Back in 2020, Turtle Beach released their flagship Stealth Gen 2 (600 & 700) headsets for Xbox and Playstation consoles. Sadly PC players were left out in the cold and gamers that owned both consoles were stuck with buying two dedicated pairs in order to play between their systems.
If you remember me ranting and raving about the amazing Stealth Gen 2 headsets in my 2020 Holiday Buyer's guide, you'll remember that I absolutely love love LOVE this headset.
As we fast forward to 2022, Turtle Beach has stepped up to the plate and cracked another homerun out of the gaming stadium, with the newly released "MAX!" What does this mean??? ONE HEADSET TO RULE THEM ALL!!!
Xbox Series X, S, One, 360 and Switch…no problem.
Playstation 4, 4 pro, 5…but of course.
Gaming PC, Android and iOS…yessir!
"MAX" means maximum versatility!
Shown here, the 700 Gen 2 MAX only comes in black and cobalt blue while the 600 Gen 2 MAX is offered in black, midnight red and arctic camo.
Presently the "MAX" generation of headsets have been branded as Xbox (no details yet regarding Playstation versions) but don't let the marketing fool you. These will play on everything!
In this review we will be focusing on the flagship Stealth 700 Gen 2 MAX but will be referencing its lower priced sibling in a comparison section below.
Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max in Cobalt Blue
The newest "MAX" version of the 2020 flagship Stealth 700 Gen 2 brings back the same design and premium features as its predecessor, like cooling Aerofit gel foam earcups with ProSpecs tech that makes it painless for us gamers that need glasses.
Personally I love how my basketball sized head feels right at home within the snug embrace of the copper anodized metal enforced headband.
The 700 version is available in two colors, black with silver trim, logo and matching metal headband.
The cobalt blue version is contrasted with copper trim, logo and copper anodized metal headband.
Hideaway flip-up microphone
One of the coolest engineered features of the Stealth 700 Gen 2 series is the flip-up-to-mute hideaway microphone that easily disappears within the left earcup's chassis and allows the user to use this headset as a featured packed headphone with your iPhone or Android phone.
With excellent gameplay and high fidelity audio from its hyper-tuned 50mm Nanoclear neodymium drivers, the 700 G2 MAX can easily be mistaken for high-end headphones while you work on that deal proposal at your local coffee shop or take a stroll through the hippest part of town.
FEATURES & CONTROLS:
All controls are conveniently located on the left earcup with no drastic changes from the 2020 version. Dedicated headset and microphone volume dials are located towards the upper back, with a "mode" button, recessed power button (making it easier to find), Bluetooth pairing button, LED power light and the USB-C charging port.
Detailed descriptions for each control button and dial
All headset controls being on the left gives any gamer split second abilities to quickly turn on Superhuman Hearing mode or adjust volumes, especially when game chat can get a bit too toxic or activate mute for when the significant other is expressing their dismay about your gameplay time.
Detailed description of what your LEDs are telling you
As with all of the Stealth Gen headsets, each LED has a purpose in providing information to the user about what's up with the headset or the transmitter dongle.
Mappable buttons mean next level customization
User based hardware customization is pretty rare in this industry but when it comes to "Mappable Buttons," Turtle Beach continues to say "no problem!"
With the Turtle Beach Audio Hub app, users will have the ability to designate functionality changes to the BT button and the volume dial.
Android & iOS available app
The Turtle Beach Audio Hub app is available for free on both Google Play and Apple's App Store, unlocking audio fine tuning for your gaming and music listening pleasure.
Button mapping is also only possible with this app, for further customization of your headset.
Turtle Beach Audio Hub screenshots
Here is a glimpse of the easy to connect Audio Hub's control panels (Android version) for customizing your headset to perfection (iOS version may slightly be different).
Turtle Beach made it easy to quickly utilize their fine tuned EQ settings with four options to choose from. Personally I stick with the "Signature Sound" when I'm gaming and opt for the "Bass Boost" when I want to listen to some music on my phone.
I have to point out that when you are in game chat/gameplay and you have your phone connected via Bluetooth (for Tiktok, Youtube and Discord) simultaneously, the Signature Sound setting is excellent in delivering perfect audio.
USB-A transmitter dongle
The biggest change to the new MAX generation of headsets is a tiny little switch on the USB transmitter dongle.
At present the MAX headsets are Xbox branded but I have been reassured by multiple reps and tech support agents that there is no degradation in audio quality when using the dongle in Xbox or USB modes. Cross platform playability is LITERALLY as easy as a flip of a switch.
Microphone activation details
As we mentioned before, the microphone on the 700 cleverly hides away inside the earcup with two ways to activate the mute function. If you're in-game and need to tell the cat to stop scratching your Samsung TV or tell your significant other that you love them, a midway flip of the mic will mute your mic.
The second way is what I like to think of as "covert" mode, when flipping the mic all into its cubby hole. This allows you to keep your headphones on as you head over to your favorite pub for a pint after a hard day's gaming, without attracting any "what is he wearing on his head" stares.
ProSpecs eyeglass tech
Coming to the rescue of all of us that need glasses to see...Turtle Beach’s exclusive, patented ProSpecs™ glasses relief system features dual-foam ear cushions, with softer foam in the section of the ear cushions that rests against your glasses, alleviating pressure and allowing gamers with glasses to play in comfort.
This is one of those unique features that I honestly never knew I needed until I had it, especially when I'm reviewing a different brand of gaming headset.
I can't tell you how many times I've sat there feeling a bit off because my eyeglasses kept pushing into my temples. Bravo to Turtle Beach for the ProSpecs system.
Sound Mode: Stereo, Simulated Surround, Dolby Atmos, DTS Headphone:X
Connection Type: Wireless Radio Frequency (RF), Bluetooth
Wireless Range: Approximately 30 feet
Microphone: Flip-Up Hideaway, noise cancelling
Headphone Fit: Over-the-Ear
Adjustable Headband: Yes
Battery Life: 40 hours rechargeable
Battery Charge Time: Approximately 2 hours
Maximum Talk Time: 24 hours
Battery Capacity: 1400 mAh
Compatible Platform(s): Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Windows, Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch Lite, Nintendo Switch (OLED Model), Mac, Mac/Windows, Android, iOS
Color: Cobalt Blue & Black
Minimum Frequency Response: 20 hertz
Maximum Frequency Response: 20 kilohertz
Impedance: 32 ohms
Sensitivity: 99.95 decibels adjusted
Integrated Amplifier: Yes
Total Harmonic Distortion: 0.2 percent
Sound Mode: Stereo, Simulated Surround, Dolby Atmos, DTS Headphone:X
Driver Size: 50 millimeters Nanoclear neodymium magnets
Volume/Mute: Dial control volume with flip-up microphone mute
Included Accessories: USB-C Cable and Xbox/USB dongle
Headband Material: Polyurethane with reinforced metal headband
Product Weight: 1.39 pounds
700 / 600 COMPARISON:
The 700 is only available in black and cobalt blue with contrasting copper accents whereas the 600 is available in black, arctic camo and midnight red with contrasting platinum accents.
Here are some of the differences that raise the 700 flagship's feature set higher than the more affordable 600.
The 700 is equipped with Aerofit™ earcups featuring a cooling gel-infused layer covered by a premium pleather shell that is designed to keep your ears cool and cushioned during long playtimes.
The 600 is equipped with soft rounded memory foam earcups wrapped in a ventilated breathable fabric, which still do an amazing job at keeping users comfortable.
side-by-side comparison - side view
The 700 comes with a metal reinforced internal headband (silver metal for the Black version and copper metal for the cobalt blue version), versus the 600's color matched reinforced polyurethane headband, which still is rugged enough to withstand heavy use.
The 700 is equipped with 50mm Nanoclear neodymium drivers that are tuned to produce realistic sound imaging and a robust sound stage.
The 600 is also equipped with 50mm neodymium drivers without the custom audio-tuning.
microphone side-by-side view
The 700's microphone has a really cool hideaway flip-up mic that cleverly transforms this gaming headset into a high end headphone.
The 600's microphone also has the flip-up feature and is flush with the shape of the earcup but continues to be exposed and isn't as covert.
Both microphones activate when pulled down and mute when pushed halfway or fully upright.
side-by-side comparison - earcup controls
Both headsets share similar control interfaces with the biggest difference being the 700 adds an extra Bluetooth pairing button for dual connectivity allowing it to be used simultaneously or without a USB tether.
The 600 may not have Bluetooth but it does make up for it by offering approximately 8 more hours (48 hrs vs. 40 hrs.) of game time and also offering Sony 3D Audio for PS5 users where the 700 does not.
PROS & CONS:
- ALL PLATFORM compatibility (PC, Mac, Switch, PS, Xbox, Android & iOS).
- Bluetooth dual connectivity (700 MAX only) allows users to take calls or listen to other audio via phone or other Bluetooth paired device, without disturbing in-game chat.
- Mic monitoring gives user ability to hear themselves in chat.
- Built-in amplified drivers, saving users money on extra amplifier equipment.
- App based audio fine tuning and mappable button for extra customization.
- Excellent microphone clarity with hideaway design makes it possible to use these as non-gaming headphones paired with your phone.
- Impressive battery life (600 MAX = 48 hrs / 700 MAX = 40 hrs).
- Active firmware updates from Turtle Beach, which address issues as time goes on.
- Plastic earcup hinges can crack and break over time with heavy use.
- People with larger heads may experience a tighter uncomfortable fit with mild ear fatigue.
- High price, BUT I should note that you only need to buy this one headset for all of your gaming needs.
The biggest question left is should I take the plunge and spend $199.99 for the Stealth 700 Gen 2 MAX or opt for the more affordable Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX...decisions decisions. Here are some of my thoughts.
After 2 years of vigorously using the older 2020 Stealth 700 Gen 2, I was more than happy to find that Turtle Beach left a great headset alone and just added new fun colorways and two extremely welcomed features, ultimate cross compatibility and longer battery life with quick charge capabilities.
The biggest downside, plaguing EVERYTHING in top gaming peripherals, is price.
2020's Stealth flagship was $50.00 cheaper, at release, but it didn't have the ability to crossover into my PC gaming. Truth be told my 2020 headset is just an expensive great performing compliment to my PS5/PS4 only. Now that the MAX has reared it's beautiful head, I honestly feel that YES! the $50.00 jump up from last year's $150.00 price tag is 100% worth it, simply for the fact that you only need to buy one headset. Trying to purchase comparable flagship headsets for the many gaming platforms you may own, can easily cost 4x the price.
But still, $200 is a lot of money for anything these days, which brings us to the Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX, priced at $129.99. There can be nothing negative said about this aggressive audio performer as it 100% delivers on the goods more so than many comparably priced wireless headsets out in the market today.
In comparing features to other manufacturers, this $130 headset offers top tier premium features like amplified 50mm neodymium drivers which are tuned for Dolby Atmos, DTS Headphone:X and Sony 3D audio for PS5, "mic monitoring" which is RARE in gaming headsets, customizable audio and to top it all of, an impressive 48 hours of battery life with quick charge.
Yes, it sucks that there is no Bluetooth connectivity which cripples the 600 in the smartphone/tablet world but the other features truly set this affordable sibling apart from its competitors. Frankly speaking, if you don't care about using your gaming headset as a headphone for normal day activities or have zero desire to be tapped into your phone and your game simultaneously, then the $70 savings is well worth the lower price.
One last thing, if 40+ hour battery life and cross platform compatibility make you yawn, run a google search for the 2020 Stealth Gen 2 headsets as the 600 & 700 are both being marked down at various online retailers. Turtle Beach is also offering refurbished models of the 2020 flagship (700 Gen 2 with Bluetooth connectivity) for only $89.95!!!