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Saturday, May 18, 2024

Turtle Beach Stealth Pro Review

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Over the last few years, we’ve seen the rise of halo-tier gaming headsets – feature-rich cans that aim to deliver cutting-edge technology and top-tier sound quality no matter what you may be listening to. They make up some of the best gaming headsets on the market and often have prices to match, and Turtle Beach has been taking notes. With the Stealth Pro, it’s delivered what’s easily the company’s best and most expensive ($329) headset yet, and if there’s a killer feature you’ve seen on the competition, there’s a good chance you’ll find it here too. You’ll have to dig deep in your pockets to pick one up for yourself, but if you demand the best, this is one of the best gaming headsets you can buy today.

Turtle Beach Stealth Pro – Photos

Turtle Beach Stealth Pro – Design and Features

The Stealth series has been one of the most popular in Turtle Beach’s line-up over the years, but with the Stealth Pro, the company went back to the drawing board. It has a completely refreshed look, putting it in league with other headsets that could double as normal headphones with the mic removed. It’s the opposite of brash. There’s no RGB, no colored stripes, no hard, aggressive angles. Instead, it’s a mix of matte black on the earcups and headband and gunmetal rings for the yokes and accents. Like its biggest competitor, the Steelseries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless, it’s a gaming headset all grown up.

Apart from appearance, the Stealth Pro is anything but minimalist. Turtle Beach has taken the kitchen sink approach with this headset and packed it full of technology and compelling features. Simultaneous dual mode wireless, active noise cancellation, swappable batteries, multi-platform compatibility, and an EQ-able noise-canceling microphone are highlights, on top of some of the best sonics Turtle Beach has ever delivered.

If you prefer the option to listen wired, however, that’s a feature it doesn’t offer. This is a wireless headset only. But while that might seem like a drawback at first, the Stealth Pro is one of the rare headsets where battery life just isn’t a major concern. Like the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless, it offers two swappable batteries. One pre-installed in the right earcup and the other in the combined charging dock and wireless transmitter. When the installed battery runs low, you swap it out for the one in the charging base, ensuring you always have a fully charged battery ready to go.

The Stealth Pro doesn’t pull this off quite as well as the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless, however. Battery life is roughly half that of the Arctis at 12 hours each, and less if you use simultaneous Bluetooth or ANC at the same time. The charging base is also pretty barebones with just the battery cradle, USB port, and switch to choose your platform, plus an RGB ring to show connection status. It doesn’t have a screen like the Nova Pro Wireless to provide useful information or customization options (though they’re accessible with a mobile or PC app).

Dual-mode wireless is another high point.

Still, the system does its job of effectively eliminating downtime while charging. The swapping system is ridiculously fast, too, taking me less than 25 seconds to swap batteries and start hearing game audio again. That might still be enough to make you die in a first-person shooter, but I’ll take 25 seconds over several hours tethered to a cable any day. If you do run short and only have the one battery one hand, the dock also supports fast charging with 15 minutes restoring about three hours of listening time.

Dual-mode wireless is another high point, allowing you to connect to your PC or console as well as a Bluetooth source and listen to both at the same time. You can listen to podcasts while fragging enemies or pass the time grinding side-quests with a good audiobook. If a call should come in, it automatically takes precedence while it’s active and restores playback as soon as it ends. The base station, on the other hand, uses low latency 2.4GHz wireless that was perfectly reliable and didn’t break up until I was nearly three rooms away with walls in between.

Controlling its functions is pleasantly straightforward. There are four buttons and a volume wheel, all positioned on the right earcup. Along the bottom edge of the cup are three buttons for power, Superhuman Hearing, and Bluetooth pairing/play/pause. The wheel controls Console or PC volume by default but can be remapped to control bass, sidetone, mic sensitivity, and more. The outer button cycles through ANC modes (ANC, Transparency, and Off) and can be held to swap the wheel to a second parameter, like Bluetooth source volume. It makes controlling two devices fast and easy and saves having to fiddle with your smartphone in the middle of a match.

The Stealth Pro comes in Xbox and PS5 versions and both are compatible with PC. Visually, the only difference is whether the transmitter lights up green or blue. If you have both consoles, the Xbox version is the better choice as it will also work with PS5. The PlayStation version will not work on Xbox.

The headset is also surprisingly comfortable for its fairly heavy 413 gram weight. It uses plush ear cushions, trimmed in leatherette for better sound isolation. The headband is less plush but still comfortable. I was worried it would lead to hot-spotting, but the design distributes its weight well and offsets it with a bit of extra grip force. Gamers with bigger heads might find them to be a bit too tight, but I was able to game for several hours in comfort and consider myself to be average in size and build. The depth of the earcups is also an improvement from the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless, but the overall fit is fairly small, and users with bigger ears might find themselves pressing up against the cushions.

Inside those cups, the Stealth Pro uses hand-paired 50mm Nanoclear dynamic drivers. The drivers are large and move a lot of air, creating a powerful yet very dynamic sound. I’ll go into depth on my impressions in the Performance section, but Turtle Beach surprised me with just how good they sound. They’re bass-rich but not overwhelming and can be tweaked using the app to create a sound profile that caters to your preferences.

The boom microphone is almost as good, offering a full-bodied sound with a minimum of compression as it filters out environmental noise. The character of the mic can be customized with a number of preset EQs, but each sounds good in its own right. The mic is also detachable, so when you want to use them just as headphones, you can simply unplug it and hide the port with an included plug. It’s still not as clear as a standalone microphone, but it’s perfect for chatting with friends over Discord and calling out plays to your teammates.

The built-in microphones leave a lot to be desired. Using the headset for calls is certainly possible, but in my test recordings, my voice sounded distant and like I was in a large room, even though I was only sitting at my desk. The most important thing is that people can hear you, and it passes that test, but they wouldn’t be my go-to cans for important wireless phone calls.

Turtle Beach Stealth Pro – Software

The Stealth Pro works in tandem with Turtle Beach’s Audio Hub software. Available as a mobile or PC app, it allows you to customize virtually every aspect of the headset. There are dedicated sections for customizing the sound of the headphones and microphone, turning Superhuman Hearing on and off and setting it to focus on footsteps versus gunshots. You can also create your own EQs to tailor their sound to your taste.

Turtle Beach Stealth Pro – Software

Turtle Beach has built a number of other interesting features into the app, as well. The microphone, for example, allows you to adjust both its sensitivity and sidetone, as well as a noise gate to block out external noise. ANC can be scaled up or down using a slider or toggled quickly on and off. It also allows you to adjust your game/chat balance on the fly.

You don’t have to miss out on these features when you’re playing on console either. By connecting to your smartphone over Bluetooth, the app provides you full control even when you’re away from your PC. It’s common to see smartphone apps offer fewer features than their full-fledged PC counterparts, but Turtle Beach really went above and beyond to ensure you have access to every feature no matter where you prefer to play.

Turtle Beach Stealth Pro – Performance

Fancy features don’t mean much if a gaming headset falls short in actual games, but the Stealth Pro is a performer. It’s a very versatile headset, so it’s worth taking the time to play around with its different presets and customizing it in for your taste, but when you do, you’ll find this is the best sounding gaming headsets in Turtle Beach’s whole catalog and one of the best on the market today for the money.

Having spent time with each preset and eventually creating my own EQ profile using the software, I was genuinely struck by how good it sounds. The actual sound profile will vary from user to user depending on the preset you choose, but what stood out to me is how well balanced it is. The bass can be big, bold, and cinematic, but it’s not bloated or unrefined. The drivers are fast enough to make the lows sound tight and impactful without becoming boomy or bloated into the mids.

At the same time, the mids and highs cut through with impressive clarity, making footsteps and gunshots pop out of the mix. For music and movies, vocals and dialogue seem to be a bit closer than the surrounding noise, making them easier to hear. There’s a sense of clarity throughout that’s not typical of gaming headsets. The Signature Sound preset was my favorite of the Turtle Beach-provided options and was a good balance for different types of content, but creating my own EQ made these headphones bangers for enjoying music on the go too.

I didn’t expect the Stealth Pros to sound as good as they do.

I consider myself a moderate audiophile and can honestly say that I didn’t expect the Stealth Pros to sound as good as they do. I put them right alongside the Steelseries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless in overall sound quality, but with a bit more bass to deepen the sound. They don’t have the same crystalline detail as high-end planar magnetic headsets, like the Audeze Penrose, but you’re not likely to find these lacking. Among gaming headsets with traditional dynamic drivers, these are some of the best.

ANC is also a cut above the Nova Pro Wireless, if only moderately – you also won’t find the ANC impressive if you’re already using one of the best noise-canceling headphones. It does a good job of cutting out low frequency noise but the clacks of my mechanical keyboard and the shouts of my young children were still able to cut through its isolation pretty easily. What the ANC algorithm might lack compared against Bose and Sony disappears once game audio begins to play, however. The gaps in its cancellation are filled in by game audio, leaving you in a blissfully isolated circle.

Superhuman Hearing is a system I have a love/hate relationship with and that hasn’t changed at all here. It works: turning it on draws out footsteps and can give you an edge in picking out the location of enemies, but it’s so destructive to the sound quality that I would never use it for more than short bursts. You have an advantage, but the game audio instantly becomes grating. I like that the headphones have a dedicated button for it, so I could quickly turn it on and off again when I needed that extra environmental awareness.

The battery system is great, but it's a shame that the life of each battery pack is so much shorter than the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless. At 12 hours each, I had to swap out once every few days where the Nova usually lasts a week or more between recharges.

Comfort-wise, I’ve already mentioned that the Stealth Pros are easy to wear for hours at a time, but their weight is something you’ll notice if you’re coming from a lighter headset. They didn’t make my head sore, but swapping back to my Nova Pro Wireless, I immediately noticed the difference. The Arctis feels almost airy in comparison, but since the Stealth Pro distributes its weight well, it’s not a major concern.


The Turtle Beach Stealth Pro is a truly excellent gaming headset. It sounds better than most other gaming headsets available today and is versatile enough that if you don’t like its stock sound, you can craft your own EQ that better matches your taste. ANC on gaming headsets is on the rise, and while it’s not quite competitive with the best noise-canceling headphones in the music market, it does its job well once games are playing. Add in dual mode, low latency wireless and swappable batteries, and you have a killer cocktail for a premium gaming headset. It’s not perfect, and the Steelseries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless still wins in some regards, but it’s excellent nonetheless and well worth considering for your next audio upgrade.

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