What do you value in a gaming headset? Typically, it's a battle between your budget and performance; comfort and compatibility; battery life; and presentability. The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max doesn't win out on all of these fronts, but it comes as close as you could reasonably expect for $199/£179.
Turtle Beach has built on the success of the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 – long considered to be one of the best gaming headsets and best Xbox Series X headsets on the market – for this Max repackaging, adding some additional punch where it truly matters. The battery life is massive, the headband is arguably more comfortable, and Turtle Beach has been able to figure out all-platform compatibility, making utility one of the most exciting components of the package.
But how much does that compatibility really matter? It's an interesting question, and the answer will likely push you toward picking up either the new Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max or its predecessor, the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2, which is $50 cheaper.
Turtle Beach has worked to ensure that the Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max is able to connect to every major video game platform. The wireless gaming headset will pair via Bluetooth to your mobile device and Nintendo Switch in handheld mode, allowing you to listen to music, movies, or game on the go without any dramas. Additionally, an included USB transmitter allows the Max to pair with any platform that will take it – PC, PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X, Xbox One, and a docked Nintendo Switch.
This type of compatibility is truly phenomenal, and sadly missing in all too many of the top sets. And thanks to its 2.4GHz wireless connection, you should experience near-instant pairing, as well as an uninterrupted audio connection. Keeping track of another dongle may frustrate some of you, but for those looking to use one fantastic headset across all of your devices, with no hassle or setup woes, it's a game changer - and echoes the flexibility of the Razer Barracuda Pro which we recently reviewed too (minus Xbox compatibility, admittedly).
Form and functionality
What's the value in being able to switch the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max to every conceivable device in your house if it's running out of juice after only a few hours of good use? There would be little. Thankfully, Turtle Beach has almost doubled the battery life over its predecessor. In my testing, I was able to get around 40 hours of charge out of the Max, which is pretty damn wonderful.
The same praise can be placed on the Max headband, which comes equipped with a little extra padding versus the regular Stealth 700 Gen 2. It's comfortable during lengthy play sections, doesn't run too warm, and the closed-back cans aren't all that tight around the ears. Some of you may wish for a little more flexibility in your headband, particularly if you plan on taking these out on the road with you, but that's a question of personal preference.
Speaking of preference, there are elements of the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max that I'm not a huge fan of. If I had to find a complaint with this headset, it really comes down to control. On the bottom of the left earcup, you'll find a series of wheels which will let you toggle volume for audio and voice – the flip-down microphone is solid, if unspectacular in terms of clarity – and buttons which will let you shift between preset sound modes. While it feels a little unreasonable to expect the Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max to offer onboard EQ control within this price bracket, it's a shame to see it absent in even the dedicated Audio Hub phone app.
This pairing offers minimal opportunity to alter the balance of in-game audio and toggle the behaviour of the 'Mode' button, although the offering is largely insignificant. As too is Turtle Beach's flagship 'Superhuman Hearing' functionality, which you'll want to have switched off permanently. The mode purportedly picks out nuances of individual movement in online shooters, but I found the mix to be muddy. If you value clarity over cacophony in massive-scale firefights you'll want to avoid it.
Should you buy the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 MAX?
Overall, there is really very little working against the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max. The battery life, compatibility, and functionality are all fantastic, and as an additional bonus: the sound quality is damn fantastic too. Whether you're pairing this thing up with Dolby Atmos on Xbox Series X for virtual 7.1 surround sound, 3D Audio on PS5, or just using it au naturel, there's a depth and clarity here that is truly impressive for the price point. I was particularly impressed with how layered and balanced the sound felt in both single-player and multiplayer games, although that just speaks to the quality of those returning 50mm neodymium drivers.
Here's the thing: if you already own a pair of Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2s, it's hard to say whether it's worth upgrading to the Max – it really depends on how much you value cross-platform compatibility. But if you're looking to get your hands on a really rather good mid-range gaming headset, or looking to upgrade now more manufacturers are rolling out devices for the new-gen consoles, then the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max is easy to recommend and probably the best Turtle Beach headset on the market right now.
How we tested the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 MAX
I spent several weeks testing the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max in my home, using it as my primary way to interact with video games, music, and entertainment.
I tested the Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max with games like Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order and Call of Duty: Warzone, as well as with modern action movies like John Wick and Mad Max, and legacy TV shows like NCIS. I also used the Turtle Beach headset tethered to my phone and laptop to test its capabilities with apps like Spotify and Zoom.
You can read more about how we test gaming headsets here, and more about our general approach to hardware in our full GamesRadar+ Hardware Policy.