The Turtle Beach Ear Force Elite 800 are comfortable gaming headsets packed with features. Unfortunately they sound mediocre as music-only headphones. The sturdy, futuristic design is also hindered by the overly sensitive controls and the below-average noise isolation.
- Futuristic looking, sturdy design.
- Feature packed.
- Poor noise cancellation.
- Mediocre sounding as listening headphones.
- Overly sensitive controls.
Update 8/10/2017: Converted to Test Bench 1.1. Learn more about our new versioned test bench system here.
The heavy Elite 800 feel more comfortable than they look, due to the thickly padded headband and ear cups. They are sturdy and well-built. However, the controls are a major flaw in their design. The glossy plastic cover which houses the controls is frustratingly sensitive.
The Elite 800s look and feel futuristic. The matte, all-black finish is accentuated by blue highlights around the ear cups and headband. The glass-like finish on the ear cups cover the controls and add to the futuristic aesthetic. They look good for use as a gaming headset, but a little bulky for regular headphones.
Despite being one of the heaviest headphones we have tested, they feel quite comfortable. The pads are a little bit stiff, but you'll probably get used to them after a short time.
The biggest design issue is the buttons. They are extremely sensitive to pressure, to the point that even placing them on the table (buttons facing down) could trigger them.
These headphones are not designed for sports. They are bulky and heavy, and the large ear cups sway a lot during any physical activity. They are somewhat stable during casual gaming sessions, as long as you have them on correctly, but are not ideal for the gym. They will quickly fall off your head while running. On the upside, they're wireless.
The Elite 800 take up a lot of space and are not portable. They're bigger than your average over-ear headphone and don't fold flat or into a more compact format for easy transportation. This means you may need a relatively large bag to carry them around.
The pads and the latex headband have a nice feel to them. The plastic parts are pretty good too, but seem a little cheaper. Although the headband makes a loud click while adjusting, the notches are too close to each other to be easily distinguishable. Also, the headband tends to shift pretty easily and is not always stable.
The Elite 800s struggle at cancelling ambient noise effectively. The plush ear cups provide a good seal which helps with passive isolation and sound leakage, but the active noise cancellation is weak and cannot be recommended for use in noisy environments.
Considering the price, size and feature set of these headphones, the performance, although decent, is underwhelming. The ANC (Active Noise Cancelling) seems to be generating artifacts at around 20Hz, which may be audible (or palpable). It is possible to use the built-in microphone to open up the headphones to the surrounding sounds for having a conversation.
These headphones start leaking at around 200Hz, but it doesn't become significant until 1.5KHz. From there and up to 5KHz (where sibilant sounds sit) the leakage increases noticeably.
- 100% SpNR
The Turtle Beach Elite 800 have a decent set of active features that still deliver up to 10 hours of continuous playtime. They have both Bluetooth 4.0 and RF wireless connection and have an excellent wireless range even when the Bluetooth source was obstructed. Unfortunately, they have quite a lot of latency and do not support aptX (LL) which is not great for gaming. The direct RF transmission using the headphones' base may be faster, but we have yet to implement an RF test.
The Turtle Beach Elite 800 Headset deliver a great range for indoor use and an above average range outdoors in direct line of sight. They also two wireless modes; Bluetooth 4.0, and a Radio Frequency mode that's configurable with the included stand. We measured the Bluetooth connection as it's the most commonly used. Unfortunately, they don't offer NFC and the hold to pair procedure can get a little frustrating at times if you switch Bluetooth sources often.
The Elite 800 have an average battery performance. They have a decent battery life for a gaming headset at 10.8 hours however they take quite a bit of time to charge and do not have an auto-off feature to save power. On the upside, they can stream audio while charging, so you can continuously game or play music if you have them plugged into a power outlet.
No compatible app.
In the box
- Turtle Beach Elite 800 Headset
- Transmitter and charging stand
- Audio cable
- USB cable (x2)
- Optical cable