Welcome to the future of sound or, as you might know it, the Turtle Beach Elite 800X. The Elite 800x is Turtle Beach’s new premium offering – their most advanced gaming headset so far.
At the premium end of the market there are a number of boxes to tick – and the Elite 800X ticks them all, and more. The headset has some standout features, including DTS Headphone:X 7.1 Channel Surround Sound and DTS Surround Sound modes, as well as a range of custom pre-built audio profiles.
The very first thing you’ll notice, though, is the premium packaging. When you’re shelling out this much for a headset your first experience shouldn’t be fighting with flimsy cardboard and inelegant moulded plastic, and there’s none of that here. It’s almost Apple-esque.
Initial impressions are very good – build quality is as you would expect at the premium end of the range. Solidly constructed but not too heavy, with faux-leather covered memory foam ear cushions, these are one of the most comfortable headsets we’ve ever tested. The smooth matte finish is nicely understated, while the rubber headband – with the Turtle Beach branding – gives a nice degree of flexibility without the headset ever feeling too tight.
The headband is padded in the same material as the ear cups. The headband is flanked on both sides by two small metallic ends with the Elite branding, and there’s a flow in the design that gives a suggestion that the 800x was moulded in one seamless piece rather than assembled from disparate components. Nice. Overall, despite the Xbox-green flashes, it doesn’t immediately scream ‘gamer’ and we’d be relatively unembarrassed to us these on our daily commute.
Premium features include Noise Cancelling to eliminate all those unwanted background distractions, and Superhuman Hearing which boosts quiet sounds to give you an aural advantage in games where the opposition trues to get the jump on you – you’ll hear them before you see them. There are a variety of custom Surround Sound modes which arte combined with genre-specific presets so you can tune your aural environment perfectly.
Unusually there’s no boom microphone – which can take a little getting used to! Somehow, not having a boom mic makes it feel as though we’re talking to ourselves, but the dual hidden mics (with a range of environmental presents) work flawlessly. In all of our testing we experienced not one single drop off in voice comms. Good work, Turtle Beach!
One of the most striking features is the completely wireless design. No physical cables connect you to either the console or the controller – even when the headset runs out of juice. Although you can charge the headset using a micro USB cable (useful when you’re on the go) in normal use you’ll use the Magnetic Charging Stand to power up the & rechargeable battery. Simply drop the headset into the stand and charging commences – and a full charge lasted around 10 hours of solid play.
The stand connects to your console’s optical output and is powered by USB. Once you have fiddled about in settings to configure the optical output to deliver bit stream audio, you’re good to go.
If you’re the fashion-conscious type, you’ll be pleased to know that the Speaker Plates are swappable, with new designs available from www.turtlebeach.com/plates.
The headset plays well with other audio sources, too – you can connect using traditional 3.5 mm stereo jack (located below the left ear-cup) or by Bluetooth. There’s a small light located on the outer edge of each ear cup to indicate if the headset is on, paired with the transmitter or another Bluetooth device, if noise cancellation is on or off, or if the microphone is muted.
Bear in mind, though, that Xbox One uses a proprietary audio protocol for chat, so voice comms won’t work if you decide to use the headset to connect to either a PC or a PS4. If you are looking at the Elite to serve you across multiple platforms, you might want to look at the Elite 800 (without the X) which will work on PC, PS4 and Xbox One, though you’ll need to use a chat adapter (or controller with 3.5mm jack) and a chat cable in that setup.
With great features comes a great number of buttons (as Spiderman’s Uncle probably said, once). There are a lot of controls on the outer plates on both ear-cups, and this can feel a little overwhelming at first, but buttons are placed intuitively and are easy to locate. The left ear cup features the power button, volume controls and Bluetooth pairing, whilst the right ear plate has the microphone mute toggle, chat volume and audio pre-sets.
You can also download the Companion App (Android and iOS but no Windows 10 or Windows Phone love yet) and change pre-sets using your mobile or tablet, while the Ear Force Audio Hub can be used to update the headset firmware.
Overall this is a fantastic premium product, that’s attached to a premium price tag. If you are in the market for a premium headset on the cutting edge of today’s tech, you should definitely add the Turtle Beach Elite 800X to your list.
Check out this promotional video for the Turtle Beach Elite 800x headset.
The Turtle Beach Elite 800X will set you back around £229.99, and you can order one right now from the official Turtle Beach website. It also comes with The Elite Turtle Beach Membership with purchase and (for a limited time) a free backpack.
Thanks to Turtle Beach for providing us with a review sample, tested rigorously on a variety of games and sources for over 20 hours.
Turtle Beach's premium headset offers cutting edge tech and a completely wireless design.
If you are in the market for a premium headset, you should definitely consider the Turtle Beach Elite 800X. It’s incredibly comfortable but reassuringly solid, and the completely wire free design is a winner. The lack of a boom mic takes a little getting used to, but we can’t fault the technology on display.