The Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 gaming headset is a curious piece of tech. Turtle Beach itself is one of the most exciting, and reliable names in gaming audio, and the Elite series is the manufacturer’s premium set of cans - aimed squarely at the pro and very serious competitor gamer group. While the Elite Pro 2 delivers extremely well for this group… it’s much trickier to recommend for the average PS4 or Xbox One owner. What is does offer is extremely specialist audio, often at the expense of a more generalised richness to its sound, which you’d expect for everyday use and more relaxed offline games. The addition of the SuperAmp further enhances the fidelity of the kind of incidental sounds that can potentially give you a serious edge in games like Rainbow Six Siege and Call of Duty Black Ops 4, and the quality of audio here is almost unmatched. However, as we’ll discuss later, the Elite Pro 2 isn’t the best all rounder, so if you’re looking for a headset that can transition seamlessly between God of War, Game of Thrones, and Lady Gaga, it becomes more a discussion about what you really want the most. And it’s worth noting here, that I tested the PS4 version of the headset.
Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 - Design
To its credit, the Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 is one of the best designed gaming headsets available. The earphones themselves are super comfortable, with soft leather cushioning your ear perfectly for extended gaming sessions. If you wear glasses the earphones are soft enough to accommodate them for decent chunks of time (I don’t wear glasses, but did borrow some to test the headset for a couple of hours), and there’s a ProSpecs glasses relief system that further moulds to the shape of the arms on your specs. The only issue I had is that the Elite Pro 2’s ear cushions are so soft and welcoming, that your ears tend to get really cosy and hot after about an hour. Taking regular breaks and removing the headset for a few minutes is a must, because they cover a LOT of your actual ear.
Elsewhere, the Elite Pro 2 is nicely understated in terms of how it looks. There’s a metal headband with a fabric cushion underneath, offering good build quality and comfort, and the flexibility between the ear cushions and the headband itself is good - there’s enough twist and flex here to accommodate most head-shapes and sizes. Everything is either black plastic and metal on the PS4 version, or white plastic and metal on the Xbox One version, and they both look stylish - the kind of cans you could easily wear outside the home without people ever knowing you’re rocking a gaming headset (if that kind of thing bothers you).
Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 - Features
Ok, let’s break this down into ‘normal operation’ and ‘SuperAmp enabled’. When you’re just plugged into the PS4 controller via a wired headphone jack, the feature set is minimal. You’ve got a mute button on the cable itself, and the ability to have the microphone plugged in, or removed. So, if you’re playing offline, it’s handy to just have the headset without anything hanging in front of your mouth.
Add in the SuperAmp and you have… well, a few more wires for sure. The SuperAmp is a little round button that allows you to adjust volume via a pleasingly solid dial. It glows the right color, it feeds directly from your PS4 Pro’s optical audio port, and draws power from one of the USB sockets in the front of the console. If you don’t have a newer PS4 with an optical port, it still works via USB. What the SuperAmp really adds is fidelity in those incidental and surround sounds that are invaluable when it comes to competitive shooters. So, in a game like Black Ops 4 you can hear footsteps and nearby gunfire with remarkable clarity. And I do mean remarkable - the Elite Pro 2 offers a genuine, noticeable advantage in a firefight because of it. However, it does so at the expense of richer, deeper ambient sounds, so things like character dialogue sound like it’s being spoken inside a small, empty room. That’s not a huge problem, and the equalizer on the SuperAmp can be changed via the Elite Pro’s iOS / Android app (there are loads of sound options here), but it does mean that you’ll need to do some audio configuring dependent on what you’re actually playing. The features are here, and they’re good, but you do need to tinker frequently, which may be too much effort for someone who just wants to pick up and play. SuperAmp, for example, also lets you play music or take calls while you play.
Also worth noting that the ear cushions actually detach, so it's handy for cleaning. And you can remove the plastic outer shells of the cushions to add in more personalized designs (if that's your thing). It's a nice touch.
Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2 - Performance
Now, this is the biggie - how exactly is the sound on the Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2? As a gaming headset, it’s excellent. One of the best. Playing Spider-Man PS4 I sat Spidey on a rooftop and listened to the city below with incredible clarity, especially when it came to identifying where noise was coming from. It was, although it sounds corny, a bit like having actual Spidey senses. I tested it with SuperAmp on and off - and the non-Amp version offers a richer, more rounded sound, which is better for a more cinematic experience like Spider-Man. A play session with Fortnite revealed the headset’s truest strengths - the ability to pinpoint enemy movement. This is down to what Turtle Beach calls 'Superhuman Hearing'. It was almost too good, with the clarity of footfall and gunfire actually making me more paranoid and fully aware that someone is creeping up behind me with a shotgun. Full marks here. The microphone, which has TruSpeak tech (according to Turtle Beach) did the trick nicely, and communication with other players in my four-person team was always clear (if not necessarily respected) by my squad mates.
After that, I tested it with Assassin’s Creed Odyssey, and the sound held up very well too, although lost a little fidelity with the dialogue in this game. The conclusion is that it’s suited to higher action titles, rather than slower games like RPGs and adventures like Red Dead Redemption 2, where ambient sound and the richness of the atmosphere is more important. The bass and lower notes are good, but far from the best, and while the ear cushions are comfortable they have limited value in terms of noise cancelling. Not bad, by any means, but not the best either.
Next, I tested the Elite Pro 2s with other media, picking a handful of things from Netflix (and it’s worth noting that I use Netflix Ultra, so stream TV and movies in 4K and HDR where available). It coped ok with Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring, offering some pleasing audio during battle scenes but less richness around dialogue. Watching shows like The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and Elite (I couldn’t resist the irony, and Elite is brilliant) further highlighted the shortcomings with dialogue and moodier scenes that rely on atmospheric sounds. It’s certainly better than TV speakers… but it really hammered home the fact that the Elite Pro 2 is a thoroughbred designed for gaming.
Finally, I tested it with music, via a Samsung Galaxy S8 using a wired connection. While the lack of noise cancelling and slightly underwhelming bass is an issue compared to specialist audio headphones like Bose and Sennheiser, the overall sound quality with music is pretty good. It favors heavier rock and metal over more pop and r’n’b, but adjusting the levels certainly helps bring the best out of certain genres.
Overall - Should you buy it?
If you’re looking for a pure gaming headset, and you’re looking for an edge in titles like Fortnite, Black Ops 4, and Battlefield 5… then yes, this is a damn good pair of cans. The crystal clarity that SuperAmp offers, when it comes to surround sound and incidental noises is brilliant, and easily the Elite Pro 2’s best feature. However, if you’re looking for a headset that brings great all-round sound, and one that provides the same fidelity with movies, TV, and music you can get better headphones for your money. The Elite Pro 2s aren’t cheap ($250 / £220) and if you’re spending that kind of money you need to know exactly what you want. If that thing is a superior headset for action games… this is for you.