Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 Headset Review

by Kirby Yablonski


     - Ear-Cup Design: Over-Ear
     - Ear Cushion Material: Fabric with Foam Cushioning
     - Speakers: 50mm with Neodymium Magnets
     - Battery: Rechargeable 900mAh Lithium Polymer
     - Compatible with Xbox One, Xbox One S/X, Xbox Series X/S, PC

Turtle Beach has recently released a Gen 2 replacement for their Stealth 600 for the Xbox. There are some changes from the original making this a true sequel. We have had the Stealth 600 Gen 2 for a month and a bit as we put it through its paces. Simply put, this ‘budget' wireless headset is worth looking at, as not only is it affordable given the tech, but it is compatible with the current generation of Xbox consoles and the upcoming Xbox Series X and Series S.

When I first got the headset for review, it was clear from the packaging that the updated headset was touted to be Gen. 2. The box is a simple grey box with a picture of the headset on the front. I like this new look for the packaging as its clean and not overly loud. Yes, I just commented on the packaging, but hey, it was noticeable. Contents of said box include the headset, a USB-C charging cable, a fast start guide and some other literature. It is a basic set of stuff within the cardboard, but really, what more do you need?

In terms of the look of the Stealth 600 Gen 2, I am a fan. The mostly black headset has just the right amount of green colour mixed in it to identify that you are an Xbox gamer. The contrast from the black to green is subtle as the logo on the side of the ear-cups, the ring next to each foam ear cushion and the highlights on the mesh covering the speaker, none of which look tacky. As for the overall quality of the headset, while it is not as solid feeling as more expensive ones, one has to recognize that it is made of plastic and Turtle Beach did their best to keep the costs down while providing good sound and a true wireless experience.

What somewhat surprised me was the new ear-cup designs as well as how snug it felt when putting it on. First off, the ear-cups. They have a new angular/curved look. At first glance I thought that they may not even go over my ears, but alas, that was just me worrying too much. The headset also seemed snug on my big noggin' when I first it on, but this was just an initial feeling, as it became comfy and I could move my head in all directions without the fear of headset falling off. The foam-covered ear cushions are comfortable while the Pro-Spec System, for those who may wear glasses, helped by providing less pressure on the arms of my glasses. As we are just entering the Fall season, I was gaming a lot during the latter month and a bit of Summer. I found that although my ears did warm up, at no time was I uncomfortable or felt that my ears were overheating, even with the snug but comfortable fit.

I am sure many of you might be wondering what is different about the original Stealth 600 and the Gen 2 version. The most notable difference, in my honest opinion, is the button placements. You'll find that they are all located on the back of the left ear-cup, instead of being spread out on the back, bottom, and side as they were on the previous model. They are intuitive as some are raised, some are recessed, while others are dials. Another main difference is the microphone placement. On the original, it was on the side of the ear-cup and it would fold up on the ear-cup it was attached to. On the Gen 2 version, the microphone is attached to the bottom of the ear-cup, and when not in use it now recesses into the ear-cup resulting in the microphone becoming flush with the rest of the headset. Recharging is also handled by a USB-C connection this time around, which is something new and easy.

As the headset syncs directly to the console, I was up and running in no time as you sync it the same way you sync a controller (press console sync button, then headphone sync button).

I had some long gaming sessions playing Destiny 2, Borderlands 3, Hotshot Racing and Peggle 2 at different times. In terms of Destiny 2, I always use the game in a headset review given the incredible music and overall sound. As I had hoped, the detail is prevalent and accounted for, and I did not find the mix of sound effects, music or the narrative to be over or underrepresented. From the sounds of running on the Tower's concrete floors or metal stairs to the sound of a Titan's grenade sticking to an enemy and exploding, you'll notice them all. Borderlands 3 is full of high energy music and crazy sounds, from a Psycho with a stick of dynamite charging at you to the distinct yet satisfying sound of an enemy literally exploding when you get a critical hit. As with Destiny 2, all the sounds occurring at the same time did not overtake one or the other.

Hotshot Racing and Peggle 2 are games that I have recently started playing, and they were enjoyable to listen to when using the headset. In Hotshot Racing the sounds of screeching tires, rubbing bumpers with AI vehicles and environmental sound effects (e.g. waterfalls) were all clear and well balanced. In Peggle 2, the game is not known for it's audio but hearing the ball bounce, a power-up plow through a massive amount of pegs, to the celebration music when you complete a level, it was all there and sounded good.

There are four different sound modes: Signature, Bass Heavy, Treble Heavy and Superhuman Hearing. I tended to use the signature mode as it has been mixed by the engineers at Turtle Beach, and who am I to question them. The Superhuman Hearing mode has been touted by Turtle Beach to be an advantage when playing shooters. The idea is that everything is an equal volume, allowing you to hear footsteps from around your location better. I have never used it only because I tend to play PvE games when playing online.

The Stealth 600 Gen 2 supports Windows Sonic, which is a virtual surround sound setting in the Xbox dashboard. It was fairly effective with directionality and spatial sound but keep your expectations real as you are only using one speaker per ear-cup. I do have to note that when I got the headset for review, there was an issue with the left and right channels switching speakers, so it was reversed. This was fixed with an updated firmware download via the Turtle Beach App on PC. Once I applied the update, there was zero issues with this occurring.

I had the chance to use this headset online a few times. Like any good headset that one uses to play online, you can adjust the game chat/game sound mix as well as the overall volume. I like how the microphone as two different lock levels, as you may want to mute the microphone for a minute but not put it all the way back into the ear-cup. If I had one complaint in this area, it was that the microphone is VERY sensitive. I was in my living room using the headset and playing online, and my friends who were playing with me could clearly hear the air conditioner in the kitchen, as well as my wife prepping to bake a cake. I was surprised with how clear they could hear things outside of my voice. Be weary of this fact. The headset also allows for mic-monitoring too, and you can adjust the sensitivity on your computer by attaching the headset to it and accessing the Turtle Beach App.

There are a lot of checkmarks in the "done right" column when looking at the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 headset. The new button placements, the ear-cup design, the microphone placement, as well as the comfort. Add to these points the fact that the headset is compatible with Xbox Series X and the Xbox Series S when they launch, you are future proofed when deciding to upgrade your current Xbox One. At $99.99 (USD), you get truly wireless headset that connects to the Xbox directly and lasts a long time between charges (15 hours). At the end of the day once you consider all it has to offer; you realize that you can't go wrong buying this headset.

                                                                     Overall Score:  8 out of 10

                        *** Note: Turtle Beach provided with a retail unit for review purposes. ***


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