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If you could only keep one of your five senses while gaming, which one would you pick? Surely smell is straight out of the window, and I’m hoping nobody is keeping taste. Touch wouldn’t be far behind - the novelty of a vibrating controller has lost its charm at this stage in video games’ life span, I think we can all agree. That leaves us with two real contenders - sight and sound.
To end the debate, I’m sure we’d all realistically be picking sight, but gaming headset manufacturers have been working hard over the last couple of decades to level the playing field. In this modern world of households having multiple consoles and devices that require a versatile set of headphones, Turtle Beach are more than happy to offer their new Stealth 700 Gen 2 MAX for your consideration.
Check out the headset's official video below.
The astute among you might notice that Turtle Beach already released the Stealth 700 Gen 2 last year, but this MAX version carries a few differences. Over double the battery life and an accompanying app to find your perfect levels, and added multiplatform capability are arguably the standout features of the newer model.
Before anything else, the major hurdle most pieces of tech must overcome is one of simplicity. Can you just plug the thing in and go, without having to leaf through manuals and settings menus and everything else before you can experience your new kit. With the Gen 2 MAX, the answer is a resounding yes. Straight out of the box, you simply plug the USB dongle into your console, turn on the headset itself and once everything is paired, you’re away. I was in voice chat playing a game with zero issues no more than two minutes after I opened the box. Simplicity. The Bluetooth connectivity also makes it compatible with your phone, hi-fi and anything else you can get a signal out of.
While the Stealth 700 is marketed (rather aggressively) as an Xbox Series accompanying peripheral, in actuality it can work with any console. I tested mine on a PlayStation 5 and an Xbox Series S and it worked exactly the same on both - with minimal fuss.
The audio itself was crisp and clear, with only a slight hint of delay that I noticed. This could of course have been my own internet connection but regardless, the amount of audible lag was essentially negligible. If we have to be picky, the bass and mid do tend to overshadow the top end frequencies but in the heat of any given gaming moment, you won’t be able to tell much of a difference. The mic is excellent too, though it does have a tendency to pick up any sound within your immediate radius, so be mindful if you live in a noisy household.
The Stealth 700 is billed as a glasses friendly headset, and as somebody who wears specs for watching TV and such, I was excited to see exactly how that would be reflected in the comfort levels. I’m here to say that they were exactly average. While the memory foam earpieces didn’t aggravate my glasses in any way, the tightness of the cans did cause them to sit at awkward angles that I had to adjust a few times. Hardly a deal breaker, but if you also game with four eyes, it’s something you’ll want to be aware of.
One of the benefits of Turtle Beach’s latest is that it’s completely Bluetooth enabled. There’s a USB-C cable in the box that you can use to charge up the headset, but with a minimum of 40 hours of wire-free gaming guaranteed, you won’t be needing it all too often. I’ve been after a wireless headset for a while and I have to say, going from wired to wireless is night and day. I’m not sure I could ever go back having experienced the joys of the Gen 2 MAX. The overall look of the headset, too, is one of sleek understatement. I often joke to myself that the real test of any piece of gaming hardware is whether I’d be caught dead with it outside my own house and with this, I think I'd be just fine. Once the mic has flipped up, you’d have to get really up close and personal to notice it’s a gaming headset at all.
The final point of consideration is one of price. The Stealth 700 Gen 2 MAX swoops under the radar at £180 ($200) and considering the quality of the product, I’d say it’s pretty fair value for the money. Realistically it’s going into the same category as competitor hardware like SteelSeries' Arctis 9X or Corsair’s Virtuoso RGB Wireless XT but at a fraction of the price, and it has to be said, much better looking, too.
Overall, you’re going to be hard pressed to find a better headset for the cash, and the Stealth 700 Gen 2 MAX is Turtle Beach’s best headset to date - a real triumph of audio-gaming technology. If you’re looking for a cross between style, simplicity and comfort for a decent price, this is the headset for you.
The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 MAX is available now. Headset was provided for review by the developer.
Featured Image Credit: Turtle Beach
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