Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Review: Pack a Punch
Ben Sheene / Nov 10th, 2017 No Comments
Turtle Beach’s new Stealth line of headsets is hoping to improve players’ audio experience wirelessly. Wireless headsets have grown increasingly popular in the last few years, not just for their convenience but for their ability to deliver premium sound.
The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 is a simple, affordable barrier for entry for both PlayStation 4 and Xbox One players looking for a better way to hear some of the fall’s biggest, loudest games. Don’t let its cost and size fool you because this headset isn’t one to be ignored.
Where the Wires At?
Connecting the Stealth 600 to a PS4 is done through the use of a USB dongle. In the case of players who already have their system tethered to multiple devices or accessories at a time, this is an important thing to note. Once the PS4 is set up, simply hold down the power button for a few seconds to start listening.
Before even touching on how the Stealth 600 actually sounds, I think it’s important to address a few quality of life features specific to a wireless headset that many players can appreciate. Wireless signals tend to be a bit spotty depending on distance and interference. With the Stealth 600, I’m able to listen to a game or chat when I go into my kitchen, which is about 10 feet away and separated by a thick wall. I could even stretch this about another 20 feet into my bedroom, which is separated by an additional wall.
The convenience of being able to walk away from the console without having to worry about wires or missing out on conversation is a feature a lot of gamers might not initially be concerned with. However, wireless headsets like the Stealth 600 give players the freedom to move around their room or home without worrying about snagging on something or being confined to their seat.
Battery life on the Stealth 600 is also not an issue. Turtle Beach touts a 15-hour battery life on the headset with one full charge. Out of the box, the headset fueled a night playing through the entire story of Destiny 2 and at least two days worth of grinding out gear. I never counted the exact hours I was using it, but the headset keeps its charge long enough that it isn’t a problem. I also got the impression that a quick charge of just a few minutes is enough to power the battery for at least an hour or so of use.
Convenience is great but means little if that X-Wing whizzing by sounds like it is coming from a tin can. With 50mm speakers, the Stealth 600’s power is not tamed. The headset gets loud rather than distorted with the volume at max. Sporting virtual surround sound, the effort to capture every little detail from a game’s surroundings is admirable.
At a price point of $100, it’s fair to not expect much from the Stealth 600. Premium prices can be a bit tricky in today’s world of Dr. Dre-branded earbuds that sound about the same as a knock-off pair I bought on Amazon for $30 bucks. This headset is set at an entry-level price, not an exaggerated one.
While it misses out on the DTS Headphone:X of its big brother the Stealth 700, the Stealth 600 sounds good. By incorporating the “Superhuman Hearing” feature, which is activated by a short tap of the power button, the quieter sounds are actually enhanced. This is also supplemented by four audio presets that include bass boost, bass and treble boost, vocal boost and Turtle Beach’s “signature sound.”
Pop in Call of Duty for a second and hop into an online match with the Stealth 600. There are other plays going to town on each other, explosions going off right in front of you, and the pressure of trying not to die. Despite that, you’ll still be able to make out the sound of a person running around you. In one match, I was camping in a house upstairs and cycling between two rooms. I could hear people sneaking downstairs, running outside the building, and jumping up barricades to try to get to me.
Does the Stealth 600 sound good? Why, yes it does. A lot of players’ enjoyment out of the headset is going to be from tinkering with the presets to see which one works best for any given game or scenario. There have been several headsets at this price range that offer equal or worse sound quality yet feature wires.
Another one of those quality of life things that needs to be praised from the rooftops is the flip-up microphone. The left side cup features a high-sensitivity mic that can be muted simply by flipping it up. Need to use the bathroom? Sneeze? Yell at your mom that you will be downstairs to eat in just a minute but first you have to get a few more headshots on Axis scum? Just flip the mic up and then back down to be in and out of chat.
I’m not trying to say that pushing a mute button is a pain, even on headsets that have an easy access one. But a physical mic that can be adjusted in such a way is kind of a dream. It does not feel cheap or that it will snap off in any way. It’s also positioned perfectly by your mouth. There were a few times after taking off the set and putting it back on that the mic was touching my face, but this was because I had yet to twist the ear cups to rest over my ears.
A variable mic monitoring dial is positioned exactly below the volume dial on the headset. This allows players to hear their voice inside the headset so they know how uncomfortably loud their breathing might be to other people. It’s actually a useful feature to not come off as annoying to other people you game with.
However, because both the volume and mic monitoring are small dials close to each other, it can be problematic. Players might turn the wrong one until they get used to the headset. I often found that setting down the Stealth 600 and picking it back up meant at some point I had turned a dial to either drastically lower the volume or drastically increase my mic monitoring.
Comfort is also not an issue with the Stealth 600 because of its lightweight build. The plastic on the unit is very solid without giving off a cheap feel. The only aspect of the build that comes off as flimsy are the rotating ear cups. This is only because they have a bit of give to them as a built-in feature, not because I’m afraid they will fall off.
The cushioning on the ear cups is a breathable mesh fabric that is also found on the headband. It’s soft to the touch and pushes against your head extremely gently. Because the Stealth 600 is already light, there’s less weight pushing against your head. This means that long hours of use is not an issue and because you don’t necessarily need to take the headset off, it’s a great bonus.
On the cushions is an even softer spot meant for players who wear glasses. This is where Turtle Beach’s incredible ProSpecs design comes into play. The hard plastic of glasses is hell on a player’s skull, especially when pushed in even harder by a headset. The ProSpecs cushioning negates a lot of this unpleasantness and it looks to be a feature Turtle Beach won’t be dropping any time soon.
The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 is a great wireless headset, there’s just no two ways about it. As the start of a new line of products featuring some of the company’s new innovations, the Stealth line is a wise purchase for PS4 and Xbox One players.
By spending a bit more, you will get some added features like active noise-cancellation and Bluetooth connectivity on the Stealth 700. Yet, at this $100 sweet spot, anyone looking for a new wireless headset in their life should feel right at home. The full-bodied sound is matched in incredible comfort and wonderful features that make wireless a joy.
This review is based on a review unit of the Stealth 600 provided by Turtle Beach.
tags: hardware review , review , turtle beach , Turtle Beach Stealth 600 , Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Review