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We tested 23 mainstream gaming headsets to find the best

Turtle Beach Star Wars Battlefront

Turtle Beach Star Wars Battlefront

- Design: closed-back
- Interface: analog
- Audio: 4/10
- Microphone clarity: 9/10
- Comfort: 3.5/10
- Detachable cable: no
- Extras: Star Wars design, in-line volume/mic control
- Price: $100

Turtle Beach has been in the audio game for well over 2 decades. Although it doesn’t make sound cards anymore, it’s got a huge headset offering. One of the latest is the company’s Star Wars Battlefront headset, which is a $100 headset with only mid-level performance.

Frequency response

Frequency response

Distortion

Distortion

Left/right driver balance

Left/right driver balance

Latest prices on Turtle Beach Star Wars Battlefront

The Star Wars Battlefront’s sound is similar to that of the Razer Kraken in that it sounds compressed. There’s a lack of soundstage and audio sounds flat and lacks depth. However, the headset’s tonal quality is balanced, without severe spikes or dips in its frequency response. Musically, it plays as a entry level pair of headphones.

The bass frequencies are the headset’s best trait. Bass is controlled, well defined and sounds musical. This musical quality extends into the mid-range frequencies and moves into the high range as well. Whether by accident or by design, the Star Wars Battlefront does a good job of subduing frequencies that many would deem harsh sounding. However, in the mid-ranges, there seems to be some sort of resonance, as perceived volume is noticeably pronounced. If you want to associate  what kind of sounds can be pushed, think of a flute.

The ear pads on the headset seal well, which helps with the headset’s bass, but unfortunately they’re stiff, so some may find the Star Wars Battlefront a little tiring to wear for long durations. Fortunately, the headset is very lightweight. 

Lastly, Turtle Beach made this headset feel really cheap. It’s actually pretty bad for $100.

Turtle Beach Stealth 450

Turtle Beach Stealth 450

This image shows the wrong headphones.

- Design: closed-back
- Interface: analog
- Audio: 5/10
- Microphone clarity: 9/10
- Comfort: 3.5/10
- Detachable cable: yes
- Extras: in-line volume/mic control
- Price: $130

Musically, the Stealth 450 gets most of what I’d expect done well. The headset has decent sound, even on the warm side of tone, and produces a good amount of detail. There’s resolution here. Transient response is also well placed, and that makes the Stealth 450 fairly good at producing a good soundstage as well.

Frequency response

Frequency response

Distortion

Distortion

Left/right driver balance

Left/right driver balance

Latest prices on Turtle Beach Stealth 450

Mids and mid-highs are more forward than other frequencies so vocals stand through loud and clear, but a bit too much so. I wish the bass response had more volume, especially since it’s musical and tight, but it drops off too early and lacks extension.

There’s a noise or hiss at very high volumes on the Stealth 450, so we’ll either say the in-line volume control is of poor quality or something else. Either way, it’s there.

Wearing the Stealth 450 is not very comfortable. The ear pads feel stiff and don’t fit well on larger heads. The ear pads also don’t seal very well and can contribute to the perceived lack of bass performance. There’s also an annoying auto-shutdown every 10 minutes when you’re using the Stealth 450 in mobile mode, which allows audio to pass through from a phone. Having to require battery power in this mode is an equally annoying trait.

Turtle Beach Ear Force Z60

Turtle Beach Ear Force Z60

Earforce for Broforce!

- Design: closed-back
- Interface: analog
- Audio: 7.5/10
- Microphone clarity: 9/10
- Comfort: 7.5/10
- Detachable cable: yes
- Extras: DTS sound module, in-line volume/mic control
- Price: $85

Musically, the Ear Force Z60 is the best sounding Turtle Beach headset. It has good soundstage, good imaging, good balance of the entire frequency. There’s a fair amount of bass, and it’s controlled, musical bass. There’s no boominess and not once did I find that the bass overshadowed any other frequency. The Ear Force Z60 also has good resolution and detail retrieving ability, letting it resolve fine nuances. Highs are clear and transient is good, contributing to a wide soundstage where sounds are easily localized.

Frequency response

Frequency response

Frequency response: game mode

Frequency response: game mode

Frequency response: movies mode

Frequency response: movies mode

Frequency response: music mode

Frequency response: music mode

Distortion

Distortion

Left/right driver balance

Left/right driver balance

Latest prices on Turtle Beach Ear Force Z60

The Ear Force Z60 comes with its own USB sound source, which as it own DTS modes for music, movies, and games. However, triggering those modes did not produce desirable audio quality and the Ear Force Z60 is best when left with those modes turned off. Multi-channel simulation on headphones just doesn’t do very well. The right way to go about 3D sound is to use HRTFs, but HRTFs aren’t being used here.

The Ear Force Z60 fits well and has good seal around the ears. It may not fit larger heads, and Turtle Beach’s offerings seem to be only accommodating to those with medium and smaller noggins. Clamp is good without being tiring, and the Ear Force Z60 can be used for extended listening.

One thing to note is, Turtle Beach seems to have the best performing mics of all the headsets in this roundup. They sound crisp and clear, and are the most adjustable of any of the mics. They're also cheap and replaceable. You can buy them directly from Turtle Beach for $15.

Tuan Nguyen
Tuan is the Editor-in-Chief of Maximum PC, and loves all things tech. He's been building PCs and ruffling feathers in the industry for 20 years, and isn't afraid to call out bad products and services. In fact, it's very common to hear the words "this is shit" escape his lips. If you want to know if something is "Kick-Ass" or not, email or tweet him.