Turtle Beach Battle Buds Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.4
Reviewed Feb 13, 2020 at 08:08 am
Turtle Beach Battle Buds Picture
Test Methodology v1.4
5.6
Mixed Usage
5.4
Neutral Sound
5.5
Commute/Travel
6.4
Sports/Fitness
5.5
Office
4.5
Wireless Gaming
6.5
Wired Gaming
6.5
Phone Calls
Type In-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless No
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The Turtle Beach Battle Buds are decent wired gaming headphones. These unique in-ears have a fairly small detachable boom mic that connects to the left earbuds but can be easily removed for day-to-day use. The microphone performance is quite decent overall, and the boom microphone helps to separate your voice from background noise. Unfortunately, their sound profile is quite muddy and dark sounding, and while they may be suited for video game sounds, they likely won't be the best choice to listen to vocal-centric genres like pop or rock. They also aren't the most comfortable, though their large earbuds stick out far enough from your ear to reduce fatigue, which is good.

Our Verdict

5.6 Mixed Usage

The Turtle Beach Battle Buds are inadequate headphones for mixed usage. While their versatile design is meant to make them suitable for both gaming as well as day-to-day use, their dark and muddy sound profile may not be well-suited for many genres of music. Despite being quite portable, they aren't the best choice for travel as they do a poor job at isolating the low rumbles of bus or plane engines.

5.4 Neutral Sound

The Turtle Beach Battle Buds are poor headphones for neutral sound listening. Their bass and mid ranges are both very inaccurate, and they have a very dark and boomy sound profile. Like most in-ears, they have outstanding frequency response consistency, so you should get the same results every time you use the headphones.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
5.5 Commute/Travel

The Turtle Beach Battle Buds are disappointing headphones for commuting or travel. Even though you can remove the boom microphone for daily use, they may not be the best option for your daily commute as their noise isolation performance is mediocre, and they do a poor job blocking out the low rumbles of bus engines. Since they're wired headphones, they don't require a battery, which is good for long flights, but they're not the most comfortable and may cause fatigue during long listening sessions.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
6.4 Sports/Fitness

The Turtle Beach Battle Buds are mediocre wired headphones for sports. While their in-ear design means that they won't cause your ears to get too warm while working out, they don't feel the most stable. Their wire is quite stiff and may easily get snagged, while their large, protruding earbuds may wobble and get loose.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
5.5 Office

The Turtle Beach Battle Buds are disappointing headphones for office use. While their wired design means you can use them all day without worrying about battery life, they aren't the most comfortable and will likely get sore after a full day of use. While they only do an alright job at blocking out background speech, luckily you should be able to turn them up fairly loud without bothering those around you.

See our Office recommendations
4.5 Wireless Gaming

The Turtle Beach Battle Buds are wired-only headphones and therefore can't be used for wireless gaming.

See our Wireless Gaming recommendations
6.5 Wired Gaming

The Turtle Beach Battle Buds are acceptable wired gaming headphones. While they may not be as comfortable as most over-ear options, they are much more breathable so your ears won't get as hot during long gaming sessions. Their boom microphone also works fairly well, and your teammates should have no problems hearing you even in fairly noisy environments.

6.5 Phone Calls

The Turtle Beach Battle Buds are decent headphones for phone calls. Thanks to their boom mic, their microphone performance is quite decent, and voice transmitted or recorded with them will sound clear and easy to understand.

  • 5.6 Mixed Usage
  • 5.4 Neutral Sound
  • 5.5 Commute/Travel
  • 6.4 Sports/Fitness
  • 5.5 Office
  • 4.5 Wireless Gaming
  • 6.5 Wired Gaming
  • 6.5 Phone Calls
Pros
  • Decent microphone performance for in-ears thanks to unique detachable boom mic.
  • Versatile design is suitable for gaming as well as daily use.
Cons
  • Cheap materials aren't the most comfortable in the ear.
  • Muddy and cluttered sound profile may not be suitable for all genres.
  • Mediocre noise isolation.

Check Price

Black Battle buds
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com
White/Teal Battle Buds
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style

The Turtle Beach Battle Buds are a unique-looking pair of wired in-ear headphones due to their rather large earbuds and fairly small detachable boom microphone. While we purchased the white/blue model, they're also available in black.

6.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.05 lbs
Clamping Force
0 lbs

The Turtle Beach Battle Buds are decently comfortable headphones. While their earbuds are fairly large, they stick out quite far and make no contact with your ears. Unfortunately, the tips feel fairly cheap and are quite hard.

6.8
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Decent
Feedback Okay
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control Mute/Unmute
Channel Mixing
No
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls Voice Assistant

The in-line remote controls are decent. There's an easy-to-use volume slider as well as a mic mute button. On the other side of the remote is a single button that will answer calls, pause/play music, or skip tracks when double-clicked. While the physical buttons are quite clicky, there are no audio cues.

9.2
Design
Breathability
Avg.Temp.Difference 0.8 C

Like most in-ears, these headphones breathe incredibly well and shouldn't cause your ears to heat up even during intense workouts.

8.4
Design
Portability
L 2.5 "
W 2.0 "
H 1.5 "
Volume 7.5 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

The Turtle Beach Battle Buds are quite portable. The detachable boom microphone allows them to be easily slid into a pocket or bag. However, their earbuds are quite large and overall they're a bit less portable than most wired in-ear headphones.

5.0
Design
Case
Type Pouch
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A

The case that comes with these headphones is disappointing. It's a cheap pouch that's fairly small and it takes a while to slide the headphones into it.

6.5
Design
Build Quality

The Turtle Beach Battle Buds' build quality is alright. While the cord and in-line remote are fairly thick, they're made of cheap plastic and rubber. The weakest point is where the wire connects to each earbud, which could become an issue over time.

7.0
Design
Stability

The Turtle Beach Battle Buds are decently stable in-ear headphones. Their wire is quite stiff and can easily get snagged on things. They also stick out quite far from your ear, which can cause them to feel less stable overall.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • Turtle Beach Battle Buds
  • Carrying case
  • 3x Tip sizes
  • 3x Stability fins
  • Sticker
  • Manual

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
5.37 db
Treble Amount
-6.18 db

The Turtle Beach Battle Buds' sound profile is quite dark and muddy. The entire bass range is quite overpowering, and these headphones likely won't be well-suited to more vocal-centric genres.

9.8
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
0.05 dB

Like most in-ears, the frequency response consistency is outstanding. Once you achieve a proper seal with the included tips, you should get the same frequency response every time you use them.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
2.2
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
10.95 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
Low-Bass
9.97 dB
Mid-Bass
12.27 dB
High-Bass
13.62 dB

The bass accuracy is terrible. The entire range is very over-emphasized, which causes them to sound muddy and boomy.

4.8
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
6.91 dB
Low-Mid
10.89 dB
Mid-Mid
4.1 dB
High-Mid
0.05 dB

Their mid accuracy is bad. The low-mid and mid-mid ranges are over-emphasized, while the high-mid range is quite accurate. This causes some lead instruments to be overpowered by the bass frequencies.

7.2
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
3.78 dB
Low-Treble
1.42 dB
Mid-Treble
-2.88 dB
High-Treble
-3.57 dB

Their treble accuracy is decent. While some vocals or instruments may sound slightly harsh or piercing, higher frequencies are pushed back and overpowered.

7.1
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
1.84 db
Dips
1.68 db

The peaks and dips performance is decent. The first peak in the treble range causes some instruments and vocals to sound quite sharp and piercing, while the dip causes higher-pitched vocals and instruments to be pushed back in the mix. The large dip in the mid-range will cause those leads and vocals to be overpowered and lost.

9.3
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.12
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.29
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
0.93
Weighted Phase Mismatch
2.08

Imaging is excellent. The weighted group delay is well within very good limits throughout the entire range, ensuring tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. The L/R drivers of our test unit are quite well-matched which helps which the accurate placement and localization of objects (vocals, instruments, footsteps) in the stereo field, though these results are only valid for our unit and yours may perform differently.

1.0
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
N/A
PRTF Size (Avg.)
N/A
PRTF Distance
N/A
Openness
3.5
Acoustic Space Excitation
0.9

Like most in-ears, the soundstage is awful. This is because properly activating the resonances of the pinna (the outer ear) is one of the important factors in creating an out-of-head and speaker-like soundstage. Since in-ears and earbuds completely bypass the pinna, their soundstage tends to be perceived as small and located inside the listener's head.

0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
No
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
No App

These headphones don't have any virtual soundstage features.

7.8
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.329
WHD @ 100
0.108

Their weighted harmonic distortion performance is very good. Even under heavy loads, audio should be clear and pure.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
No Firmware
Power
Passive
Connection
Wired
Codec
PCM, 24-bit, 48kHz
EQ
No EQ
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Silicone (small)
Microphone
Boom

These are the settings used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid when listening using these settings.

Isolation
6.4
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-18.07 dB
Bass
-3.58 dB
Mid
-13.27 dB
Treble
-38.07 dB

The noise isolation performance is mediocre. While they're decent at blocking out background speech, they don't do much to help against the low rumbles of bus or plane engines. However, they do an outstanding job at isolating noises in the treble range, though, like the sounds made by an A/C unit.

9.2
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
25.78 dB

The Turtle Beach Battle Buds's leakage is excellent. You should be able to turn your music up to help block out background noise without bothering those around you.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-Line
No
Boom
Yes
Detachable Boom
Yes

The Turtle Beach Battle Buds have a unique and fairly small detachable boom microphone that attaches to the left earbud.

7.2
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
530.46 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.55 dB
HFE
10240.0 Hz
Weighted THD
0.23
Gain
25.25 dB

The recording quality of the microphone is decent. Thanks in part to the fact that these are wired headphones that don't use a Bluetooth connection, your voice will be clear and easy to understand.

7.1
Microphone
Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
SpNR
21.42 dB

The boom microphone on these headphones does a decent job with noise handling. Even in noisy environments, the person you're speaking to should be able to hear you fairly clearly.

Active Features
0
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
No Battery
Continuous Battery Life
N/A
Additional Charges
N/A
Total Battery Life
N/A
Charge Time
N/A
Power-Saving Feature
No
Audio While Charging
No
Passive Playback
Passive Headphone
Charging Port None

These wired passive headphones have no active features.

0
Active Features
App Support
App Name No App
iOS No
Android No
macOS No
Windows No
Equalizer
No
ANC Control
No
Mic Control No
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
No

There is no dedicated app for these headphones.

Connectivity
0
Connectivity
Bluetooth
Bluetooth Version
No Bluetooth
Multi-Device Pairing
No
NFC Pairing
No
Line Of Sight Range
N/A
PC Latency (SBC)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX HD)
N/A
PC Latency (aptX-LL)
N/A
iOS Latency
N/A
Android Latency
N/A

The Turtle Beach Battle Buds are wired-only headphones. If you're looking for Bluetooth gaming earbuds, check out the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless.

0
Connectivity
Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line Of Sight Range
N/A
Non-BT Latency
N/A

The Turtle Beach Battle Buds are wired-only headphones.

9.0
Connectivity
Wired
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable No
Length 4.1 ft
Connection 1/8" TRRS
Analog/USB Audio Latency
0 ms

The Turtle Beach Battle Buds use a standard 1/8" TRRS connection and have a fairly long wire.

Connectivity
PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC/PS4 Analog
Audio + Microphone
PC/PS4 Wired USB
No
PC/PS4 Non-BT Wireless
No

These wired in-ears can be plugged into the controller of a PS4 for both audio and microphone compatibility. Depending on your PC, you may need to purchase a Y-splitter.

Connectivity
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Wireless
No

These wired in-ears can be plugged into the controller of an Xbox One for both audio and microphone compatibility. Depending on the generation of your controller, though, you may need an additional adapter.

0
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
No Base/Dock
USB Input
No
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
No Base/Dock

These headphones don't come with a base or dock.

Compared to other headphones

Comparison picture

The Turtle Beach Battle Buds are a unique pair of wired gaming in-ears that include a detachable boom microphone but in the small form factor of in-ear headphones. While they may not be as comfortable as some over-ear gaming headsets, their in-ear design means they breathe a lot better and don't cause your ears to get as hot. If you want a versatile pair of gaming headphones but would rather something wireless, check out the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless. See our recommendations for the best best gaming headsets under $50, the best PC gaming headsets, and the best gaming headsets overall.

Razer Hammerhead True Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Turtle Beach Battle Buds are a better pair of gaming headphones than the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless. While the Razer are better for daily use thanks to their truly wireless design, they're Bluetooth-only and therefore cannot be used with a PS4 or Xbox One. On the other hand, the Battle Buds are wired and can be plugged directly into the controller of your console. Their microphone also performs a lot better than the Razer.

Corsair HS35
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The Corsair HS35 are slightly better wired gaming headphones than the Turtle Beach Battle Buds. While the HS35 have a more comfortable over-ear design, the Battle Buds have a much smaller in-ear form factor which is much more breathable during long gaming sessions. The recording quality of the Battle Buds' microphone is better, but the HS35's microphone does a better job at separating your voice from background noise.

SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless are much better performing gaming headphones than the Turtle Beach Battle Buds, but with a very different design. The Arctis Pro Wireless are bulky over-ear headphones with a wireless dock to connect to your TV and gaming consoles to use the headphones wirelessly. Meanwhile, the Battle Buds are wired earbuds with a small boom microphone, designed to use while gaming on a mobile device, or to plug into the controller of your home console. The Arctis Pro have a more-balanced sound profile, and a much better performing microphone. On the other hand, the Battle Buds are much more portable.

SteelSeries Arctis 1
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The SteelSeries Arctis 1 and the Turtle Beach Battle Buds are similarly performing wired gaming headphones. While the Arctis have a more comfortable over-ear design, the Battle Buds are in-ears that are more portable and breathe better during longer gaming sessions. The microphone of the Arctis 1 performs a lot better, and their sound profile is much more accurate and better-balanced.

HyperX Cloud Stinger
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

The HyperX Cloud Stinger are much better wired gaming headphones than the Turtle Beach Battle Buds. The Cloud Stinger have a much better-balanced sound profile, are much more comfortable thanks to their over-ear design, and have a better microphone. On the other hand, the Battle Buds are more portable and breathe better thanks to their in-ear design.

+ Show more

Turtle Beach Battle Buds Price

Black Battle buds
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com
White/Teal Battle Buds
SEE PRICE
Amazon.com

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