Turtle Beach is a household name when it comes to gaming accessories. The company has released products for home consoles for many years, primarily for Xbox and PlayStation devices. That isn’t to say Turtle Beach headsets can’t serve multiple purposes, however. One of their latest lines, the Stealth 600 class, comes in two varieties: the Stealth 600 Gen 2 USB and the Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX.
Does Turtle Beach continue to produce a quality headset at an affordable price? Let’s take a look at the Stealth 600 class of headphones, how the USB and MAX editions differ, and which one might be right for you. For this review I specifically looked at the Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX and Gen 2 USB on Xbox Series X and the Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX on PlayStation 5.
Two headsets, one line
For the most part, these two Stealth 600 headsets are very similar, with a few differences we will get to later in this review. Regardless of which Turtle Beach headset you will own, or might have owned in the past, there is an almost constant design across all their devices. Once again, Turtle Beach is going with an all plastic design for their headset, outside of the fabric earpieces and the fabric headband underneath the plastic arch that rests on the top of your head. Honestly, at first glance it would be hard to distinguish the Gen 2 USB from the Gen 2 MAX.
These devices all use the patented flip-to-mute mic function. This means when the microphone is pulled down and in front of your mouth, it is active and will pick up your voice. When you don’t want to use voice chat, or need to mute for a moment, simply pushing the mic out of your face and back up towards your ears will mute any inputs. A satisfying ‘click’ sound will let you know when you’ve passed the toggle point. The microphone, along with all the onboard controllers, are located on the left earcup.
So what on-board controls can you expect? At the top of the ear cup are two dials, one that handles the volume level going into your ears, and the other provides control over volume of your microphone. Further down is the mode button which allows you to change between different audio presets, including Turtle Beach’s famous Superhuman Hearing. This mode provides outstanding in-game audio clarity, which is very apparent in first person shooting games.
Below the Mode button is the power button, which turns your headset on and off, and a USB-C charging port. Both the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 USB and Gen 2 Max support fast charging, which is a great feature, especially in the Gen 2 USB given the price point.
Headset comfort isn’t guaranteed
I’ve always found that Turtle Beach makes a quality gaming headset, with some of the comfiest ear-cups on the market. This is the case again here, with nicely padded cups that are even tailored towards glasses wearers such as myself. The fabric band between the plastic arch and the crown of my head was also a nice touch.
The issue with both of these headsets—and most Turtle Beach headsets in my opinion—is how tight they feel on my head. While I understand that this does help with noise cancelation, it also can make them incredibly uncomfortable to wear. I have used multiple Turtle Beach headsets over the last half decade. I can say that sometimes I learn to live with the nuisance, while other times I’ve simply passed on the headset. As someone with a larger head, I can only assume this would not be an issue for those with smaller heads.
Audio quality of the Stealth 600 Gen 2
During the audio test, both headsets performed really well, and I especially appreciated the various audio modes. Both headsets feature Signature Sound, Bass Boost, Bass + Treble Boost, and Vocal Boost. The Vocal Boost was especially useful in narrative heavy games. It did a really good job of pulling those spoken lines and highlighting them for you. I used the Stealth 600 headsets across a wide variety of games, from first person shooters like Call of Duty, to platform games, and a few things in between.
One major advantage that Turtle Beach has over the competition is their patented SuperHuman Hearing mode. This is really great when playing first person shooters for strategic purposes, as you can hear and feel the distance of things around you. It also makes narrative games feel more impactful. My time with Hogwarts Legacy really proved how valuable this exclusive mode is.
One aspect of wireless headsets that should be noted is that lag is inevitable. A wired connection—whether a headset or a controller—is always going to be more reliable. That being said, the lag here is barely noticeable. In fact, if not mentioned, it’s possible you wouldn’t even notice. In my opinion, it is a non-issue.
The microphone quality is excellent, and those that I played with never had negative things to say about my chat quality. I do think my larger, wider face doesn’t make the microphone sit in an ideal position when activated, but despite that, things still sounded great.
Should you buy the Gen 2 MAX or the Gen 2 USB?
To this point, we have been looking at both headsets as if they were one product. However, there are a few differences—two of which are significant. These differences are likely things that would separate a more casual gamer from someone a bit more serious, and the price reflects that as well.
The Gen 2 MAX is a better product in many ways, but that also comes with a cost. The MAX provides up to 48 hours of battery life, compared to 24 from the USB. The Xbox version of the MAX is also compatible across a wide range of platforms including PlayStation, PC, and Nintendo Switch. The Gen 2 USB is strictly for Xbox Series S / X. The PlayStation Gen 2 MAX version also has a wider range of use, but that does not include Xbox systems.
Wide range of Turtle Beach products
No matter what your preferred price of entry may be, Turtle Beach has you covered. While we looked at the Stealth 600 lineup of headsets in this review, Turtle Beach also has a more premium headset available. Another great option is the Stealth 700 Gen 2 MAX that I also recently reviewed. Whether you choose to purchase Stealth 600 or Stealth 700 headsets, Turtle Beach is almost always providing an excellent value.
Ultimately, I believe that for casual gamers, the price point and features of the Stealth 600 Gen 2 USB makes it an ideal headset to buy. For those who game a lot more and dabble online often, the Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX provides additional features that will be welcomed. Either way, it’s great to see how well Turtle Beach has the gaming community covered.