Turtle Beach Stealth 500 review

Turtle Beach Stealth 500 Gaming Headset Review

Turtle Beach has expanded its Stealth headset series with the 500 lineup. Coming in at $79.99, the Stealth 500 aims to provide must-have gaming headset features without breaking the bank. Is this budget offering worth buying? After testing the Xbox variant across both casual and competitive titles, it’s time for my review.

Bang for your buck

Turtle Beach Stealth 500 review

It might be cheaper than the flagship headsets that I’ve reviewed recently, but the Turtle Beach Stealth 500 can still deliver great sound for games. Happily, Turtle Beach continues to provide a solid out-of-the-box audio experience. If you’re moving from just using your TV speakers or an extremely low-end set of headphones, you’ll immediately notice the difference with the Stealth 500. There’s no offensively boosted bass or treble; nothing is drowned out. The lows are emphasized but not overpowering, and the highs are clear and well-managed. This sound signature is especially important in competitive titles where, yes, you want to feel immersed, but you also want to hear enemies around you.

Those who want to tune the sound profile to their liking can do so with the EQ modes. Turtle Beach has regularly encouraged use of the “Superhuman Hearing” setting over the years, fine-tuning settings with companion apps. However, I’ve always found that leaving things entirely stock works best for TB headsets. I also like to keep things naturally stereo with no virtual surround sound. Sometimes less is more and with the Stealth 500 headset, like many other TB products, I leave things completely stock and it works well.

I’d describe the sound quality as satisfactory for the price, and there’s enough clarity to distinguish where in-game sounds are coming from. If an enemy shoots or runs nearby, users will be able to track where they are.

Mic quality is perfectly fine, too. I wouldn’t use it for streaming to Twitch or YouTube, but it’s perfectly serviceable for party chat. There is a neat little microphone arm that tucks into the headset when not in use, which is a very clean design.

Long-lasting

Turtle Beach Stealth 500 review

My favorite thing about the Stealth 500 is its battery life. Turtle Beach rates it for 40 hours, and once the battery is dead, users can take advantage of a quick charge. With battery anxiety being a regular concern for wireless headset users, it’s great to see the Stealth 500 boasting big battery life and a quick way to recharge.

A dedicated QuickSwitch button switches the headset from 2.4 GHz wireless to Bluetooth mode, enabling quick pairing with another device. This is a nice touch that adds to the convenience.

Winning comfort

Turtle Beach Stealth 500 review

The Stealth 500 is comfortable, too. The headband is of the “floating” design, limiting pressure on the head and the cushioned earcups provide a comfortable seal and limit noise bleed. While I’m personally more partial to earcups made using more breathable materials, as the build of heat can irritate me during longer gaming sessions, those without that concern will surely love the faux leather for the boost of comfort they provide.

Build quality is about what you’d expect for a $79.99 headset. It’s not exactly premium, but I think the Stealth 500 will still stand the test of time as long as the user is careful. I’d also be wary of stuffing it in a backpack without first putting it in a hardshell case, though this is a common concern for most headsets I own.

In terms of design, I think the Stealth 500 looks, well, stealthy. My one nitpick is the number of buttons and dials on the left earcup. There are a lot of controls, and it’s easy to press the wrong button. Otherwise, it’s all fine.

Final Verdict

The Turtle Beach Stealth 500 Gaming Headset packs a lot of punch for its $79.99 price. It offers balanced, immersive sound that’s perfect for both casual and competitive gaming, without overwhelming bass or treble. The 40-hour battery life, quick charge feature, and decent mic quality are big pluses, and the comfortable design with a floating headband and cushioned earcups makes long gaming sessions a breeze. While the controls on the left earcup can be a bit much and you need to handle it carefully, the Stealth 500 is a solid offering.

Positives and Negatives

  • Reliable sound
  • EQ settings for those who want them
  • Solid mic quality
  • Fantastic battery life
  • Very comfortable
  • Build quality is lacking
  • Confusing button placement

8

Disclosure: Review sample provided by Turtle Beach.

Upcoming Releases
Reliable sound EQ settings for those who want them Solid mic quality Fantastic battery life Very comfortable Build quality is lacking Confusing button placement
Reliable sound EQ settings for those who want them Solid mic quality Fantastic battery life Very comfortable Build quality is lacking Confusing button placement
Reliable sound EQ settings for those who want them Solid mic quality Fantastic battery life Very comfortable Build quality is lacking Confusing button placement
Reliable sound EQ settings for those who want them Solid mic quality Fantastic battery life Very comfortable Build quality is lacking Confusing button placement

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