Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Review

Turtle Beach remain the gaming headset-producing equivalent of the Ford Car Company. They’ve got a range of offerings designed to suit every pocket, they’re robust, reliable, and have occasional flashes of brilliance in amongst the daily commute. So it is with the Stealth 700 Gen 2, Turtle Beach’s upper tier wireless and Bluetooth option for the Xbox family of consoles.

The first thing you’ll notice when putting them on is the fit. The Stealth 700 Gen 2 is a larger headset, and it has a noticeable level of clamping force. I own an array of headsets, and I’ve reviewed most of the main culprits in recent years, and the Stealth 700 has to be one of the tightest fitting I’ve come across. Oddly, expanding the headband doesn’t seem to help all that much either. Some of the blame has to fall on the voluminous ear cushions on each of the ear pieces. Now, that’s not to say they’re uncomfortable – they’re certainly not – but you’ll know they’re on your head.

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That clamping effect means they’ve got pretty strong passive noise cancellation and even with nothing being piped through them they noticeably reduce the level of external sound you’ll hear. With some volume from an audio source you’ll literally be in a world of your own, with partners or co-workers able to shout all sorts of things at you that you won’t remotely hear. This might be an opportunity for everyone involved.

The Stealth 700 is fashioned from robust black plastic with some silver highlights circling each earpiece. It fits seamlessly into Turtle Beach’s design ethos; very few of TB’s headsets are what you would call sleek, or indeed fashionable, but they’re functional and inoffensive. There’s a light touch when it comes to branding too, with small logos on each earpiece, and Turtle Beach smartly etched into the external plastic of the headband.

While some plastic headsets creak or feel hopelessly weak, the Stealth 700 feels rather resolute in comparison. It’s certainly got a fair bit of heft to it, weighing in at 453g, but the ear cushions and the memory foam of the headband do a decent job of balancing it all out. I think it’ll prove too much for younger players though. The ear cushions are full of Turtle Beach’s cooling gel material, which helps you to stay cool under pressure, or through a twelve hour Call of Duty marathon, and while they seem to help, they don’t feel as cool as other similarly equipped headsets like the Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2.

There’s a host of controls to be found on the left earpiece, with dials for volume and chat, and buttons for power, Bluetooth, and switching modes. There’s also an Xbox pairing button, because the Stealth 700 is, much like the Official Xbox Headset or Steelseries 9X, able to connect directly with your console. I love this feature, saving you from dongles and their associated gumming up of USB ports. It’s a huge plus point for this headset.

The microphone can be very well tucked away on the Stealth 700, its solid plastic arm folding up into the body of the left earpiece. The downside is that there isn’t much ability to alter its position, with only the smallest movement in the joint allowing you to angle it slightly inwards when in use. It sits nowhere near your mouth, or at least it doesn’t on me, and while its pickup seems perfectly fine, I like the option of changing it depending on the moment to suit quiet or loud situations. This might not be that big a deal if you talk especially loudly, or if there’s never any change to the external noise around you, but it’s an annoyance if you want total control.

While its build is robust, the Stealth 700 Gen 2’s audio goes beyond that, turning in an effortless response that’s perfect for gaming, movies, and music. Headset manufacturers are, on the whole, nailing down the quality of their drivers and how they funnel music into gamers’ ears, and it’s clear that Turtle Beach has used their years of knowledge to put out another great-sounding product.

The Stealth 700’s signature sound provides a relatively evenly balanced delivery that edges towards the bombastic. There’s a pleasingly full bass response from the 50mm drivers, steering away from any flabbiness, while top end details ring out clearly, cutting through the rest of the soundscape. The Stealth 700 also manages to have a fairly wide soundstage despite being a closed back headset, and overall I found them an enjoyable accompaniment to pretty much any content.

I’ve been reliving the past by playing through Lost Odyssey again, and the emotive and often-surprising soundtrack sounded fantastic through the Stealth 700. If multiplayer is more your bag, there’s the Superhuman hearing mode specially designed for FPS games, and through PUBG and Call of Duty Warzone I was able to pick up the approach of enemy players with regular consistency. It does shift the audio balance towards the higher end though, so while it is more than possible to improve your K/D ratio, you might find it slightly less immersive.

Thanks to the Bluetooth connection you can make a bunch of changes on the fly via the smartphone app, and it’s here that the Stealth 700 sets itself apart from its competitors. This kind of feature is incredibly useful when the majority of headsets still require a PC to get the best out of them, which kind of defeats the point of being console specific. It lets you customise what the Mode button and the chat dial actually do, while also giving you access to a host of EQ settings.

The Stealth 700 Gen 2 is a clear step up from its younger sibling the Stealth 600, with much improved build quality and customisation. Its RRP of £130 does however put it up against some stiff competition. It’s definitely sturdier than Microsoft’s Xbox Wireless Headset, but that’s roughly two thirds half the price with similarly impressive audio. The Steelseries 9X remains the champion for this set of features, and while it’s more expensive, you might well be able to find one that’s closer to the Stealth 700 Gen 2 if you shop around.

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Summary
The Stealth 700 Gen 2 builds on Turtle Beach’s years of gaming audio know-how to deliver an excellent-sounding headset. It’s also incredibly robust, but it’s worth bearing in mind its higher weight, and tight clamping force.
Good
  • Great audio
  • Bluetooth and dongle-free connections
  • Customisation via phone app
Bad
  • High clamping force
  • Build quality brings more weight
8
Written by
TSA's Reviews Editor - a hoarder of headsets who regularly argues that the Sega Saturn was the best console ever released.