If you’ve been playing for a while, you’ll no doubt be familiar with the Turtle Beach brand. What was once the eye of all console gamers when it came to high quality gaming headsets that your parents are actually willing to buy for you, has continued to produce some great headsets in recent years. Here at WePC, we are no stranger to gaming headsets, from the best of the best to budget offerings, and the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 Max seems to occupy the midweight part of the price range as it sells for $ 129 at the time of writing. Let’s take a closer look and see what Turtle Beach brings to the table with the Stealth 600 Gen 2 Max.
Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 Max specifications
Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 Max Wireless Gaming Headset
USB Type-C, 2.4 GHz wireless
20Hz – 20kHz
Xbox One, Xbox Series X / S, PC
Effortless Xbox setup
Corrupted software, page tones can not be disabled unless the microphone is muted
Headband construction is sub-pair
What’s in the box and layout
The box is impressively solid, with think cardboard and a nice coating that managed to keep it untouched during the entire journey to the WePC offices. Given that it is “Officially Designed for the Xbox”, you will not be surprised to see that all sides of the box are surrounded by the characteristically lively green we have expected from Xbox-focused peripherals. Apart from this, we get a big hero picture of the headset on the front, and a few more on the back, annoyed by the main features.
- Turtle Beach® Stealth ™ 600 Gen 2 MAX Wireless Multi-Platform Gaming Headset for Xbox
- USB transmitter
- USB-C charging cable
- Quick Start Guide
- Turtle beach sticker
When we open the box, we are treated with a textured cardboard insert molded to the shape of the contents, it is the same type of budget-to-middle-class packaging that we are used to. Essentially a very cost-effective way to ensure that everything arrives undamaged, with the joy of the unboxing experience falling by the wayside. Honestly, we do not mind this so realistically, that 90% of the people who buy this are going to throw the box away immediately, and in an ideal world it would allow investing more money in the product itself, but we’ll get to that later.
Setting up the headset for Xbox use could not be easier, just turn the dongle switch to the “Xbox” position and connect it to a free USB Type-A port on the console. The headset will then be immediately recognized by the console. The same cannot be said for PC setup, but we will cover it in the “software” section of the review.
We were equipped with the ‘Arctic Camo’ color variant of the headset, and we like it very much. Camo headsets are a bit of a flashback to PS3 and Xbox 360 days with sweaty Modern Warfare 2 lobbies, especially as the Arctic Camo design dates back to the period when it was an unmistakable pride to have enough headshots to unlock it similar to the camo for your favorite weapon. implementation.
With the short nostalgia trip over and done, we can get into the other design aspects of this headset. One of the more immediately noticeable peculiarities is the strangely designed outside of the earbuds, it is difficult to describe so the pictures will help, but instead of the typical Y-shaped yoke design that allows the earbuds to tilt up and down for a better seal, they have filled the gap with plastic. Our suspicion is that this is a way of limiting the movement without having to reinforce the pivot points, instead they have chosen that the plastic of the yoke hits the plastic of the earpiece itself as a way of limiting the general movement. It’s an interesting tactic and it definitely works, but it makes us a little suspicious of the decision – making process behind it.
The other strange aspect of the design is the microphone. It’s a flip-to-mute style of microphone, which we love for the tactile certainty that no one can hear you, but it’s embarrassingly short, literally around three inches long. While it may inspire comparative confidence for the men who buy it, the small length leads to performance issues, as it does not reach the user’s mouth even when fully extended. It has a small pivot you can use, probably to angle it more efficiently, but in practice this results in the business end sticking you in the side of the cheek.
Construction quality and comfort
Aside from jokes, this headset has some worrying build quality issues, which is strange since there are some aspects that feel premium, while some feel like a result of a reduced budget. However, we start with the good things, which bring us to the ear pads and the squeezing power. The pillows are nicely plush, especially given the low total weight of 296g / 10.4oz, and the turning / turning mechanism allows them to seal around the ears very well. they are drawn in a strange fabric that seems to be rough, but it is perfectly soft to put on in practice.
The clamping force is excellent, we will consider it almost perfect because it is noticeably stronger than what we are used to. It results in a solid fit that remains planted on the head even when exposed to mosh levels with headbanging and unrealistically powerful side-to-side spins. In addition, the choice of fabric instead of artificial leather prevents the squeezing force and good sealing resulting in overheating.
Now we can move on to the headband, where the Stealth 600 Gen 2 Max loses many points as it is by far the weakest headband we have seen here on WePC. The usual twist test resulted in the clips popping loose, making an alarming squeak / tingling sound. Upon further investigation, we discovered that the headband lacks any form of metal reinforcement at all. We opened the headband only to find that there were voids with cables going through the holes and nothing else.
This is an unforgivable technical misstep in a gaming headset of ~ $ 130, as even headsets 1/3 of the price have a more solid overall construction. The headband on this headset can easily bend permanently out of shape or completely break in two as a result of an accidental fall or getting caught in something while the user is moving fast. Funnily enough, the ~ 1/2 meter cable makes this marginally less likely, although it also completely eliminates the possibility of using the headset while charging.
Sound quality and game performance
This headset works well here, with a few caveats. Out-of-the-box sound is all you can have, since PC software only allows adjustment of page tones and microphone volume. As it stands, the sound is nice enough, without any special range of the frequency spectrum jumping out in any meaningful way. It’s actually one of the most neutral and balanced soundscapes we’ve seen in the past, so it’s not going to confuse anyone, nor cause dissatisfaction. But given the price, we would have liked to have seen some customization available, since even the cheapest deals from companies like Corsair and Razer allow EQ customizations.
The experience is far less painful on the Xbox. We tested these over a few games of Fortnite on an Xbox Series X, and the surround sound worked excellently, giving us the corresponding competitive advantage as we were immediately able to figure out the direction of incoming shots and shoot back. This positive experience allowed us to mostly forget the lack of customization, as this is something you do not expect when using a headset on a console anyway.
This is where things start to get messy since the Turtle Beach Audio Hub software is so buggy that we consider it simply broken. First, you need to connect and install both the dongle and the headset individually, when it recognizes and updates both of these, you realize that there are only two options in the software, side tones and microphone volume. Annoyingly, it did not allow us to modify any of these without trying to force an update, which, when installed, did not change anything. This means that you can not use the microphone without side tones being activated and set to max.
For the uninitiated, side tones re-emit what the microphone picks up through the headset, as some find it uncomfortable to hear the voice muffled by headphones. This presents another problem since the microphone has very poor noise reduction, so you not only hear your voice, but you also hear the surroundings, including keystrokes and mouse clicks. This is especially annoying if you have a high mechanical keyboard.
The broken software means that we can not recommend this headset to PC gamers, as you can find far better headsets with more robust software for significantly less, such as the Corsair Void. But if you’re just an Xbox player, the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 Max is perfectly functional since no software is required, but again, there are better deals out there for less, such as the Razer Kaira for Xbox.
Unfortunately, we end this review without being able to recommend Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 Max, especially for PC, as there are several breach of contract issues here. The corrupted software is the biggest since it negatively affects the overall experience of using the PC headset. But from what we can tell, this is a pure software problem which means the people at Turtle Beach can fix the issues via an update.
Using the headset on an Xbox is a different story, as it works well right away with no connection issues and provides a very enjoyable gaming experience, although it’s worth remembering that the microphone still has poor noise reduction on the console, so you do not get the annoying side tones, but your teammates will probably hear more about you than they want.
The best thing about this headset is the comfort, with a super low weight, great padding and what we consider to be the ideal clamping force. Seriously, so many headsets these days, even the excellent Asus ROG Delta S Wireless, have quite weak clamping forces, which can very easily cause the headset to fly freely by a quick turn of the head. This headset is exceptionally safe, without being uncomfortable, which is a nice change to watch, and we hope other companies follow suit.