Hardware and Gear

Published on November 9th, 2018 | by Joseph Saulnier

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Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2

Who in the gaming world doesn’t know the Turtle Beach name?  They’ve got headsets for every budget.  Unfortunately some gamers only look at these products as being for consoles. That’s too bad, because with the Elite Pro 2 Headeset and SuperAmp, they are really missing out.  TB’s highest-end model to date, the EP2 serves as their new flagship headset, and has a lot of ground to cover the $249.99 price tag.  In my opinion, this feature rich headset that comes complete with its own sound card and amplifier (the SuperAmp) makes easy work of this.

The EP2 comes in 2 flavors: compatibility with PS4, and compatibility with Xbox/Windows 10.  The review unit provided to us by TB was the Xbox/Windows 10 version with the following specs:

  • Price Tag: $249.99 (Amazon.com)
  • Compatible with: Xbox One, Windows 10
  • Audio Connection:

o   Xbox One and Windows 10 –  3.5mm + USB

o   Mobile Device – Bluetooth

  • Speaker Size: 50mm NanoclearTM speakers with Neodymium magnets
  • Speaker Frequency Response: 12Hz – 20kHz
  • Microphone: Pro Gaming Mic with TruSpeakTM Technology
  • Surround Sound: Yes (Windows Sonic, Dolby Atmos compatible)
  • Headband Material: Athletic Fabric
  • Ear Cushion: Over Ear, Athletic Fabric, Leather & Cooling Gel-infused Memory Foam
  • PROSPECTSTM Glasses Relief System
  • Superhuman HearingTM
  • Dynamic Chat BoostTM
  • Variable Mic Monitoring

The Packaging

The Elite Pro 2 comes in fairly standard packaging.  It ships with an outer sleeve, which describes all of the features the headset offers, wrapped around a cardboard box that holds the headset, amp, and accessories.  Inside the sleeve, we have a cordial feelgood letter from the folks at Turtle Beach placed right above the headset and amp pleasantly displayed behind a plastic sheet.  Complete contents of the box include the headset, SuperAmp, detachable boom mic, USB and 3.5mm audio/data cables, and some literature.

The Headset

The headset is rather large and hefty, though I couldn’t find an exact weight from Turtle Beach.  The set is large enough that while you can use it as a pair of headphones for your mobile devices, but substantial enough that you probably wouldn’t want to.  One thing is apparent though, the EP2 looks to be one of the finest built gaming headsets on the market.

The headband is brushed metal and flexible, with enough give to allow you to stretch it wide without any fear of it bending or losing its shape.  The cushion is suspended underneath the band, allowing it to flex for varying sized noggins.  Even after several hours of use, the EP2 didn’t hurt my head as other headsets, even high-end headsets, have done in the past.  The headband fits into a plastic wing, which is at the top of the yoke securing the suspension band in place.  The yoke connects to two metal arms, which fit into the driver housings allowing for extra points of adjustment.  The setup is very similar to the original Elite Pro, but removing the sliding grips atop the headband.  This hasn’t affected the fit for me, but it could others with larger heads.

You can tell TB had customization in mind when they designed the drivers.  The outer panels, held on only by a magnet, can be swapped out for custom plates.  The memory foam ear cushions are also held by magnets, which is fantastic when you need to clean them.  They’re also quite different than other headsets on the market as they are gel-infused, keeping them cool to the touch, have leatherette appearance around the outside for noise isolation, and a soft fabric material that engages your skin.  They are without a doubt, some of the best cushions I’ve ever used.  They are extremely comfortable, do a good job of venting heat, are decent at noise isolation, and has the best feature ever (at least for us glasses wearers) in little straps that, when pulled, create channels for the arms of your glasses.

Inside we find our speakers, which are a pair of 50mm large NanoclearTM drivers.  The drivers are tuned to provide a rich, wide low-end bass response, and they provide a full, detailed audio experience.  I had a pretty amazing experience with them in the Fallout 76 B.E.T.A. recently, which made experiencing explosions a whole new experience.  Treble is also punched up and I could hear the radiated creatures crunch as I beat them with a fire axe.  Windows Sonic Surround Sound is good, whether in application with the PC or Xbox One.  Position relative to the game seems sound, but the reverb can be a bit heavy sometimes.  If you have access to Dolby Atmos, definitely utilize it.

I saved the microphone for last because I have mixed feelings about it.  It’s a bit too quiet for my liking.  You can see the output quality in our livestream of the Fallout 76 B.E.T.A.  If you do check this out, you will find that my levels are quite low compared to our Editor in Chief Gareth Von Kallenbach, who was using an desktop mic made by Audio Technica.  There is no built-in mic level and no boost option within windows, so you may need to rely on a software mixer (if you do post-editing on videos and what not) or simply speaking louder when gaming.  For this price point, I would have liked better levels here.  But, in fairness, with my Turtle Beach Stream Mic I had the same issue, and it resolved once I updated the firmware.  I have since done the same with the EP2, but have not had a chance to test it.

The SuperAmp

The other half of the price tag, err… equation, is how you can change the EQ balance.  The answer is the SuperAmp.  This little device, which is nothing more than a dial, acts as your interface to the computer and the path to the EP2’s more advanced features.  It’s small and far more simple than similar devices I have seen on the market (especially the previous generation’s Tactical Audio Controller).  You can’t really do much with the device itself other than control volume, Bluetooth pairing, and sending a line-out signal.  That said, it still feels well made and sturdy.

The real treasure of this device is in the mobile app, which the sticker on the SuperAmp instructs you to get.  The Turtle Beach Audio Hub smartphone app opens up full control of the device.  Pairing the device with your smartphone is as easy as pressing the Bluetooth button on its side and performing a few actions on your phone.  From there, you have everything opened up to you.  You’re offered far more control than you had in the previous generation, this is especially good news if you are using the headset on the Xbox as it gives you access to features that are typically locked behind Windows software.  Turtle Beach has said you will be able to access these features in the Windows app, but I have yet to see how to do so since the Windows app requires the Headset/SuperAmp to be placed in “Xbox Mode” (by way of a switch) in order to communicate with the SuperAmp.  This is seems a little wonky to me, but I already had experience with the Stream Mic in this retrospect.

In the Audio Hup App, though, you have full access to control all of the available settings on the EP2, including customer EQ profiles, adjusting stream and audio levels, enabling/disabling the noise gate.  I had some of these levels at max when partaking in the Fallout stream I mentioned, though, so I am not sure about the full functionality yet.  I will be sure to update this piece once I have a chance to use the headset after the firmware update.

The Final Say

The old saying that it’s all about the sound isn’t completely true these days.  With a price tag of $249.99, it better be more than just the sound.  You can buy great sounding headphones for a fraction of this price, so this expensive of a headset better be comfortable, offer many features and built extremely well.  Which is exactly the case with the Elite Pro 2.  Turtle Beach just seems to be getting it more and more these days, and they’ve delivered a headset that meets all of these requirements.  The sound, whether stereo or surround, is outstanding; it’s super comfortable; and very customizable (in appearance and performance).  The only downside is the microphone which, as mentioned, is bashfully quiet for my tastes, and good streams.  But, looking at the headset as a whole, Turtle Beach’s new flagship headset, the Elite Pro 2, is THE choice for a quality premium gaming headset.

 

4.5 stars out of 5

Disclaimer: The Elite Pro 2 Headset and SuperAmp used in this review was provided to Skewed and Reviewed for review purposes.

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