Turtle Beach are known for their quality gaming headsets, delivering plenty of good products on the PS3 and Xbox 360. But with the PS4 and Xbox One era about to get into its stride, they’ve also hit theirs.
The launch of the PS4 brought with it the Ear Force PX4, usable on the PS4, PS3 and mobile devices. The only catch? It was exactly fully wireless. You had to connect a wire from the headset to the DualShock 4 controller to chat, and there was the need for more messiness thanks to transmitter. Don’t get me wrong, the PX4 is still a great surround sound headset, but there was a need for an upgrade. Step forward, the Ear Force Stealth 500P headset.
Less bulkier than the PX4, the Stealth 500P is an upgrade in pretty much every sense. It comes packed with a small USB transmitter that plugs into your PS4, syncing up with the headset itself straight out of the box. To get yourself in 7.1 surround sound heaven (yes, it does 7.1), you just need to connect an optical cable from the transmitter to the digital (optical) out on the back of the PS4. There’s a nifty detachable microphone too, with no need for a cable into the DualShock 4 to get chat going. After that, it’s a very simple case of power on the Stealth 500P headset itself and following the brief instructions provided in the box. It’s oh so easy to set up, even your Nan could do it.
The Stealth 500P offers plenty of decent options once you’re up and running too. Using the preset button on the headset, you can set it three different surround sound modes – game (default), movie or music. The headset will basically adapt the surround sound to the mode type, giving you the best possible sound whether your gaming or just chilling with a movie or some music. On top of that, there are four EQ presets to give you the best levels possible. You can choose between natural, bass boost, bass + treble boost and vocal boost. Again, all done by using the preset button on the headset. 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, and the Stealth 500P gives you the options. Unlike the PX4, which went down the number of beeps route, this headset has a handy lady voice tell you which setting you’ve just changed to. You know, to avoid any confusion. A small, but nice little touch.
As for the sound itself, it’s pretty much faultless. I played through Alien: Isolation using the Stealth 500P and was on the edge of my seat for the entire duration. The sound design is a huge part of the game, helping to create a tense atmosphere, and this headset amplified that side of Alien: Isolation to the max. I could hear all the little clinks and clanks as well the movement of the titular Xenomorph as if I was in the game myself. Cliche statement, I know, but it’s true. I definitely felt that surround sound and more! Apart from Alien: Isolation, I tested Call of Duty: Ghosts and Killzone: Shadow Fall. Both titles showed off the Stealth 500P in a good light, especially when I tried a bit of Call of Duty online. Switching the EQ preset to treble + bass boost helped me those nearby footsteps with a little more ease, giving me a slight drop on my opponents. Music and movies sounded great as well, but just remember to change the surround sound mode first to get the best results. I’d also recommend switching EQ preset to natural.
You can also hook it up to your mobile device with the cable provided in the box if that’s your thing. Although, even though they’re not exactly ugly, I’m not sure you’d want to wear them in public. Still on the bulkier side of the headset scale if you’re going mobile. I tried it out with my iPhone at home and it seemed to work pretty well. No issues, and the sound was as good as you’d expect via a mobile device. Oh and in terms of battery life, Turtle Beach say the headset should be good for around 15 hours before another charge is required via the cable provided. That’s about accurate as it took me around if not underselling the Stealth 500P a bit. I’m sure I spent just over 15 hours with and still haven’t needed to charge it. The good thing about it is that the headset will automatically power off if you take it off and don’t use it for a while. I did that quite a bit in between Alien: Isolation breaks, so that probably helped a bit.
At £99.99, actually cheaper than the PX4, the Stealth 500P is well worth picking up if you’re looking for a brand new gaming headset for your PS4. You don’t have to take out a second mortgage to buy it, plus it’s comfortable, easy to set up and the sound quality is fantastic. What are you waiting for? If you you’ve got cash and need a new gaming headset, pick up the Stealth 500P now.
Headset: Ear Force® Stealth 500P Headset
Transmitter: Ear Force® Stealth 500P Wireless Transmitter
Microphone: Removable Microphone
Cable: Mobile Cable
Cable: Digital Optical Cable (.6m/2ft.)
Cable: USB Charging Cable (.6m/2ft.)
Guide: Quick Start Guide
Sticker: Turtle Beach Sticker
Console Audio Connection: Optical
Console Chat Connection: Console Chat Connection: USB
Mobile Devices: 3.5mm
Headset Power: Rechargeable Battery
Transmitter Power: USB
Speakers: 50mm with Neodymium Magnets
Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
Earpad Material: Synthetic Leather (Black) with Foam Cushion
Earcup Design: Over-Ear (Closed)
Microphone Design: Removable Omni-Directional Microphone
Game Input: Digital Optical (Mini-Toslink to Toslink)
Chat/Mic Input/Output: USB
Surround Sound Processing: DTS Headphone:X 7.1
Wireless Connection: RF with Intelligent Channel Hopping
Wireless Range: Up to 30ft