The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 Headset Made Me Paranoid About My Big Head

The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 Headset Made Me Paranoid About My Big Head
Image: Kotaku Australia

Until I received the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Generation 2 headset for review I thought I had a small, well-proportioned head. Usually, headset makers tend towards creating thick, heavy headsets with tight bands. If you’ve got a smaller head, it usually means you get a looser and more comfortable fit — and until now, that’s what I was dealing with. But the new Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 is designed so strangely I’m no longer sure. Is my head small? Is it large? At this stage, it’s anyone’s guess.

The first thing you’ll notice about the Stealth 600 Gen 2s is the ear cups naturally fan out, rather than sitting parallel to each other. It makes the design look twisted and strange, much like the original Stealth 600s.

turtle beach stealth 600 gen 2
Image: Kotaku Australia

The overall design is nice, but the curve causes major issues because the angle feels unnatural.

You’ll want to turn the headset backwards but both sides feel pretty tight and you can’t adjust it much. It means one side of the cup will press into your temples harder than it should and cause unnecessary pain. Eventually the fit loosens up, but for the first week you use the headset you’ll feel a tight pressure that makes long-term use uncomfortable.

It made me paranoid about my head because most of the time the Stealth 600s wouldn’t stay on my head at all. The angle I needed to feel comfortable was unstable, meaning the headset would gradually slip off over time.

I’m confident I have a normal-sized head, but I struggled to comfortably wear the Stealth 600s.

turtle beach stealth 600 gen 2
This is a normal-sized head, right? Am I being paranoid? The more I look at this photo, the bigger my head looks. (Image: Kotaku Australia)

The ear cups were roomy, soft and didn’t overheat. The headset itself was light enough that the band didn’t cause any burning or itchiness during long-term use — but pressure-induced headaches were a major issue. Once the headset was ‘broken in’ it was far more comfortable, but the initial tightness was a worry.

Beyond this the Stealth 600 boasts solid sound quality, a hardy mic and strong battery life — but the lack of comfort dampened the overall experience.

Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2: Sound Quality

The Stealth 600 is a solid-sounding headset. Sounds are crisp, and you won’t have to deal with any crackle or hiss at higher volumes. You can hear footfalls and distant snipers well enough, and the connection quality means you won’t be dealing with any audio artifacting or dropouts.

When playing music it doesn’t have the pulse-pounding bass you’d expect, but for everyday gameplay playback is solid and clean. You will miss some of the finer details but if your focus is on reliability over cost, you’ll find the Stealth 600 Gen 2 has excellent sound quality for its price bracket.

The microphone included is also decent. While you won’t get ‘podcast audio’ quality here, you’ll have no trouble chatting with mates during games. Playback is crisp and blemish-free so you can plan your attack with no dramas.

Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2: Connectivity

The Stealth 600 comes in two variants: one for Xbox Series X and one for PS5 (the version reviewed was for Xbox Series X).

To hook it up to your console, all you need to do is hold the Bluetooth button on the headset and press the corresponding button on the Xbox Series X. Hey presto! You’re connected.

There’s no need for any additional cables, a receiver box or any kind of additional plug-in. It’s hands-down the best feature of the headset. The ability to quickly hook it up and get gaming is invaluable.

Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2: Battery Life

turtle beach stealth 600 gen 2 review

The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 will last you between 15 and 2o hours. If you’re playing games daily for 2-3 hours, it’ll last you nearly a full week. If you’re in the process of testing the Xbox Series X and blasting through ten different games at once, you’ll probably have to charge it every 3-4 days.

Your best bet is to keep the charging cord handy and plug it in whenever you can be bothered. You won’t need to be too vigilant about it, but I find sticking headsets on charge as soon as you’re done with them is the best way to go about it. There’s nothing worse than sitting down for a long gaming session and realising you’re out of power.

15 hours or so isn’t a total game-changer, but it’s very decent for gaming headsets and you should some hearty use out of the Stealth 600 before it needs another charge.

Should you buy it?

The comfort is the biggest problem with the Stealth 600 Gen 2.

At $160, it’s on the middle tier of pricing for gaming headsets but even with crisp sound, a great mic and easy connectivity it’s hard to recommend. If you’re particularly sensitive to high-pressure headsets or you’ve had trouble with burning sensations and headaches in the past, the Stealth 600 Gen 2 won’t be for you.

Out of the box, it’s incredibly tight and requires hours of use to become comfortable. While it does eventually sit well, you shouldn’t have to ‘break in’ a headset. It means putting up with a lot of discomfort before you’re able to really enjoy it and for long-term use, that’s just not practical.

If you’re holding out for a next gen headset, it’s best to wait until there’s more options on the market.

Comments

  • Did you experience these issues with the older 600s?

    I’m personally waiting for the SteelSeries Arctis 7X to be available in Australia.

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