Xboxaddict.com Article


Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 3 Headset Review

by Adam Dileva


Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 3


Features/Specifications
Connectivity: Wireless, Bluetooth
Drivers: 50mm Nanoclear
Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20kHz
Microphone: Uni-Directional, Flip-to-Mute
Ear-cushion Material: Athletic Weave Fabric, Memory Foam
Battery: Rechargeable Lithium Polymer
Weight: 11.3 ounces

Included in the Box
Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Wireless Gaming Headset
USB Wireless Transmitter
0.7m / 2.3ft Charging Cable (USB-A to USB-C)
Quick Start Guide
Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 3There’s something special about unboxing a new product you just bought, opening it with anticipation as you’ve probably done some homework or research before deciding on what to purchase. There are a few items I still remember opening to this day because of how premium the actual unboxing experience was, and while I don’t factor in the unboxing experience in my final thoughts or scores at all, having a ‘wow’ factor can certainly impress you before you even use your new purchase. Sometimes all it takes is some slick packaging, or premium feel inside the box itself, though this surely adds a cost somewhere. Turtle Beach has seemingly kept costs down, so don’t expect a fancy unboxing experience here. The mostly white box showcases the headset and the basic info you need to know what its main features are, and opening the box unveils the headset, USB dongle, Charging Cable and Quick Start Guide in plain recycled cardboard.



Stealth 600 – A Worthy Successor

Having just reviewed the Turtle Beach Stealth 500 (which you can read HERE) and scoring it quite well for an entry level headset, I was excited to see how much of a difference it bigger brother, the Stealth 600 Gen3’s, would perform in comparison. I used the 600 Gen 2 model for years as my go-to set until it literally broke, so a new replacement model and iteration was quite welcome. There will be many comparisons to the 500’s, as some might be deciding between the two models, though spoiler, the added features in the 600’s are worth the slightly higher cost by far. Also, portions of this review will also be from the 500’s write up, as some sections are unchanged between the models.
Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 3The slight increase in price from the 500’s to the 600’s brings quite a lot of worthwhile features. Not even including the base features, the 600’s boast quite a few improvements over the entry level 500’s. Larger drivers, double the battery life, noise reduction microphone using AI, glasses friendly foam, and rotating cups are the main differentiators between the two models. The larger 50mm drivers alone are well worth the purchase, giving a much better sound than the 500’s, not that the 500s were bad, but they severely lacked some punch in the bass department. Battery life on the 500’s was a very respectable 40hrs, but that wasn’t good enough for the 600’s, which boasts a more than generous 80 hours of use between charges, also including Quick Charge when they are critically low. I actually forgot it needed charging until after two weeks of use and I got the low battery notification.

Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 3

Priced at an MSRP of $129.99 CAD / $99.99 USD, there’s a lot of competition at this price range, thankfully Turtle Beach has made a more than compelling argument to choose their lines of headset in these latest versions. Just like the 500’s, the Stealth 600 Gen 3 can be used across nearly any platform and device with its Wireless and Bluetooth capabilities. No need to buy specific headsets for different consoles any longer, and a simple press of a button can swap between the two modes. While the 500’s were comfortable due to their light weight and floating headband design, I’d argue the 600’s are even more comfy due to the plush memory foam ear cushions. And if you’re someone who wears glasses, you’ll be happy to know the 600’s have that Turtle Beach Glasses-Friendly technology in their cups, a small feature missing from the 500’s. I’m also a big fan of how the cans can rotate, able to lay flat on the desk or around your neck, also a small feature lacking from the previous 500’s.

Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 3

The main things I look for in a headset, aside from good audio of course, are comfort and battery life. Given that I’m constantly reviewing games, it’s not uncommon for me to be playing many hours at a time, which is why I covet comfort and battery life so highly. If my ears start to sweat or hurt, I’d rather not use it at all. Thankfully this isn’t the case at all with the Stealth 600 Gen 3’s, as that soft foam on the cushions never made my ears sweaty or become uncomfortable, even after a long gaming session or binge watching something on Netlix over the weekend. The same goes for battery life, as I don’t want to have to think about charging it, and with 80 hours on a full charge, this was never once a concern, especially since I could check the Swarm II app at any time to see how much life was left at any time.

Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 3
Design and Comfort

Nearly identical to the 500’s at first glance, the Stealth 600’s differentiates itself slightly with its different headband, swivel cans and fabric used for the earcups themselves. A smaller subtle difference is how there’s a small glowing green ring around the power button when in use, so you know it’s on. The 600’s have the same matte finish and subtle Turtle Beach branding, sleek enough that I’d have no shame wearing the in public. While the band and arms are made from plastic, this helps with its light weight and flexibility. Over the last few weeks, regular wear and tear seems to not have had any issues with its durability. The microphone is integrated into the design on the same left ear cup as well, able to flip out and adjusted when needing to communicate with friends, and then flipped back upwards for storage and to mute yourself when not required.
Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 3Marketed as “soft athletic wave fabric”, I absolutely love how soft and plush the ear cushions are. Even from the first time trying the 600’s on, you’ll notice right away how comfortable they are, and long play sessions won’t overheat your ears or make them sweat either. They also felt a little ‘tighter’ from the 500’s, not uncomfortable by any means, possibly due to the textured fabric, but simply feeling more secure on my head as I go to bend down or move when them still on. While I don’t wear glasses, those that do will be able to take advantage of the ProSpecs feature, essentially a small indent on the foam where your glasses are so that it doesn’t place more pressure against your head and eyes. When not in use, the Stealth 600’s can lay flat by rotating the earcups, a small design change from the 500’s but a very welcome one. This means I can lay them flat on my table or around my neck without being too bulky. I quite enjoyed the new floating headband on the 500’s, so I was surprised to see the 600’s have the more traditional padded cushion instead. Still quite comfy, never making the top of my head sore, though I wouldn’t have complained if I had just a little more padding.

Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 3
First thing I had to do before trying the headset on after taking it out of the box was to check what buttons and wheels it had. Virtually identical from the 500’s, the back of the left earcup has the charging port, buttons, and two volume wheels, as well as the microphone that flips up and fits snug into the cup itself. Buttons are unchanged in their placement, so even though I still would have preferred a few buttons or the wheels on the other earcup, at least I already had the muscle memory of where each button was since reviewing the 500’s. Even so, the buttons are much too close, small and cluttered, and I still have to think about what I’m pressing.
Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 3The main difference with the controls is that the wheels are much larger and thicker, as well as each having a different texture on each. One is for master volume and the other game/chat mixing. While I absolutely prefer the larger wheels, I did run into an odd issue. I play primarily on my couch and TV when playing Xbox or using the TV for streaming, so I tend to lean back to be comfortable. Because of the larger wheels that jut out slightly, and probably because of the texturized grip, if I leaned back at just the right angle (or I guess wrong in this case), it sometimes caused the volume wheel to move, usually causing the volume to spike loudly unexpectedly. I didn’t have this issue with the 500’s, probably because of the smaller and hard plastic wheels that didn’t protrude as much.

Connectivity

Just like the 500’s, the Stealth 600’s offer a wide variety of connectivity options depending on what device you want to pair with. I primarily used the 2.4GHz wireless dongle, Bluetooth 5.2 is an option as well. The dongle itself is quite small, though slightly longer than the 500 dongle, as it has a Xbox/USB toggle switch on it. This combination means you can connect it to virtually any device, mobile included if you want to take the headset out with you. Regardless if you’re planning on playing on your Xbox, Playstation, Switch, PC or mobile device, you’ll have a way to connect and reconnect to a different one when needed. Not being locked into one ecosystem is great and the Bluetooth functionality gives you even more options.

Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 3
Using the headset in wireless mode on console but want to quickly swap and change to Bluetooth mode to take it on the go with your phone? There’s a QuickSwitch button on the earcup that allows you to seamlessly swap when required, no hassle plugging in the dongle to another device or re-pairing. I didn’t think I would use this feature much, but having the option made me use it more than I expected, though I do wish it had simultaneous connections so I could listen to my music from my phone while playing on my Xbox and getting game audio. I was hoping this might have been one of the extra features with the 600’s, but sadly not.
Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 3Loud and Clear

The microphone is integrated into the headset itself, slightly larger and thicker than the 500’s, able to be flipped up for storage and muting, and flipped down for when you need to talk to teammates. It’s rigid and has a set “L” shape, though the 600 mic doesn’t angle slightly inwards like the 500’s do. What the 600’s does have over the 500’s though is A.I. based mic noise reduction and is uni-directonial (meant to only pick up your voice in front of it). This is said to eliminate even more background noise, which for me with a pre-teen in the background and the wife usually watching something on her laptop, the area behind me can be distracting if my microphone was to broadcast it in my party chats. You can enable Mic Monitoring to check how you sound and volumes, and all the Discord and Xbox party chats I was in, everyone noted that I sounded clear. As to how much of a difference it made? Friends noted they couldn’t really hear my background noise, but they’ve never complained before either. A dedicated mic on PC will most likely outperform, but that’s to be expected for a dedicated piece of hardware.

Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 3
Improved Soundstage

While the 500’s sounded decent, especially for its price point, the smaller 40mm drivers certainly had its limitations. Thankfully the Stealth 600’s are utilizing larger amplified 50mm Nanoclear drivers, optimized for spatial audio. If you’ve had a Turtle Beach headset in the past few years, you’ll generally be familiar with their audio settings and options, returning here as well. You have four different EQ modes to swap to on the fly with a simple press of a button on the cup, depending on your preference and source type. Choose from Signature Sound, Treble Boost, Bass Boost, and Vocal Boost. I opted to keep it set to either Signature Sound or Bass Boost for my gaming and Netflix bingeing. My main complaint is that each mode doesn’t announce which one it is when you press the button to swap, instead supposed to somehow know what 1-4 distinct beeps are supposed to represent which setting. The long integrated Superhuman Hearing mode is also present if you enable it, allowing you to hear smaller details in your games much clearer and louder by cranking up certain audio cues, like footsteps of enemies creeping nearby or a weapon being reloaded. I personally don’t use this mode often, but its there for those wanting any slight competitive edge.

Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 3
Having a few high end headsets in my possession, I’m able to tell a difference with audio quality, especially when I listen to my favorite songs I’ve heard thousands of times before. The 600’s certainly sound much more ‘full’ and ‘clean’ than the 500’s, a welcome change when I was listening to my Spotify playlist. Hellblade II is my go-to for testing audio, as its soundscape is unlike anything else. The 600’s passed with flying colors, hearing Senua’s voices in her head distinctly in each earcup separately. Forza sounded fantastic with V8 and V12 engines roaring, and playing some competitive Battlefield I could hear the gunfire all around me in the thick of battle. I was definitely pushing the headset to its limits at high volumes, but at that point it was becoming too loud anyways. There’s a good range without the audio becoming messy or muddled, it always sounded quite clear overall regardless of gaming or watching movies. My main complaint with the 500’s was the lack of any substantial bass. The larger 50mm drivers seem to have remedied this mostly, though I still would have preferred a heavier emphasis on the bass. You can alter the EQ settings in the desktop app if you have a preference. Unless you want some serious rumble with your bass, the soundscape is done quite well at this price range.

SWARM II

Like any new hardware device I get, I check to see if there’s a firmware update for it, which there was, as the QuickStart guide told me to update. This was done through the new Turtle Beach Swarm II app on my phone. Having the dongle plugged into my PC, the app found the headset right away and proceeded to update. I didn’t have any issues updating my 600’s like I did with my 500’s, so there’s a plus. The Swarm II App comes in two different formats, a desktop and mobile app, and while they’ll do virtually the same thing, the desktop version does have a bit more functionality for customization. Primarily using the mobile version for ease, it’s a lightweight app that allows you to change some basic settings like master volume, enabling chat boost, superhuman hearing controls, game/chat mix, which sound stage to use, microphone sensitivity and monitoring, and checking the battery life. It’s a simple app that isn’t bloated, making changes quick and easy. You’re also able to remap the wheels and mode button for a variety of alternate controls if you wish. I opted to keep mine set to default, but a great option for those wanting to customize how to control their headsets from their fingertips on the fly.

Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 3
The desktop app however gives you even more options, like an advanced 10-Band EQ where you can really customize how the audio sounds if you really want to tweak the finer details. The desktop app also will allow you to change and map the buttons on the headset itself to something else. If for some reason you really wanted to swap what the buttons did on the left can, this is how you can customize it. I had issues getting it to sync with my 500's for some reason, never actually able to use it, but it managed to work with my 600's finally. I can now use the full desktop app and customzie my EQ settings to my liking.

Worth the Purchase

Having just spent a good chunk of time with the 500’s, I was excited to see how much of an improvement the slightly higher costing Stealth 600’s would be, and they didn’t disappoint. The slightly higher cost brings larger cans, double the battery life, better audio, more comfort, and just enough updates and features to justify choosing this upgrade. I highly value comfort and battery life when choosing a headset, something the Turtle Beach Stealth 600’s nail on both fronts. A delight to wear on my ears and not having to worry about charging for a week or two at a time make the Stealth 600’s an absolute winner and my new go-to wireless headset for a variety of reasons listed above.

**Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Headset was provided and reviewed on an Xbox Series X, various consoles, PC, and mobile**

Overall: 9.5/ 10




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