The first headset I ever purchased was a Turtle Beach one for my Xbox 360, after the included one just wasn't cutting it. I was so excited to have my first headset, and gingerly took it out of the box to admire on the train home... when it immediately broke into pieces. I haven't exactly had the highest opinion of the brand since, but even I have to admit the Turtles are well into their migration.
The distance between my first headset and the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max Wireless (gosh what a mouthful though) is as vast as the ocean.
This headset is immediately noticeable for its aesthetic, especially the navy and gold coloured edition I'm rocking. It has large, closed ear cups that are devoid of any RGB lighting or other gamer pizazz, instead favouring a simpler and cleaner design. The headband connects to the cups at the front, which makes the headset feel like you're putting it on backwards but that has it sit a bit more forward on the head.
Combined with the drop-down boom mic the strong fighter pilot vibes the Stealth Gen 2 offers up turns the wearer into a real cool looking maverick.
Connection: Wireless 2.4GHz, Bluetooth
Type: Closed back
Frequency response: 20Hz - 22kHz
Battery: 40+ hours
Connector: USB Type-C
Microphone: Flip-up Omni-Directional
Drivers: 50mm neodymium
Price: $199.99 USD | $319 AUD
The exterior, while looking very slick, is all plastic which isn't that uncommon, but due to the large flat panels it can feel a little cheap. The plastic microphone, while clear and fine for chat, makes a slight grinding noise when you pull it down, and the buttons and volume dials on the back don't feel as smooth as they should.
All of this isn't really on my radar in general use, and doesn't really affect my experience, but I'm reminded whenever I go to use these features that they could feel better. That's not what you'd hope for in a headset that costs $200 ($319 AUD).
I was worried the pads on the cups themselves might be similar and feel a little cheap, but thankfully they couldn't be further away in terms of construction. The pads are huge and plush. They have a synthetic leather finish on the sides and a softer piece for the face, which doesn't seem to absorb sweat. There's also a cooling layer that stops the finish from getting too warm on your face. Often headsets with these pads can feel too hot to wear after even short gaming sessions, but I haven't felt that way with these cans.
As a bonus for my bespectacled comrades, there's even an adjustable portion of the pad for the arms of glasses. You have to take the pads off first, which is a bit more difficult than the manual leads you to believe, but once you do it's simple to adjust this setting. It also gives you a good look at the cups and speakers underneath, which is a boost of confidence if nothing else. Still, this glasses mode is a great touch, especially because these headphones are very fond of your head.
If you've ever felt unloved, I recommend getting this headset. The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max delivers the tightest hug my head has ever received without being uncomfortable. It is a good thing these cans have so much padding because there is little to no stretch in the width of the bands.
I was really expecting be in some discomfort pretty quickly due to the pressure they exert, but somehow, they don't ever get to that point. They give enough room to completely enclose the ears and have a firm grip on your cranium without crushing it from the sides. I found that I tended to tire at the top of my head under the headband first, which could probably do with a little more padding akin to its padded cup brothers.
This could also be partially due to the weight of the headset. It's not crazy heavy, but it is noticeably heavier than other headsets I've used, such as the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless.
I could put this down to the battery life, because it is truly quite good. I'd say I got about 3 days' worth of on and off use, including long music listening sessions while working and many gaming sessions before needing a charge. However, the HyperX Cloud Alpha Wireless does still hold the top spot for battery. That being said, the Stealth 700 Gen 2 probably has the second-best wireless battery of any headset I've used, and there's no shame in silver.
As far as sound goes, that's another place where the Stealth 700 Gen 2 does a fine job, though certainly not the best. It handles music, games, and music all fairly well, especially if you've got Dolby compatibility, but doesn't handle its highest volumes—which are far too loud anyway—too well.
It has extra modes to do things like enhance footsteps, but the software is clunky and only usable via a mobile device. And on top of that I found it doesn't really do much. In every mode I felt a good sense of spatial sound, and I could hear enemy footsteps and directions well.
I find the Turtle Beach cans best for atmospheric sounds though. While exploring the new Sumeru area in Genshin Impact, I was enjoying the always excellent soundtrack when suddenly it started to rain all around me in the tropical jungle. I set my controller aside to experience a stolen moment in another world, which absolutely has to be the mark of a good headset.
Another huge boon to the Stealth 700 Gen 2's arsenal is its range of connectivity. It comes with a dongle—which arguably could be smaller—that works with PC and Xbox. Then on top of that you've got Bluetooth pairing for devices such as the Switch or mobile phones. It's a headset that works with everything I own and is very easy to move to and from devices. You can even have multiple connections with Bluetooth and dongle at the same time, so it's a useful little beast indeed.
One thing's for sure, the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max Wireless is the best Turtle Beach headset I've ever tried, and might be the best one the company has ever made. It looks cool, feels mostly very comfy, does a good job at sound, has a great battery, and works with everything. You're not getting full audiophile quality, but it's still pretty good for a gaming headset, especially if you're a fan of anything running Dolby sound. The biggest drawback, however, is all that plastic feels a little cheap considering much it costs. And with this somewhat over-eager head hugger it's also hard to recommend unless you've given it a try first.