The modern world is many things, but it is not a place where people accept many limitations. Technologically that means we want our electronics to do everything, and increasingly, that’s becoming possible. Turtle Beach has been in gaming audio from the beginning, and they’ve remained relevant by evolving, changing and adapting to the needs of the market while bringing in those features that everyone needs in the modern day. The Stealth Pro is the latest result of that thinking and it’s fair to say that Turtle Beach have fashioned one of the best gaming headsets on the market.
The Stealth Pro is a wireless headset that connects to PS5 and PS4, PC and Nintendo Switch via a USB-A base station – there’s also an Xbox-specific version. It’s a chunky, circular base station that’s vaguely reminiscent of Turtle Beach’s Elite Pro headset amp, but the reason that it’s not just a dinky wireless dongle is that it houses the Stealth Pro’s party trick – there’s a spare battery charging in the middle of it.
This isn’t the first headset to pull this particular trick. It’s been one of Steelseries’ best innovations and one that I continue to love in my aging Steelseries H Wireless, even if it’s now limited to just their highest-end set. What swappable batteries means is that you’ll never run out of power. Hear the dreaded low-power beeps as you’re playing? You can just pop the battery out of the left earcup and swap it with the fully charged one in the base station, with barely a moment away from your game. Each battery is rated for over 12 hours, so running out of power is more or less impossible. It doesn’t get much better than that, and it solves my number one issue with wireless headsets – remembering to keep them charged.
The look of the Stealth Pro is a little bit different from Turtle Beach, moving away from both their Recon line and Elite lineup in terms of visuals and landing somewhere near to LucidSound’s instantly recognisable metal frame. This extends up to a black headband embossed with the Turtle Beach brand on the outside and a plush faux-leather cushion beneath. The earcups are similarly cushioned with super soft leatherette padding which adds to the device’s passive noise cancellation, helping to isolate you from the outside world. That’s before you’ve even turned on the Stealth Pro’s active noise cancelling.
Each earpiece is ringed by a solid piece of metal, with the earcups capable of rotating so you can comfortably rest them around your neck. The right earcup plays host to the main controls, with the three core buttons for power, Bluetooth and Turtle Beach’s Superhuman Hearing mode easily identifiable. You’ve then got two customisable controls on the outside of the earcup, including a rotating wheel and a central button.
As standard these control the volume and turn the ANC on and off, but you can alter them to suit your needs, such as swapping to cycling through EQ presets or adjusting your microphone’s noise gate level. The Stealth Pro is one of the most customisable headsets you’ll come across, particularly on console, and now I’ve experienced it I’m not sure I’ll be able to go back to other headsets. The only downside is relying on a series of beeps to tell what you’re doing rather than an audio assistant, but it’s something I can definitely live with.
It’s a chunky headset, weighing more than a pair of Astro A50s. Its profile is quite wide as well, so while it’s definitely an option for wearing out of the house, it’s worth remembering that it will stand out more than something like Sony’s WH-1000XM5s. That said, the cushioning is so comfortable that I didn’t experience any discomfort through hours of playing, and the inclusion of 25db of noise cancellation is an excellent step towards bringing gaming headsets more in line with dedicated ANC consumer headphones.
The noise cancelling isn’t quite as good as Sony or Bose’s best products, but it’s not as far behind as you might think. The ANC in the Stealth Pro does a great job of cutting unwanted outside noise out of your gaming, movies or music, allowing you to truly sink into your favourite worlds and audio soundscapes.
The audio performance of the Stealth Pro lives up to that ‘pro’ moniker, making it one of the best-sounding headsets in this premium bracket. I’ve been playing hour upon hour of Final Fantasy XVI, and Soken’s soundtrack work sounds spectacular through the Stealth Pro’s 50mm Nanoclear drivers. I’ve actually been grinning each time a new track begins to play, it does such a good job of replicating an artist’s original work.
Part of that comes down to the extensive EQ settings you can choose from via the Turtle Beach hub mobile or PC app, which allows you to choose separate EQ settings for both the wireless connection and the Bluetooth one as well. That includes a 10-step custom EQ as well, so you can tune your audio for specific devices, genres or music which is a fantastic feature. You can then name and save these custom profiles, making this a truly personal and customisable piece of kit.
As this is a headset you might very well want to take places, it’s gratifying to find that the sturdy mic boom arm is fully removable, with a little cap to cover over the socket. I am willing to bet a significantly small amount of money that most people will lose this tiny cap within moments of owning the Stealth Pro, but it’s nice that you can cover over the socket until you do. The mic itself is just as customisable as the rest of the headset, in fact it might be even more so, giving you the ability to tune the mic’s sensitivity, noise gate and mic monitoring levels.
On top of that the mic boasts its own EQ settings, meaning the Stealth Pro has three entirely separate EQs – I think that might well be a record. By that virtue, it’s little surprise to find that the audio output from the mic is excellent, with your teammates liable to hear every grunt, chuckle and under-your-breath curse you splutter into it. If you’re not a fan of boom mics, you can opt to use the two discreet in-built mics instead, and though they’re not as high quality they’re still perfectly serviceable for chat or phone calls.
At this price point, there are few real competitors. I still love the Astro A50, which is lighter and even more comfortable than the Stealth Pro, and has that iconic charging base, but it’s showing its age these days and loses out on a number of features including battery swapping and Bluetooth. The main competitor here is the Steelseries Arctis Nova Pro, which matches the Stealth Pro feature for feature and includes the one main exclusion, a 3.5mm wired connection. You’re going to pay an extra £50 premium for that luxury, though.