Introduction & Specification Details and Close-up
Turtle Beach has announced a new successor to its extremely popular Stealth 600 gaming headset. Introducing the Stealth 600 Gen 2 and all its new features.
The Stealth 600 Gen 2 features an all-new encompassing design that really has been overhauled into a sleeker and modern looking gaming headset. Turtle Beach has also gone out of its way to revise the microphone design, feel of the headset, features, and performance. Today we will be comparing the previous generation to the new and improved generation to see what has changed and what Turtle Beach has added.
The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 is replacing the Gen 1 at the same price of $100, and if you have read my previous review for the Gen 1, you would already know that I had several issues with it. So, now that I've had this headset for a few weeks now, I can summarize all of what has been improved, and all that is still an issue for me. To kick things off, we will be taking a close up look of the Gen 2.
First off, we can see an image of the Gen 2's packaging, which reveals that the Gen 2 comes with compatibility with the coming Xbox Series X and/or PC. Additionally, we see that the Gen 2 also features 'glasses friendly support', 15-hour battery life, and 'superhuman hearing'.
The back of the box gives a much more in-depth description of each of the features that come with the Gen 2 and a look at what is featured on the left ear cup.
The box's side has a nice graphic of the Gen 2, which you can see from the below image isn't reflected on the other side.
The other side of the box has some branding from Turtle Beach and a reminder that the Gen 2 supports both the Xbox Series X and Xbox One.
Above is an image of the Gen 2 taken out of the box, and we can see that the packaging is quite simple and straightforward.
Next, we have an image of the Gen 2 taken out of the box, and we can see that Turtle Beach has gone for a black look with green finishes to indicate this the Xbox version.
Here we can see the leather headband that Turtle Beach has decided go with. Comfort-wise, this was a great choice.
Moving on to the height adjustment mechanism, Turtle Beach has updated the design of the Gen 1 to something much more modern and sleek.
The headband's top shows off some Turtle Beach branding, which is quite standard for many gaming headset companies.
In this image, we get a good look at the plastic covering that is featured all over the headset and the new microphone design.
In this image, we are looking at the left-hand side ear cup, and as you can probably see, it's quite crowded with features. From right to left, the features are; volume wheel, chat/game mix wheel, mode button, power button, USB-C charging, and Bluetooth button.
Next, we have an image showing off that the earcups can be rotated, which wasn't possible on the Gen 1.
Next is an image of the USB-A to USB-C cable that's provided in the packaging.
Lastly is a close up of the earcup, and as we can see, it's made of fabric and has an ear-shaped design.
Jak's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS ROG Crosshair VIII Hero X570 (Wi-Fi) (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600X @ 4.4GHz (buy from Amazon)
- GPU: EVGA GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER XC GAMING (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: be quiet! Silent Wings 3
- RAM: 16GB (2x8GB) Corsair Vengeance LPX 16GB 3200MHz (buy from Amazon)
- SSD: GALAX HOF Pro SSD PCI-E M.2 2TB
- Power Supply: Corsair CX Series 750 Watt (buy from Amazon)
- Case: be quiet! Silent Base 600 (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit (buy from Amazon)
Design & Software
If you have read my Stealth 600 Gen 1 review, you'd know that most of the flaws I found in that headset had something to do with its design. Gen 1 had fantastic sound, but Turtle Beach really dropped the ball when it came to design. Enter - Stealth 600 Gen 2, and I can say that Turtle Beach may have just picked up the ball once again and started running with it.
Turtle Beach seems to have listened to fans who complained about Gen 1's design and implemented changes in Gen 2 to solve these issues. For example, the height adjustment mechanism on the Gen 1 was simply unforgiving to use, and also made the headset feel quite cheap. Gen 2 now features a far superior height adjustment mechanism that also makes the headset look much more modern and feel more structurally sound.
Turtle Beach has given the microphone on the Gen 1 the same revamped treatment as the height adjustment mechanism, converting what was once an annoying, protruding microphone into one that can be cleanly hidden when raised. However, there is still a very prominent issue to be mentioned about the microphone. Instead of making it so users can adjust the range of the microphone (SteelSeries), Turtle Beach has allowed for the microphone to bend slightly towards the users' mouth. In short, this design choice feels somewhat pointless, and at most burdensome.
On a more positive note, Turtle Beach has added a bit more accessibility to the Stealth 600 Gen 2 as both earcups can now swivel to be rested on the user's neck. This feature adds a bit more comfort to the headset and lets users comfortably rest the headset around their neck when it isn't being used. Speaking of earcups, unfortunately, I believe the Gen 2 suffers from the same fate as the Gen 1 when it comes to issues with the functionality of the buttons located on the left earcup. The Gen 1 had extremely hard to press buttons, and while that issue has been resolved in the Gen 2, a new issue has presented itself - overcrowding.
Each of the volume wheels and buttons are easy to use. The issue has to do with the placement of each of them. Since everything is very cramped together, it's extremely easy for a user to miss-press an input. This issue can be solved with time and memorization, but I feel it could have been resolved in manufacturing if each of the features were more separately spaced.
Comfort-wise, the Stealth 600 Gen 2 is very pleasurable to wear, and I feel Turtle Beach has made some big design improvements when comparing with the Gen 1. When worn, I feel the Gen 2 has that same amazing lightness that the Gen 1 had but has some form of upgrade when it comes to the overall comfort experience. The Gen 2 has a nice tight fit, which I appreciate in a gaming headset. If you aren't into a tight clamping pressure, this may not be the headset for you. If you are into a nice tight clamp, you will probably be pleased if you put on the Gen 2.
Overall, Turtle Beach has made some strides when it comes to the design side of the Gen 2, and with some only minor tweaks, I believe the Stealth 600 Gen 2's flame would shine even brighter. Lovely work here Turtle Beach. The direction of your design is on the correct course.
If you were hoping that the Turtle Beach software for gaming headsets would change with the release of Stealth 600 Gen 2 - I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news.
Above is an image of everything that comes with the Turtle Beach software titled 'Turtle Beach Audio Hub'. Unfortunately, there is not much customization when it comes to the software, and the entire experience of the software feels extremely barebones. There are two customizable options; mic monitor level and tones level.
While the software doesn't come with any customizable options, the headset comes loaded with four preset EQ settings, which can be changed by pressing the mode button on the left earcup. Unfortunately, these EQ presets hardly make any significant positive change to the audio. Overall, when it comes to software and customization, I feel Turtle Beach really has a long way to go.
Performance & Microphone
As with all of my gaming headset reviews, I like to use whatever headset I'm testing for upwards of 30+ hours. During this time, I run the headset through a series of different tests. Those tests include in-game audio testing in a few different games, microphone testing, music listening testing, and movie testing. After this extensive testing period, I believe that I gather an adequate understanding of the audio quality experience.
I previously praised the gaming audio aspect of Turtle Beaches Stealth Gen 1, and I can do the exact same for the Stealth 600 Gen 2. Turtle Beach has equipped the Stealth Gen 2 with some exceptional in-game audio quality, and throughout the time I used the headset, I thoroughly enjoyed my experience. The games I took the Stealth 600 Gen 2 through were Apex Legends and Hyperscape, and the reason I chose those games is because this headset will be commonly bought by battleroyale/competitive-type gamers. For the sake of testing purposes, I also tested the headset in Dragon Age: Inquisition.
So, what can I describe? Both Apex Legends and Hyperscape had very impressive sound for the price point of the headset. Mids and highs were very clear and weren't overemphasized in any way. Bass seemed a little bit lackluster, but ultimately I felt it wasn't an overall downside to the in-game experience. As for the EQ presets, I did notice some audible changes, but I felt as if it didn't really have much of an impact to the overall audio experience.
Balancing wise, I didn't feel like the headset dropped off in any games I played, and that the experience it gave was very powerful. In Dragon Age: Inquisition, the voice acting was clear cut and the sound of spells being cast and swords and shields colliding. All in all, I think Turtle Beach has equipped the Stealth 600 Gen 2 with some incredible drivers that deliver an accurate and hearty sound.
When throwing on some Hip-hop or some R&B, the Stealth 600 Gen 2 generally keeps up, which is surprising when comparing other $99 gaming headsets. Music is listenable but isn't anything fantastic. I believe that if you casually listened to music while gaming, you would enjoy your music listening experience with the Stealth 600 Gen 2 - no matter your preferred genre.
As with all of my gaming headset reviews, I like to do a microphone/keyboard test that compares whatever gaming headset I'm testing with another brand at a similar price point. The headsets being tested are; Stealth 600 Gen 1, Sennheiser GSP 300, Stealth 600 Gen 2.
Stealth 600 Gen 2
Sennheiser GSP 300
Stealth 600 Gen 1
After listening to each of the above recordings, you should be able to hear a clear quality difference between all of the candidates. The Stealth 600 Gen 1 sounds very nasally, and you can also hear a lot of hissing when I pronounce words that have an "s" at the end. There is also a touch of static in the background. After listening to Gen 1 and comparing the microphone quality to Gen 2, you can really tell that Turtle Beach has improved upon many noticeable issues. Unfortunately, not all the issues were solved, as you can still clearly hear the keyboard typing in the background.
All in all, I think the microphone quality of the Gen 2 has significantly improved on the Gen 1. For that reason, I think the Gen 2 has a very suitable microphone for almost any casual gamer.
The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 has got a significantly improved design compared to the Gen 1. It features an upgraded microphone, comfort improvements, is optimized for a larger variety of systems, and great sound quality at a reasonable price.
The Gen 2 has some issues when it comes to the design of the left ear cup and the microphone. Additionally, to use the headset on PC, you must purchase an Xbox Wireless dongle. Lastly, there is next to no software available for the headset.
So, how did the Turtle Beach Stealth Gen 2 compare to the Gen 1 overall? Well, it's obvious by this point that Turtle Beach has really listened to many gamers' complaints about all of the common problems with the Gen 1 and fixed them in the Gen 2.
Since Turtle Beach has made really big improvements with the Gen 2, it has raised its position in my recommendations list for gaming headsets at this price point. Buyers of the Gen 2 are most likely looking for a gaming headset that can be used on all platforms and have the advantage of being able to use it for next-gen consoles.
For this reason, I believe the Gen 2 could be competing for the top spot at the $99 gaming headset price point. Suppose you can get past some of the design issues on the Gen 2 and don't care that much about the microphone. In that case, you have yourself a very versatile gaming headset that has a long lifespan due to its functionality on multiple platforms.
All in all, I think Turtle Beach's Stealth 600 Gen 2 is a fantastic option for any gamer looking for a simple plug-and-play gaming headset that can be used on a range of different gaming devices.
The Bottom Line
Turtle Beach has made some major improvements with the Stealth 600 Gen 2. The Gen 2 features a a refurbished design, upgraded microphone, and sound quality that is hard to find on a $99 gaming headset.