Luke spends his time playing video games, binge-watching TV and hanging out with his German Shepherd, Ziggy and Bernese Mountain Dog Pandora.
Turtle Beach have offered up a headset that is guaranteed to work on the next generation of consoles in the Stealth 600 Gen 2, along with boasting features and quality that you’d hope for from the reputable brand. The Stealth 600 Gen 2 introduces some revisions that make the popular wireless Xbox gaming headset more comfortable to wear, while maintaining the ability to pair it easily with the press of a button just like a controller. It’s not going to blow your mind, but it works well and is decent value.
To start off, the fact that it is so simple to pair with the Xbox One X and Xbox Series X (where we tested it across both) is a life-saver and keeps things incredibly simple. I have so many different headsets and dongles laying around across console and PC platforms, and the fact that sometimes the headset doesn’t communicate properly with the machine, causing an unplug/replug of a USB, or times when I simply forget to plug it in altogether, can be frustrating to say the least. After the initial sync, it will sync automatically whenever you turn it on. It’s just nice to press a button, and for it to pair wirelessly, seamlessly, every time.
Happily, the Stealth 600 Gen 2 fits comfortably on my big head (have to fit that ego somewhere, after all). I didn’t try the original headset that this upgraded version comes from, but I’ve seen that the earcups are bigger on this, which is wonderful for me. It’s fine to wear for long gaming sessions, never causing any sort of trouble. There are swiveling hinges on the top band that sits well, and it makes the accessory easy to adjust. I keep going to put it on backwards because of the angle of the earcups, but a quick look of which side the mic is on is an easy enough workaround.
The mic itself is a larger, high-sensitivity, high performance microphone compared to the last edition, and uses flip-to-mute effectively, alerting with a small beep when you do so, which helps me out a lot considering other headsets don’t indicate this well. You can also hear the level of your own voice in your headset while you chat with friends so you’re aware of your own volume, which took a little bit to get used to but does help avoid confusion around whether or not your voice is coming through properly. You can adjust the settings to modify this of course. My squad-mates noted that this microphone, on their side, sounded a bit more echo-y than the official Xbox headset I was using, but noted that I was coming through with more clarity.
Conveniently, the headset has a lot of controls on the left side that you can adjust. There are two separate volume rollers, one for in-game volume and one for the chat volume. This should be a feature on all gaming headsets but sometimes it isn’t, so it’s worth noting. There’s a button as well that lets you switch between four EQ presets, and there’s a “Superhuman Hearing” mode that changes so that it highlights in-game audio such as footsteps and other relevant noises. The Stealth 600 Gen 2 definitely made me feel like I had good awareness in games like Rainbow Six Siege and even Call of Duty: Black Ops Cold War when I tested it, but it didn’t blow me away or make as big a difference as I thought it would in my experience.
It also uses Windows Sonic, said to deliver immersive virtual surround sound and precise, distortion-free 3D audio. The sound quality across video games, movies and music was generally pretty good, especially once I found the EQ preset that I preferred. That being said, the majority of my gaming with the headset came from playing squad-based multiplayer games with my friends where it was juggling their voices with the in-game audio, which sounded good. When it came to immersing myself in the story of a single-player game, the sound-quality was decent, but slightly tinny compared to other more expensive gear. Character dialogue comes through clearly, and music sounds great, but some of the sound effects aren’t as crisp as they could be.
The USB-C port is for charging the headset but also for firmware updates and adjusting settings on PC. Given it pairs easily with the consoles, it’s a shame you can’t adjust the settings via the console itself, but it’s a minor complaint. The headset also promises 15 hours of battery life, and from my anecdotal feedback over the last several weeks I’d say that checks out. I spend about 3-4 hours a night gaming with friends and do find myself charging it every 4-5 days, or thereabouts. Ultimately, the features this headset brings are solid and good value considering the lower price-point.
The price-point sits more comfortably at the $169 mark, which makes it easier on the wallet than other more premium headsets on the market. The fact that it pairs as easily as it does with the Xbox Series X long with other small quality-of-life improvements make the Stealth 600 Gen 2 a really solid choice for your next-gen gaming foray.