Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 Max Review

Turtle Bech Stealth 600 Gen 2 Max Header

While some peripheral manufacturers come and go, Turtle Beach remain a constant presence in the gaming sphere, their output remaining utterly reliable and robust, while retaining a streak of gamer style. With the Stealth 600 Gen 2 Max for PS5, PS4, PC and Nintendo Switch, they’re updating and reissuing, rather than reinventing. Now at the tail end of 2022, you have to ask the question, has headset design moved on?

The Stealth 600 Gen 2 Max looks identical to its predecessors. That’s not exactly a problem, but the largely plastic, bulky over-ear design sits well behind what other peripheral makers are creating, whether that’s Lucidsound’s sweeping metal constructs or Logitech’s minimalist approach. This is a headset you’ll definitely want to keep behind closed doors, and while our review unit came in an attractive maroon colour, the external plastic looks and feels cheap.

Being made of plastic has a huge benefit though, as it keeps down the weight of the 600 Gen 2 Max. Every time you pick them up they’ll surprise you as the large earcups look as though they’re going to be heavy. You’d expect there to be at least some weight knocking around in there with both wireless connectivity and the updated battery bringing in up to 48 hours of gaming time, but you would be mistaken. It’s not so much technical wizardry as a biblical miracle.

Turtle Bech Stealth 600 Gen 2 Max Plastic Finish

Audio connectivity is solely wireless, via the included USB-A 2.4GHz dongle, while charging is handled by the headset’s USB-C socket. It’s always a bit of a shame when there’s no 3.5mm option, but the ridiculous battery life removes at least some of the worry that I have of wireless headsets running out of charge mid-session.

The controls are built of a similar plastic to the rest of the headset’s body, and while they’re accurate enough for the task, they only serve to emphasise the cheap feeling that this material brings. They’re all situated on the outer edge of the left earcup, and you’re likely to run into the common confusion that’s caused by having the master volume and the identical feeling chat volume dial directly next to each other. After the twentieth time of twiddling the wrong one, you’ll be wondering why someone didn’t want to use the empty space over on the right-hand side, or at least space them out to be a bit more distinct.

Besides the dials you’ve got a Mode button for cycling through the different EQ presets. There’s four different settings culminating in Turtle Beach’s Superhuman Hearing for those who want an extra edge in competitive gaming. There’s no voice assistant in the Stealth 600 Gen 2 Max, so you’re going to have to learn how many beeps your favoured EQ setting produces when activated. Personally, the double beep (that’s the bass boost setting) has the edge if you’re looking for drama and a spot of oomph.

Turtle Bech Stealth 600 Gen 2 Max Controls

You’ve got a built-in mic too, which folds neatly into the left earcup when you’re not using it. I think this feels like one of the oddest mic designs out there, with an arm that’s so short it doesn’t seem to come anywhere near your mouth. It does more than enough, though, picking up what you’re saying nice and clearly, even if I worry that talking very quietly might get lost in the mix.

The thing is, once the Stealth 600 Gen 2 Max is on your head you’ll care very little about what they look like, and once you’ve set the volume and EQ, you’ll care very little about what the controls feel like. You’ll care very little because, and this is the most important thing, they sound fantastic. Across gaming, movies and music, this is the kind of headset that upgrades your entire experience.

Starting with music from the likes of Cassyette, Mammoth WVH, and You Me at Six, the Stealth 600 Gen 2 Max provides a warm but detailed audio response that you can’t help but enjoy, aided by a surprisingly wide soundstage considering they have a closed back design. Action movies also benefitted from the Stealth 600 Gen 2 Max’s powerful 50mm drivers, ensuring that the sci-fi action of the original Avatar sounded truly bombastic.

Turtle Bech Stealth 600 Gen 2 Mic & Dongle

Gaming is where Turtle Beach are obviously aiming for, and I loved playing Need for Speed Unbound and the very different Sonic Frontiers with the Stealth 600 Gen 2 Max in tow. The NfS Unbound soundtrack thumped away with alacrity while the engine sounds and chit-chat of the drivers easily steered clear of it at the upper end of the audio spectrum. Sonic Frontiers’ soundtrack is also a bit of a surprise, and whether it was the eerier synth tracks or the bombastic metal that accompanies the boss battles the Stealth 600 Gen 2 Max ensured they sounded brilliant.

While they sound amazing, everyone around you is going to be privy to that fact as the Stealth 600 Gen 2 Max has virtually no noise isolation. You’ll be able to hear what’s going on around you, and your friends and family will be able to hear what you’re doing unless you’re very frugal with the audio volume. There’s just nothing to get in the way, as the thin plastic of the earcup’s outer surface and the breathable mesh of the earcups providing about as much noise-stopping ability as you’d expect.

Given that 48 hour battery life, Turtle Beach are hoping that you’re going to wear the Stealth 600 Gen 2 Max for some serious play sessions, and we were able to put it to the test during this past weekend’s Need for Speed Unbound review session. That lightweight build means that they certainly don’t add any unnecessary strain to your head and neck, while the soft earcups and PU headband cushion do a good job of keeping the pressure from building up. I did find that the clamping pressure does start to wear though, and if you’ve got a larger skull you might find that you fatigue more quickly than those with more diminutive bonces.

The £129.99 Stealth 600 Gen 2 Max price point puts it in a bit of no man’s land, as well. It’s not that much of a stretch to find the Stealth 700 Gen 2 on offer for around £150, or the outgoing Steelseries Arctis 7P or 7+ for £105, as two examples. Slip beneath that £100 mark and you have strong competition from Sony’s official Pulse 3D and the more premium looking and feeling Lucidsound LS15P, and there’s even the non-Max version of the Stealth 600 Gen 2. None of these rivals can compete on battery life, though.

The Stealth 600 Gen 2 Max is an excellent sounding headset that’s stuck within an ageing and cheap-feeling design.
  • Great sounding audio
  • Exceptional battery life
  • Light and breathable to marathon gaming sessions
  • Ageing plastic-y design
  • Volume controls are easily mixed up in use
  • Clamping pressure can become uncomfortable
Written by
TSA's Reviews Editor - a hoarder of headsets who regularly argues that the Sega Saturn was the best console ever released.