convenient. They’re easy to set up, charge, and use. For gamers, the Elite 800s prove to be the cream of the crop in terms of features. However, if you’re looking for more flexibility, you may want to look elsewhere.

Juan Alexander

Juan is a self-professed sound-nerd and the webmaster / lead author & tester for AllSoundLab. You might literally walk into him on the street because he's tuned out to the world and tuned in to his beats...

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