The iconic Turtle Beach headset, the Stealth 600 has got a sequel, offering wireless connectivity for current and next-gen consoles at a reasonable price. Considering we know the Xbox Series X will cost $499 and the PS5 is likely to follow suit, the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 offers a budget-friendly option for a headset that will be compatible with your current and future set-up.
But just how good is the second generation of the Stealth 600? Read on to find out if it's one of the best gaming headsets of the year.
The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 looks almost exactly like its predecessor, save for the microphone, which can now fold into the headset as opposed to hanging down from the left ear cup. However, it does feel a bit budget-friendly, so to speak, as the plastic is thin and hollow-sounding, especially across the ear cups and headband. The other side to this is that, because of this plastic, the Stealth 600 Gen 2 is incredibly lightweight. Despite that, it doesn't feel like you can easily break it, as it still has a heft to it that guarantees it'll survive some serious playtime.
The soft leatherette cushioning inside the headband feels lovely, and the earcup cushions are breathable and lightweight - even though the ear cups do get rather pinchy after a lengthy game sesh. The headset boasts a ProSpecs design that is meant to remove pressure on your glasses if you wear them. While these didn't push on my temple tips like most other gaming headsets do, the ear cups did hurt my ears after about three hours of gameplay, so there's a different kind of discomfort at play here.
The headband is easy to adjust to your desired size by sliding either side in or out, and the padding extends across a decent portion of the headband. The ear cups are slightly hinged where they attach to the headband to allow for a little more movement and flexibility while wearing them, and the low-profile microphone seamlessly flips up into a groove on the cups, perfectly obscuring it when it's not in use. Nice.
Type: Wireless (Automatically with Xbox One, via USB for PS4), Over-ear (closed)
Sound output: Virtual surround sound
Microphone: Flip-up, Omni-directional
Compatibility: PS4, PS5, Xbox One, Xbox Series X|S, PC
Drivers: 50mm with Neodymium magnets
Frequency response: 20 - 20000Hz
The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 headset boasts Windows Sonic audio on Xbox, but the 50mm speakers and design of the ear cups allow for more comfort while offering you a wider and more immersive soundstage, regardless of which platform you're on.
The Superhuman Hearing sound settings let you adjust the audio settings as needed, and an easy-access button on the ear cups lets you customize the game with four signature Turtle Beach audio presets. You can also independently adjust game and chat volume, a great feature that all lower-budget headsets should have. And when you're no longer in the mood to chat, the Gen 2 has a flip-to-mute feature that mutes the mic in one simple upward motion.
Speaking of the mic, it has a larger and higher sensitivity than its predecessor, which enhances your clarity when speaking: it's very accurate with no volume issues to speak of. Although the Gen 2 headsets come standard with mic monitoring (a feature that echoes your voice and other mic sounds back at you - and one that can get quite annoying, in my opinion), you can turn off the mic monitoring with the Turtle Beach Audio Hub app.
The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 boasts 15 hours of battery life after charging the headset with the included USB-C cable. That's the same amount of battery life as the Gen 1 Stealth 600s, so it's a bit disappointing to see Turtle Beach hasn't packed any extra life into the new models. However, I used my headset for about eight hours out of the box without charging it once, so the 15-hour benchmark looks solid.
It's important to note that the Xbox One version of the Gen 2 has no dongle, which is required in the PC and PlayStation versions in order to use it. The Xbox One version has an extra button on the left earcup that syncs up with the built-in wireless protocol.
Simply put, the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 is an excellent wireless headset for the price point, especially for online gaming. The audio sounds crisp and clear - never tinny - and the virtual surround sound let me get the drop on other Apex Legends players several times. The headset allows the games to sound as they were intended to by developers: there's no amplified bass or extra-loud footsteps, it just sounds like a loyal audio representation of the game you're playing.
The microphone is incredibly accurate and does not require you to speak much louder than a normal speaking volume. My teammates could hear me crisply and clearly, and the microphone's distance from my mouth was enough that there were no strange harsh exhalation sounds or pops. Even with the AC on full blast and blowing in my face, there were only a few times where the headset picked up the sound of air blowing by.
The ability to independently adjust game and chat audio is crucial, especially when there's a vast difference in the baseline between Call of Duty: Warzone and Apex Legends, which I frequently shift between. However, because of the relatively small buttons and the vicinity with which they are placed, I accidentally raised or lowered the wrong audio input several times. In general, the buttons on the left ear cup are too small and cramped and require some fumbling in order to press the right one.
Overall - should you buy it?
Earcup comfort and fumbly buttons aside, the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 is a fantastically priced headset for what it delivers and a worthy successor to the original Stealth 600. The audio quality is top-notch, the microphone is incredibly sensitive and true to its input, and the headset seamlessly syncs with my Xbox One. Considering the sub $100 price point and the fact that the Stealth 600 Gen 2 will be compatible for next-gen consoles as well, I'd say this is a no-brainer for those looking to game now and in the future Definitely one of the best Xbox One headsets and best PS4 headsets you can by now to future-proof yourself too.
Reviewed on Xbox One.