Turtle Beach’s business is booming. Game likes Fortnite, PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, and Rainbow Six: Siege (but mostly Fortnite) have created a surging demand for gaming headsets so players can talk with their friends on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Switch, and PC.
Turtle Beach is benefiting from the rise of battle royale more than any other headset manufacturer, and it is rushing to fill every possible pricing tier on the market. That led the company to push out its Stealth 300 headset last month. This $80 headset is available now, and it is a wired version of the wireless Stealth 600 headset that you can get for $100. The 300 features some improved materials in addition to its wired 3.5mm connection, but is that make a big difference? Only if you never forget to charge your headsets and every $20 bill is precious to you.
What you’ll like
Like the Stealth 600 and 700 that came out earlier this year, the Stealth 300 doesn’t squeeze your temples or skull, but it also provides a secure, snug fit that won’t shake loose as you look around. Even when I tried to shake it off by moving my head more quickly than I would when using it, the device remained in place.
But Turtle Beach also made more subtle improvements to the fit by upgrading the materials and construction. The Stealth 600 had a rattly and cheap quality to it that I disliked. The 300 eliminates that. It’s still mostly plastic, but it feels more premium and solid. In practical application, this means you can make adjustments to one side of the headset without having to support the opposite side with your other hand.
It sounds great on everything
If you don’t compare the Stealth 300 to the Stealth 600 (and honestly no actual human would do that), the standout feature is the built-in powered amplification. This enables you to get robust audio by plugging into an Xbox One gamepad, a DualShock 4, a Switch, or anything else.
Explosions sound bigger, music sounds fuller, and voices sound wider and more impressive. If you are going from a standard headset to the Stealth 300, you are going to instantly get a more cinematic, immersive experience.
What you won’t like
Requires power to function
But the amplified audio is the only option of the Stealth 300. If your USB-rechargeable battery is dead, the headset will not work. You will get zero sound if you plug it into a DualShock 4 without any juice.
Now, the battery does last 30-to-40 hours, which is great. But I still don’t get why the device doesn’t just click over to a standard, non-amplified mode until power comes on. I’ve used other headset, notably the LucidSound LS20, that do exactly that, so it’s possible.
If you get the Stealth 300, you will want to get into the habit of charging it as frequently as possible to avoid a situation where it does not work.
The Stealth 300 is great until its battery runs out. If you are someone who has no problem charging a device like this regularly, then you shouldn’t have any problems. And the benefits you get from it are great sound no matter where you’re playing. If you are someone who owns and uses an Xbox One, PlayStation 4, Switch, PC, smartphone, and a dozen other devices, having something like the Stealth 300 could improve your gaming and media consumption drastically.
But if you only play on one console, I would probably consider paying an extra $20 for the Stealth 600 instead. It has similar audio quality and battery life, but you don’t have to worry about the cable — although you can plug a cable in to use it on other devices if you want.
I like the Stealth 300, but I would use something else as my day-to-day headset personally because I’ve had powered headsets die on me. That’s a frustration or anxiety that I don’t want to deal with after spending $80.
The Turtle Beach Stealth 300 is available now for $80. Turtle Beach provided a sample unit for the purpose of this review.