For all the headsets in the world, any gamer worth their salt will always be drawn to Turtle Beach. The market leader in terms of gaming headsets, their range includes the super cheap, the super expensive, and a ton of super stuff in between.
The latest range has been designed with the latter in mind, sitting pretty above the cheapest options, but coming in with a much lower price tag than the high end units.
But does middle of the road really mean just that in regards the Stealth 300?
Well no, because the Stealth 300 has seen Turtle Beach be able to incorporate many of the features found in higher end headsets, whilst coming in with a cracking price tag.
I will however start with the negatives and if you are looking for a headset that looks great, then the Stealth 300 comes up a bit short. You must remember that these are being marketed with the multiplayer madness found in Fortnite and PUBG in mind, but the plastic outer casing that covers nigh on the entire headset is a little too plasticky for my liking. Scratchy and coming across as fairly cheap in quality, your initial thoughts of the 300 may well be those of disappointment. Those disappointments will no doubt be increased when you take a look at the squishy green headband padding too, as that seems to come up short of covering the full band. But thankfully should you be able to look past the initial aesthetics, the Stealth 300 is actually pretty damn great for the price.
Comfortable to wear for extended periods at a time – yes, even with the shortened headband padding – the breathable memory foam ear cups are a joy to place over your ears and with Turtle Beach’s exclusive ProSpecs design, it ensures those spectacle wearers out there will feel no pressure on the glasses arms. As one such wearer, I’ve found the Stealth 300 to be right up there with the most comfortable of headsets I’ve ever worn, and even in the heat of the battle you never feel like discomfort is something to worry about.
Those ear cups house a couple of large 50mm drivers too and that ensures this headset will be able to deliver powerful sound at all times, with crisp highs and the bassiest lows all present and correct. With Xbox One’s Windows Sonic for Headphones a key audio component in the gaming scene, it’s good to see these coming across as surround sound ready too. They really do help bring your games to life; even more so when you crank things up and become immersed in the gaming world with the help of rechargeable battery powered amplification. Turtle Beach say that louder is better, and whilst that isn’t always true in every single situation, with these cans strapped to your head you’ll rarely hear anything that isn’t super crisp.
Mode and power buttons are found easily on the left of the two cups, and whilst the latter does what you would expect, a simple press of the mode button allows you to scroll through some simple audio presets. Whilst I can’t pretend to be an utter audiophile, happily just kicking back and listening in with whatever I can get my hands on, the inclusion of Signature Sound, a Bass Boost, a Treble Boost or both of those latter two combined is a nice addition. Personally, the default Signature Sound is more or less up my street, but if you do stick the boosts on and turn things up to 11, then a little bit of distortion occasionally creeps in. That is only very occasionally though.
That left cup also runs as the home for the master volume, charging port and party chat dials, allowing you to fine tune each and every session to your own liking. The party chat is super crisp too – both on the incoming and outgoing channels – and whilst the flip down mic is considerably shorter than those found on other headsets, the mic in it is obviously of high quality as any friends I’ve spent time chatting to have heard everything loud and clear. In fact, I’ve had to speak up less when using the Stealth 300 than my previous daily drivers; the mic really is that high in the sensitivity stakes. The fact that a simple flip up of the mic boom sees a beep in your ear to signify mute is a massive plus too – this really is simplicity in itself. That said, when the going gets tough and you need both hands firmly placed on the controller, I can’t help but wish for a mute button placed on an old style puck adapter.
Again it is that left cup which sees the only wire fully attached too, and whilst it would possibly be preferably for this to be detachable, the green lead that rolls from the headset into the Xbox One controller via 3.5mm jack fits well with the overall aesthetics. Yes, wireless would be preferred too, but when you are buying a quality headset at this price point, you need to accept that there will be the odd bit of cost cutting. One measly cable isn’t the be-all and end-all of life.
Of course, that one cable will turn into two when it comes time to charge the headset via Micro USB, but a claimed 40 hours battery life will mean you’ll need to boost things only occasionally. Whether it holds up to that long term is anyone’s guess, but I have no reason to debate or doubt Turtle Beach’s claims.
With well padded ear cups, all the controls you could ever want, and a decent price point, if you’re looking for a relatively cheap route into the headset world, then you can’t go far wrong with the Turtle Beach Stealth 300. It would be preferred if the headband was a bit larger, and if the plastic route has to be taken in order for them to hit this price, then a non-scratchy more premium feel would be better, but you shouldn’t really let either of those two things worry you.
If you’re happy with a single wire – and let’s be honest, it doesn’t really kill off any deal – then you can’t go wrong with the Turtle Beach Stealth 300 Gaming Headset for just £69.99.
Massive thanks go out to Turtle Beach for providing the Stealth 300 for review.