UPDATE, 9/23: This review has been updated to reflect the ProSpecs features in the earcups. Initially, the review stated that the earcups were not removable. In fact, they are, but it's difficult to do.
The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 is precisely what it sounds like: a new version of an old Turtle Beach favorite. The original Stealth 700 was one of the first gaming headsets to incorporate Xbox wireless technology, and offered solid sound and convenient Bluetooth pairing on top of that. The Gen 2 has all of those features, plus a much better design, all at the same reasonable $150 price.
While the headset isn’t as inventive now as it was three years ago (Xbox wireless connectivity is much more common, for one thing), it’s still a solid choice for console gamers, particularly those who want something that’s future-proof for the PS5, Xbox Series S and Xbox Series X.
Whether the Stealth 700 Gen 2 is one of the best gaming headsets you can get right now is debatable. The fit is tighter than I’d like, and the Xbox One version suffers from a few inconvenient customization options. But if you want a well-built, no-nonsense wireless headset from a trusted company, the Stealth 700 Gen 2 is a solid choice. Read our full Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 review for more info.
Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 design
The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 looks like a cross between the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 and the Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero. You get a black-and-silver plastic chassis with a steel headband and slightly segmented oval earcups. The earcups fold flat, and they're removable, if you apply some force.
Most of the controls live on the left earcup: volume control, chat mix — the two are inconveniently right next to each other, and yes, you will constantly get them mixed up — mode selection, power, Bluetooth, pairing (on the Xbox version) and a foldable mic. This is also where you’ll find a USB-C charging port. There’s nothing on the right earcup, which seems like a bit of a waste.
The headset isn’t too ostentatious to wear outside, although it’s also a little plain, compared to some of the more colorful or elaborate headsets that Turtle Beach produces. How it feels, however, is a different story.
Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 comfort
Turtle Beach headsets are usually extremely comfortable, which is why it’s somewhat surprising that the Stealth 700 Gen 2 isn’t. The earcups press down very tightly, and because the headband notches aren’t numbered, it’s very difficult to get a good fit. While the headset advertises its glasses-friendly ProSpecs design, there’s no east way to adjust a channel in the earcups. The earcups are removable, and you can make space for glasses by adjusting a notched band. However, it's not easy to remove the earcups (I thought it couldn't be done at first), and it doesn't do much to address the overall feel of the headset.
The headset isn’t too heavy, at least, and the earcups are both breathable and comfortable. But there’s simply no getting around the tightness, especially since it presses down uncomfortably on all sides of the ears from the moment you put it on. While the Stealth 700 Gen 2 was never painful to wear, it was always a relief to take it off, especially after extended gaming sessions.
Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 performance
In terms of sound quality, the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 is somewhere between “good” and “excellent.” I tested the device with Halo 3: ODST, Blasphemous, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice and Donut County, and the headset provided rich, clear audio across the board. Gunning down Covenant soldiers in Halo 3 had a loud and immediate feel, while the chirps and blips in Donut County all felt pointed and exact.
The headset has similarly good balance for music and video, as I learned when I hooked it up to my PC. (You’ll need an Xbox Wireless Adapter to do this for the Xbox version; the PS4 version is compatible with the PC already). I was particularly pleased with the bass in tracks from bands like Flogging Molly and Old Crow Medicine show. Gaming headsets usually go very light on bass, and I was pleased to hear that this one balances treble, bass and vocals very well in its default soundscape.
Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 features
The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 is a mixed bag in terms of extra features. The Bluetooth functionality takes center stage here, as it’s extremely uncommon in wireless gaming headsets, particularly in the $150 price range. For the most part, Bluetooth worked marvelously, whether I was playing mobile games like Monument Valley 2 or taking long business calls. It helps that the Stealth 700 Gen 2’s mic is surprisingly clear and robust.
On the other hand, managing all the various buttons and options can be a pain. The Turtle Beach Audio Hub software can upgrade firmware for both the PS4 and Xbox versions of the headset, while you’ll need to use the Android or iOS app to tweak other settings. There, you can reprogram buttons (it’s especially useful to repurpose the chat mixer as a Bluetooth volume dial) and try out different sound EQ levels.
The bigger issue is that volume is extremely inconsistent from platform to platform. Tales of Crestoria on Android nearly blew my eardrums out when I first connected the headset, while I could barely hear a Rolling Stones song on Windows. Spotify didn’t have the same volume as YouTube. The volume dial is also extremely sensitive, and you’re more likely to land on “too loud” or “too soft” than a comfortable volume. The headset’s notification tones and voice are also painfully loud by default.
The battery life is also fine, as these things go: about 20 hours. Some wireless headsets cap out at 10, but others can go for 30 hours or more, so be prepared to charge the Stealth 700 Gen 2 now and then.
Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 verdict
During our Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 review, we found the headset to be great almost across the board, save for some software difficulties and a tight fit. Comfort is usually the most important thing in a gaming headset, and I’m not sure I’d want to use the Stealth 700 Gen 2 every day as a result. But in terms of what you get for your money — wireless connectivity, Bluetooth, excellent sound and mappable buttons — there’s no denying that the headset is a good value.
Given the choice, I’d still go with the more comfortable, PC-centric Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero, at least if you’re a PS4 player. (That headset works fine on PC, PS4 and docked Switch.) But for Xbox gamers in the market for a high-end wireless headset — particularly one that will work with the upcoming Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S — the Stealth 700 Gen 2 is well worth a look.
- More: Our picks of the best wireless gaming headsets
It pretty much bricked for me after one hour of charging and an attempt to upgrade firmware.
Anyone have similar experiences?