Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Xbox One Headset Review: The Headset That Tried Too Hard

Video game headsets come in all shapes, sizes and price points, which means some are better than others at certain things. Maybe one has amazing audio quality, but a mediocre microphone. Or perhaps one offers a certain feature that other headsets don't, but costs more. The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 tries to take all the best features of high-end headsets and jam them into a reasonably priced package. It's a noble goal, but the results are hit and miss.

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The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 leaves much to be desired Turtle Beach

The Stealth 700 is a unique wireless headset that doesn't require a base to plug in, instead connecting to the console like a controller, making set-up a breeze. The Stealth 700 has a rechargeable battery, which lasts for a decent period of time, typically around 10 hours. If you charge up your headset between play sessions, you shouldn't have to worry about audio cutting out on you.

The Stealth 700 has all the versatility of a standard Bluetooth headset. You can pair it to your phone, computer and other devices, and the buttons on the headset provide controls for skipping to a new song or ending a call. That makes the Stealth 700 more attractive than other wireless headsets that can only be used with a console (and sometimes a PC).

Unfortunately, the many bells and whistles of the Stealth 700 don't have a major impact on the overall experience. The built-in active noise cancellation feature underwhelms, and it's difficult to tell if it's off or on. Alongside other noise cancelling headsets, like the Victrix Pro AF, this feature on the Stealth 700 becomes almost laughable.

The Stealth 700 also features a Superhuman Hearing mode, said to boost the important sounds players need to hear, like enemy gunshots or footsteps. Again, I couldn't tell when the mode was on or off, so this seems more like a gimmick than anything truly useful.

The headset itself also feels cheap and isn't very comfortable. Everything is made of plastic, which keeps costs and weight down, but makes me feel like I could snap the thing in two if I wanted. The ear cups also never felt like they fit right, even after countless adjustments. The microphone on the side does have a nice tactile feel when flipping it up though, and I like how the mic arm is short and doesn't get in your face.

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The microphone arm on the Stealth 700 is nice and short, and can be flipped up when not in use Turtle Beach

Perhaps the worst design elements of the headset are the volume wheels, one each for game volume and chat volume. They are stacked right on top of each other, out of sight. If you try to make any quick adjustments in the middle of a game, it's very likely you'll end up moving the wrong wheel. One wheel should have been moved to the other ear cup, or at least separated a bit from the other.

On top of it all, the audio—the reason why you want any headset in the first place—is just fine. I wasn't wowed by anything I heard with the Stealth 700, but it was serviceable. It's possible to fine-tune the headset by connecting it to your phone and using the Turtle Beach app if you want to get hardcore with it.

With all these add-ons, versatility and features, it is surprising to see the Stealth 700 only costs $150. That said, many of the features feel pointless or don't make that much of an impact on gameplay.

I'd recommend getting a less expensive, better-built pair (even if it means fewer features), or a more expensive headset that actually excels at what it sets out to do. The Stealth 700 isn't powerful enough to hang with the elite line of headsets, yet is too expensive to feel like a plastic toy.

So what do you think? Are you in the market for a new gaming headset? Have you considered the Stealth 700 for yourself? Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.