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Turtle Beach has repackaged its Elite Pro Tournament headset for PCs, but how does it stack up?

The Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament headset is a personal favorite of mine, for its comfort, premium 7.1 surround sound, and extensible capabilities using the Turtle Beach Tactical Audio Controller. I review a lot of headsets, but for me, all roads tend to lead back to Turtle Beach.

You can use the Xbox One version of the Elite Pro Tournament on PCs using 3.5mm inputs, but you lose surround sound and mic sound monitoring in the process — something I've grown to depend on with over-ear noise isolating headsets (so you don't end up yelling). The new Elite Pro Tournament PC Edition solves that.

Bundled with a USB cable, the Elite Pro Tournament headset is now fully PC-ready, and if you're interested, here's what you need to know about this stellar, but pricey $199.95 headset.

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Design, quality, and comfort

If you're unfamiliar with this headset, know that it's one of the most comfortable and hard-wearing headsets I've ever owned. Across months of continuous use (and abuse), my Elite Pro Tournament has held firm, and part of that owes to the materials at play.

The Elite Pro Tournament headset uses premium construction throughout. Metal joints reassuringly hold the earphones in place, which can be adjusted independently of the headband itself. The headband uses a floating memory foam strip complete with adjustable tension sliders.

The Pro Tournament is a triumph of gaming headset design, and that remains true with the PC edition.

You can opt to use the floating band resting on thick memory atop a metal frame, or lower the tension so that it sits on the headband itself — there's no wrong answer here, and this headset is all about giving you control of the experience.

That extends to the detachable microphone, which is rigid enough to maintain various positions. The cups also rest on a ball joint, and move independently of the frame, ensuring they fit to your head rather than the other way around. The thick memory foam cushioning is a pleasure on the skin, coated with stylish synthetic leather on the outside, and airy fabric on the inside, hiding a large cavity where the Pro Tournament's hefty 50mm neodymium drivers live. You can even remove and adjust the ear cushions, adding a foam cut-out channel for glasses wearers.

The Pro Tournament is a triumph of gaming headset design, and that remains true with the PC edition.

Audio quality

I've been using the Pro Tournament headset on Xbox One with the Tactical Audio Controller for quite a while now, and it is by far my preferred headset experience on the console. The amount of control you're given to tweak the experience is unmatched by most headset setups. The TAC controller is compatible with PC too, but with this new PC Edition Pro Tournament headset, you can experience surround sound, mic monitoring, and more without over-complicating your set up.

The Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament headset sports the firm's most premium 50mm speakers complete with DTS Headphone:X 7.1 surround sound. Turtle Beach says these specific headphones have been developed with eSports in mind, with distortion-free crystal-clear voice chat as a priority, and the company more than delivers.

Across Skype, Discord, Xbox Live, and beyond, you won't have the slightest issue hearing your team mates with this headset, and there are in-line volume controls and a mic mute switch for added convenience.

The priority of voice hasn't hindered the headset's capabilities with audio, either. The USB interface of the PC Edition brings along the firm's "SuperHuman Hearing" feature, which accentuates footsteps and other video game sound cues. I've quite literally gotten kills in Battlefield 1 as a direct result of this headset.

It also supports various DTS Surround Sound modes, which not only elevates games, but music and movies too. The distortion-free audio across the entire spectrum sheds light on musical details you might've missed even in albums you're incredibly familiar with, and naturally, the enhancement for gaming is undeniable. Hear every footstep, every reload, every clip ejection, and pinpoint a nearby firefight in a way that feels as natural as it does frighteningly immersive. Don't play Resident Evil 7 in the dark with these, unless you're far, far braver than me.

Sometimes, with power comes complexity

Whenever I recommend this product, I do so with the caveat that they can be a bit complex. The USB adapter comes with a 3.5mm jack allowing you to feed audio in from your Xbox One and other devices, which is supreme for streamers, but figuring out how to get this working in an optimal way fiddling with your XSplit, Xbox, and Windows sound settings can be a bit of a pain. It's not a bad thing by any means, but it's important to emphasize that if you're planning to make use of every aspect of this headset, you may be in for some heavy tweaking.

Additionally, the Pro Tournament PC Edition uses Conexant USB Audio drivers, which are known to not play nice with all systems and setups. The link to the drivers provided in the manual no longer exists either, you'll have to hunt for it on Turtle Beach's store listing on the support section. It's not a big deal (and could be easily fixed) but seems like a pretty big oversight considering the drivers that the headset pulls from Windows Update will not give you access to the headset's full feature set.

Finally, Turtle Beach's Elite Pro Tournament doesn't use the company's own Ear Force Audio Hub software on PC, which is far better and more intuitive than Conexant's own, which is buried in the legacy Windows sound settings. There's also no support literature on Turtle Beach's website specific to this headset, Conexant, and the driver settings page, which is a little odd. Hopefully, Turtle Beach will leverage its own software or add the proper drivers to Windows Update in the future instead to create a more seamless experience.

Final thoughts

With great power comes great responsibility, that is, your responsibility to make sure this headset is installed and fully functioning correctly. Turtle Beach could've done more to make the setup process easier, but once you're up and running, wow — you won't regret it.

The Turtle Beach Elite Pro Tournament represents the best the company has to offer in terms of design, audio quality, and customizability. Despite the relative complexity of setting them up, both on Xbox One and PC, they remain my go-to headset, because, for me, there just isn't a better experience at the moment. Once you're set up, it's easy to swap them from Xbox to PC too, and gain the full breadth of gaming-specific features on both platforms — few high-end headsets seem to achieve this.

Pros:

  • Extremely pleasant to wear
  • Abuse-resistant design
  • Tactical audio control on PC
  • Immersive sound for games, media, and chat

Cons:

  • Settings menu and drivers can be annoying to deal with


Outstanding

4.5/5


With the advent of Xbox Wireless coming to Windows 10, future headsets built by the company should be far easier to set up and enjoy, providing you have a compatible system. Turtle Beach is already poised to launch two headsets that support this new wireless standard for Windows. Pro gamers may always want the reliability of cabling, though, to reduce the potential for interference — and ultimately, at $199.95, this is who the Elite Pro range is aimed at.

For long sessions in competitive, co-operative gameplay, this headset has no rival.

See at Turtle Beach