Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 + SuperAmp Pro Performance Gaming Audio System REVIEW
At Christmas, I was given the game Red Dead Redemption 2. I’ve been playing it religiously since then and exclusively using the audio directly from the TV’s speakers. It’s been an enjoyable playing experience since I felt like I didn’t really need a premium set of headphones like I do with an FPS game. With an FPS, the gaming dynamic is so much different and your strategy is largely based off of the placement of other players — premium sound that takes you into the game is practically essential in order to succeed with those types of games. When playing through story mode of RDR2, I felt like the TV speakers would be sufficient. Towards the end of the game, I started using the Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 Wired Gaming Headset and it totally changed the gaming experience.
The Elite Pro 3 + SuperAmp system builds on the Elite Pro legacy of products and is designed to deliver the next generation of audio performance. The headset has custom-tuned 50mm Nanoclear over-ear speakers set into a metal headband frame. The detachable microphone provides noise-canceling technology through TruSpeak. The earpieces are adorned with Aerofit Ear Cushions that are designed to give the user calling comfort as well as passive noise isolation. When connected to the Elite SuperAmp hub, the system is complete.
- Audio Connection: Xbox One and Windows 10–3.5mm + USB Mobile Devices — Bluetooth (through hub)
- Speaker Frequency Response: 12Hz — 20kHz
- Speaker Size: 50mm Nanoclear with neodymium magnets
- Microphone: Unidirectional gaming microphone (Pro Gaming Microphone)
- Headband Material: Athletic fabric
- Ear Cushion: Over Ear, Athletic fabric, leather & cooling gel-infused memory foam
- Magnetic Speaker Plates: Can be swapped out to customize the look of your headphones
- Surround Sound Ready: Compatible with Xbox One’s Windows Sonic feature
I’m going to breakdown my test of this particular set of headphones into three categories — comfort, set-up, and sound quality. I feel like with headphones — especially gaming headphones — those are the biggest areas to look at.
I have a set of wireless headphones. They work through a receiver dock that connects via wires (optical audio and USB) to the Xbox. I typically prefer wireless headphones because I don’t like having a cable draped across the room while I play. I feel like it limits my movement. That said, I have had my share of issues with how wireless headsets connect/disconnect at times. So, using a wired set of headphones was a bit refreshing — except for the set up.
Out of the box, you will have the headphones, the hub, a Mini USB cable, a 3.5mm audio cable, and the detachable microphone. The microphone snaps into one of the 3.5mm ports on the left ear piece while the audio cable goes into the other. The audio cable then plugs into the output port on the front of the hub with the headphone icon stamped above it. This was a little confusing to me because on the back of the hub next to the Mini USB port, you’ll also find another 3.5mm port labeled “Out”. At first glance, I would assume that was the port you should take the audio out from to the headphones, but that isn’t the case here. That port is designated for stream-out for recording streaming audio on your PC. You will also want to make sure that the end of the cable that plugs into the headphones makes the inline controller (for muting the microphone) is nearest to the headphones.
Next, you will want to plug the Mini USB cable into one of the USB ports on the Xbox for power and connection to the gaming system. Here is an issue I have with the design. I was really surprised to find that the power/connection to the Xbox was run by a Mini USB cable — a method that is largely outdated. I even consider Micro USB to be somewhat outdated since USB-C started hitting the scene. Once you have the cables plugged in, you’re ready to fire up the Xbox. You will need to go into the audio settings of the system and select Windows Sonic for Headphones under Headset format and set the Party Chat Output to Headset.
There is a companion app for this headphone system that is available on both Android and iOS. I downloaded it for iOS. The hub has a Bluetooth multifunction button on the side that you will want to press in order to pair it to your mobile device. This app allows you to activate special functions on the headphones like Superhuman Hearing, Chat Boost, and Game Presets. You can also control the mix between game sounds and your chat audio. There are three profiles that you can set up in the app and then control it all from your phone. This was actually a really refreshing option since it allows you to control the features of the headphones separate from the gaming system. I was in the middle of my game and just tapped on the screen of the phone to activate Superhuman Hearing and the setting switched without interrupting the game. I think I prefer this method of accessing features to just having controls on the headphones themselves.
I listen to music almost constantly while I’m working. There is probably a good 6–8 hour period in the evenings when I’ve got some sort of headphone on. My preference is for over-the-ear and as such, I’ve really taken a liking to the way the Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2’s feel. They are surprisingly lightweight and the padding on the earpieces keep the ears feeling nice and cool — no matter how long you play. The padding is soft and they just fit really nicely on the ears. I didn’t ever feel like they were too tight or not providing a solid seal around my ears. I played RDR2 for about 2 hours using these headphones and was very comfortable the entire time. I also plugged them directly into a mobile phone and listened to music for another 2 hours or so while I was working and was still very happy with the comfort level they provided. I actually switched back and forth between a set of wireless over-the-ear headphones and the Turtle Beach headphones and found that the Turtle Beach ones were much better.
While I was playing RDR2, I was really impressed with the quality of the sound I was getting. It was much easier to interpret the game action through the headphones and I was hearing more nuances that I wasn’t able to hear through the TV speakers alone. As crisp and clean as the sounds were through the headphones, I really didn’t notice how incredible the headphones were until I streamed some videos and music from a mobile device and laptop.
At first, I connected the headphones to a mobile phone. I played several clips from movies on Netflix and was in awe of how good the audio was. Sometimes I will just listen to audio from a movie or a TV show that I’m familiar with in place of music while I work. Because of this, I’m very ‘in tune’ with many of my favorite movies. Using the Turtle Beach headphones to watch some of these films made it a whole new experience. With Guardians of the Galaxy 2, I was able to hear raspiness in Baby Groot’s voice that I never heard before and the individual flutter of a fly’s wings before Groot tried to eat it. I also pulled up Raiders of the Lost Ark — a movie I’ve probably seen hundreds of times since I was a kid — and watched the first 10 minutes of the film. There were a lot of sound effects I’d never heard before and the music track took on a whole new life and I’ve heard that music performed live by an orchestra. After revising some of my old favorite movies, I switched over to my laptop and listened to some specific music tracks (Circle of Life from The Lion King and Why So Serious? from The Dark Knight) and I was amazed at the amount of life those tracks had just by listening to them through the Turtle Beach headphones. The Elite Pro 2 headphones have the best sound quality of any other headphones I own. Using them to watch those video clips and listen to music made it like experiencing them for the first time again.
Despite the somewhat messy set up the Elite Pro 2 Wired Gaming headset, I can highly recommend them based on the sound quality alone. They are incredibly comfortable and even though they aren’t noice-canceling, the headphones will still block out a lot of ambient sound based on how well they cover a person’s ears. I believe these are a worthwhile investment if you enjoy high-quality audio.
Originally published at macsources.com on March 26, 2019.