Direct Wireless Connection
Speaker frequency response
Headset Power Battery
Battery Up to 15 Hours
Mesh fabric with foam cushion
To start off I have to say it’s been a while since I’ve had a full gaming headset for a console as I normally use a Medusa headset on my PC. However the folks over at Turtle Beach were kind enough to send over a Stealth 600 for the Xbox One. I must admit it’s with a heavy heart that I say goodbye to my GioTeck ear piece as it has served me well. Now I’ve had Turtle Beach before back in the days of the Xbox 360, when there were multiple wires and connectors laid out across my room looking like some sort of booby trap. This time it’s different because were now in the world of wireless technology and Turtle Beach have taken this idea and ran with it.
Design and Comfort
The design of the headset is excellent and everything very sturdy and very well built. The ear cups are built on a angled hinge which makes the comfort a dream for your ears and is also a great technique to use for quick use of the microphone. The microphone itself has a great feature but I will come to this later on in the review.
The headband has nice adjustment and flexibility depending on the size of your head, which unfortunately for me I never really got to test too much as I have a relatively small head. The foam cushion attached to the headband and ear cups is soft enough for you to barely feel the headset pressing or resting against your head. They are also both covered in a mesh fabric which I find doesn’t give you that itchy skin feeling like some headsets can.
All of the controls for volume etc. are built into the left ear cups which have individual controls for game audio and voice chat, a power button and a mode button for different pre-sets that are built in. I must admit everything is neat and tidy but does have its downfall, as many times when taking the headset off I would knock the control sliders causing the volume to sky rocket or plummet so I could hear nothing. Maybe this is just me in the way I take the headset off but I feel it is something I should mention in terms of design and button placement.
Something I’m not sure people tend to think about when it comes to headsets is the level of warmth that can be generated. I for one know when I use my Medusa PC headset that after an extended period of time my head and ears start to get pretty hot which then causes me to have to remove the headset for a short period of time. I found with the Stealth 600 this was never the case. I played a solid 6-7 hours of CoD with this headset on and not once did I have to remove it due to heat or discomfort which I think the mesh fabric plays a big part of.
When first setting up the Stealth 600 the guide tells you to access the Xbox One settings and switch the Audio Output to Windows Sonic. The reason for this is the headset doesn’t come with DTS 7.1 virtual surround like the 700 so instead gets you to use Windows Sonic. I must admit it does a outstanding job for what it’s needed for. I wasn’t entirely sure what to expect when I first started using the headset in terms of what I would actually be able to hear but I have to admit there were times where I felt I could literally hear everything that was going on. Someone in game drops a mag or is on the reload the headset picks it up instantly and footsteps are amplified making it easier for you to pinpoint where people are. One downside I found with the sound however the amount of bass the headset gives out as sometimes this was slightly overpowering but nothing really to major to worry about.
I think the biggest feature to mention when it comes to sound is the ability to active Superhuman Hearing with a single push of the power button. For those of you who don’t know about the feature it basically allows you to hear all the in-game sounds that you sometimes wouldn’t hear from standard headsets. This for me was a stand out piece of audio design from the people over at Turtle Beach.
Once Superhuman Hearing is activated you can instantly tell the difference in sound quality. I done most my testing of the Stealth 600 while playing CoD and I have to admit this feature is a game changer. Instantly I was hearing things I wouldn’t normally hear like the sound of footsteps at a distance of enemy players running, the sound of people switching weapons and even background noise of places outside the player area. So if you’re going to use a Stealth 600 or even its brother the Stealth 700 I would highly recommend activing this mode.
Game chat worked really well in terms of I no longer had people shouting at me that they could hear an echo which my old mic was causing. I even asked for feedback from some of the lads I was gaming with last night and they have all said the sound quality of my chat was crystal clear and they could all hear me perfectly well. However there was one point in the chat where everyone was saying my mic was making a crackling noise while I was chatting but I quick switch off/on of the headset and everything was resolved. Not sure if this may have been a connection issue between the headset and the Xbox but its all fine now.
One of the best features I find the Stealth 600 has is the battery life as this thing is almost on par with the Nokia 3310 when it comes to battery. The Stealth 600 on a full charge will last you 15 hours of use which to me is a massive amount of time given how long a person can literally sit and play games for. It also out does its brother the Stealth 700 which only has a battery life of 10 hours.
This next feature, which I reckon many gamers will be ecstatic about, is the ability to connect the headset directly to the Xbox without the use of a dongle or any other adaptor or plugin. The headset has the same button on left ear cup as an Xbox controller so a quick press of that and press of the Xbox and your ready to rock n roll with a nice message saying ‘Headset Assigned’. Not only that, but the Stealth 600/700 are also the first two officially licensed headsets at retail to use the Xbox Wireless technology. The headset will also work on PC but for this you will need to acquire an Xbox Wireless dongle.
The microphone which I brushed on earlier in the review and said I would come back to has nice touch of what we like to call ‘flip mute’. It basically means that instead of looking for a button to press to mute the mic, all you simply have to do is move it into a vertical position and its instantly muted with a tone to confirm.
Glasses friendly comfort is now a thing for headsets and from what I’ve heard Turtle Beach does it brilliant. This is done as I mentioned before by using the breathable mesh fabric and foam cushion. I personally don’t wear glasses but Rez, who is reviewing the Turtle Beach Recon Camo Headset, does. He has said that wearing a headset with glasses can end up being pretty painful if the ear cups dig into your head too much.