With the arrival of the Stealth Pro, Turtle Beach has once again cemented itself as a leader in the gaming headsets market. Yes, Turtle Beach has been one of the most recognizable names in the gaming audio space for nearly two decades, but as the field crowded with formidable competitors, Turtle Beach fell behind the pack in terms of quality. Turtle Beach’s Stealth Pro is not only the manufacturer’s best headset ever, but also one of the best gaming headsets you can buy in 2023 across all platforms.
One glance at the sticker price will probably make you think: Well, I would hope it’s good for that price. And that price happens to be $330. So, yeah, you’re wearing a headset that costs more than the Xbox Series S or Nintendo Switch you’re potentially playing on. The price is undoubtedly hard to stomach, and it puts the Stealth Pro in a niche but growing category of ultra-premium gaming headsets. Most flagship headsets nowadays retail in the $150-to-$200 price range–headsets like the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 and Razer BlackShark V2 Pro. And for most players, those headsets offer more than enough in terms of performance, comfort, looks, and durability.
The Stealth Pro is a different beast; it’s a headset that attempts to do for gaming audio what Sony and Bose did for studio headphones. And Turtle Beach isn’t actually breaking new ground here. The Stealth Pro was obviously designed to compete with the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro, a $350 gaming headset that was quite easily the best headset I’ve ever tried from basically the moment I started gaming with it.
Turtle Beach Stealth Pro
Given Turtle Beach’s lackluster recent output, such as the garish and rather uncomfortable Stealth 700 Max Gen 2 (a $200 headset), I didn’t really expect the Stealth Pro to rival the Arctis Nova Pro.
I was wrong.
The Stealth Pro actually beats the Nova Pro in a couple of notable areas, including noise cancellation and customization. The Nova Pro does beat it in comfort and looks, but the Stealth Pro isn’t far behind, which is impressive in and of itself since SteelSeries’ Arctis series essentially reinvented the with its unique and highly effective ComfortMax system.
Out of the box, the Stealth Pro has a rich, vibrant sound whether you’re using 2.4GHz wireless or Bluetooth 5.1. Turtle Beach really knocked it out of the park when it comes to the audio drivers, as the 50mm drivers excel mightily with both lows and highs. The bass in particular is quite impressive. Many gaming headsets struggle with deep lows, but the Stealth Pro remains crisp and clear.
What differentiates the Stealth Pro from the competition are its convenient and versatile customization features, which are notably present across all of your devices. The Turtle Beach Audio Hub is available on both PC and mobile (iOS and Android). Whereas most high-end headsets reserve their customization features for PC (including the Nova Pro), the Stealth Pro doesn’t have that limitation. Your personalized audio settings are stored on the headset, which means you can take advantage of nearly all of the robust customization features on not just PC, but Xbox, PlayStation, and mobile devices via Bluetooth.
The app has a wide range of basic and advanced features. Sliders let you adjust active noise cancellation, treble, bass and vocal boost, and Turtle Beach’s Superhuman Hearing tech. Superhuman Hearing is Turtle Beach’s way of pinpointing and identifying sounds that you might not hear otherwise. On the Stealth Pro, this tech has never been better thanks to the clarity provided by the improved audio drivers.
The Stealth Pro looks more like a regular pair of headphones than a traditional Turtle Beach headset
If you want to really get into the weeds, you can create custom presets using the advanced settings. These 10 sliders adjust frequencies in relation to decibels across all 10 audio bands. With advanced settings–which by nature are aimed at audiophiles–you have further control over your audio, allowing you to create a more distinct profile than you would be able to otherwise.
Universal compatibility is what makes the Stealth Pro’s customization features so nice. But if you’re strictly a PC player, personalization is still better on SteelSeries’ Sonar due to precise tweaks you can make to highlight or mask very particular sounds. For multiplatform gamers and particularly those who favor consoles, the Stealth Pro wins in the customization arena.
By far the most impressive customization feature on the Stealth Pro is the active noise cancellation. To put it simply, it has the best noise-canceling tech of any gaming headset. Previously, that honor went to the Nova Pro, but the Stealth Pro offers a noticeable difference. On the technical side, this feature maxes out at -25db of noise reduction at 100Hz. For comparison, the Nova Pro hits -16db. To compare them, I turned a fan on the highest setting and sat next to it with active noise cancellation tuned to the max. I could only faintly hear the fan with the Stealth Pro, but the hum of the blades was still identifiable with the Nova Pro. To be clear, the Nova Pro’s noise-canceling tech is stellar; it’s just that almost a year has passed and Turtle Beach has topped it. And on the other side of the spectrum, the Stealth Pro’s transparency mode is sublime. If you want to hear the game audio while still being plugged into the world around you, that works well, too.
Like all gaming headsets, there are inputs on the earcups as well. Turtle Beach kept things simple here with a power button, Bluetooth activation, and a toggle button between the Superhuman Hearing and the built-in microphone. But the outer ring of the right earcup has a nifty wheel–not a small dial; the whole rim rotates–that’s mapped to volume control by default. You can map it to other functions, such as Superhuman Hearing, base and treble boost, active noise cancellation, game and chat mix (on Xbox), and more. In the center of the wheel is a button that can be remapped to toggle ANC, noise gate, or chat boost, and it can cycle through the audio presets.
Rather than pairing with a traditional 2.4GHz dongle, the Stealth Pro has a small transmitter station that plugs into your console or PC via USB. There’s a toggle that switches between Xbox and PC or PlayStation and PC. Unfortunately, you can only be connected to one console or PC at a time–you have to switch the cable connection when changing devices. However, you can have two simultaneous connections by pairing to a Bluetooth device in addition to the transmitter.
Important aside here: You should buy the Xbox version of the Stealth Pro, not the PlayStation. The headsets are identical. The difference? The Xbox version also works on PC and PlayStation. The PlayStation version does not work on Xbox. This sounds silly, but it’s normal for “universal” headsets due to Xbox’s unique wireless protocols. The USB-C connection on the Xbox transmitter meets those protocols; the PlayStation transmitter does not. When using the Xbox version on PlayStation, the toggle is switched to PC. So unless you don’t have an Xbox or know with absolute certainty you’ll never get one, the Xbox edition is the comprehensive Stealth Pro.
Turtle Beach Stealth Pro transmitter
Just like the Nova Pro, the Stealth Pro comes with two battery packs, one of which charges in the transmitter while playing. This means you’ll never have to connect your headset to a USB-C cable to charge while gaming on PC, Xbox, or PlayStation–you simply pop off a faceplate on the left earcup and swap the battery packs. It’s a welcome feature, especially since the Stealth Pro only gets around 12 hours on a full charge–not a high figure by modern standards.
When it comes to the mics, the Stealth Pro has some nice features. It comes with a detachable cardioid boom mic and also has a pair of built-in microphones–a handy little perk for mobile since you can take calls and use voice assistants without having a boom mic in front of your face. Microphone tech hasn’t evolved as much as audio drivers in recent years–at least from a noticeable standpoint. All of the microphones work well, and during my testing, they did a solid job of eliminating background noise. However, I wouldn’t say the microphone is better than the average mid- to high-end headset.
A feature-rich gaming headset isn’t worth much if it isn’t comfortable to wear for lengthy gaming sessions. The ugly truth is that many, many gaming headsets–even expensive ones!–suffer from this pesky, and sometimes painful, issue. I’ve tested dozens of gaming headsets over the past few years, and the majority of them have caused ear soreness and skull pressure–sometimes within an hour of putting them on. If you wear glasses like myself, the discomfort is often even worse. Although there are exceptions, price often correlates with comfort as much as audio quality with gaming headsets, so it’s not surprising that the Stealth Pro is one of the best ever in the comfort department.
The Stealth Pro’s large, leatherette earcups disperse heat very well, and the plush memory foam didn’t cause any ear discomfort. The earcups swivel, which is a fairly standard but welcome feature. It’s worth noting I wore these for nearly the entire work day for multiple weeks straight. The sturdy headband is padded with the same leatherette and memory foam. The earcup and headset design makes the Stealth Pro friendly for those who wear glasses (many headsets are awful in this regard).
The Stealth Pro has plush, memory foam earcups wrapped in leatherette.
But even though the Stealth Pro has a comfier fit than the vast majority of gaming headsets, it isn’t as good as the Nova Pro (or even the Nova 7) in this regard. As alluded to earlier, the ComfortMax system that SteelSeries uses is unmatched for headband design. The design is simple but highly effective: an adjustable elastic fabric band that keeps the pressure of the headband off of your skull. This makes the Nova Pro feel lighter, almost to the point that I forget it’s there. That’s not the case with the Stealth Pro, which feels tighter and “always there.” Again, it’s not painful, it’s just not stealthy in this aspect.
The Stealth Pro is also bulkier than the Nova Pro. It’s certainly not unwieldy like some other recent Turtle Beach headsets, but it’s not sleek, either. I will say that it is the least “gaming” look Turtle Beach has gone with due to the nearly all-black, clean design.
The design is notable because these ultra-premium gaming headsets can also double as regular, everyday headphones. No, the audio isn’t on the level of high-end music headphones like the Sony WH-1000XM5, but no gaming headset can be expected to match traditional headphones in this way. However, just like the Nova Pro, the Stealth Pro can definitely double as a solid pair of conventional headphones–the superb active noise cancellation and other customization features are excellent when paired with a smartphone via Bluetooth.
The bottom line
And again, that’s what makes the Stealth Pro such an incredible piece of tech: its versatility. To be able to use one premium headset on all platforms without feature omissions and customization compromises makes the Stealth Pro the best universal gaming headset available now. At a price point of $330, the Stealth Pro is the definition of “not for everyone.” If you care deeply about audio and/or noise cancellation and also think your current headset is a pain to wear, the Stealth Pro might be for you.
The Turtle Beach Stealth Pro comes in Xbox (universal) and PlayStation models and releases April 23. Both models come with the headset, transmitter, two USB-C cables, two batteries, and a detachable boom mic. Everything in the box can be stored in the included soft plush drawstring bag.
The products discussed here were independently chosen by our editors.
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