Reviewed on Feb 26, 2016 , Marc Henney

Turtle Beach Elite 800
HEADPHONES REVIEW

Usage Ratings
6.6Mixed Usage
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What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
7.3Critical Listening
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What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
6.3Commute/Travel
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What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
6.0Sports/Fitness
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What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
6.7Office
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What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
6.8Studio Recording
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What it is How effective the headphones are in a studio recording environment. Therefore sound quality should be good, and leakage should be minimal, to not add noise to the recording. They should also be durable for continuous and repeated studio use.
    Table of Contents
  1. Intro
  2. Design
    1. Style
    2. Comfort
    3. Controls
    4. Stability
    5. Portability
    6. Case
    7. Build Quality
    8. Cable
    9. Front
    10. Angled
    11. Side
    12. Rear
    13. Top
  3. Sound
    1. Bass
    2. Mid
    3. Treble
    4. Total Harmonic Distortion
  4. Isolation
    1. Noise Isolation
    2. Leakage
  5. Active Features
    1. Wireless
    2. Battery
    3. App Support
  6. In the box
  7. Conclusion
  8. Q&A
Type : Over-ear
Enclosure : Closed-Back
Wireless : Yes
Noise-Cancelling : Yes
Mic : Yes
Transducer : Dynamic

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.

Test Results
Design 6.0
Sound 7.4
Isolation 6.1
Active Features 6.8
Pros
  • Futuristic looking, sturdy design.
  • Comfortable.
  • Feature packed.
Cons
  • Poor noise cancellation.
  • Mediocre sounding as listening headphones.
  • Overly sensitive controls.

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6.0

Design

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Score components:
Turtle Beach Elite 800 Design Picture

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.

Style
Turtle Beach Elite 800 Design Picture 2

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.

7.0 Comfort
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What it is: Adjustability and degrees of freedom, pressure, stiffness and weight.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used for long durations.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Turtle Beach Elite 800 Comfort Picture
Weight : 0.82 lbs
Clamping Force
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What it is: The force that the headphones exert on your head, once you have them on. This is purely a measurement of the force applied, which does not take into account the earpad's surface area and the resulting pressure you will feel, on or around your ears.
When it matters: The tighter the headphones, the more force they put on your head. This can get uncomfortable or cause pain and soreness during long listening sessions.
:
1.31 lbs

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.

4.5 Controls
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What it is: The control scheme of the headphones; the number of functions provided, button layout and ergonomics as well as the quality of tactile feedback.
When it matters: If you want to control volume, pause your music or make phone calls without directly interacting with, your audio device.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Turtle Beach Elite 800 Controls Picture
Call/Music Control : Yes
Volume Control : Yes
Additional Buttons : Noise-Cancelling, preset

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.

5.0 Stability
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What it is: How the headphones are designed to prevent them from slipping off your ears or falling off your head.
When it matters: If you plan on using the headphones while doing sports or other physical activities that requires a lot of movement.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Turtle Beach Elite 800 Stability Picture

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.

5.5 Portability
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What it is: The volume of space occupied by the headphones when folded into their most compact format.
When it matters: If you're often on the move and need to carry your headphones in a bag, purse , or pocket.
Score components:
Turtle Beach Elite 800 Portability Picture
L : 7.87 "
W : 7.09 "
H : 3.35 "
Volume : 186.78 Cu. Inches

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.

0 Case
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What it is: The provided carrying options to protect your headphones when transporting them.
When it matters: To prevent damaging your headphones, if you often carry them in your bag or pocket.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Type : No case

7.0 Build Quality
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What it is: Durability; material quality; cheap/expensive feel.
When it matters: When the headphones are going to be used by multiple users (classes/studios), by children, in tough conditions, on a daily basis, or for exercise.
Score components: Subjectively assigned
Turtle Beach Elite 800 Build Quality Picture

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.

Cable
Turtle Beach Elite 800 Cable Picture
Detachable : Yes
Length : 4.08 ft
Connection : 1/8" TRRS

Comes with four cables; Two USB for charging and connecting the Base, one optical and one 1/8" TRRS-TRRS.

Front
Angled
Side
Rear
Top
7.4

Sound

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What it is: How accurately the audio is reproduced. The tests are performed with the headphones' most commonly used features enabled (noise-cancelling, wireless, etc.)
Score components:
Turtle Beach Elite 800 Frequency Response

The sound reproduction of the Elite 800 is good but not great. Distortion at high volumes is a concern and the audio profile of the "signature sound" preset is average at best. This profile is not well suited for that are heavy on vocals and instruments. On the upside, the different presets may help you find an audio profile that works better with your music, but it won't amaze you either.

8.5 Bass
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What it is: Frequency Response from 20Hz-250Hz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on bass frequencies, such as those of kick drums and bass guitar.
Score components:
Turtle Beach Elite 800 Bass
Std. Err.
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What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in bass frequency response (20Hz-250Hz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) bass performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.63 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
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What it is: The lowest frequency at which the frequency response reaches -3dB of the target response.
When it matters: Shows how extended the bass is.
Good value: <40Hz
Noticeable difference: 5Hz
:
16.34 Hz
Low-Bass
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 20Hz-60Hz.
When it matters: Kick drums and low frequency effects get their 'thump' from this range. Mostly felt than heard.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.94 dB
Bass
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 60Hz-120Hz.
When it matters: Melodic bass instruments have most of their fundamental frequencies in this range. This is where the 'body' and 'punch' of the bass sits.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
5.03 dB
High-Bass
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 120Hz-250Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments get their warmth and full-ness from this range. When over-emphasized, mixes tend to get muddy and boomy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.37 dB

Decent, yet hyped performance. The low-bass and bass regions are quite over-emphasized, overpowering the mids.

7.1 Mid
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What it is: Frequency Response from 250Hz-2.5KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on mid-range frequencies. This is the case for the majority of audio content.
Score components:
Turtle Beach Elite 800 Mid
Std. Err.
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What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in mid frequency response (250Hz-2.5KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) mid performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
3.91 dB
Low-Mid
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 250Hz-500Hz.
When it matters: Most instruments have their fundamentals or low harmonics in this range. Over-emphasis in this range sounds boxy. Under-emphasis, thins out the vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-5.4 dB
Mid
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 500Hz-1KHz.
When it matters: This range is occupied mostly by upper harmonics. Over-emphasis sounds forward and honky. Under-emphasis pushes instruments to the back of the mix.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-3.0 dB
High-Mid
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 1KHz-2.5KHz.
When it matters: Most instruments, especially vocals, get their intensity and clarity from this range. Over-emphasis sounds harsh, under-emphasis sounds weak and distant.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.08 dB

Very good performance. The dip at around 400Hz makes the sound slightly hollow, especially since the bass and treble regions are hyped.

6.0 Treble
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What it is: Frequency Response from 2.5KHz-20KHz
When it matters: When the material is heavy on high-range frequencies, such as voice, cymbals, and any other material where brightness, brilliance and airiness is desired.
Score components:
Turtle Beach Elite 800 Treble
Std. Err.
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What it is: The amount of deviation (weighted standard error) in treble frequency response (2.5KHz-20KHz) as compared to a target response that would sound perfectly balanced to most people.
When it matters: When a balanced and neutral (reference) treble performance is desired.
Good value: <4dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
5.83 dB
Low-Treble
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 2.5KHz-5KHz.
When it matters: Almost all instruments rely on this range for their presence, detail, and articulation. Over-emphasis can sound harsh and painful. Under-emphasis hurts the comprehensibility of vocals and lead instruments.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
1.54 dB
Treble
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What it is: The average amount of over/under emphasis in frequency response from 5KHz-10KHz.
When it matters: This is the sibilance range. Cymbals, vocals, and lead instruments rely on this range for brightness and presence. Over-emphasis sounds piercing and painful, under-emphasis sounds dull and lispy.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-0.81 dB
High-Treble
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What it is: The average amount of over/under-emphasis in frequency response from 10KHz-20KHz.
When it matters: This range gives brilliance and airiness to the sound. Over-emphasis sounds hissy, under-emphasis sounds closed-up and lifeless.
Good value: +/-3dB
Noticeable difference: 0.1dB
:
-4.03 dB

Poor performance. The treble is nearly as hyped as the bass, overpowering the mids and forming some kind of a "smiley face" curve. However, the dip surrounding 5KHz means these headphones lack in clarity and presence, especially for vocals and lead instruments.

7.8 Total Harmonic Distortion
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What it is: The subtle, unwanted frequencies (harmonics) produced alongside the intended frequencies.
When it matters: When clean and pure sound reproduction is desired, though its effect is not as noticable as frequency response.
Score components:
Turtle Beach Elite 800 Distortion
Weighted THD @ 90
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What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 90dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at moderate listening levels.
Good value: <0.100
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
0.388
Weighted THD @ 100
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What it is: The overall amount of harmonic distortion measured at 100dB SPL. To make the score more perceptually relevant, more weight is given to the higher frequencies.
When it matters: How pure the sound is at loud listening levels.
Good value: <0.300
Noticeable difference: 0.1
:
3.672

Very high distortion numbers, especially at 100 dB SPL, where distortion peaks above 10% at 5KHz. The 90 dB SPL distorion is more than some other headphones' 100 dB SPL numbers.

6.1

Isolation

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Score components:

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.

5.8 Noise Isolation
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What it is: How much outside noise is blocked out by putting the headphones on.
When it matters: If the headphones are going to be used in a noisy envinronment (airplane, subway, etc.)
Score components:
Turtle Beach Elite 800 Noise Isolation
Overall Attenuation
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What it is: The overall amount of environmental noise reduction in dB.
When it matters: In loud envinronments like planes, trains, offices, etc.
Good value: <-20dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-15.59 dB
Bass
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What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the bass range (20Hz-250Hz).
When it matters: When the outside noise is bass-heavy, like in airplanes.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-9.58 dB
Mid
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What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the mid-range (250Hz-2.5KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is mid-heavy, like in an office.
Good value: <-15dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-10.7 dB
Treble
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What it is: The overall amount of noise isolation in the treble range (2.5KHz-20KHz).
When it matters: When the environment's noise is treble-heavy. Although uncommon, areas with sharp sounds fall under this category.
Good value: <-30dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
-28.04 dB
Self-Noise
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What it is: The amount of noise created by the active electronics of the headphones (if applicable), measured from 200Hz-20KHz. Applies mostly to wireless and noise-cancelling headphones.
When it matters: If too loud, it could become distracting when listening to quiet material like podcasts and audiobooks.
Good value: <18dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
8.31 dB

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.

6.5 Leakage
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What it is: The amount of sound bleeding out of the headphones.
When it matters: When the listener doesn't want people around them (in office, recording studio, etc.) to hear what is being listened to.
Score components:
Turtle Beach Elite 800 Leakage
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
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What it is: The amount of sound leakage heard 1 foot away from the user, while the user is listening to a 100dB SPL signal.
When it matters: When you don't want people hear what you are listening to.
Good value: <35dB
Noticeable difference: 1dB
:
39.92 dB

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.

6.8

Active Features

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What it is: Headphones with active components that require a battery. This includes noise cancelling and wireless headphones that actively reduce noise or transmit audio via a wireless connection.
When it matters: How suitable the power and wireless specifications of an active headphone will be, depending on your listening habits. The range and/or discharge time of the active headphone you select will be important if you're often on the move or have long uninterrupted listening sessions.
Score components:

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.

7.9 Wireless
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What it is: Headphones that offer a cable-free listening experience over a wireless network, typically via Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: If you don't want to be limited by the length of an audio cable. This means having the freedom to move around in your home or office with a much greater range than an audio cable could provide, especially, if the Bluetooth source is heavy or difficult to carry.
Type
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What it is: The type and version of the wireless network, the headphones use to connect to the audio source. This could either be Bluetooth or radio frequency.
When it matters: The Bluetooth version will determine how compatible the headphones are with your Bluetooth enabled devices. Typically, newer Bluetooth versions are backward compatible with older ones but may lack the additional features that more recent Bluetooth protocols provide.
:
Bluetooth 4.0
SBC Latency
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What it is: The latency for the default sub-band coding of most Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos a high latency can cause sync issues between the images you see and the audio you hear.
Good value: 170ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
187 ms
aptX Latency
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What it is: An audio coding algorithm (Codec) that improves bit rate efficiency. It reduces latency and improves sound quality over Bluetooth.
When it matters: For better sound quality if your often streaming music over Bluetooth. Also it slightly improves latency when watching videos with wireless headphones.
Good value: 130ms or less
Noticeable difference: 15ms
:
N/A
aptX(LL) Latency
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What it is: Low latency variation of aptX that significantly reduces sync issues between video and sound when using Bluetooth headphones.
When it matters: When watching videos or gaming latency is a lot more noticeable than just listening to music.
Good value: 50ms or less
Noticeable difference: 5ms
:
N/A
Obstructed Range
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What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when the Bluetooth source was placed in another room.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in an indoor environment. Although, the obstructed wireless range will slightly depend on your home or office layout.
Good value: >35ft
Noticeable difference: 5ft
:
51 ft
Line of Sight Range
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What it is: The range that the wireless headphones can reach before dropping any audio when in direct line of sight of the Bluetooth device.
When it matters: If you can't or prefer not to carry your Bluetooth source on you, while listening to your audio in a large and open environment.
Good value: 170ft or more
Noticeable difference: 10ft
:
162 ft
NFC
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What it is: Near Field Communication technology that allows you to quickly, pair your headphones with your Bluetooth and NFC-enabled device.
When it matters: This makes pairing with an NFC-enabled device a lot easier than the typical and often tedious hold-to-pair procedure that most wireless headphones have.
:
No

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.

6.6 Battery
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What it is: The power source of your headphones. All headphones with active features have a battery that will deplete over time.
When it matters: To continue using the active features of your headphones. Some models lose features or switch off completely when the battery is drained, which limits what you can do with them until the next charge.
Score components:
Battery Type
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What it is: The type of battery that the headphones use. Usually AAA or embedded, Li-ion rechargeable batteries.
When it matters: When your headphones run out of power. Rechargeable batteries usually charge via the headphones Micro-USB port whereas AAA batteries have to be replaced or charged with an external device.
:
Rechargable
Battery Life
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What it is: The amount of time it takes for a headphones' battery to be completely drained. Battery life will vary depending on the active features used and volume level.
When it matters: For active headphones that connect wirelessly, have noise cancellation or other audio-enhancing features, that cease to work once the battery is dead.
Good value: >10hrs
Noticeable difference: 0.5hrs
:
10.8 hrs
Charge Time
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What it is: The amount of time your active headphones have to be connected to a power source to charge from 0 to a 100%. However, charging time will vary depending on your power source.
When it matters: To be able to use the active features of your headphones. Especially, wireless ones that completely switch off and need to be recharged when the battery is dead.
Good value: 2h or less
Noticeable difference: 0.25h
:
2.7 hrs
Auto-off
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What it is: A feature that turns off the headphones, after a set time, when they're not in use.
When it matters: To prolong battery life when the headphones are not being used, or if you forget to manually turn off your headphones.
:
No
Audio while charging
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What it is: Some active headphones remain usable while charging. They continue to stream audio and do not disable other active features.
When it matters: This makes sure that your headphones's battery are not being drained when your relatively close to a power source. However, this means wireless headphones will need a wired connection to the power source during the charging process.
:
Yes

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.

0 App Support
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What it is: The additional app provided to enhance your listening experience. They typically deliver a set of practical features that give you more control over the sound, noise cancelling and effects that the headphones produce.
When it matters: An app with a lot of features allows you to customize your listening experience to suit your taste and preferences. For example, additions like an equalizer can give you more bass or treble and room effects can simulate a bigger Soundstage in closed back headphones.
Score components: Subjectively assigned

No compatible app.

In the box

Turtle Beach Elite 800 In the box Picture

  • Turtle Beach Elite 800 Headset
  • Transmitter and charging stand
  • Audio cable
  • USB cable (x2)
  • Optical cable
  • Manual

Conclusion Amazon.co.uk CHECK PRICE Right

6.6Mixed Usage
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What it is This is the combination of the different use cases to evaluate how versatile the headphones are. Therefore an everyday headphone should be well-rounded enough to adapt to most situations and environments without significant losses in sound quality, design ergonomics or isolation.
The Turtle Beach Elite 800 Headset are best used as gaming headphones although they do have enough features to be moderately versatile headphones. However, their size makes them a bit cumbersome and not suited for sports or physical activity.
7.3Critical Listening
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What it is The level of audio fidelity a headphone can reproduce. Therefore a balanced and true representation of bass, mids, treble, soundstage and imaging, as well as a comfortable listening experience, is essential for critical listening.
Score components:
Decent for critical listening. They are not designed to deliver the most balanced audio reproduction, but they have multiple audio profiles and a sufficiently decent soundstage for most listeners.
6.3Commute/Travel
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What it is How well the headphones handle the loud environments involved in commuting or traveling. Therefore your listening experience should be comfortable, hassle-free and as isolated from noise as possible.
Mediocre for commuting. They won't isolate well enough for the noise level of public transit. They're also a bit cumbersome to carry around.
6.0Sports/Fitness
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What it is How well-adapted the headphones are, to use while doing sports or strenuous exercise. Therefore the headphones should not be too cumbersome and deliver a stable and comfortable listening experience.
Not made for sports use. Although they have a good wireless range, they're too bulky cumbersome and unstable for sports. They will fall off your head if used while jogging or exercising and their control scheme is not very intuitive.
6.7Office
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What it is How well the headphones can deliver a comfortable and isolated listening experience in an office-like environment. They should not leak much and should block the noise of a busy office.
Average for office use. They have a good wireless range so you won't be limited to your desk or office. However, they don't block noise well and will let the office chatter seep into your audio. They also leak at higher volumes.
6.8Studio Recording
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What it is How effective the headphones are in a studio recording environment. Therefore sound quality should be good, and leakage should be minimal, to not add noise to the recording. They should also be durable for continuous and repeated studio use.
Decent for studio use. They have a satisfactory sound and don't leak too much at moderate volumes. However, they're a bit overly complicated for studio headphones and won't be the most reliable under recording conditions.
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