When TurtleBeach unleashed the first generation of Stealth 600 and 700 headsets, simply put, it blew the competition away! Delivering a wireless headset (that uses the Xbox One wireless connection natively) that is extremely capable, well-built and within a price range that had not been seen before, was simply astounding. The Stealth range took the fight to all other major brands who, at the time, did not think that wireless headsets should ever be marketed and the more entry-level user and wireless were strictly reserved for the upper-tier users. The Stealth range was obviously not without its flaws.
A couple of years down the line and we now have the Stealth 700 Generation 2 on our desk and ready to be put through its paced and compared directly to its predecessor, let’s get straight to it!
The Stealth 700 looks like a cross between the more bare-boned Stealth 600, and the Elite Atlas. The headset is predominantly black with a few silver accents. The headband is made from steel and can retract and expand to suit your fit. The headrest has respectable foam across the whole headband covered in leatherette that feels of good quality. The earcups can rotate as well as swivel, although the swivel is more limited. Non the less the swivel and rotate feature allows for a good fit for most heads. The earcups although rather on the small side for my personal taste do have really thick foam which is covered by leatherette on the outside, and mesh for the areas against your head. The leatherette outer allows for great sound insulation while the mesh allows for less heat build-up. This is a well-thought-out design and personally, the thick foam earcups are something many other headsets could learn from.
The TurtleBeach Stealth 700 Gen 2, like most TurtleBeach headsets, do cater for those who wear glasses and the slight indentation right where your spectacle arms go should work wonderfully, allowing minimal sound to escape through those openings. Although the earcup foam is really thick they are also wide, which means the space for your ear is not that big, TurtleBeach has tried to make them fit better by making the opening angled so that your ears should sit inside better.
The boom mic sits on the left ear. It flips up and down, but personally, I feel it could flip down a bit further as I tend to pick it up in my peripheral vision. The mic can also be angled in to sit closer to the face. The rest of the controls, which include the volume roller, a chat mixer, a mode and Bluetooth button, a flush power button, and the USB-C connector for charging.
I have had my trepidations about the comfort of TurtleBeach headsets and the Stealth 600 Gen 1, for one, felt terrible when wearing them. Not so much the fit but the mesh earcups were extremely rough and caused significant irritation around my ears. When the Gen 2 versions came along I was very happy to see that the mesh on the earcups had been changed which dramatically changed the comfort. The Stealth 600 Gen 2 was comfortable, nothing to write home about but not terrible. During long sessions the Stealth 600 would get very warm around the ears, that would be my only immediate complaint. So on to the Stealth 700 Gen 2, we go…
The first thing I notice regarding the Stealth 700 is the clamping force. The headset clamps really tight and that explains the need for the really thick earcups. You need them to counter the clamping force. Some might not like the clamp but personally, I like it as it lessens the force on the top of your head. Fortunately, the Stealth 700 does not weigh too much so there is nearly no hanging pressure on the top of your head and generally it doesn’t feel like you are wearing a big headset. The thick earcups do a good job of passive noise suppression but not to the level where you might not hear someone speaking to you. The earcups are also noticeably cooler than any of the previous headsets and wearing them for extended periods of time should not be a problem.
Performance-wise the Stealth 700 is neither here nor there. It is by no means a terrible-sounding headset with a very clear mid-range, slightly blunted highs, and decent kicking lows when listening to music. Taking it to the terror that is Escape from Tarkov where it really brought out the tiny creaks and snaps of a possible enemy creeping up on you through the brush. Explosions however felt a little lackluster and short of a little oomph. Jumping over to Cyberpunk 2077 and diving into the streets of night city where the chaos that comes from the hustle and bustle of the streets can be perfectly encapsulated with the Stealth 700 Gen 2.
Something to take note of is the fact that the Stealth 700 Gen 2 might come across as a little bareboned. The Stealth 700 Gen 2 makes use of the TurtleBeach Audio HUB which is an app that you can load on your smartphone and use to control many of the settings of the headset. The app itself is rather empty and the moment, but for good reason. The Generation 2 headsets from Turtle Beach are aimed to be cross-generational Headsets, meaning they will work on Xbox One and PS4, as well as Series S/X and PS5. Due to this TurtleBeach has decided to leave features such as surround sound out as the new consoles all feature it natively.
A nice feature of using the headset with the app connected is that you will be able to take calls and listen to voice notes etc straight from the headset which is specifically handy when you need to chat to that pesky telemarketer mid-game! The battery life is also not something to scoff at. turtle beach reckons that the Stealth 700 is good for 20 hours of playback on a single charge, this seems to be an underestimate because during our review we comfortably went past the 20-hour mark with battery life to spare.
The Stealth range also incorporates two forms of connectivity. For Console, the Xbox version uses the Xbox Wireless technology where on PS it uses Bluetooth. Both very acceptable connection methods. On PC the dongle can be used for the 2.4ghz wireless signal or if your PC features Bluetooth, you can decide to go that route as well. Either way, there is no reason the Stealth 700 won’t work for you!
Lastly, the microphone quality is surprisingly good. When chatting in discord without noise cancellation active in discord the mic is still crisp and clear and picks up very little background noise. Switching over to the console where there is less software to make devices sound good, the result was very similar. Voices did seem slightly “further away” on console compared to PC but once again it is better than many other headsets
The Stealth 700 Gen 2 is a wonderfully comfortable and easy-to-use wireless headset. The simple plug&play setup and good out-the-box audio is something that users who don’t want the fuss of setting up and connecting extremely cumbersome equipment would absolutely love. The Stealth 700 Gen 2 might not be everyone’s cup of tea in terms of size and fit but it does sit really snug and the build feels absolutely on point. Considering the features that are crammed into this headset, wireless connectivity, Bluetooth, great audio, and the ability to work seamlessly with the new range of consoles, suddenly the slightly steeper price doesn’t seem so bad…
When the Stealth range initially launched there were phenomenally groundbreaking in the features they brought to the table as well as their price. The package looked so good that one could forgive a few simple flaws. A couple of years down the line and with a second-generation being launched one would expect similar leaps and bounds in terms of bang for your buck, and this is where the Stealth 700 Gen 2 currently falls short. Featuring all the features that made the Generation 1 so wonderful and only adding cross-generation support in a price range that will make you think twice before you buy could really hurt the Stealth 700 Gen 2.
Special thanks to Apex Interactive for supplying the review content
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