Review: Turtle Beach Elite 800 Headset

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Product: Turtle Beach Elite 800 Headset
Release Date: January 1, 2015
Manufacturer: Turtle Beach
Original MSRP: $299.95
This product was provided by the manufacturer for review purposes.
PS Nation Review Policy.

Audio Review:
The audio review for these headphones is available on Episode 447 of the podcast.
Ep447

Since the launch of PS4 the big question looming for a lot of gamers is: “What kind of headphones should I buy?” Do you buy the earbuds that just plug into the controller or do you break the bank and get the highest price feature-filled headset? Well I can’t answer that question for you, however, I can give you some insight into the Turtle Beach Elite 800 Headset.

Now as you may or may not know, I am not Glenn. I do not have ten years of experience recording podcasts and tinkering with audio like he does. I am, however, your average gamer that has a pretty strict budget in my lifestyle.

Let’s get some of the tech talk out of the way.

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DTS Headphone 7.1 Surround with Superhuman Hearing – Turtle Beach takes great pride in letting you hear the person that is coming up behind you in FPS games and these headphones deliver on that expectation.

Active Noise Cancellation – You have the option to have this feature on or off. When it’s on you can feel the real world environment around you just go pretty much go away. I have taken these headphones on a few flights and absolutely love this feature.

… easy to connect magnetic charging base …
Even on a overnight flight that I took a while ago, I just used the headphones to drown out the noise while I attempted to sleep. I didn’t even listen to anything. Even with this feature turned off the density of the ear cups is very good at minimizing sound.

Completely Wireless – The headphones come with a magnetic base that has optical in and out on the back along with a power cord that uses USB for power. Once paired with the base the headphones are 100% wireless.

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DTS Surround Sound Modes – You have multiple choices for how you want to listen to your games, TV, movies, etc.

Magnetic Charging Stand – You can charge these with a simple micro USB cable plugged into a USB port on a power brick or you can use the super easy to connect magnetic charging base. The only downside is that you can only charge on the base if everything is oriented correctly.

… around eight hours of playtime …
I failed a few times by accidentally setting these on the stand the wrong way then returning later to find that they didn’t charge at all. After realizing my stupidity I started waiting to hear the audio prompt that told me it was charging. The headphones say “Powering On, Charging,” when you’ve correctly placed the headphones on the charging station.

Bluetooth Connectivity – You can connect these headphones to any device that supports bluetooth.

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Built-in Rechargeable Battery – The only downside is that you can’t swap the battery out. With noise canceling on, I got around eight hours of playtime. With noise canceling off it came closer to the ten hour advertised use time.

Memory Foam Ear Cushions – Not having a lot of experience with high end headphones, these were very comfortable and never gave that “too tight” feeling when wearing them for four to five hours at a stretch. I do wear glasses and the ear cups didn’t pinch my ears at all.

… The mic is hidden within the ear cups …
Mic Monitoring – With a built in return channel you can hear your own voice when talking with your friends. This feature is supposed to prevent you from talking loud when noise canceling is turned on. If you ask my wife she will tell you this feature doesn’t work. She has stated multiple times that I am talking too loud when I have these headphones on. Maybe I just talk too loud when gaming.

Hidden, High Quality Noise-Cancelling Microphone – There is no boom microphone sticking out in front of your face. The mic is hidden within the ear cups of the headphones. When playing games with my friends they always told me that I sounded clear and that they had no issues hearing or understanding me.

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Okay, enough talk about all the things these headphones do or don’t do. Let’s talk about my day to day impressions. I have used these headphones for multiple things, cutting the grass, flights across the country, watching movies in my basement, and of course, gaming.

All the buttons to change settings or profiles are housed on the sides of each ear cup and they’re very sensitive. Sometimes I feel like I was just trying to adjust how the headphones sat on my head and I accidentally pushed a button and changed a setting.

… the low battery indication happens too late …
Whenever you get a low battery notification or mute your mic you’ll hear a unique short chirp. All of your friends in game with you will hear it as well. They don’t seem to be able to hear the female voice telling you all the things the buttons do when a setting is changed though.

The coolest feature I feel these headphones have is the separate volume controls for party chat and game audio. The ability to easily adjust the in-game sound versus the party chat really comes in handy for a lot of the games I play.

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I feel that the low battery indication happens too late. I was playing a game the other day and got the notification. About ten minutes later I got another and then they just died. There is also no visual indication of how much charge the headphones have left.

The headphones do have some nice quality of life features. You can rest them around your neck when not in use and the ear cups will fold flat against your chest. This was again great while traveling and not having to worry about them catching on anything to hitting my chin on them.

… a sale would make these a must buy …
You also have the option to just plug into the bottom of the left ear cup and then plug the other end into your device and listen that way without using any of the battery but noise canceling won’t work when doing so.

I would not recommend these headphones for recording a podcast or videos. I just don’t feel the mic quality sounds good enough. I did however use these headphones multiple times while I was live streaming games and never had a complaint that viewers couldn’t hear or understand me.

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Conclusion:
So are these headphones for you? I can’t give a definite yes or no. I feel these are a great choice for the person that will have multiple uses for them. If you travel a lot they’re great for flying. If you bring your console or tablet with you to play or watch media, then you have a great option to not disturb the people around you.

I found a few times while wearing these headphones while gaming that I would sit back to relax and bump the ear cups against my couch and it would change a setting or mute my mic just by brushing against something.

I feel that the $299.95 MSRP for these is fair when you look at all the features these headphones have to offer for multiple uses. However, a sale would make these a must buy.

Score:
9.0

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