With the PS5 and Xbox Series now on store shelves, a whole new generation of compatible headsets have hit the market. Turtle Beach's Stealth 700 Gen 2 headset is the first that we have checked out from this new wave of products, and it promises to deliver a 'premium' experience for £129.99. The headset is available in both black and white variants and has separate models for both the PlayStation and Xbox family of consoles.
When looking at the Stealth 700 Gen 2 there's nothing that immediately leaps out and catches the eye, but personally, I found that to be part of its appeal. The headset feels targeted to a more mature audience as it's not splashed with bright colours or fitted with flashing lights. Its design is completely clutter free too, as the microphone discreetly tucks into the left ear cup and the volume sliders and connectivity buttons are found on the rear. The only thing that I disliked about the design is that there is no padding within the ear cups. The metallic interior is pretty ugly to look at, and I found that my ears would become cold.
The headset is also incredibly comfy, and at times, I forgot that I was even wearing it. It's made from synthetic leather and its headband and ear cups are padded with a velvety soft memory foam material. Those who wear glasses will also appreciate that it features a 'Glasses Friendly' design. Along the earcups there are some small seamless grooves and your glasses can be rested here, so that both can be easily worn simultaneously. There's great flexibility too in how it can be adjusted, as the headband can be extended and the ear cups can be tilted to achieve a comfy fit for a variety of different people.
Something that I should stress about the headset is that it is completely wireless, so you are unable to plug in and use a 3.5mm cable. This means that you are unable to use it with devices such as the Nintendo Switch, which doesn't support Bluetooth. That said, whilst it is completely wireless, the battery life is incredible and it's simple to start using. A full charge can last up to 20 hours, which should easily see you through any lengthy stream or gaming session. All you need to do on Xbox is pair it the same way as you do a wireless controller and on mobile it's equally, as simplistic as you just need to find it in your available devices.
Things took a turn for the worse, however, when I tried using it on PC. Firstly, before I could even connect the headset, I realised that I had to purchase a standalone Xbox Wireless Adapter for £32 (these allow you to use wireless controllers and other devices on PC). Once I had the adapter in my hands, I was still having trouble as the microphone kept clipping when I tried to record audio. Originally, I thought that this was because my input volume was too high, but even when I scaled it all the way back I found that these issues still persisted. I know that the headset is targeted primarily towards console gamers, but I found this to be quite a major setback, as many other similarly priced competitors are much more versatile.
Unlike on PC, I found the omni-directional microphone to function flawlessly on Xbox, and it managed to pick up my voice with a great deal of clarity. What I really liked about its design is that it can be tucked back into the side of the ear cup to be instantly muted, and there's handy options to monitor the output of your voice within your headphones. Something that I disliked about the microphone, however, is that it feels like it could snap without a great deal of force, and there appears to be no way to swap it out and fit in a replacement.
So, with all this said, how does the headset actually sound? Well, I found the Stealth 700 Gen 2 to pack a real punch whether I was just listening to some of my favourite songs on Spotify or grappling with a challenging boss in Dark Souls. It features a frequency response of 20Hz - 22kHz, and I found that its output didn't feel too 'tinny' or too 'bassy'. In addition to this, the headset includes a handy feature known as 'Superhuman Hearing.' This amplifies subtle sounds in the environment and is perfect for games like Fortnite where you need to be fully alert and aware of players around you. 'Superhuman Hearing' can also be toggled and controlled within the free Turtle Beach Audio Hub companion app.
The Stealth 700 Gen 2 is a stylish headset that has a lot to love, but sadly, its lack of versatility prevents it from putting up a real fight against the competition. I found it to be one of the comfiest headsets that I have reviewed so far and it comes with a sleek design and a much-appreciated 'Superhuman Hearing' feature. That said, whilst it certainly has its strengths, it is only functional on one main family of consoles and when using it on PC, I encountered some major clipping issues when recording audio.
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