Turtle Beach Stealth 500 Headset Review – Budget Friendly & Incredibly Versatile Cans

Turtle Beach Stealth 500 Headset Review

Turtle Beach has made a name for themselves offering affordable gear that stacks up against the more costly competition. I’ve used an array of their headsets and mice over the course of my gaming career and have never once been disappointed. That’s not going to stop today. In fact, with one of their latest headsets, the Stealth 500, it’s clear that designing budget friendly headsets doesn’t have to come at the cost of quality.

Straight out of the box the new Stealth 500 is quite robust for such a small package. It comes with a short USB cable, wireless transmitter, and a quick start guide. It’s all black, with no splash of color aside from the light Turtle Beach logo and markings, yet it is insanely sleek. All the buttons and dials, as well as a seamlessly tucked mic can all be found on the left side. This flip to mute seamless mic design should be the new standard. It’s completely out of the way, so it won’t accidentally get bumped, no matter how animated you get while playing! There’s 4 buttons which include the one for power, as well ones for easy switching between wireless and Bluetooth, and switching between EQ presets. Additionally, there are two dials – one for chat volume and one for game/media volume.

Simple & Lightweight

The Stealth 500 is super lightweight. It’s a bit on the smaller side and comes fitted with a floating band for comfortability. If you have a bigger head or ears, or if you wear glasses, it’ll be a better fit without this band. Unfortunately it will come at the cost of support due to the complete lack of padding in the headband. And this is noticeable with longer gaming sessions. Thankfully, the ear cushions are a supple memory foam leatherette and offer plenty of comfort and support. The frame is well made, from good quality plastic, and without the vertical sizing option it actually seems to make this even more sturdy. It’s got plenty of “give” however, so no fear of this headset snapping.

The Stealth 500 features 40mm drivers that pack an incredible punch. There is no noticeable lag or delay in game noise or chat and they provide an engaging experience, regardless of what game you dive into. Even more so when using my favorite Turtle Beach feature: Advanced Superhuman Hearing. This makes it so much easier to isolate enemy footsteps or gunfire when playing First-Person Shooters or Action RPGs. Add the built-in EQ modes and the customizability of the Swarm II software and there’s a ton of versatility here. Each setting can be used for an array of situations, whether you’re trying out different games or music genres, or just chatting on the phone. The only real downside is the lack of bass offered when using the EQ modes. Thankfully the Swarm II software adjustments helped a bit. Not quite enough to fully enjoy bass heavy songs, but almost.

Swarm II Software is a Slam Dunk

The Swarm II software allows for convenience and customization. Here you’ll be able to toggle the Superhuman Hearing on or off, as well as adjust audio settings. These tweaks are invaluable and again ensures the Stealth 500 is extremely versatile. There’s also more EQ presets available to use! And as time goes on, this software will provide firmware updates to keep the Stealth 500 up to date and running without issue.

The Stealth 500 offers an average battery life of 40 hours. Which is completely on par with what Turtle Beach touted. At different volume levels this can vary slightly however; though not enough to have any real impact. Which means that you can definitely play for long periods of time before setting these to charge. As long as you’re in the habit of charging them every couple of days you’ll never have to worry about these dying mid-session.

Though the Stealth 500 may not be the best headset I’ve ever used, Turtle Beach delivers high quality on a budget yet again. It’s a welcome addition to my current Xbox setup and works well with the Switch as well. The Stealth 500’s got plenty of bells and whistles, and great sound quality that makes it well worth the price point. Add its sleek design, multi-platform use, and overall adaptability and it’s a steal! At just $80 USD it’s going to be difficult to find a more well-rounded gaming headset on the market right now.

***The Turtle Beach Stealth 500 (Xbox Version) was provided by the manufacturer***

The Good

  • Affordable
  • Versatility & Customization offered
  • Swarm II Software

The Bad

  • Lack of size adjustments available
  • Not the comfiest headband
  • Could use more bass