Platform: PS4 also PS3, PC, Xbox One and PC
Our Score: 8/10
The Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth Wireless 800 Elite gaming headset is sold as being the creme de la creme of the Turtle Beach headsets range and gaming headsets in general. And right from the word go, they deliver.
The Turtle Beach Elite 800 are designed for the PS4 though will work with the Xbox One with a standard Microsoft chat adapter (not included), and with the full Dolby Digital support via optical cable. They can also be used on the PS3, PC and for mobile gaming though with limited functionality.
Our initial impressions of the Elite 800 is that it has the look and feel of a product worthy of its hefty premium price tag. The first thing you notice when you unbox the Elite 800 Headphones is its size. They are big, fairly bulky and relatively heavy (I guess you could say is as with most Turtle Beach Headsets). However, not long after wearing them do you notice how surprisingly comfortable they are to wear.
The headset itself is very good quality and the magnetic charging station is a nice touch that is a convenient feature. Not having to mess with wires (other than the USB and optical cables from the station to the PS4) is invaluable, especially if you are coming from a wired set of Turtle Beach headphones.
The Elite 800 have comfortable leather cushions on the ear cups and the headset itself is retractable making it adjustable to suit most head sizes. These Turtle Beach headphones are over ear headphones so that your ears are not carrying any of that weight and they feel robust and sturdy.
For the purposes of this review we have used them extensively on the PS4 and a decent amount of time on the PC. We also tried them on the Xbox One with the Microsoft adapter which work fine. It is very easy to set up and comes with easy to follow manuals and literature.
Inside the Box
In addition to the headset, with the Turtle Beach Elite 800, you will get the charging and transmission dock, one optical cable, (you may need to buy another one as there is an optical in and optical out), 2 x micro-USB cables, 1x 3.5mm male-male headphone cable and the warranty and instructions literature all neatly packed in true Turtle Beach headsets style.
The build of the headset is excellent. Turtle Beach have used good sturdy materials and good quality leather ear-cups. The charging base is sturdy and the magnets that keep the headset in place whilst charging is a good touch that makes the headset feel above and beyond your average headset.
On the side of each cup you will find the feature buttons where you can adjust various settings such as the volume, mute, sound preset mode, noise cancelling feature, and microphone. The buttons are very sensitive and prone to the slightest of contact which we can assure you will result in unintended button presses. Once you learn to navigate around the plates, you are less likely to press something you did not intend to, but even then, you will occasionally press something by mistake and usually at the most critical time in a mission! If there’s one major flaw with this headset, this would definitely be it. We have not tried any different plates so we are not sure whether different plates may help mitigate this.
As with most Turtle Beach Headsets, the Turtle Beach Elite 800 Wireless Headset is good for small and medium sized heads, and like I said for the Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 500P in its review, if you have a large head you may experience some discomfort over long periods. Turtle Beach, have clearly used a similar mould for the 400P and 500P as for the 800P so just bear this in mind if you have a larger than average head.
On your head, these Turtle Beach Headphones look fairly big but slick nonetheless. They will pass for a good set of headphones if you used them as such, though its size is likely to make this impractical in all honesty and not a substitute for any specific earphones you may have already.
The active noise cancelling is one of its biggies but arguably not the best we’ve heard. Its still good enough to drown out the sounds of a noisy bus and we don’t have too much complaint about the way the active noise cancelling works. It benefits from DTS:X 7.1 Surround Sound technology to give you superb audio capabilities.
You also get Bluetooth pairing so that you can manage telephone calls as well as enjoy more stable connectivity. This does deplete battery life quicker however. The built in microphone is a bit hit and miss but generally competent. Others online have complained that they can’t hear me that well and with it being built in I have not been able to adjust the positioning of mics (thats something to bear in in with built in mics).
I was able to adjust the mic volume to around 75% (despite the PS4 telling me that when speaking this was “too high”) so that my fellow gamers could hear me better and it did make an improvement. This can be done via the PS4 settings (under “Devices”). I also found myself shouting at times as I could not hear myself too well and this will be down to the active voice monitoring not being strong enough.
The ear cup plates are changeable and you can buy some really nice ones from the Turtle Beach Store see – http://www.turtlebeach.com/products/accessories/speaker-plates.
The range of the Turtle Beach Elite 800 headset is roughly around 12 to 15 foot maybe more depending on walls etc. I could never get downstairs without the sound interrupting. It is consistent with most wireless headsets but honestly, you could be forgiven for expecting more.
The sound of the Turtle Beach 800 Elite is excellent, and works well with the PS4. If you are using these on PC you must have a good sound card with Dolby Digital live to get the DTS:X function.
The surround sound technology it uses is no gimmick and you can hear the DTS:X 7.1 Surround Sound truly at work though its not a true 7.1 surround sound experience that you would expect to hear from multiple sound drivers.
There is a very slight hiss in the background at times when usually not in use or when there is little or no sound. Its not a big issue but it would have been nice if this could be dampened out somehow (do let me know in the comments below if you have a solution that might help this!)
The multiple sound presets is a big feature on this headset that is accessible via the Ear Force Hub from your Android smartphone or tablet. You can cycle through multiple sound functions depending on if you’re listening to music, watching a movie, or playing games and within these modes, there are further sound options to fine tune your audio experience – such as super human hearing. Turtle Beach really pushed the boat out in delivering a tailored sound experience.
In all honesty, we only ever needed to use a handful of modes within each preset and that was for the sake of trying them. The sound is superb however and fully immerses you in the heat of battle. The highs are distinct from the low tones and the bass is incredible. There is a notable improvement from using the Turtle Beach Ear Force 400 and the Turtle Beach 500P wireless headsets.
Another handy feature is that if you find the battery dies on you, you can continue using them as headphones with the included 3.5mm cable – just keep the cable close by.
As we mentioned above, the mic monitoring isn’t the best – its just not strong enough and difficult to hear your own voice. In addition the mic isn’t the best and we had to make an adjustment to the mic volume in the PS4 to compensate. We would expect the best at this price but we would not go so far as to say they are major issues, the mic does work competently.
Unfortunately, Apple iOS is not supported for the Turtle Beach Ear Force Audio Hub App which is a shame for non Android owners. We had to use a Samsung Tablet to use it but overall however, we found the App easy, intuitive and a handy feature to have close by though, in reality, now that our presets are set, we feel there are going to be very few occasions that the App will need to be revisited.
The controls on the sides are far too easy to activate in error and this can result in some eventful moments mid gameplay. The whole of the left and right side plates have 8 buttons with control functions, and only the slightest touch activates them which we are confident most users will not be able to avoid. You can take measures to ensure this doesn’t happen, e.g. not lying down your head whilst playing or ensuing you pause before making any changes.
Despite its good connectivity to the transmitter dock, we have experienced occasional sound drops without any good reasons as to why – we never sat more than 2 meters away from the transmitter dock. Also, there is the occasional static sound that we mentioned which is a minor point but worth mentioning.
The Turtle Beach Elite 800 is an excellent pair of gaming headphones. The niggles are small but might amount to something if they turn out to bother you too much. Its certainly enough for us to make it loose that perfect rating but the raft of features makes up for it shortcomings.
If you are thinking of picking some up, shop for best prices here.
Further reading – check out our comparison of the Elite 800 with the Astro A50.
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