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Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 600 Headset Review

William Schwartz on

Just a few years ago, a headset that offered the functionality and features of the current Turtle Beach wireless family costed hundreds of dollars. While the company does make a wide variety of products with multiple price points, the introduction of the Stealth 600 series offers a premium product at a reasonable price point. Better yet, for Xbox One gaming, the Stealth 600 offers a fully wireless solution that packs a nice punch in terms of sound and build quality with some nice bells and whistles that you wouldn’t expect at the sub-$100 price point.

The absolute nicest part of the Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 600 is in that you’re completely removing wires from the equation.  There’s a level of freedom that being untethered to your controller brings and this used to be something that was hard to attain on the Xbox One.  This new line of Turtle Beach headsets, and for the sake of this review, the Stealth 600 achieves this with great ease.

Connecting the Stealth 600

The set-up is quick and painless, it’s as simple as connecting an Xbox One controller to the console.  Simply press the synchronize button on the headset and you’re pretty much good to go.  Heading over to the Xbox One audio options menu and enabling Windows Sonic will improve on the sound quality for the headset.  On PC, the Stealth 600 can be connected similarly via an Xbox Wireless adapter which is sold separately.  If there’s one glaring spot that the 600 doesn’t have, it’s in the lack of Bluetooth.  So, it won’t connect to other devices like some of Turtle Beach’s other products can.  But, that’s the trade-off in the low price point.  That and some of the audio features and functionality of the headset.

Comfort

The Ear Force Stealth 600 isn’t the most comfortable headset you’ll ever wear, but then again, it’s good enough for a night’s long play session on Xbox Live.  Adjustments can be made for different head sizes and the cups of the headset will swivel for comfort.  There’s a plush foam padding where the headset rests on the top of your head and the ear pads feature the same materials.  This mesh fabric is what’s in contact with your person for the majority of your interaction with the headset, and there are many times when you’ll forget the headset is even there.  The Stealth 600 are also friendly for those who wear glasses.  Glasses slide into a softer foam section of the headset to alleviate some of the pressure that the frames can put on the head.  It’s a nice feature for those who need it.  Overall, the comfort level on the Stealth 600 was impressive at first glance and really remarkable when wearing the headset for multiple hours.

Performance

Out of the box, the default settings on the Stealth 600 coupled with Windows Sonic produced a nice crisp audio which is more than acceptable for just about any game, movie, or television show.  Though players can tinker with different settings to hit the right pitch for the entertainment format.  If you do start tweaking the settings for the Xbox One version of the Stealth 600 you’ve got some options to play with.  There’s a Superhuman Hearing mode that raises the pitch of subtle sounds in games.  This setting seems to just amplify the highs on the headset so that you can more distinctly hear things like footsteps or players reloading in a first person shooter, for example.  Unfortunately, these controls on the headset are a bit rudimentary.  Using a system of tones to tell you whether things are on or off can be a bit confusing when just starting out.  Switching into different EQ settings is the same.  A series of beeps will let you know which setting you are currently using, and the Stealth 600 features four different EQ settings:  Bass Boost, Signature Sound, Bass and Treble Boost, and Vocal Boost.

The range on the Stealth 600 is satisfactory.  Depending on how large your living environment is, the headset should work across multiple rooms in your house.  Once you do start getting to the outer bounds of its range, or having multiple walls between the headset and your Xbox One/Controller the sound will start to become distorted and then ultimately cut out when you get out of range.  We tried a few different distances in our testing area and for our main gaming area sound stayed consistent.  Only until we headed into a different level of the area did we start to see any drop-off in sound quality.

Chat clarity on the Xbox One with the Stealth 600 on our end was great.  Wearers have the ability to adjust the chat volume via a dial on the side of the headset, finding the right pitch between game audio and chat audio.  Our party members during the review told us that the fold-out mic sounded clear and crisp on their end.  In the event that you do need to quickly mute your audio, it can be done through folding the mic back into the headset, which also blends into the design of the headset.

Form Factor

The Stealth 600 is largely comprised of plastic.  This can be a good and a bad thing.  On the plus side, the headset feels incredibly durable.  Dropping it isn’t likely to break the device, but the longevity of this plastic could potentially crack as it gets older.  This was something that we encountered with previous Turtle Beach headsets that had similar designs.  The plastic does seem to wear at the spots where the most pressure is put on it.  Over time, this is one potential concern. Outside of the plastic parts, the foam/mesh on the bottom of the headband and earcups feels nice to the touch and comfortable when wearing.  The dials and buttons that are used for changing settings, powering on the device, and changing volume levels do leave a lot to be desired.  Not only from the usability and confusing set-up described above, but from a design standpoint as well.  The buttons that are used to change EQ settings and Super Human Hearing blend into the design of the headset to a fault.  While there are noticeable ridges that should point you in the right direction while feeling around for the buttons, there are very precise parts of these buttons that must be pushed to engage the settings.  If in a hurry to change settings, you’ll also need to cycle back through each different EQ setting to get to the one you want.

Features

– 100% Xbox Wireless Connectivity for Audio & Game Chat
– 15-hour Battery Life
– 50mm Speakers
–  20Hz – 20kHz Frequency Response
–  Flip Up Microphone
– Four Audio Presets
– Mic Monitoring
– Glasses Friendly
– Windows Sonic Compatibility
– Superhuman Hearing

 Includes

– Headset
– Charging Cable
– Quick Start Guide

Price

$99.95

The Verdict

For everything that you get at the price point for the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 this is a fantastic headset.  While it does lack some functionality like Bluetooth and the form factor does leave something to be desired, the comfort and performance make up for it.

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Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 600

  • Available On: Xbox One, PC, PS4
  • Published By: Turtle Beach
  • Developed By: Turtle Beach
  • Genre: Headset
  • US Release Date:
  • Reviewed On: Xbox One, PC
  • Quote: "For everything that you get at the price point for the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 this is a fantastic headset.  While it does lack some functionality like Bluetooth and the form factor does leave something to be desired, the comfort and performance make up for it."
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