We had the opportunity to review one of the best headsets on the market today, the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Wireless Surround Sound headset. Does it live up to the hype? Find out in our official review...
A Wireless Headset Ahead of the Game
Over the last few years, the wireless headset game has been booming, with more and more gamers preferring the mobility, rather than being held in check by wired products. Unfortunately, though, removing the wire often comes at a considerable cost. While that tends to deter the average consumer into settling to keep the wire on the headset, it’s worth noting that you do typically get your money’s worth when you do go wireless. That’s because removing the wire tends to free up more than just mobility, it allows tech companies the freedom to innovate and create a gaming experience unheard of. Turtle Beach has done just that with the Stealth 600 Wireless Surround Sound Gaming Headset.
At first glance, the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 box promotes a bevy of features to make your thoughts swim of the potential of this product. Features like Virtual Surround Sound, Superhuman Hearing, 15-hour Battery Life, and that patented ProSpecs design, along with the variety of presets. So, clearly there is a lot to unpack with the Stealth 600.
When you cut the packing tape and remove the headset from the box, you’ll notice that the items within contain the headset (of course), the charging cable, an instruction packet, and a USB drive. That drive is what gets inserted into the console to bond the device. According to the instructions, when the drive is connected, you have to go to settings, pair the device, etc. Contrary to those instructions, the Stealth 600 paired immediately, without any help from me.
What really sets it apart from the others, though, is the meticulous, attention to detail Turtle Beach used to make you feel like you were about to experience something special. Once the 600s are turned on, you hear this action star-like voice say “Power On”. Already, you get into this intense mindset. Then, when you switch between presets, you hear “Bass Boost”, “Bass and Treble Boost”, “Vocal Boost, and “Signature Sound”.
Like the names suggest, Bass Boost takes the Signature Sound’s Bass Levels and gives them more oomph so that it generates a forceful punch during climactic moments. Bass and Treble Boost takes those raised Bass levels and partners them up with an increase in Treble to provide a movie-like sound experience. Vocal Boost is a bit of a puzzler. It’s meant to focus on Vocals instead of the rest of the sound coming, but I never quite heard a boost in Vocals when trying it out. Last, of course, is Signature Sound, which turns the Bass and Treble back down to the original setting.
While that’s the jist of the presets, the Stealth 600 boasts a couple of other game-changing sound features like Virtual Surround Sound and Superhuman Hearing. To find these you simply have to Press and Hold the Preset button to turn on Virtual Surround Sound and tap the Power Button for Superhuman Hearing. What’s fascinating about both of the features is how drastically different that change the sound. With Virtual Surround Sound, the audio transitions from loud and powerful to deep and resounding. Just as you’d probably assume, the audio in Virtual Surround Sound comes in from all directions, which came in handy on multiple occasions. Throughout my testing, I played Destiny 2’s Forsaken expansion and the new Spider-Man game. On both occasions, I could hear the notifications of hidden items and the direction they were coming from. Because of surround sound, I was able to pinpoint their location and gather some sweet loot. Another cool effect comes from the way the audio changes when you’re talking to someone in party chat. Their voice changes from bright and vibrant to a deeper, more subdued sound.
In Superhuman Hearing, the audio gets LOUD and you literally hear EVERYTHING. There were several times in party chat where I just needed to turn it off, because I could hear my friend’s fan blowing in the background and it sounded similar to a monsoon. It may work in hearing footsteps and gunshots in PvP, but it’s definitely not needed for everything.
I think one of the coolest parts of the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Wireless Gaming Headset is how good the Flip-up mic is. It’s located on the left ear and turns on when you flip the mic down, it mutes when it flips up. While that’s a cool effect, it’s not what makes the Stealth 600 game-changing. What does is the clarity in the way you sound. To find out, I did a series of tests using three different headsets, the Stealth 600, the Stealth 300, and a HyperX headset. Without telling my friends in the party chat which headset I was using, I asked them tell me which sounded the best. The feedback was pretty incredible. With the HyperX headset I sounded similar to being on the phone. With the Stealth 300, I sounded clearer but it was still apparent I was using a headset. However, with the Stealth 600 it was described as sounding like I was in the room with them, having a conversation. They could hear the true tones of my voice. That’s incredible quality from an incredible headset.
Long-lasting Battery and Comfortable Design Help Create Game-changing Experience
As this is a wireless headset, battery life is incredibly important. You want a headset that can go the distance during your extensive gaming sessions. The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 boasts an all-day battery life, when in reality it’s only about 15-hours. While hardcore gamers are able to surpass that 15-hour mark, in a single day, 15 hours is a lifetime for the average gamer. In five 3-4 hour sessions of gaming, the Stealth 600 was my faithful companion, sticking with me to provide mind-blowing sound. It wasn’t until an hour into the sixth session that the Stealth 600 informed me the battery was low, after 3 more notifications in the span of 15 minutes, the Stealth 600 shut off. Thankfully, it uses the same charging cord as everything else in gaming, the Power A USB 2.0, and it takes less than an hour to charge fully. Another fortunate feature for Battery conservation is the automatic shut-off when the headset has been idle for too long. It seems as if Turtle Beach thought of everything when crafting the Stealth 600.
During those 15 hours of gameplay, it’s important that the headset be comfortable. Thankfully the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 is just that. The headset itself is incredibly lightweight and comfortable. It fits snug around the ears, forming a sound barrier against all outside noise, whilst creating a movie theater environment for your ears. Meanwhile, the ProSpecs design help alleviate any pressure on your face/glasses, to compliment the comfortable memory foam material. All of these designs and materials allow the Stealth 600 to be one of the most comfortable wireless headsets on the market.
Superhuman Hearing Draws the Biggest Downside
There is a lot to love about the Stealth 600 Wireless Gaming Headset from its Surround Sound to its perfectly crafted design, but not everything is perfect and it’s time we address the 600s imperfections, starting with Superhuman Hearing.
I’m not going to say that Superhuman Hearing doesn’t have its uses, it does. Especially when you’re playing PvP, devoid of a party chat. In that mode, you’re able to hear a pin drop from across the map, that’s how hyper-intensive the sound becomes. The problem is, it’s unnecessary for the average gamer. The sound is just too intense for anyone to use on a frequent basis. Does a sound that intense really help improve your K/D? For me, a guy who specialized in audio in college, it just seemed too distorted to have any real impact on the game.
Outside of that feature, the only other problem I have is the same problem I have with most Turtle Beach products, the lack of information in the “Literature” (a.k.a. Instruction manual). During my test, I spent most of my time discovering the nuances of the different presets and quality of the mic. All the while, I’m trying to figure out how to turn on Surround Sound and Superhuman Hearing. I knew they were there based on the box, but you wouldn’t have known that from the instructions. The instructions spend most of their time talking about how to pair the product, and that was a non-issue. It wasn’t until I looked up how to do it, here, that I figured out which buttons to press. For a product of this caliber, more is more, less is not.
Why the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 is a Must-Have
In my first playthrough with the Stealth 600, I had a revelation that this wireless headset could be the best gaming headset I’ve ever used. The next 5 days only confirmed it. Every time I sat down to play, the more I became enamored with the headset. I even gushed about it to my friends and review helpers so much so that one of them actually went out and bought one. He was a long-time Turtle Beach disciple and happened to be in the market for a new headset after the one he had stopped working as well, after 5+ years. Upon hearing my excellent experience with the Stealth 600, he looked up the specs for himself and realized that this was the headset for him.
About $90 later, he got online to play with his new headset and the difference in sound quality was absolutely startling. He sounded richer, clearer than he had before and had been using a Turtle Beach. All I kept hearing for the rest of the day was how comfortable and how incredible the sound was.
The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 will change the way you game for the better. It’s unlike any headset I’ve used before and it’s likely it’ll be unlike any you’ve used before either. The going rate for the Stealth 600 is anywhere from $84 to $100 and it’s well-worth the price. At that cost, you get to free yourself from the wires and enjoy all the frills Turtle Beach has to offer, which may not make you a better gamer, but it will make you a happier one.
It’s not hyperbole when I say that the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 is the best gaming headset I’ve ever used.