Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 Wireless Gaming Headset Review
NOTE: Turtle Beach kindly sent me a final retail unit of this headset to review at my discretion alongside marketing assets and technical information. I don’t receive a kickback if you decide to buy one, and none of the links in this article are affiliate links. I wasn’t sponsored to write this, and I had full editorial control over this article.
In spite of the “Gen 2” in the name, this new version of the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 is essentially an all-new design compared with the best-selling original. It’s built around the same underlying feature concepts, but with improved execution.
Gone are the vertical support posts and oval ear cups from the original design(also found on the old Atlas Three model), replaced with a more traditional headband and a brand new ear cup shape. The headset is also packed with the sort of bonus audio features that don’t always make it into console-focused models, all controllable without a secondary app.
It doesn’t have the sturdiest build I’ve ever seen, but its feature list and audio tuning still make it worthy of consideration.
The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 is a wireless, closed back gaming headset that sells for $99 and is available in PlayStation and Xbox versions. Each version comes in either white or black, and the black models have blue and green accents reflective of the branding of their respective platforms. The PlayStation models use a wireless USB dongle that will also work with a docked Nintendo Switch, and the Xbox version connects through Microsoft’s proprietary Xbox Wireless system.
In the box, you get a nice USB-C charging cable and the headset, alongside some instructions.
No additional apps or software are required to control the headset’s bonus functions, though you can plug it into a PC or Mac to and use Turtle Beach’s Audio Hub to install firmware updates. Turtle Beach sent me the white PlayStation version, and it had the latest firmware already installed.
The Stealth 600 Gen 2 has four selectable audio EQ presets: Signature Sound, Bass Boost, Bass and Treble Boost(v-shaped), and Vocal Boost. You can easily switch between them by pressing the mode button on the back of the headset.
On the back of the packaging, it says the headset is “Tuned to deliver distortion-free audio with precise, realistic directional accuracy.” That’s a great description of the default Signature Sound EQ setting. It doesn’t offer the most impressive or powerful bass response, but it does have a surprisingly clean midrange and treble, with good imaging accuracy and a little more width and openness than I usually expect from closed gaming headsets.
Bass is still present but it’s not the star of the show, and I think that’s as much a function of the cloth ear pads as it is the tuning. The upper midrange and treble stop just short of the fatigue level, offering realistic vocals in music and plenty of positional awareness in games.
If you’re a true footsteps fiend, a quick press of the power button turns on Turtle Beach’s famous Superhuman Hearing mode. This drops away all parts of the sound spectrum not associated with locating your foes. It sounds sort of bizarre for normal listening tasks, but it does indeed work to aggressively highlight positional audio information in games.
I found the Bass Boost mode quite enjoyable when I wanted to kick up the immersive oomph in movies or games. The Signature Sound mode brought out the detail in some of my favorite music tracks better than I expected it to, and though it’s not quite an “audiophile level” experience, it’s still more clean and precise than I thought it would sound.
The V-shaped mode and vocal boost mode didn’t do that much for me personally, but it’s still nice to have that level of EQ adjustment available. The party chat volume balance on PS4 works well enough that I didn’t need to engage the vocal boost, and the V-shaped Bass and Treble Boost mode is a little bit too harsh up top for my personal audio tastes.
At the risk of spoiling the next review I’m working on, the Stealth 700 Gen 2 offers a much bigger, more powerful style of sound, with an impressive dynamic response and cinema-like beefiness. But the Stealth 600 still has decent audio, and it should also pair well with spatial audio virtualization systems like Sony’s Tempest 3D audio. I tested it for a bit with Windows Sonic on my PC, and it sounded great.
The ear pads on the Stealth 600 Gen 2 have just enough space to fit all the way around my ears, providing a close fit where I notice their fabric covering at all times. That fabric doesn’t isolate quite as well as leatherette would, but it also doesn’t trap that much heat, meaning these don’t get all that hot over long sessions.
I wish the ear pads were closer in size to those used on the Roccat Elo or the Stealth 700 Gen 2, both Turtle Beach products. The foam has the same contoured shape and ProSpecs relief system as the Elo models, which both help these to fit better against my head and seal around my glasses, but that center ear hole is just a little too small to give these truly premium comfort.
Fortunately, the headband pad deserves only praise. It’s thick and soft, and filled with a slow-rebound memory foam that’s a little bit nicer than the padding inside the ear pads.
The extremely light weight and plush headband make this headset an easy all-day wear. The only thing that keeps the headset from totally “disappearing” is the slight and continuous presence of the close-fitting ear pads.
The ear cups have plenty of swivel and the headband is widely adjustable. On my large head, I have two clicks of extra adjustment, so this should fit most head shapes just fine.
This headset uses the same design language as the more-expensive Stealth 700 Gen 2, but everything is scaled down to be a little smaller. It’s also built entirely of plastic. It feels one small step above empty and hollow in the hands, and on first touching it I didn’t really like how it felt at all.
However, after several days of use, I came to appreciate its smaller build details. The rotation hinges for the ear cups have a smooth creamy feel to them, just like the ones on the Roccat Elo. The support yokes have a small pad in them to keep the ear cups from clacking against the plastic. The microphone’s storage nook has its own small pad to keep the mic from rubbing. The volume control wheels are rubberized and have a very smooth action. And the adjustment sliders have a stiffer ratchet mechanism than I was expecting, and hold their place even better than those on the solid Stealth 700 Gen 2.
All of these small details elevate the frame design from feeling cheap to feeling intentional. Yes it’s very light and plastic is everywhere, but I don’t think it’ll snap apart if used under normal gaming conditions, and the light build means that it has certain comfort advantages over larger models.
You can definitely get a sturdier headset for the price, even from Turtle Beach’s own Roccat Elo models. But the design here is still good, and had some true thought put into it beyond weight and cost reduction.
The battery is rated for 15 hours, but I had no trouble exceeding that number in my testing, so that’s great. The main volume wheel has a smooth adjustment with no noticeable channel imbalance issues. The secondary volume wheel controls real-time mic monitoring side tone, and it sounds clean and accurate to the actual mic audio. The mode button emits a quick beep when you change EQ settings and changes the sound instantly. The headset boots up and shuts off quickly, and I never had it accidentally power down when I turned on Superhuman Hearing.
I love that this headset has a USB-C charging port. I love that it has an intelligent auto-off function to save battery if I forget to switch it off. I also love that all of its features are available on console without any fuss. A lot of headsets out there technically work on PlayStation systems, but require a PC for full access to their settings. Here, you get every feature right on your console through handy buttons.
If you want to adjust mic volume, you’ll need to use the settings built into Sony’s OS. The mic has plenty of sensitivity when used with a PS4 console, but it was a little quiet when I plugged it into my PC with no way to adjust it up or down. The mic has a clean tone to it, but it doesn’t do an amazing job of canceling out background noise, so it’ll work best in a quiet room at home.
Here’s a short mic test I recorded on my PC. I added a few decibels of gain to this to better simulate the volume level you’ll achieve on a PlayStation console.
The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 is a decent headset. It’s not built like a tank, the ear pad holes are just a hair too small for my ears, and I wish its mic had more sensitivity options or better background noise cancellation. I’d love to see some of the Roccat Elo 7.1 Air’s design incorporated into a Gen 3 version of this headset. The metal headband and larger ear cups there go a long way.
Still, this offers a great overall features package (EQ, Side tone, Superhuman hearing) for console players, something that often gets overlooked at this price point. The battery life is excellent. And the sound tuning is cleaner than I expected, with a sharp focus on spatial cues for gaming and a bass boost mode for when you want some extra kick.
This is a good solid mid-range wireless headset with more features than the average $99 model. But, at the risk of spoiling my next review yet again, the Stealth 700 Gen 2 does so much more for its $50 bump up in price.