Page 3 - Subjective Audio Analysis
As with all the audio products we review here at APH Networks, it takes quite a bit of experience and training of the ears before we can begin making a fair judgment. Even for the best of audiophiles, it can be hard to produce an exact and accurate evaluation of a product without a thoroughly familiar product to use as simultaneous reference. While I will not claim to be the reviewer of all reviewers for headphones, I can say quite a few other computer review sites have editors lacking in training for reviewing anything audio related. Give them anything and all you will get is some vague description of “awesome bass, amazing midrange, nice treble, no muffles, 10/10”. Do not get me wrong though; there are knowledgeable audio reviewers out there on respected online media outlets, but they are far and few. There are no true objective measurements for audio sound quality. As the reviewer, however, I will put the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 through a series of subjective tests to try to come up with the most objective rating as possible. The audio tests were conducted with the Stealth 700 Gen 2 wireless adapter plugged into a USB port on my computer, but I also tested the headset with my docked Nintendo Switch.
After over 50 hours of break-in time -- well above the typical required period -- we put the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 to the tests. All tracks are uncompressed or high bitrate audio files. Equalizer settings were manually set to flat for testing purposes. For gaming, I played Overwatch, League of Legends, and Genshin Impact. First-person shooter games are probably the most crucial games to test these headphones, as gameplay can heavily rely on hearing additional sounds. The other games have aspects where audio is useful, but this is less of a factor.
Starting at the low-end, the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 follows the same V-shaped sound signature in this region. As such, the bass is notably boosted compared to the rest of the headset. It does not sound too boomy, but it also does not feel well-defined with some blur and bottoming in the lowest of frequencies. In the middle and upper regions of the bass frequencies, we still have a good thump, but the shape and definition of the low-end is not as clear as I would like. In games, deep sounds are important for sound cues like footsteps to be heard. Thankfully, this was not an issue with the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2.
In the midrange, the region here was clear, but it felt subdued. This was probably due to the greater emphasis in the bass and trebles. Details in this region were acceptable, but felt a bit lacking in the finer areas. Instruments like pianos and guitars had good resonance, but there was a sense of lacking richness in these acoustic instruments. Both male and female vocalists had a dry reproduction, which made it sound a bit raspier than I would like. In games, this middle frequency is not as necessary, but voice line cues are still important in games like Overwatch or even VALORANT, where you need to hear cues to identify abilities being used.
In the trebles, the higher end felt a bit more boosted once again, with a bit of roll-off hear the higher end. Vocals in the low treble area still continued the slightly dry reproduction. Moving to the top, instruments still sounded a bit thin and clashy or shrill at times. In games, the treble regions are important to ensure gamers recognize sound cues like glass breaking and the reloading of a gun. Overall, the sound signature of the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 is very similar to the Stealth 600 Gen 2, with a V-shaped sound signature and emphasized lows and trebles. This is pretty normal for a gaming headset and fits the bill for the general consumer.
In terms of soundstaging, the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 felt pretty closed. It still offered a good amount of direction when it comes to helping with gaming situations, but the depth felt a bit lacking. The large 50mm drivers do help in this regard, but the closed-back design and leather finish on the ear cups make for a better seal on your ears. This in turn makes audio feel closer together. Overall, I would have liked more depth to the sound, even if it was good at capturing various directions. Imaging for the most part was natural with no biases.
When it comes to layering, the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 was perfectly acceptable in gaming circumstances. However, with more complicated tracks or music, it struggled at times to keep all of the details audible and clear. Frequency ranges felt separated for the most part, though the emphasized lows and highs made the midrange feel a bit isolated, and some dips were noted in the transitions of these layers. This was more pronounced when going from the midrange to the treble. Sound was mostly clean with a slight wireless transmission buzz heard throughout.
Due to the closed-back nature, the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 does not leak sound too much when it is worn. It also does a good job of sealing off your ears from the outside world. With the leather and memory foam material, the headset offers a good middle ground of comfort and sealing.
As for the microphone quality, I utilized Audacity to record and exported the captured audio as an MP3 file. From this, you can hear the microphone on the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Gen 2 easily picks up your voice. There is still a slight robotic or machine-like quality of the recorded sound. It does not sound nasally nor does the bottom seem to be missing, but there just seems to be some sort of electronic compression that makes the recorded track sound less natural. For in-game communications, this microphone is more than sufficient, but I would probably recommend something else if you want to use this for professional recording or long-term streaming.
1. Introduction, Packaging, Specifications
2. Physical Look - Hardware and Software
3. Subjective Audio Analysis