The end of the year is always a big deal for console accessory manufacturers, but it’s even bigger when there’s a new generation of consoles galloping toward you from the horizon. So it’s no surprise that Turtle Beach, creators of many, many headsets, have returned to their line up and given it a fresh spit and polish. Here we’re looking at the Stealth 600 Gen 2, a revamped version of their entry-level wireless model.
The Stealth 600 was a solidly built bit of kit, and the 600 Gen 2 continues in a very similar vein. It’s heavy on the black matte plastic – Turtle Beach’s cheaper headsets always are – but it still feels solid and well put together. There’s actually a surprising amount of heft to them in your hand, but they’re not unwieldy or overly heavy once they’re on your head.
In the name of comfort there’s a thick, PU-covered piece of memory foam beneath the headband, and each of the memory foam earpieces is covered in soft black fabric. The texture of the fabric actually looks like it could be scratchy, but they’re gentle and comfortable against your skin and feature Turtle Beach’s excellent glasses ‘notch’ that means those spectacle wearers amongst us won’t be dying from temple pain after fifteen minutes.
The adjustment sliders are constructed from the same black plastic as the rest of the headset, but they have sturdy incremental notches for staying in the place once you’ve got them set to the right size. Both earcups will also rotate flat so you can comfortably wear them around your neck, and largely the whole headset simply does a good job of being comfortable.
You’ll find all of your controls along the rear of the left earcup, bringing together the Power and Mode buttons, as well as dials for volume and chat and the USB-C socket for charging. There’s two versions of the headset, the one we’re reviewing compatible with PS4, Switch and PC via its USB Type-A dongle, and the Xbox counterpart connecting to current and next-gen machines directly via Xbox Wireless. Either way the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 is a purely wireless offering, and thankfully its battery is capable of up to 15 hours of use before needing another charge. In testing it was certainly within that ballpark.
The audio performance of the Stealth 600 is, much like the rest of the headset, reliably solid. There’s four different EQ settings, from the catch-all standard setting that offers a pleasantly well-balanced soundstage, through a bass-boosted offering that suits music and explosive gameplay to a tee, and a footstep-focussed EQ for those serious FPS aficionados.
There’s some real thump to action games using the bass-boost setting. Playing Call of Duty: Modern Warfare sounded brilliant, bringing the explosive action to life in impressive fashion, while the treble-heavy footstep mode is perfect for catching out brash Warzone players. The standard setting is a great catch-all option though, and there’s an excellent level of detail to everything you can hear.
The downside to the solely wireless setup is that interference can occasionally enter the mix. I could detect a minute amount of distortion on PC, but it was completely covered by any level of audio. However, at times when playing on PS4, sat some five or six metres away from my console, I felt there was some unwanted noise entering the mix. It’s disappointing that it’s not a completely pure wireless signal, but I do have to wonder whether I’m just particularly sensitive to it. Your mileage may vary.
When you’re not listening, you’ll be talking and the Stealth 600 has a handy flip-down microphone arm that folds away in the left earpiece when not in use. It’s a perfectly acceptable mic, but there’s no way to angle it any closer to your face – and therefore your mouth. You can tell thanks to the audio sounding thin and distant. You’ll be fine, particularly if you’re naturally the loudest person in your chat party, but there are better mic set-ups out there.
With an RRP of £89.99, there’s some serious competition in this price category, and few are as serious as the Corsair HS70, which boast better signal quality and a more grown-up design. Alternatively there’s the Razer Nari Essential, which misses out on the full-fat Nari’s bells and whistles but will happily cushion your head in their voluminous ear cushions.