It has been an astonishing fifteen years since the original release of Microsoft’s Xbox and what a journey it has been for both the company and the gamers. In fifteen years, gamers have gone from hosting four person LAN parties to connecting to 20+ people from all around their geographical area so that they can team up for an epic match.
From the smooth graphics and linear play through to the real life atmosphere and limitless possibilities, console gamers can sit down one afternoon and begin communicating, strategizing, and listening to all the sound effects so that it actually feels like your right in the battle field.
There has always been a big debate around gamers when it comes to their platform of choice. Is PC gaming really better over console? Which has better game titles? Then there are even further debates within those debates like Windows or Mac? Xbox or PlayStation? Do I have a bias? Of course, but so does everybody else and while I favor one over the other, I can set those differences aside to look, and listen to the pros and cons of every platform.
My favorite pro of computer gaming is that everybody’s setup differs. People choose different PCs, some custom, others swap out their peripherals for only the best, while others want a clear and fast response monitor. However, that same plus for the PC gamers, turns into a negative for the console gamers. Everybody is given the same box, the same controller, the same headset, and it really just comes down to what console gamer is having the most fun.
While consoles are limited in their hardware and adjustments to them are barred, peripherals are something that can change and even improve your gameplay. Many console games on the Xbox require communication between your team, otherwise you’re just a one-man-show.
Many, many people praise the feel and play style of the Xbox One controller so there isn’t much need to change anything there, but the provided headset is laughable and quite frankly a disgrace. You receive this monotone, one light head band, flimsy microphone that doesn’t put you in the world you see on your TV.
This is an upgrade that is well worth a good investment and there are many brands to choose from. One of the most popular brands in this market is Turtle Beach. Jump back a few years ago, and you’ll recall that the brand wasn’t always known for the best gaming headsets. Many were cheap, flimsy, and nearly as bad as the original Xbox headset.
With a redesign of the company and more importantly, their products, Turtle Beach has come out with some wild headsets. Put into the review chamber here at Tech Support Forum, Turtle Beach has had a few headsets under the spotlight, two of which were Xbox branded units. Now, with one of their most recent releases, the Xbox One branded Stealth 420X is up next to be tested. With the company brand being “#1 in gaming audio”, does the new Stealth 420X really stand up to that motto?
Welcome to my review of the Turtle Beach Stealth 420X headset for Xbox One. Throughout this review, I will be discussing the following subjects: the design, comfort, functionality, and my final thoughts. Thank you to Turtle Beach for providing the Stealth 420X for this review.
Something Turtle Beach is quite good at is keeping a color scheme with their devices. Xbox headsets are marked with green flairs whether it’s green buttons and headbands or a green ring around the ear cups. Likewise, PlayStation branded headsets follow the Sony blue branding and PC gamers get a red color scheme for their units.
The Stealth 420X’s have a green ring around the ear cups, which contain green LED lit Turtle Beach logos in the center plate. Your right ear cup Turtle Beach logo also doubles as the power button and contains the rest of the I/O. While on your head, quick access to volume and voice adjustment wheels allow you to change noises if things get too loud or quiet. Moreover, a presets button is stationed there for different gaming sound modes.
If you’ve happened to mute yourself while gaming, you will know that it could be a throw of a certain play. To help fix this issue, Turtle Beach made the right decision when placing the mute button on the Stealth 420X. It is placed far away from the rest of the I/O making it easy to locate for when you do mute yourself.
As for the left ear cup, this contains the detachable microphone 3.5mm jack. Of which, is a fully adjustable arm that bends and twists to be placed in the perfect position. At the end of said microphone, is the receiver that unfortunately is missing a pop filter, but is hardly noticeable.
When it comes to the body of the Stealth 420X, there is an all plastic frame that is coated in a matte black finish. On the sides of the ear cups you get “Ear Force Stealth 420X” branding and more Turtle Beach branding embossed in rubber on the top of the head band.
The Stealth 420X uses pleather for the choice material of the generous padding located around the headset.
Each ear cup uses the same amount of surface area when covering your ears and behind the pleather is a somewhat soft foam pad. This padding is not memory foam, so don’t expect it to remember your head contours.
For the top head band, the padding Is generous and does a good job at covering my entire head span and the arc of the band allows for breathing room. Never once did my head get hot or sweaty while playing.
Moreover, to minimize heat, the headset pleather is perforated allowing air to circulate around your ears.
When it comes to the weight, the headset is quite light at 8.6 ounces. It stays attached to your head even during erratic movements and doesn’t tighten up, nor is it a bother to wear. When time does permit for a rest, the headset has the ability to lay flat against your chest as both ear cups fold inwards.
The ear cups are an oblong shape which give your ears plenty of room inside to move about and not feel crushed or compressed. My only complaint about this is that there is virtually no padding where your ears are, so if your ears do tend to stick out a little farther than normal, they will be pushing on the plastic speaker grill. I and others that tried this headset did not have this problem, but your results may vary.
If I had to rate the comfort levels, I would say that this is one of the better Turtle Beach headsets I’ve worn. The lightweight, foam padding is enjoyable for long gaming usage without tiring you out.
The main selling point of the Stealth 420X is their wireless capability and noise reproduction. A typical Xbox headset requires the usage of a Microsoft branded controller adapter, which allows you to connect a 3.5mm headset cable into the controller that then transmits the data to your Xbox.
For the Stealth 420X, Turtle Beach said hell to the adapter that is forced upon the user and instead includes a USB transmitter stick that connects to either the rear or side USB port of your Xbox. I designated the side USB port for my headset, but as I quickly discovered, the incredibly bright green LED on the USB stick made that location undesirable. The LED glows, blinks, stays solid, it’s just bright and annoying during the night. So I’d recommend a rear connection of the USB or perhaps for Turtle Beach to tone it down on the LED brightness.
Setup of the headset is easy as it begins with connecting the USB receiver and forgetting about it. Furthermore, the headset is internally battery powered which allows for a full wireless operation, no cables to get in your way or rest against your chest.
Speaking of the internal battery, Turtle Beach includes a lithium battery that allows for nearly a full day of constant gameplay. I never worried whether or not the battery would die while playing. Recharge time is very quick with a full charge from 40% only taking 30 minutes.
To help conserve power, the headset turns off after 10 minutes of not seeing the transmitter or no activity is being detected in the headset. Likewise, the microphone is automatically muted if the transmitter signal is lost.
The around the ear, ear cups house 50mm neodymium magnet speakers that output a 32 ohm impedance. With the speaker frequency ranging between 20 Hz to 20 kHz, games from Battlefield 4 to Forza all sounded excellent with nearly every noise being heard.
Music from GTA in the headset sounded exceptional and I had no major complaints when it came to the sound reproduction. Everything sounded spot on without having a tinny effect. The microphone was uneventful with everybody hearing me exceptionally well and no complaints on the other end of the connection. The microphone even allows you to hear your own voice to give you that radio effect.
These headphones also include a preset button that allows you to choose between four custom equalizer settings, including a bass boost option. I found a preset that I enjoyed for most of my games and left it at that. Just be careful not to accidently press the button as I sometimes would.
My Final Thoughts
Turtle Beach’s Stealth 420X is a game ready headset that includes some great bells and whistles. The wireless and built-in battery capability makes for a great gaming session and the sound reproduction is nearly spot on. With wearing comfort levels being the best out of all of the Xbox headsets I’ve reviewed, for $149 this headset really shines for the ideal headset for Xbox gamers.
© 2016 Justin Vendette
Tagged 420, 420X, Beach, game, gaming, headphones, headset, One, review, Stealth, Turtle, wireless, Xbox.