Turtle Beach Stealth Pro wireless headset review – the best gaming headset
GameCentral puts Turtle Beach’s new high-end gaming headset through its paces and finds that the high asking price is actually worth it.
It’s strange that while the games themselves are the things that get all the headlines, the most expensive gaming purchase most people make outside of a console is a headset. Few other peripherals have as big an effect on your experience of playing games as a good pair of headphones and yet there’s so much choice, and so wide a range of prices, that’s its difficult to know which ones to go for.
Turtle Beach has been the most popular third party brand for a long time now but, just like any manufacturer, their headsets range in price from less than £20 to several hundred. But buying a headset is like choosing a bottle of wine and that number next to its name is usually a pretty good indication of its quality. That’s not always true but in the case of the Stealth Pro, the £279.99 price tag is fully justified.
The Stealth Pro is Turtle Beach’s top-of-the-range headset and we’ve been using it for the last couple of weeks on the PlayStation 5. There are two different versions, one for Xbox and one for PlayStation, with each using the specific wireless technology of their host console. Oddly though, the Xbox version is compatible with every format, including PlayStation 4 and 5, but the only other formats the PlayStation headset we were using works with is the Nintendo Switch, Apple Mac, and mobile devices.
There is a major benefit with getting the PlayStation version though, in that the wireless transmitter also doubles as a way to charge up an extra battery, which you can quickly swap into the headphone if you’re having a particularly long session. Although a full battery lasts at least 12 hours, so you’d really have to be doing an all-nighter for that to even be necessary. There’s also USB slot to keep your DualSense controller charging, which is handy.
The headset itself has a stated range of 15 meters, so unless you’re sitting in another room to play your games, with a pair of binoculars trained at your TV, connection problems are not an issue. Although, generally, one of the best things about the Stealth Pro is how surprisingly uncomplicated and intuitive it is to use.
A lot of high-end headset light up like a Christmas tree when in use or are covered in complicated buttons you keep forgetting the use for, but the Stealth Pro is clearly going for a more streamlined aesthetic. This includes a pleasingly sleek physical design that favours subdued colours and simple metal accents over some of the gaudier alternatives.
The controls on the headset are limited to just a few buttons: power, Bluetooth, Superhuman Hearing, and a reprogrammable wheel that you can define for any function you like via a smartphone app. The default is volume, but you can make it anything you like, depending on how much of an audiophile you are.
Whether you know what having custom Nanoclear neodymium 50mm drivers means or not (a driver is basically the speaker) you don’t need to be an expert to realise how clear and precise the headphones sound. Sony was pushing 3D Audio and 7.1 surround sound since before the PlayStation 5 was even announced, so it works particularly well with the Stealth Pro – especially in big budget titles like Horizon Forbidden West and God Of War Ragnarök.
When it comes to multiplayer games there are additional options, including the Superhuman Hearing feature, which has three settings and is used to accentuate things like footsteps or gunfire and deemphasise everything else. It’s cheating, basically, as if you had Superman style hearing, but if you want that kind of advantage it definitely works, at least in terms of major online titles like Call Of Duty and Overwatch 2.
The most handy function from the point of view of being just an ordinary set of headphones is the noise cancelling, which is hugely useful for everything from noisy neighbours to being on an airplane. The microphones are noise cancelling too, so while that’s by no means the key feature of the headset – and there are probably non-gaming ones that do it slightly better – the effect is still very impressive.
The only downside is that the main 3.5mm microphone isn’t that great. It’s fine but it can sound strangely muffled at times and is the only part of the headset that doesn’t feel top draw. Apart from the price, that really is the only flaw in what is the best gaming headset we’ve ever used.
The Turtle Beach Stealth Pro wireless noise-cancelling gaming headset is available now for £279.99 or less.
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