Turtle Beach are known throughout the gaming community for being the providers of numerous types of headsets. Running the cheap route for those who aren’t fussed about fancy gimmicks and just want to listen in to their gaming sessions with minimal hassle, right up to holding some of the most expensive headsets on the market, Turtle Beach pretty much have all angles covered. And going forward they are ensuring that they are in prime position to capitalise on the move into the next generation of gaming, with new headsets that build on their previous success.
That’s the case for the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 for Xbox. You see, not only does it work perfectly with Xbox One, but it’ll play just as nicely when Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S drop in November 2020. And initial signs are great too, with Turtle Beach taking their best-selling Stealth 600 as the base, before adding in further features and options with the Gen 2 headset. In fact, in my eyes there is only one real problem for the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 Headset for Xbox. The Stealth 700 Gen 2.
Coming to market at the same time, the 600 Gen 2 and the 700 Gen 2 may not be seen as direct competitors to each other – after all, the bigger, beefier 700 Gen 2 is a fair bit more expensive than it’s little brother. But honestly, after using both headsets for some time, if I had the choice of saving up and buying the 600 Gen 2, I wouldn’t. I’d just continue saving and splash the whole lot on the infinitely better 700 Gen 2. And that’s a massive shame for the 600 Gen 2, because taking it as a standalone product, it’s really good. It’s just that it pales into insignificance alongside the 700.
The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 Headset for Xbox seems pretty decent out of the box. An all-plastic design, it’s Turtle Beach through and through, with black and green styling fitting not just the manufacturer’s vibe perfectly, but that of Xbox as well. Granted, there’s a white version if that’s your bag, but personally I feel the black and green combo just works. Weighing in at 296grams, it’s nowhere near the lightest headset on the market, but it feels fairly decent in hand and when on the head it fits like an absolute glove; the expandable, well-padded headband is a cinch to ensure that this will fit all size of head.
The cups are fairly decent too: cloth in design with just enough squidge in the comfort stakes, these fit over my ears really well, encasing me away from the outside world whilst I get on with the more important things in life – gaming. It’s nice that these are well-hinged also, with plenty of movement in the cups themselves ensuring that long-term sessions are never a hassle. Even better is the amount of swivel included – these can sit around your neck as you take a break without any form of bother – and whilst on your head, the glasses friendly design is certainly appreciated.
For as good as all this sounds though, stick it next to the much better looking, gel-infused, memory-foamed earcups of the 700 Gen 2 and it’s immediately obvious where the cost cutting has come with this headset. Whilst these aren’t the cheapest of headset in the Turtle Beach range, coming in at a cool £90, they just feel a little cheap and plasticky to the touch, and that’s the absolute main reason why I’d go spending the extra cash on the more premium 700 headset.
What hasn’t been skimped on though with the Stealth 600 Gen 2 is in the audio stakes. Turtle Beach are well-known for providing some rich sound, and the Stealth 600 Gen 2 provides that in spades. TB’s ‘Superhuman Hearing’ is instantly attainable by hitting the power button once, and this brightens things up considerably in the sound department, letting you pick out sharpshooters in the most manic of firefights, and just delivering a bit more emphasis to everything that is going on. Could I live without this additional preset? Most definitely, as the combination of 50mm drivers and Windows Sonic surround sound more than does the job for what this gamer is after, but it’s nice to know that Turtle Beach aren’t saving their very finest options for their highest-end sets.
With a simple-to-use double dial system in place on the left cup, allowing you to dial in your optimum game and chat volumes, there is little to not like about what the Stealth 600 Gen 2 for Xbox is capable of delivering to your ears. Even more so when you take into account a few other preset audio options that can be flicked through via a press or two of the ‘mode’ button – Bass Boost, Vocal Boost and Treble Boost are all present here.
The same goes for the audio out, and with a superb integrated flip-to-mute mic (the best type, because eventually those detachable ones that are seen on other headsets fail to work) in place, party chat is a joy as well. Friends across the Xbox Live service haven’t been able to notice any difference in my tones from using either the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2, or this cheaper Stealth 600 Gen 2, and so if you’re looking for a quality mic to ensure that online gaming is a pleasurable experience, this more than sorts you out.
You should also not be too worried about the Stealth 600 Gen 2 leaving you wanting in the longest sessions either. A built-in 900mAh battery promises no less than 15 hours of gaming, and whilst again this is shorter than the promised 20 hours of the Gen 700, a quick charge via the included USB-A to USB-C cable will see you gaming into the wee hours. Honestly, I’ve not had a single issue with the Stealth 600 Gen 2 failing to hold enough power to get me through any session that I’ve attempted, and even though charging is a little more frequent than with the 700, honestly, if you’re gaming for more than 15 hours straight, you should be considering what you’re getting up to with your life.
I’ve also not had a single drop in connection whilst using the 600 Gen 2. A direct sync button allows you to connect this headset to your Xbox One – or, further down the line, your Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S – in just the same way as you would connect a new controller to your console. Simply holding down the sync button on headset and console sees immediate connection the first time round, and from there on out connection is solid and constant.
Much like my time with its bigger brother, the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 Headset for Xbox has been a pleasure to use, but having access to both these headsets has proven that the 700 is by far a much more rounded, more comfortable, more well-built, more premium feeling headset. And as I mentioned near the start of this piece, that’s really the main problem that the Stealth 600 Gen 2 has; with just £40 difference in price, I’d go for the 700 Gen 2 every single day of the week. That’s not because the 600 Gen 2 is a bad headset, but because the 700 is just better in every way. Of course, if you really can’t stomach paying more than a ton for a gaming headset, and have the budget required in order to grab the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2, then you’ll be more than happy with what it brings – after all, Turtle Beach rarely make duds. But you may just be left with the nagging feeling you wish you’d gone one step further.
Massive thanks go out to Turtle Beach for providing us access to their Stealth 600 Gen 2 and Stealth 700 Gen 2 headsets for Xbox for unboxing and review purposes. If you wish to grab the Stealth 600 Gen 2 for yourself, hop over to Turtle Beach direct and get a purchase in. Should you wish to know more, have a little look at our unboxing and first look video of the headset.