Building Off Success
Turtle Beach knows how to make great headsets for the money. The Elite Atlas Aero is proof of that (more on that in a future review). For now we’re talking about the venerable Stealth 600 Gen 2. The Gen 2 builds off of the success of the original Stealth 600 but improves upon it in many ways.
Before we talk about performance, let’s talk about changes. The Stealth 600 Gen 2 features a USB-C port (with included cable) instead of the older Micro-USB form factor. The headband and ear cup design has been beefed up for greater durability and a more robust look. There are numbered notches in the headband to help maintain size symmetry as well which is a great addition for an affordable headset. The mic design was revamped as well, with a shorted boom and more dynamic microphone. It now flips up into the left earcup which allows it to essentially disappear. This is great for travel and looks more sleek than the outgoing model where the boom stuck out no matter what position it was in.
Performance and Sound Quality
I’d like to first call out how amazing the new Turtle Beach nano USB transmitter is for the Stealth 600 Gen 2. The range (even through walls) is absolutely bonkers for such a tiny transmitter. Even better, the wireless stability is flawless. In about 2 weeks worth of testing, I never experienced one wireless drop out. For those wondering, my home runs high-gain 2.4 gHz and 5 gHz wireless networks and the router is only 10-12 feet away from the transmitter. I can’t imagine many (or any) people having wireless connection issues with this headset.
Audio quality is great for the price. The Stealth 600 Gen 2 doesn’t have as much bass as the RIG 800LX from Plantronics, but the imaging and positional awareness is better. The Stealth 600 also provides you with 4 presets including Signature Sound, Bass Boost, Treble Boost, and Vocal Boost. I found the Signature Sound to be my favorite profile because it maintains great game dynamics (explosions go boom!) while also enhancing clarity for details like footsteps and loot crates. The fabric ear cups allow a little bit of sound leakage which explains the bass roll-off down low, but it wasn’t bad. The fabric ear cups also breath well which are comfortable for long gaming sessions so take that for what you will.
Microphone quality is surprisingly good. When I did multiple mic tests it exceeded expectations, especially at this price. Somehow Turtle Beach maintained low latency with excellent sound quality (with most of the transfer rate bandwidth of the transmitter devoted to game sound). The mic will pick up and send whispers to party chat, while also not clipping out (at all) whenever I yelled into it. The compressor they applied to the mic is excellent and provides a great chat experience for your friends (they’ll thank you for this).
Sound leakage is incredibly small for how loud the headset gets. For those who do not know what I am talking about, you may have actually heard this issue before. If a friend has their headset volume cranked and fires a gun, you may hear their game audio picked up and sent over to party chat. No one wants to hear the game audio through someone else’s mic. It’s a distraction and doesn’t provide any benefit. With the Stealth 600 Gen 2 at full volume, mic pickup was so incredibly small that most people would never hear it. I tested in a silent room while recording the mic during audio playback and max volume and when I played my recording back, I only got occasional audio leakage and it was very faint.
As always with any new headset, make sure you update the firmware before use. New features, bug fixes, or enhancements may be added at any point so it’s best to update and make sure you have the best possible experience. With that being said, I can see the launch of the new 600 Gen 2 going really well. The biggest pain point with any new wireless headset is audio cutouts. After testing several models over a long period of time, this never happened. That is a massive win!
Battery life is also great at this price point. Although not quite to the level of the Plantronics RIG800LX 24 hour battery rating , I found the 15 hour rating on the Stealth 600 a bit conservative. I was able to get almost 20 full hours of usage on a single charge in one occasion. All of this comes down to your listening habits (volume, type of audio, etc) so mileage may vary.
The controls are very intuitive with only a few buttons to worry about, and they’re all on the same side. To mute the mic, flip it up (only half way is necessary to mute). Changing audio presets is done by tapping the “Mode” button. Preset selection is conveyed via a beep instead of vocal confirmation. The power button is recessed which is nice feature that helps to prevent you from turning the headset off accidentally. A single, quick tap of the power button will enable “Superhuman Hearing” mode which completely crushes the dynamics of the headset. This is basically footstep mode, while greatly subduing explosions and highs. At least you have the option of quickly turning it on and off.
The volume wheel confgurations are different by console model. They both have two wheels, with the top one dedicated to game volume. On the PlayStation version, the bottom wheel adjusts mic monitoring (side tone), while the Xbox version adjusts party chat volume. I prefer the Xbox implementation more because I like to change the audio mix often in different game environments. On the PS4/PS5 version, you can adjust the game/chat mix via the PlayStation user interface.
Overall the controls are very easy to understand and use, allowing you to focus more on the game. I hate it when headset manufacturers make headsets that feel unintuitive for simple adjustments. Long term gaming sessions were excellent thanks to the adequate headband padding, fabric ear cups that breathe well, and moderate clamp force. The headset holds to your head well but doesn’t have excessive pressure (clamp force) which can hurt long term game sessions.
The Stealth 600 Gen 2 headset is an incredible value. Turtle Beach has been doing wonders with audio EQ calibrations that enhance your gaming experience. Most people buy these for gaming so it’s not fair to compare them to another headset that sounds better for music. What matters here is comfort, reliability, and being competitive in games. You want a stable wireless connection and sound quality that evens the playing field or even provides you with an upper hand on your opponent. That’s where the Stealth 600 Gen 2 shines, and how a gaming headset should be.
The fact that Turtle Beach was able to offer so much without any concernable sacrifices or omissions is remarkable for a headset in the sub $100 range. It’s a great headset to buy for yourself or as a gift because I can’t imagine it getting any better at this price. With that being said, 10/10!
Specs (For you number people)
|Speaker Frequency Response||20Hz – 20kHz|
|Speaker Size||50mm with Neodymium magnets|
|Battery||Rechargeable 900mAh Lithium Polymer|
|Mic Design||Flip-up Omni-Directional|
|Ear-Cup Design||Over-Ear (Closed)|
|Ear Cushion Material||Fabric with Foam Cushioning|
|Battery Life||15 hours|
|Audio Modes||Signature Sound, Bass Boost, Treble Boost, Vocal Boost, SuperHuman Hearing|
|Connectivity||USB-C (charge), Wireless for game and chat|
|Compatibility||PS4/PS5 version: PlayStation 4 and 5, Nintendo Switch (via dock), PC. |
Xbox version: Xbox, PC (via Xbox Wireless Adapter – not included).
Where to Buy
So many places sell Turtle Beach it’s easy to find. This includes the Turtle Beach Store, Walmart, Best Buy, Amazon, and more. If you want to support our site, we have provided Amazon affiliate links below. The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen store link is below as well.
TurtleBeach.com Stealth Gen 2 – PlayStation version
TurtleBeach.com Stealth Gen 2 – Xbox version
Amazon Affiliate Links:
Stealth 600 Gen 2 for Xbox (black): https://amzn.to/3aZOChR
Stealth 600 Gen 2 for Xbox (white): https://amzn.to/3gxDlGI
Stealth 600 Gen 2 for PS4/PS5 (black): https://amzn.to/2DT35Ql
Stealth 600 Gen 2 for PS4/PS5 (white): https://amzn.to/2YFRQSO
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