Turtle Beach Stealth 500 wireless headset review — Earconomic

Headsets that fit your budget are important. That said, you want the best for what you’re paying, and that means you’re usually leaving functions on the table to fit it in your price range. Turtle Beach has never shied away from giving you plenty of options, and with the Turtle Beach Stealth 500 might just have found a good middle ground for those who want quality but lack coin. I also checked out the new Stealth 600 (which is referred to extensively in this review), and you can find that review here.

As per usual, let’s start with what’s in the box. You’ll find the Turtle Beach Stealth 500 wireless headset, the USB dongle, and a charge cable in here, along with some paperwork. Similar to the 600, the cable included is just abysmal at just over two feet long. Can we get four feet in the next iteration to make it easier to lay on a desk or TV stand?

Unboxing the Turtle Beach Stealth 500 headset! #gamingheadset #turtlebeach #playstation

The Stealth 500 itself is very similar to the 600 in appearance, but certain cutbacks are quite apparent. Funny enough, I actually love the changes for this headset. The headband is not as sturdy, even though it can handle stressful twisting in a test, but it’s not the same as the heavy duty band of the 600. Even so, the ski-band introduced to adjust for your head size is super comfortable, a fantastic design choice that I can get behind. It’s also really light, more easily ready for a long night of your favorite game. I’m not so fond of the leatherette ear cups, which, while comfy, generally break down quicker than fabric ones.

On those ear cups rest the controls, which are nearly identical to the Stealth 600. What’s somewhat strange is that it feels easier to locate each button. The power button in particular – which I had a tough time finding on the 600 – seems more jutted out on the Stealth 500. In any case, my call is still that buttons should be shared with the right earcup, where nothing is.

I am absolutely thrilled that something you could refer to as an entry-level headset somehow has both 2.4Ghz and Bluetooth. I’m not sure how Bluetooth wasn’t cut, but it’s here. It works tremendously, and even shares a swap button so you know which channel you’re using. Being able to use the Stealth 500 on plenty of different devices is appreciated, especially at an $80 price tag.

After using these across multiple games, videos, and music, I’m faced with an intriguing conundrum. The Stealth 500 employs 40mm drivers, and these are pretty good. A bit of fullness seems to be missing – which I noticed listening to my favorite song Composure by August Burns Red – possibly less bass given the smaller drivers (although the Bass Boost EQ from the Swarm II software helped a bit). That said, I was extremely impressed with how well they handled Call of Duty. During several Ranked Play sessions in Modern Warfare III, I felt like I was still getting the sound cues I needed, even if not as detailed as other headsets. You might be trading some immersion away with these, but if you’re more of a competitive gamer, the Stealth 500 might be the better choice over the more engrossing sound of the Stealth 600.

Just like the Stealth 600, you are getting a stellar microphone with the Stealth 500. No corners have been cut here, with crisp sound that will help your teammates know what’s coming. Between this, the flip-to-mute function (one of my favorite mute features), and superb mic monitoring (a Turtle Beach specialty), this is the total package for communication.

I feel a bit like a broken record talking about battery life here, because I tend to say very similar things about it. At any rate, the Stealth 500 has great battery life, albeit not as good as its older brother. Turtle Beach only advertises forty hours of battery life compared to the 600’s eighty, but that’s still a competent amount. I haven’t noticed it in my tests, and to be honest, as long as I’m not recharging after every other session, it passes the battery test.

For the Stealth 500, I tried something a little different when it comes to the Swarm II software. With the Stealth 600, I did a lot with the PC side. Using the 500s, I used the mobile app, which is a good way for the console owner to get more out of their headset. Mind you, this will also work with the Stealth 600s, and might have alleviated some of my annoyances on PC.

Connecting to the app was easy peasy, a near instant syncing of mobile and headset. But, the app still is as barebones as the PC version. It needs more to give users a reason to default to it. Let’s not get me started on Superhuman Hearing, which is an EQ setting Turtle Beach needs to redo. Customizable EQ (the ten band) also seems to be missing in the mobile app, so all of your EQ tinkering will have to be done on a computer.

You can pick up your Turtle Beach Stealth 500 wireless headset via this link!

Lead Video Game Editor | [email protected]

David Burdette is a gamer/writer/content creator from TN and Lead Editor for Gaming Trend. He loves Playstation, Star Wars, Marvel, and many other fandoms. He also plays way too much Call Of Duty. You can chat with him on Twitter @SplitEnd89.



Turtle Beach Stealth 500

Review Guidelines

The Turtle Beach Stealth 500 wireless headset is a surprisingly great headset. For only $80, you get solid sound, a phenomenal mic, lightweight design, and great battery. There are improvements that can be made to overall audio quality and Swarm II, but for the price, this is a fantastic value.

David Burdette

Unless otherwise stated, the product in this article was provided for review purposes.

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