The Astro A50 gaming headset and the Turtle Beach Elite 800 gaming headset are regarded by many to be within the elite class of gaming headsets. We have compiled a comparison of the two headsets to try see if we can pick a clear winner!
Both headsets come in at around $299 or £249 though there may be deals to be found around the holiday seasons and sales periods. You can check the latest cheapest prices for the Elite 800 here and Astro A50 Gaming Wireless Headset here.
The Astro A50’s work on both Xbox One and PS4 whereas the Turtle Beach are designed for the PS4 though will work on the Xbox One with a Microsoft Chat Adapter. The Elite 800’s are purely wireless whereas the Astro A50’s still depend on a wire to the controller.
Astro Gaming A50 Wireless Headset – Features
The Astro A50’s look amazing. There is an upgraded A50 model to the original which is distinguishable by its chrome arms. Whether you opt for one of the special edition types or the standard version, they each equally look stunning and will compliment any gaming setup. We are of the view however that generally the finish is not as polished as the Elite 800’s.
The mic pulls down and raises up activating and deactivating it accordingly. The left ear cup has a standard 2.5mm jack port and micro USB to charge. The right ear cup has the main volume, power button and the EQ preset buttons of which there are three modes.
It has twistable ear cups for comfort around the neck when not in use or for when you travel or need to store them. The construct of the headset itself is really good quality and it comes with a nice stand a mix amp which features the opt in and out ports, USB ports and aux port finished with the Dolby button and power button.
One criticism is that the connection required for hooking up to the Xbox One to the controller for mic chat is on the long run prone to damage – largely due to the poor Xbox One adapter. With the cable being so short and the Xbox One adapter of a poor build, it’s our view that it is inevitably going to cause problems at some point in the future. It also needs to be charged via a micro USB cable despite its impressive stand which is a huge inconvenience in comparison to the Elite 800’s charging stand.
Turtle Beach Elite 800 Features
The Elite 800 has a whole raft of features but it’s main advantage is the complete wireless solution it offers gamers. From experience having used and reviewed lots of headsets, we simply can’t stress enough how desirable this and it’s inevitably going to be the standard in the future.
The headset in addition works via Bluetooth connectivity as well as wireless connectivity which means your smartphone can be connected to it so that you can answer calls during gameplay. The headset will also, cleverly, dim the game sound as soon as you answer the call so that you can hear the caller and spike back up when your call has finished.
Unlike the Astro A50’s, the Turtle Beach 800 Elite have a multitude of preset options. Within each main preset mode such as music or gaming, there are a number of sub options which allows you to tailor your experience in accordance with the media being consumed. An example is super human hearing option within game preset so as to enhance your situational awareness whilst playing something like Call of a Duty: Advanced Warfare.
The Ear Force Media Hub is where you can access all of these options and provided you have an android smart device, you can control it from your device. It is disappointing that iOS devices are not supported and is worth considering this point when deciding between the two headsets.
The Turtle Beach Ear Force Elite 800 comes with a well designed base which, when placed within, charges the headset too. This means you don’t have to faff on with further cables to charge the headset.
The Base station has 2 micro USB’s opt in and out ports, aux and it’s magnetic which will charge the headset automatically.
We honestly love the look of both headsets but which of the two is best in terms of looks is a highly subjective decision so we cannot give a conclusive answer – its simply down to preference.
The Astro A50’s come in a few different version such as the Halo and Xbox One version so you have a few different options to suit your taste and to match your gaming set up. They both come with very impressive stands and look worthy of their hefty price tags though as we said earlier, the polish on the Turtle Beach Elite 800’s is slightly better in our view.
The A50’s have a mic whereas the Elite 800 are built in so there is that to consider. The Elite 800’s seem to suit a PS4 setup owing to its consistent colour scheme. Both look lovely when not in use on their respective stands. Personally, we would have to give looks to the Astro A50’s but the Elite 800 is equally as impressive.
The Astro A50’s have 3 presets which for most is likely to be more than sufficient. However, when you are paying a premium price for a specialist gaming piece of kit, we think the Elite 800 gives better value in this category.
With the Elite 800, not only do you have the standard presets, but within those, you have a number of options within each to tailor your experience. In our experience, we rarely used more than half a dozen sound setups but with so many sound options and settings available, this should be recognized as well as the ease at which these can be accessed from your Smartphone (Android only however).
With the Elite 800, you also have the voice cancellation feature built in as well as Bluetooth which allows you to play music and answer phone calls.
The charging mechanism for the Elite 800 also shows Turtle Beach are thinking about convenience and long term life as charging cables and
connection ports are prone to damage in the long run. The charging dock is an excellent feature of the Elite 800 and improves and enhances the functionality of the headset.
One major annoyance with the Elite 800 is the touch plates on each ear cup – they are just a bit too sensitive. It’s not a problem when you are in game but the moment you attempt to change the volume or sound preset, you risk pressing something that you did not intend to. It gets easier with practice once you become familiar with navigating around them but you may find this quite annoying as we did at first.
Whilst we recognise that the Elite 800 is ahead in this category, we strongly feel that the Astro A50’s still provide adequate and sufficient functionality for a headset at this price and its simply a case that with the Elite 800 you will get enhanced or added functionality.
Sound and Microphone
We are splitting hairs when trying to determine which of the two is the best but if we had to choose, we would again give this category to the Elite 800 mainly because of its Bluetooth functionality and solid base range. Again, it is marginally and actually going to come down to preference more so than any technical reasons. Indeed, many consider that Astro A50’s exhibit the best audio of the two and we could subscribe to this notion too. We really do like the Astro A50’s audio positional feel. But we also felt that the Elite 800’s audio quality was top notch and fully immerses you.
The mic on the Astro A50’s drops down whereas the Turtle Beach Elite 800 is built in and so for convenience, the Elite 800 may be more preferable. But we would have to give the clarity of sound to the Astro A50’s – theres just a little more definition and clarity. We have had some fellow gamers complain of the slight damp distant sound clarity when using the Elite 800’s.
With the Astro Gaming A50’s we would point out however that on the Xbox One, there is a noticeable difference in clarity compared to the PS4 and that, we suspect this might be down to the voice channeling through the Xbox One adapter.
Again, we would only put the Astro A50’s marginally in front on mic quality, but in all honesty, owing to the built in nature of the Elite 800’s mic, would quite happily opt for the Elite 800 and live with the small difference in quality though we appreciate that some may prefer being able to adjust the proximity of the mic to their mouth. Again, it’s likely to come down to personal preference.
We put this down as a tie. We got roughly 10 hours of battery life out of the first use but this really varies depending on whether the bluetooth and active noise cancellation is at work. We experienced similar times with the Astro A50 and so cannot realistically put one ahead of the other on battery life. One thing to mention is that the Astro A50’s lack a battery indicator which is an ill thought omission.
Though only available in North America, the elite program membership offers gamers with an extended warranty and added service benefits though we have not been able to benefit from it being based in the UK. From what we have been able to garner from the gaming community, its not all its made out to be but we cannot sensibly comment on whether it of any worthy consideration.
The Turtle Beach Elite 800 comes with all the bells and whistles that you could say that the Astro A50 Headset is without. The Elite 800 certainly enhances the Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 500P by some distance on all fronts apart from battery life. But at its core, we feel that the Astro A50’s are an excellent headset that is not going to disappoint you.
Certainly on paper, the Elite 800 brings the most to the table and having used both extensively, if we had to choose, would go with the Elite 800.
- The Elite 800 has a better finish than the Astro A50’s though looks is likely to be a highly subjective opinion
- There are very few controls and features on the Astro A50 in comparison to the Elite 800 – on/off, volume, chat/game volume
- There are only 3 sound presets
- No sound equalizer
- No Bluetooth connectivity
- Charging requires a micro USB cable connected to the headset despite it’s nice looking stand
- No audio feedback
- No battery indicator
- Little firmware updates
- No extended warranty or elite service membership offered
However, despite the above list, we think it’s too subjective a decision to firmly recommend one over the other. Some people may not care for the bells amd whistles offered by the Turtle Beach Elite 800 and instead want a headset with solid audio capabilities and clear mic. The Astro A50’s certainly fit that criteria and that is a totally viable line of thought. We would encourage anyone in the market for either, to fully consider what they want out of a headset and try to align that with the features on offer.
Objectively speaking however, any person comparing the two could quite easily arrive at the decision that the Astro A50’s is marginally the better headset and certainly we think that the following factors may put the Astro A50’s in front:
- They are lighter
- The setup is much simpler
- There is more definition, in the chat and arguably sound – we feel they have a better positional feel than the Elite 800’s.
- They are more comfortable – we used them for long sessions without any discomfort (also as a glasses wearer). .
- Excellent connection quality, not a single hiccup
You check cheapest prices for both below.
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