Are you an Xbox Owner looking for a good quality wireless headset? Well, traveller of the Internet variety, you’ve come to the right place. My review of Turtle Beach’s Ear Force Stealth 420X should satisfy your search, much like the headset itself.
What the deal with the Ear Force Stealth 420X… Don’t Turtle Beach already do wireless headsets for the Xbox One?
Yes, they do, but the Elite 800X and Stealth 500X are what you’d call Turtle Beach’s more premium wireless Xbox One headsets, coming in at £249.99 and £199.99 respectively. Priced at £149.99, the Stealth 420X offers something a bit more affordable without skimping too much on the quality. The headset is 100% fully wireless, including features such as mic monitoring, independent game and chat audio controls, four audio presets, a rechargeable battery and mobile compatibility.
Is the Ear Force Stealth 420X really 100% wireless?
The Stealth 420X couldn’t be more wireless even if it tried. The only wire is the charging cable, something you’ll rarely need, but more on that later.
Being wireless, it must be hard to set up the Ear Force Stealth 420X, surely?
Nope, even your Nan could set it all up. It’s that easy. The Stealth 420X comes packed with a small USB transmitter that plugs into your Xbox One, syncing up with and recognising the headset itself straight out of the box. Just plug the USB transmitter into your console, turn it and the headset on… Boom, you’re ready to go. I’m an idiot at times with these things at times and I had no issue whatsoever. It literally took seconds for me to get the headset going.
How’s the battery life?
Turtle Beach says the Stealth 420X offers 15 hours of wireless gaming, and they’re not wrong. I had a few two to three hour sessions of Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Sunset Overdrive, Forza Horizon 2 and Ori without needing to charge the headset once. Only when I fired up FIFA 15, actually going a tad over the suggested 15 hours, did the headset lose power. Even then I was made aware the battery was running low thanks to a handy in-ear audio prompt. Also, when I kept the headset on and it wasn’t in use I found that it powered itself off after a certain amount of time. I’m not exactly sure how long (around 20 minutes maybe), but thought it was a great little feature that made sure the battery doesn’t get unnecessarily drained. Oh and the charging cable is 2 foot long, just in case you were wondering.
Sounds good so far, but does the Ear Force Stealth 420X fare on the audio front?
Okay, so the Stealth 420X doesn’t deliver surround sound quality audio like the Elite 800X and Stealth 500X, but the stereo sound it does provide is very good. I’m no audiophile, but I found the sound to be as crisp and clear (if not better) as most of the other stereo headsets I’ve tried before. To give you an idea, the games I tested with the Stealth 420X included Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Sunset Overdrive, Forza Horizon 2, Ori and FIFA 15. All delivered high quality stereo audio, especially when compared to my TV and old Logitech USB headset. Halo, in particular, sounded glorious. I was able to hear enemy chatter with much more clarity and shootouts packed more of a punch thanks to the explosive yet clear sounds coming from the headset’s speakers. As far as stereo audio goes, a huge thumbs from me.
Any cool features to mess around with?
Yes! The Stealth 420X allows you to choose one of four audio presets. Activated by pressing a button, you can choose between natural, bass boost, bass + treble boost and vocal boost. Want in-game voices to stand out? Go for the vocal boost setting. Prefer your sound as intended? Stick with the natural setting. The choice is yours. Also, when you press the button to cycle through the presets, you’re told exactly which one you’re on via a lovely lady’s voice in your ear. Handy just in case you get confused and lost.
How’s the chat and mic audio?
The Stealth 420X excels on both fronts. I found that friends were able to hear me far more clearly when compared to the standard headset that comes with the Xbox One. Thanks to the mic monitoring, I could also hear myself clearly. It’s a nice little feature, there to make you aware if your voice is incredibly low or way too loud. It’s usually the latter with me! That’s why the mute button is really handy, letting you know verbally if your mic is on or off. Finally, like most Turtle Beach headsets, the mic disconnected from the headset if you’re not in the mood for chatting with randoms. Yeah, that’s me too!
Any other features?
You can also hook up the Stealth 420X to your mobile device with the cable provided in the box. You know, if that’s your thing. I wouldn’t be comfortable wearing headset out in public, but that’s more of a personal preference than anything else. It’s not exactly heavy, but still on the bulkier side of the headset scale if you’re going mobile. Audio wise, I tried it out with my phone at home and it seemed to work pretty well. The sound wasn’t quite as good as the stuff coming from the Xbox One, but decent enough for a mobile device.
Is it well designed and comfortable?
As far as gaming headsets go the Stealth 420X looks nice. There’s nothing particular ugly about it, with a nice glossy finish applied to the plates and lovely leather ear cups. It might be up there with the Elite 800X and Stealth 500X in terms of feature, but has the same premium look and feel about it. Also, after using it for several hours in a row, I can honestly say I never felt uncomfortable once. The cushion between your head and the headset itself sees that never becomes an issue. Also, the headset itself is adjustable, so you can tailor the positioning to your liking. I found all the necessary buttons and controls to be placed nicely too, never once getting lost or confused.
Apart from the headset, what does the Ear Force Stealth 420X box include?
USB charging cable (2ft), quick start guide, mobile cable with in-line mic (1.2m / 3’11”) and removable microphone
Sure, it doesn’t have surround sound and extra features like the Elite 800X and Stealth 500X, but that doesn’t mean the Stealth 420X isn’t worth a look. In fact, it’s worth more than just a look. Completely wireless, great stereo audio, comfortable and more affordable than most; if you’re in the market for a new Xbox One headset, I’d definitely recommend the Stealth 420X.