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Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max review

Beyond Xbox

Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max
(Image: © Future)

TechRadar Verdict

The basic design hasn’t changed much, but the new USB adaptor included with the Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max provides compatibility with a wider range of devices than its predecessor. Battery life is better too, and the Audio Hub app offers useful options for adjusting the sound. It’s a shame that switching between USB and Bluetooth modes can sometimes be fiddly.

Pros

  • +

    Strong bass and sound effects for gaming

  • +

    Comfortable design

  • +

    Good connectivity

Cons

  • -

    Sound quality dips outside of gaming

  • -

    Switching audio modes can be awkward

Two-minute review

The Stealth 700 Gen 2 released by Turtle Beach last year was an impressive wireless headset, but it did leave room for improvement. The sound quality wasn’t always as precise as it could have been. While it did provide Bluetooth for connecting to PCs and other devices, the headset is meant for use with Xbox consoles via Microsoft’s Xbox Wireless technology. 

The new Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max casts its net wider, as the ‘Max’ bit stands for ‘maximum compatibility’. Bluetooth is still available, but the Max headset now includes a new USB wireless adaptor to provide a faster, lag-free alternative to Bluetooth for PC, Mac, Playstation 4 and PlayStation 5, and Nintendo Switch. Turtle Beach has improved the headset’s battery life, doubling it to 40 hours for this model. Elsewhere, the design of the Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max is unchanged, using the same 50mm neodymium drivers as its predecessor, housed in rather large – but comfortable – earpieces. 

Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max

(Image credit: Future)

Price And Availability

The Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max is available now in the US and UK and will cost you $199.99 (£179.99) but it is currently still unavailable in Australia. 

That’s relatively expensive for a gaming headset. However, keeping the price below $200 keeps it in line with rivals such as the SteelSeries Arctis Pro, and well below luxury brands such as the Master & Dynamic MG20 Wireless Gaming Headphones. And, if you’re an Xbox Series X owner, the original 2021 model of the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max is still on sale for $150.00 (£120.00/AU$249.00).

At that price, you should also consider the best PC gaming headsets, as there may be something more to your tastes. If you're looking to spend less then check out the best budget gaming headsets.

Design and features

  • 50mm neodymium drivers
  • memory foam earpieces
  • adjustable EQ settings

Admittedly, the Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max isn’t the most elegant of headsets, and its bulky earpieces and sturdy metal and plastic headband mean that you look like a Cyberman from Dr Who. The design is very comfortable, though, and the earpieces’ memory foam padding, with a dash of cooling gel, stops you from overheating when the going gets tough. 

Turtle Beach pays good attention to detail, too, with a ProSpecs feature that allows you to adjust the earpieces if you wear glasses. The boom mic automatically mutes when you push it upwards, and we also like the fact that the mic folds into the body of the left earpiece, hiding it completely when it’s not in use.

We tested the Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max with its USB adaptor plugged into a gaming PC, and the headset pairs with the adaptor automatically, so it takes no time at all to get started. However, Turtle Beach also provides an Audio Hub app for iOS and Android devices, which you can use via Bluetooth. The app isn’t essential, but it includes useful options such as EQ settings for adjusting bass, treble, vocals, and the ability to adjust the microphone's sensitivity. 

Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max

(Image credit: Future)

We encountered some problems when switching between USB and Bluetooth audio. The Audio Hub app on iPhone could connect to the headset via Bluetooth and adjust various settings, but it wouldn’t let us play audio via Bluetooth. It took a little experimenting and Reddit research to solve the problem. It didn’t help that you have to download a separate app for PC/Mac to update the headset's firmware. 

So while the USB adaptor provides a quick and easy option for audio pairing, the Bluetooth side of things seems a little erratic. The USB adaptor also has a USB-A connector, with no adaptor provided for USB-C connections, so if your gaming rig only has USB-C – which is the case with quite a few laptops these days – you’ll need to provide your own adaptor. 

Sound quality

  • firm bass
  • detailed sound
  • ‘superhuman’ mode for gaming

Our review of the original Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 noted that the headset could sound a little “muddy” at times, but the 2.4GHz adaptor provided with the Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max means that sound quality is no longer at the mercy of highly compressed Bluetooth audio. There’s a rich, woody texture to the didgeridoo that opens Kate Bush’s The Big Sky (Meteorological Mix), and the Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max lands the catchy slap-bass riff with a satisfying thud. The avalanche of drums and percussion in the closing section of the song sounds terrifically powerful and rhythmic. There’s still a little room for improvement, as smaller details, such as the shimmering tambourine, get a little lost in the dense wall of sound.

Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max

(Image credit: Future)

The sound works well for gaming, though. It’s a rainy day in The Elder Scrolls Online, and the ominous rumble of distant thunder sets the mood nicely as I log in. The game’s orchestral score sounds appropriately dramatic, and there’s a satisfying bass rumble as my sorcerer starts chucking spells around. 

There’s also a button on the left earpiece that can activate ‘superhuman hearing’ mode. This setting dials down the bass a little and heightens higher frequencies so you can hear details such as light footsteps more clearly. I’m standing on the outskirts of a small town, and the ‘superhuman’ mode emphasizes other players' movements quite noticeably, making it easier to follow their movements as they mill around me. That might not be essential for open-world games such as ESO, but it’ll certainly be handy for team-based shooters where you need to pay close attention to the location and movement of rival players, such as Overwatch 2

The mic also works well, picking up my voice very clearly, and the Audio Hub app allows you to adjust the sensitivity of the mic and activate a ‘noise gate’ that helps to block out low-level background noise.

Specifications

  • Drivers - 50mm neodymium
  • Frequency response - 20Hz - 22KHz 
  • Connectivity - Bluetooth 5.1, USB (2.4GHz), Xbox Wireless
  • Battery - 40hrs
  • Weight - 380g

Buy it if...

 You need maximum compatibility. The new Stealth 700 Gen 2 Max uses a USB wireless adaptor that provides compatibility with PC, Mac, and most consoles.

You're looking for comfort. The headset may be big, bulky, and relatively heavy, but the thickly-padded earpieces allow for long gaming sessions.

You want extra control over the sound.  The Audio Hub app for iOS and Android allows you to adjust various settings, including treble and bass, and the microphone's sensitivity.

Don't buy it if...

You're only going to use the headset on Xbox. This headset focuses on broad use, the less expensive Gen 2 model was made for Microsoft's console.

You want a headset for more than gaming. The sound quality for listening to music isn’t in the same league.