Turtle Beach is a company that has long been associated with Gaming. In fact, my very first pair of premium gaming headphones were the Turtle Beach Ear Force PX 21. As a grandpappy in the gaming world, Turtle Beach has long established itself as the go-to for an audio solution for console gamers.
A couple of years ago I had the opportunity to review the Stealth 600 Gen 2 from Turtle Beach. At the time I was impressed with the overall build quality and features that the 600 Gen 2 offered. Recently Turtle Beach sent over the newly revamped Steal 600 Gen 2 MAX. This refresh of the Stealth series is hoping to raise the bar on plug-and-play headphone design and quality of life for gamers. After a week of maximum volume testing and a whole lot of gaming, it's time to share my results on the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX headphones for Xbox. So grab that coffee, kick back and check out our review.
- Current Price: $129.99 (Amazon)
- Connection: USB Wireless Transmitter (2.4GHz wireless)
- Compatibility: Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One X/S, PS5, PS4, NS (docked), PC/Mac
- Speakers: 50mm with neodymium magnets
- Frequency Response: 20Hz - 20KHz
- Ear-Cup Design: Over-Ear (closed)
- Cushion Material: Fabric with Foam
- Mic: Flip-up Omni-Directional
- Battery: Rechargeable Lithium Polymer (rated for 48 hours)
That Old Familiar Feeling
The Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX follows the Turtle Beach standard of rugged comfort. Designed with gamers in mind the MAX keeps comfort at the forefront of design. The over-ear design encloses your whole ear and essentially encases you in an audio chamber. The muffs are large enough so as not to cover but rather comfortably keep your ear tucked inside the chamber. This results in a comfortable overall experience for the wearer.
One feature that I really appreciated in the design is Turtle Beach’s pattened ProSpecs glasses relief system. Though the name sounds fancy, it really is a simple system that relieves the pressure of wearing glasses while wearing headphones. There is a section of foam that is actually softer than the rest of the earpiece allowing for the arms of your glasses to easily rest against the side of your head without slowly drilling into your temples. It's a simple thing that makes a huge difference for those of us who wear glasses.
The rest of the design follows the standard Stealth series esthetic offering a durable overall headphone experience. The joints that connect the earpiece to the headband are heavy plastic construction and although I was a bit concerned at first I have found them to be quite durable in my testing. Speaking of the headband, Turtle Beach has installed a plush pad on the inside of the headband making the MAX quite comfortable to wear over long periods.
As with the older Stealth 600 Gen 2, I did note that the new MAX feels a little snug out of the box. That could be because I have a larger head but after a few days of wear, I’ve not noted any discomfort. Also carrying over from the Stealth 600 Gen 2 is the control and mic layout. Everything you need to control the MAX is located on the left earpiece.
A simple power button allows for a quick powerup as well as access to the new Superhuman Hearing mode (more on that later). Next to the power button is an EQ switch allowing you to cycle through 4 audio presets. Mic monitoring and volume controls are also present giving you complete control over the audio experience. The MAX also features the second generation of Turtle Beach’s flip-to-mute Mic system that wraps nicely into the earpiece when not in use.
Overall, the look and feel of the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 Max is clean, durable and efficient. Practically this design makes accessing and controlling the audio experience quick and seamless. Also, did I mention that you can get the MAX in red? The MAX actually offers three colors to choose from with Black and Artic Camo also available. It's a small thing but I do love having color options.
No Time To Waste
One of the best parts about the Gen 2 Max is the plug-and-play experience. It really doesn’t matter which device you connect to, it just works. The included USB WiFi transmitter has a simple toggle switch that allows you to flip between Xbox and USB modes. USB mode makes the headphones usable on other devices that support USB headsets. Thankfully chat still works when using USB mode for any devices or games that support in-game chat.
This quick switching between devices coupled with the plug-and-play design makes the Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX a seriously versatile headset to use. I was able to quickly jump between my PC, Mac and Xbox Series S within seconds. Each time the device was instantly recognized, including the mic. The whole process is seamless and is incredibly handy on the go. I’ve reviewed a lot of headphones for gaming over the years but none are as quick to set up and get gaming as the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX.
Another incredible feature is the immersive surround sound support that comes with the MAX. Out of the box, the Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX supports Windows Sonic, Dolby Atmos and DTS Headphone. As an added bonus the headphones can adapt to whichever is being used without any additional mode switching. As with every other part of the MAX design, it's a plug-and-play experience.
I will note that there is a cost to a plug-and-play experience and that comes in the form of customization. The MAX does come with four audio presets all of which can be cycled through using the mode button. Since there is no software to manage EQ, what you get is simply what you get.
That being said modes like Signature Sound and Bass Boost sound amazing for gaming and solid for music. There was enough of a difference with Vocal Boost during movies to make it worth switching to as well. It is a bit disappointing though that there isn’t any way to tweak the EQ. When weighed against the ease of use and coupled with the aforementioned modes it's really a small price to pay, however.
Immersive Audio Experience
There is a gamut of tests that are run when I review headphones. It's one thing to put on a pair of headphones and hear things but it's another to really push the drivers to see what they can handle. The Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX comes equipped with neodymium magnets. For those that might be new to magnets in headphones, neodymium magnets are some of the strongest available.
They are also much lighter than the next runner-up - ceramic making them great for headphones. Where they really stand out though is their magnetic energy per ounce. These little magnets can push much more energy per ounce than others which translates to higher sensitivity and much larger sound output. The cherry on top is that they can do all of this using much less power. When your headphones run on batteries this becomes a game changer (more on that later).
The first test run was a simple stress test. I ran the speakers on max volume for just under 50 hours playing music through them. At the end of that test, I was pleased to find that there were no crackling or excessively noisy frequencies. Next, I ran them through a series of frequency tests and did note some noise in the extremely low frequencies but nothing that impacted the overall listening experience. The mids and highs all sounded fine without any notable issues as well.
The surround sound tests were actually quite impressive. As it's a virtual surround sound experience you can always assume that it will work. What was impressive though was just how clean and clear it sounded. The MAX drivers push out some seriously clean sound overall.
Finally, I ran it through several games to see how well the surround sound works in a practical setting. I was not disappointed. Every game I threw at it produced great, clean audio in full immersive surround sound. More impressive was the quick hot-swapping between the Xbox, PC and Mac (yes I even gamed on the Mac for these tests just so you wouldn’t have to). Each time I swapped, the headphones were immediately recognized and had no issue outputting the audio I wanted.
Overall, the audio that is outputted by the MAX sounds great for gaming. The immersive surround sound really does add to the gaming experience. In regards to music, it's definitely serviceable but some of those mid and high frequencies get lost in the mix. It still sounds good and you could definitely listen to music for hours on them. With the Vocal Boost mode enabled, movies are actually quite enjoyable compared to other gaming headphones I’ve tested, which tend to lean too heavily into the bass(which, in fairness, does sound great for games). Overall the audio for the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX is great for gamers.
There is one note I need to touch on though. The MAX boasts an exclusive feature called Superhuman Hearing Sound Mode. By quickly pushing the power button you can flip over to this new mode. The idea is that certain sounds are heightened to give you a better awareness of your surroundings. Although an interesting idea in theory it doesn’t really sound great in practice. Essentially the gain is boosted while simultaneously pulling out a lot of the low end creating a very tinny, overly bright, audio experience. Some may find it helpful while gaming but it definitely wasn’t something I found functional or beneficial to my gameplay experience. Thankfully the headphones sound great without it.
The microphone is an interesting feature as well. I love the flip-to-mute function that comes with the Stealth series. It saves so much time not hunting for a button when you have to mute the mic so you can tell your mom you’d like your pizza rolls reheated. The mic itself is exceptionally rugged so there was never any fear of breaking it when performing the flip-to-mute procedure.
My only issue is with the overall quality of the mic itself. Equipped with an Omni-Directional pickup, the Steal 600 Gen 2 MAX excels at picking up sound consistently in a 360° pattern. The problem here is that also picks up every sound in a 360° pattern. Any room noise is going to be present in your chat audio and there is a bit of a hollow sound to the overall capture. It is definitely serviceable and assuming there isn’t a screaming banshee or small child in your gaming space your teammates shouldn’t have any issues hearing you. It would have been nice though to see something with a bit more focused pattern pick up though.
The final note I have on the MAX is in regards to battery life. Those neodymium magnets mentioned early really do help with power conservation. In my tests, I was able to get well over 40 hours on a single charge. I checked them at hour 44 and they were still going strong. When I went back at hour 50 they had finally powered off. So they definitely get close if not over that 48-hour plus mark that the spec sheet boasts. This is huge for gamers who, like me, tend to forget to plug in their headphones. The included USB C to A cable makes charging a breeze and does allow for listening while charging.
Overall the Turtle Beach Steal 600 Gen 2 MAX is a solid and versatile headset for gamers. It offers some of the most flexibility I’ve seen in a gaming headset and its quick plug and play capability makes it a godsend for gamers who use multiple platforms. Its incredible battery life and great audio experience also add to this already solid headset.
A gimmicky Superhuman hearing mode and a subpar mic are minor drawbacks as is not having any option to customize the EQ experience. However, this is all offset by the plug-and-play and versatile nature of the headset. Priced at $129.99 USD the Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Gen 2 MAX is a solid offering.
The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for evaluation purposes. Some links may include affiliate referrals that contribute toward supporting the site.