Manufacturer: Turtle Beach
Where to buy: Turtle Beach
Price: £69.99 – Or Region Equivalent
For me, Turtle Beach has always been right up there as far as quality and endurance is concerned. Most of my headsets have been from Turtle Beach and I don’t suspect that I’ll be bucking the trend anytime soon. Not too long back, Turtle Beach announced a new addition to their ever expansive Stealth collection; Stealth 300. Bearing a remarkable likeness to last year’s Stealth 600, the Stealth 300 is a cheaper, wired version. The big question here, however, is whether or not the difference in price, and to some degree the difference in quality, is attractive enough to interest those seeking some new gear. The bottom line here is that yes, the Stealth 300 is well worth your attention if you’re on the market for a new, high quality and affordable headset. Starting with the design, and as aforementioned, Stealth 300 is pretty much Stealth 600, but wired. That’s not a bad thing by any means, the design of the Stealth 300 is top-notch.
Furthermore, it’s very comfortable to wear, even upon first use. This goes in direct contrast to Turtle Beach’s XO Four Stealth, which quite frankly felt as though you were Prince Oberyn on the wrong side of Gregor Clegane. Comfort is a must, and on this front, Stealth 300 delivers. Stealth 300 also houses the trademark ProSpecs glasses friendly technology, meaning that if you do indeed wear glasses, the headset’s ear-cup cushion has been specifically designed to ensure that you’re comfortable. Stealth 300 is a very durable, yet flexible headset. There’s a lot of room for maneuverability and adjustability to find the perfect fit. It can be a bit stiff at first, especially when you’re adjusting the up/down notches of the headband, but some wear and tear will no doubt add some fluidity here over time. Still, with that said, I did struggle for a minute or two trying to “click” to the right notch.
Whatever the case, Stealth 300 offers great usability. I used them for hours on end without taking them off and didn’t suffer one iota as a result. Stealth 300 sports a slick, somewhat basic design; black sturdy plastic casing with a green foam under the headband, soft black ear cushions with, again, a neat green design on the ear-cup bases. These colors will alternate depending on your platform of choice, green for Xbox One, blue for PlayStation 4. There’s no brand patterning so you’re free to pick up whichever color takes your fancy. So, what about the Stealth 300’s accessibility? The left ear-cup is where all the technical access points sit. There’s a short microphone that will fold in or out, a sound-mode button and a power button sat closely together, two volume sliders for game-chat and game-volume, and both left and right ear-cups can swivel to 90 degrees inward and outward.
The only gripe here is that until you gel with the button placement, it can be hard to locate either one due to them being situated very closely. Still, some use and perseverance will eventually feed into your muscle memory and this becomes less of a problem in the long run. The Stealth 300 utilizes large 50mm audio drivers, which are significantly bigger than (let’s say) the XO Fours. Larger drivers make for better sound quality, and it’s easy to hear the difference between the two aforementioned headsets. That’s not to say that the XO Fours are not worth your time and attention, on the contrary they’re very good headsets for the asking price, but if you can stretch out the cost for the Stealth 300s, you’re getting that extra quality throughout the entirety of design and feedback. It’s also worth pointing out that the Stealth 300s are not at all heavy, in fact they’re quite lightweight.
The Stealth 300 can be plugged into any system that supports its 3.5mm audio jack, whether that’s your console, your tablet, your PC or your mobile. The wire-length isn’t particularly long, but it’s long enough to get the job done nevertheless. The audio presets (Bass Boost, Signature Sound, Bass and Treble Boost, and Vocal Boost) are not quite distinct enough to stand out from one another, but what I will say is that I found the quality of audio feedback to be excellent throughout use. There’s a slight lack of bass, but one of the presets will boost the bass to some degree, making this easier to overlook. I tested the headset across a range of different games. Games such as Call of Duty, Crash Bandicoot, Forza Motorsport, NieR, Shovel Knight, Sea of Thieves and a few other genre-differing titles. The Stealth 300 does a remarkable job at its price-point to relay some top quality feedback. I had no issues whatsoever hearing enemy footsteps or reloads in Call of Duty, the insane loud audio pops that Crash Bandicoot delivers came through clearly, and the thunderous roars of Forza’s many engines hit hard and fast.
Safe to say that Stealth 300 offers brilliant audio feedback across the board. Game chat, in regards to the microphone and the feedback, gets another thumbs up here. I could hear all of my party as clear as crystal and likewise me to them. The dials on the left cup give you enough freedom to balance the sound between game volume and chat volume, should you find any issues here. I should also note that the Stealth 300s support Windows Sonic for Headphones surround sound on Xbox One, as well as being compatible with Dolby Atmos for Headphones. Sadly, this leads me to my biggest issue with the headset; being that you need to charge them to use them. Yes, that’s pretty much a given when we take into account that it’s wired and comes with a charger cable, but not having any use whatsoever once dead (until charged again) is a pain. Hell, you cant even use them whilst they’re charging, which is a shame too. What I will say, on the other hand, is that the battery life is outstanding.
These beasts will hold a charge for tens of hours, varying on their use. For example, if you’re just watching YouTube or listening to some tunes, you can squeeze 30 hours worth of use per-charge. Though, if you’re using the microphone a lot and have volumes at full capacity, you’re looking at around the 20 hour mark per-charge. Still, to say that you can get a few gaming sessions out of these before needing to juice them up, is head-turning addition if you ask me. Finally, and moving back to the durability of the headset, the Stealth 300s are built to last. There’s a metal-reinforced frame within the headband, giving it that extra bit of toughness as a result. This is perfect if, like me, you tend to yank your headsets off and toss them on the floor when your ass is handed to you in a match – I better get that sorted. When all is said and done, the Stealth 300 is well worth its asking price, it’s a quality option that isn’t going to break the bank.
The Turtle Beach Stealth 300 Headset offers a great deal of quality for its affordable asking price. There’s some minor design issues here and there, but for the most part, these are well worth your time and attention. The audio and mic feedback is near fantastic, which when grouped with the very lengthy battery life and the utter comfort of use, ultimately makes for a great choice in headset. If you’re on the market for some new gear, I would certainly consider picking these up.