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Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2
August 16, 2020
Original: $99 USD
May 2022: $79 USD
19.6 x 19.1 x 8.1 cm
The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 was a wildly successful gaming headset, delivering decent audio and battery life on a budget. With the company’s second-generation version of the headset, no doubt hoping to nail it in the same way. This gaming headset comes built with the next generation of consoles in mind, meant to capitalize eventually on the spatial sound capabilities of the Sony PlayStation 5. We spent a couple of weeks with the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 to better inform you of its strengths and weaknesses.
Editor’s note: this Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 review was updated on May 24, 2022, to address the difference between this headset and the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX and include in-line FAQs.
What is the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 like to use?
Brand new though this headset may be, when it comes down to it you know what to expect if you’ve used on from Turtle Beach in last couple years. This looks and feels a lot like the company’s Recon line of headsets, with a few tweaks, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
The Stealth 600 Gen 2 is an entirely plastic device, with a sturdy hinge system that allows for a decent amount of tilt and rotation. The headband features a leatherette-covered cushion, and has quite a bit of tension to it—at first I actually found it a little too tight. Regardless, the headset feels very secure, which is especially important with wireless gaming headsets, given you’re probably going to move around a little more with it on than with a wired headset.
The headphones feature ear pads covered in mesh fabric designed with grooves underneath to make wearing glasses more comfortable. The ear pads are pretty soft, and getting a decent seal isn’t terribly difficult. The mesh fabric doesn’t isolate as well as something like leatherette but manages heat well, which is great for longer sessions.
Visually, this looks nearly identical to the Turtle Beach Recon 200, with exception of the microphone. Where older Turtle Beach models feature a microphone on the side of the left headphone, the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 microphone folds into the headset. It still works exactly the same—flip it up to mute and down to talk—but it looks a little subtler.
How do you control the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2?
On the other hand, the controls look pretty much the same as other headsets, only more cluttered. The headset sports a power button, audio mode button, volume dial, and mic sidetone dial in a row on the back of the left headphone. I found myself fumbling back and forth between the mic and volume dials while trying to adjust volume mid game more than once.
What software comes with the Stealth 600 Gen 2?
While the software complement is blessedly minimal, the headset still has a couple bells and whistles. It comes loaded with four EQ presets you can toggle between using the mode button. On top of the default signature sound profile, there’s a bass boost option, a bass and treble boost option, and a vocal boost option. I didn’t find a lot of use for them, but they do noticeably change how things sound.
How do you connect the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2?
Using the Stealth 600 Gen 2 is largely straightforward, with a couple caveats. This wireless gaming headset connects to your PC or console of choice using a 2.4GHz wireless USB dongle. Thankfully, there’s nothing you need to do to set the headset up past plugging it in—the Turtle Beach Hub app exists solely for updating the headset’s firmware, so it’s easy to skip. Pairing with the dongle can take a little bit longer than you’d expect—it sometimes took up to 30 seconds during the review process—but otherwise I didn’t really run into any issues.
What is gaming like with the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2?
Gaming with the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 is about as straightforward as it gets. The headset we reviewed is designed to work with the PC, PlayStation 4 (and PlayStation 5!) and the Nintendo Switch. An Xbox version compatible with both the Xbox One and upcoming Xbox Series X is also available. Just plug the headset’s dongle into your platform of choice and that’s all you’ll need to do to get stereo sound streaming through to your ears. When the PlayStation 5 launches, the Stealth 600 Gen 2 with support the platform’s built-in spatial audio standard, but you’ll have to settle for stereo on the PlayStation 4.
However, the lack of any virtual surround sound isn’t much of a barrier if you’re not into games like Fortnite or Valorant, which rely on directional audio cues more than most. Games like Risk of Rain 2 and League of Legends sounded great. On PlayStation 4, the Stealth 600 Gen 2 nailed the balance between game sounds and music in Persona 4 Royal.
How is the battery on the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2?
Turtle Beach advertises 15 hours of playback on a single charge and in our testing, we found it performed considerably better than that. Playing at a consistent output that peaks at 75dB(SPL), the Stealth 600 Gen 2 lasts over 21 hours of playback. If you listen on a lower volume than that, you might get even better performance. There’s no reliable way to tell the exact battery charge level, but after a couple of hours plugged in with the included USB-C cord, you’ll be ready to game again after the battery dies.
Does the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 block out noise?
While the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 sounds pretty great, it really doesn’t do a great job with isolation. Blame the mesh covering the ear pads, or the rigidity of the foam, or even the grooves for the glasses—even with an adequate seal, this headset offers an inadequate level of attenuation. Don’t expect this to block out much of anything, whether you’re at home or not. Potential upside: you almost certainly won’t have to worry about missing the doorbell.
How does the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 sound?
The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 has a notable lack of emphasis in bass range sounds up to around 150Hz. Even if our target curve didn’t aim for slightly boosted bass range output, and instead went for a truly neutral goal, this would still be pretty quiet.
Frequency response like this means music of pretty much all genres will sound pretty accurate, but bass-reliant tracks will likely lack the oomph you expect. In Choke by I DONT KNOW HOW BY THEY FOUND ME, pretty much every part of the song comes through clearly, however the bass guitar sounds notably less reverberant—the sub-bass range, where the emphasis is most lacking, typically accounts for those really low reverberant sounds that often accompany bassier notes and instruments.
The lack of emphasis in the sub-bass range means the reverberant, rumbling sounds of bassier notes and instruments are a lot harder to hear.
In game, a sound profile like this means that pretty much everything should come through just as loud as game developers intended, so you shouldn’t observe much auditory masking making it hard to hear nuanced sounds like footsteps. The sound signature deviates from standard gaming headsets, because most alternatives amplify bass notes to a silly degree, but either way an explosion is still going to be the loudest thing you hear when a grenade goes off near your character.
How is the microphone on the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2?
A lot of Turtle Beach gaming headsets feature very accurate microphones, only to suffer from very notable volume problems. With the Stealth 600 Gen 2, the microphone is just as accurate as you could hope, without any volume issues to speak of. This is a very good microphone on a gaming headset. You still probably don’t want to record a podcast with it, as it just doesn’t sound as good as dedicated microphones do, but for it should work splendidly for calls over Discord or Zoom. Have a listen for yourself:
How does the microphone sound to you
We’ve made a big improvement to how we demonstrate the microphone performance of products we review. We now use a standardized test setup that plays back pre-recorded phrases from a calibrated artificial mouth in our test chamber, either with or without simulated background noises, simulated reverberant spaces, or artificial wind. This means that samples from every product can be directly compared, which makes it far easier to make meaningful comparisons between products in terms of the raw speech quality or the product’s ability to reject noise.
It will take a while to update our backlog of old test results, but we will update this review (and many others!) once we’re able with improved microphone demos. These will be made obvious in each new sample which begins with the phrase, “This is a SoundGuys standardized microphone demonstration …”
Thank you for bearing with us, and we hope to see you again once we’ve sorted everything out.
Should you buy the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2?
If you want something wireless, yes, you should certainly invest in the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2.
The $99 price range of the gaming headset market is really crowded with great options. While that’s less true with wireless gaming headsets, the Stealth 600 Gen 2 easily carves out a spot for it as one of the best. This is a comfortable, great-sounding gaming headset with solid battery life, and an excellent microphone.
If you just want something simple that sounds good, this is among the best wireless options out there—even more so if you want something for a new generation of consoles around the corner.
The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX is a true multi-platform gaming headset that works on PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. You get big battery life improvements too. The MAX variant lasts 78 hours, 23 minutes, which runs laps around the standard Stealth 600 Gen 2 battery life of 21 hours. Build quality is nearly identical between the two headsets, and you get an under-emphasized bass response no matter what. If you want a wireless headset that works well on competing platforms, the $129 USD Gen 2 MAX may be a good bet. That, or you can shell out for the Astro A20 (Gen 2) and an extra wireless dongle.
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?
What should you get instead of the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2?
However, great though this is, there are other options if it isn’t quite what you’re looking for. If it’s less important to have a wireless gaming headset, the Razer BlackShark V2 sounds just as good, costs the same amount, and has fantastic isolation for a gaming headset. Additionally, the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless offers a little more in the way of Switch compatibility, and better battery life.
If you’re after the best microphone quality, you’ll like the Beyerdynamic MMX 150. Not only does the boom mic sound good, but the headset makes both gaming and music sound good too. This wired USB headset includes a 3.5mm adapter and has a subtle enough design that you could take it outside your apartment without hesitation.
Gamers who want the option to go wireless and take the headset out and about may want to look into the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2. Unlike the Stealth 600 line of headsets, the 700 variant has a boosted bass response which you may find more enjoyable for regular music listening.
Frequently asked questions about the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2
Yes. Just plug the USB dongle in and you’re good to go.
No. Xbox only supports wireless headsets made for the console. You’d need to buy the Xbox version of the headset.
Yes! The Xbox variant of this headset uses Xbox Wireless to connect to Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S, and it supports the console’s built-in spatial audio feature. However, this review was written using the PlayStation variant of the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2, so be sure to grab the Xbox model.
We encountered no issues during the review process.
Yes, you can plug the USB dongle into the USB port of your Mac.
First, make sure the version of Stealth 600 Gen 2 is the one made for Xbox—there are separate PlayStation and Xbox variants of this product (we know, it sucks). If you’ve got the correct model of headset, it shouldn’t be much more complicated than turning the headset on, and pairing it with the console. The Xbox version uses Xbox Wireless, so just try to connect it the same way you’d connect a wireless Xbox controller.
No, the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 is not compatible with the company’s mobile app. The headset only works with the Audio Hub app for Mac or PC, which is used for updating the firmware.
The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 is significantly cheaper than the Razer Kaira Pro. Turtle Beach’s frequency response is technically more accurate than the Kaira Pro, which slightly de-emphasizes low-frequency sounds. The benefit of the Kaira Pro’s microphone frequency response is that it more effectively reduces the proximity effect, which is when low notes become distorted and too loud once the speaker is too close to the microphone. Unless you need dongle-free wireless compatibility with the Xbox Series X consoles, you might as well save your money and get the Stealth 600 Gen 2.
For starters, the Stealth 600 Gen 2 has better sound quality, with a more neutral-leaning sound signature than the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless. This means that the headset is able to reproduce dialogue, sound effects, and musical scores in a manner that’s more faithful to an original master audio file. The Stealth 600 Gen 2 also sports a better microphone. It accurately reproduces voices and lacks any significant low-end roll off found in most gaming headsets, including the Arctis 1 Wireless. However, SteelSeries’ offering prevails in one category: isolation. Our tests show that the Arctis 1 Wireless is able to block out ambient noise like air conditioner hums and computer fans better than the Stealth 600 Gen 2.
The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 has a few advantages over the Razer BlackShark V2. It has a much better microphone, a more neutral-leaning sound signature that transmits accurate audio. It also supports wireless connectivity. On the other hand, the Razer BlackShark V2 sports a few best-in-class features, including superior isolation performance, extremely comfortable ear cups, and a laid-back design that is suitable for both gaming and conference calls.
No. The Stealth 600 Gen 2 use a USB dongle which operates on a radio frequency to connect to your platform of choice.