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Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX
April 3, 2022
Original: $129 USD
40.6 x 55.9mm (ear cup dimensions)
Turtle Beach routinely puts out well-performing, reasonably priced gaming headsets—in the wired space, the myriad entries in the company’s Recon line are easy to use and offer decent sound. In the wireless the space, the Stealth line is the place to look, and now it’s back with a rather modest-looking refresh that sports some pretty meaningful updates. The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX is a mouthful of a name, but on top of bringing some significant battery improvements, it’s one of the first wireless gaming headsets on the market to support Xbox and PlayStation consoles equally.
Is bridging the console divide enough to make this worth a pickup?
Editor’s note: this Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 review was updated on June 20, 2022, to address the Stealth 700 Gen 2 MAX headset.
- Multi-platform gamers will love having something they can use with their PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X with only the flick of a switch.
- Anyone who values battery life in a wireless headset will appreciate how rarely this needs charging.
- Gamers who like the idea of a wireless headset that’s just as hassle free as a wired one—no software or specific platform required.
What is the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX like to use?
The Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX feels a lot like the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2. In fact, if you’re not looking at the newer model’s red variant, it’s fairly difficult to tell them apart. However, that’s not necessarily a bad thing—this wireless gaming headset is just as straightforward to set up and easy to use as its predecessor, even across platforms.
Just like last time, this is an entirely plastic affair, with the same two part hinge system that tilts nicely to fit different head shapes and rotates to lay flat. The memory foam ear pads are covered in mesh fabric, which makes sweat and heat buildup less of an issue than with leatherette. However, while the materials make for a lightweight headset, and design is comfortable, the headband tension can be a little too much—occasionally it feels like I’m being squeezed from both sides, though that subsides fairly quickly.
Actually using the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX is pretty straightforward, as everything is handled on the hardware side—the headset is compatible with Turtle Beach Audio Hub (Windows/macOS), but the companion app only really offers a means to access firmware updates, rather than additional features. With that said, the headset and its accompanying USB dongle offers quite a few different features. Most of this is also the same as with the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2.
The Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX is available in Black, Midnight Red (our model), and Arctic Camo.
How do you control the Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX?
On the left headphone, there’s a dial for headphone volume and a dial for mic monitoring/sidetone volume—this isn’t a mic gain dial, it’s just for adjusting sidetone. There’s also a mode button, for cycling between the headset’s four EQ presets—Signature Sound, Bass Boost, Bass+Treble Boost, and Vocal Boost—and a power button, which you can also tap to turn on the included Superhuman Hearing feature. Superhuman Hearing is meant to give you a competitive advantage, and it mostly just drains out the bass response. The headset has the same mic design as last time, too—it folds into the front of the left headphone and mutes when you flip it up.
How do you connect the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX?
The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX can only connect to your gaming platform of choice using its included 2.4GHz USB-A wireless dongle. While that’s nothing new in and of itself, the dongle sports a brand new switch on the side for alternating between Xbox and USB modes. This is what makes headset compatible with basically everything that supports USB audio—it works on PC, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.
Basically, the headset seems to have two separate transmitters built in—you can see it when the dongle is connected to your PC and you flick the switch. When it’s connected using the USB setting, Windows recognizes the Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX and lists it as such. When it’s connected using the Xbox setting, Windows recognizes it as Xbox Controller, which is exactly what happens when you connect an Xbox Wireless gaming headset to a PC using its own USB dongle or the separate Xbox Wireless adapter that many headsets require.
How is gaming with the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX?
Gaming with the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX is a breeze, regardless of which platform you pick. The headband tension is a little tight, which means that eventually, the headset could become uncomfortable, but it works great even after a few hours.
Playing a game like Elden Ring on PlayStation 5 sounds very nice with this headset. The console’s built-in spatial audio works well, adequately tipping me off to the various creaks and shuffles of gargoyles and other enemies lurking around corners in the game’s myriad crypts and caverns.
On PC, the headset handles the various and sundry audio demands of games like Final Fantasy 14: A Realm Reborn, The Stanley Parable: Ultra Deluxe, and Trek to Yomi very well. Whether you’re hearing moody chimes and strings amidst a raging thunderstorm or just the drab plodding of shoes in an office space’s low-pile carpeting, it sounds just like it should with the Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX.
The Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX isn’t the only new Stealth 600 model to launch in this round of hardware revision. The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 USB looks almost identical to the MAX model, and under the hood, it’s similar in most ways—it really just lacks the two most notable additions. This headset features a more conventional USB dongle and Made for Xbox branding, which means it won’t work when plugged into PlayStation consoles or the Nintendo Switch dock. It also lacks the huge battery gains of the MAX, clocking in at 38 hours, 1 minute on a single charge in our testing—that’s pretty much exactly half the MAX, but still a big improvement over the previous Stealth 600 Gen 2 model.
Otherwise, this wireless gaming headset is pretty much the same as its MAX counterpart. As the chart above shows, it features the same kind of bass range under-emphasis, and a very similar dip in the highs. The microphone also sounds very similar. Basically, the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 USB is the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX, only without the big changes, and at a lower price (It’s $99 USD).
Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 USB microphone demo (Ideal):
How long does the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX battery last?
It’s a big time for gaming headset batteries—it feels like every few weeks a company releases revised product that doubles the battery life (or more) of its predecessor. The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX falls very neatly into that category. In our testing of real music playback peaking at 75dB(SPL), the headset lasted 78 hours, 23 minutes. That’s more than 30 hours longer than what Turtle Beach advertises, and almost quadruple the result of the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2.
If the ludicrous performance of the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless didn’t already exist, this would be the best performing gaming headset battery we’ve measured. However, the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX still outpaces recent standouts like the SteelSeries Arctis 7+ and Arctis 7P+, and handily beats anything else on the market in terms of battery life.
Does the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX isolate sound well?
While the battery performance is stellar, the isolation performance of the Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX is rather pedestrian. Attenuation like this is pretty much right in line with the average gaming headset. It won’t do much outside of the home—not that it’s designed to go outside the home in the first place—but the sounds of dishes clattering down the hall or TV blaring in another room should be reasonably quieted.
How does the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX sound?
The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX has 50mm dynamic drivers and sounds pretty good for a gaming headset, although it deviates from our in-house target in a few areas. Just like the headset’s predecessor, there’s a pronounced drop-off in bass and lower mid-range sounds, which can make music sound a little different from your typical consumer headphone, and very different from a typical gaming headset.
Highs, mids, and lows
The lack of low-end output means bassier music will likely lack some of the oomph you might expect. However, given the lower mid-range under-emphasis, the underwhelming bass may not always seem quiet relative to the vocals in a song. In What Planet Is This. by the Seatbelts, the difference in volume between the blaring trumpets and the bass guitar and trombones is pretty noticeable, and a lot of the song’s rhythm section struggles to keep up during the saxophone solo. However, the vocals never have much trouble coming through clearly, even amidst heavier moments of bass and drums.
In game, a frequency response like this could actually be a benefit if you’re into more competitively oriented games. The din of the battlefield in games like Valorant or Fortnite shouldn’t feel excessively loud coming through the Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX, which could make positional audio cues like footsteps a little easier to notice.
How is the microphone of the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX?
Whether they cost $30 USD or $130 USD, Turtle Beach gaming headsets consistently feature nice sounding microphones, and that’s true with the Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX too. Unlike most gaming headset microphones, this one adequately captures bass range sounds, which means people with very deep voices shouldn’t sound “tinny” coming through it.
Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX microphone sample (Ideal):
Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX microphone sample (Office):
How does the microphone sound to you?
Should you buy the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX?
If you’re in the market for a wireless, multiplatform gaming headset, you should definitely consider the Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX.
While this isn’t the most high-performance gaming headset on the market, it’s hard to understate how nice it is to have a wireless headset that can work equally well across every major gaming platform. Wireless headsets that work the same on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S simply don’t come out, and that Sony-Microsoft divide has existed for multiple hardware generations. Add in the exceptional battery life, and it’s easy to overlook the average isolation and sound.
The Stealth 700 Gen 2 MAX lasts 39 hours, 33 minutes which is almost 40 hours less than the Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX. Both headsets allow you to game while charging, which is a great standby feature. You also get fast charging with either headset: 15 minutes of USB-C charging on the 700 Gen 2 MAX yields eight hours of playtime while the same amount of time provides eight hours, 30 minutes of playtime on the 600 Gen 2 MAX.
The Stealth 700 Gen 2 MAX is similar to the Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX but the 700 variant features Bluetooth connectivity. You only get the SBC codec on the Stealth 700 Gen 2 MAX but this is a rare, premium feature for gaming headsets. Since the mic lines up with the ear cup, you can take it out and about without it looking very obviously like a gaming headset.
There’s a significant $70 USD price difference between the Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX and Stealth 700 Gen 2 MAX, so if you don’t need Bluetooth, get the Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX instead.
Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 MAX microphone demo (Ideal):
Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 MAX microphone demo (Office):
What should you get instead of the Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX from Turtle Beach?
If battery life is what you’re after, there’s nothing on the market that beats out the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless. Clocking in at 327 hours on a single charge, this outperforms pretty much anything you can buy that outputs sound and runs on a battery. It also happens to be a great-sounding headset with a comfortable build.
If playing games on an undocked Nintendo Switch is something you like doing, picking a wireless gaming headset that uses a USB-C dongle may be a more worthwhile pursuit. Headsets like the Razer Barracuda X and SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless will both run you $99 USD, and feature comfortable lightweight constructions, good sound and battery life, and you can plug their dongles into the bottom of your handheld console.
Frequently asked questions about the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX
If you’re worried that whatever room you’re in will affect the sound of the headset’s microphone, don’t worry! We also test and record the microphone in a simulated non-ideal (read: terrible) acoustic environment. Here’s what it sounds like: