Just over a month ago I got to review the Turtle Beach XO Seven Pro headset, it was brilliant. It was one of the most comfortable headsets I used in a long time, it looked good, sounded great now keeps me company at work when I’m designing.
There were two things missing for me on them though, Surround Sound (even though the superhuman hearing feature was cool) and having to use wires to chat. Thankfully both those issues have been resolved thanks to the Turtle Beach Stealth 500x headset.
I couldn’t wait to open these bad boys up, the packaging is simple yet elegant, coming in a plain white box with a shiny silver white Turtle Beach logo on them. Inside you’ll find the headset, wireless transmitter, digital optical cable, charging cable and mobile lead.
Setting up couldn’t be simpler, the transmitter is powered by USB and you’ll also need the digital optical cable, they both plug into the Xbox One. It’s then a case of making sure the console to ensure that the digital audio matches the information in the guide that came with the headset, then all you need to do is turn the headset on and you are good to go, you shouldn’t need to pair them to the transmitter.
The Stealth 500x is a nice looking headset, though I was a little disappointed with the outside of ear cups, the shiny plastic and buttons feel a bit cheap, considering this is a higher end headset (with high-end) price, I would have expected a bit of a better build, thankfully this is my only real complaint about the headset.
The mesh lining and foam cushioning make for very comfortable gaming sessions, they are also fairly light, so you never feel like you are being weighed down by them. The battery life is excellent, the most of managed is 14 hours, which is better than any headset I’ve reviewed previously. You get an audio notification when the battery is running low, and you can use them while they charge. It would have really helpful if you could have charged the internal battery using the plug and play kit for the controllers, but instead you need to use a mini-USB cable.
Of course what you really want to know is how they sound, to which the answer is brilliant! I’ve been testing the headset for four weeks across a huge range of titles, new and old and was really impressed with the performance. The DTS Headphone:X 7.1 sound is excellent and to make things even better there are loads of custom presets that will enhance your gameplay experience. It takes a bit of time to remember which preset does what but there is a handy guide available to help you remember. The different modes really do make a difference to your experience, whether you are gaming, listening to music or watching films.
The Stealth 500X can also be updated via Turtle Beach software which you download to your PC, you’ll need two USB ports available so that you can plug both the transmitter and the headset at the same time to get new firmware updates, but it is worth doing to fix any bugs or add additional features. You can then download different sound profiles to your headset too to try out some of the different presets that are available.
I recently reviewed Slender: The Arrival and was really looking forward to seeing how the sound would scare me senseless, and it worked brilliantly, the 500x’s made me acutely aware of my surroundings, especially when being chased by the Slender man. For comparison to the XO Seven Pros I had to try out my go to game, FIFA 15, again I was expecting some great results but it’s fair to say I was blown away by how much detail they picked up from the crowd. With the recent release of the awesome Forza Horizon Fast and Furious game it was a perfect excuse to see how some of the greatest cars in the world sounded from the comfort of my lounge, again I couldn’t fault what I heard, especially from the in-car view, the different mechanical sounds from each machine could be heard and you felt like you were right in the action.
Typically when you get immersed in a game world you are prone to raising your voice a bit too much, especially when you are playing with your friends. Turtle Beach have really perfected the mic monitoring and everything I use a new headset I am more impressed, the Stealth 500x has the best monitoring by far, there are two modes, one for use in quieter rooms and one for louder ones. The sensitivity on the quiet room mode is superb and makes a huge difference to how loud I am! The microphone is much better too, firstly because it is completely wireless, you don’t need to use the chat adapter on the Xbox One controller, everything is managed on the earcups, and it works perfectly. Friends that I have gamed with have commented on how much the quality has improved. The boom mic is removable but the socket for connection the boom isn’t as subtle as some of the other TB sets I’ve used.
I’m really impressed with this headset, build quality aside, the audio is excellent, it’s easy to use and the mic monitoring is the best it’s ever been, it might be an expensive set but you will be paying for an awesome headset that you will use for years to come.