The Average Gamer

Turtle Beach Stealth 500P Headset Review (PS4)

Earforce Stealth 500P Headset 600
Turtle Beach recently launched their new wireless DTS 7.1 headset for the PS3 and PS4 – the Ear Force Stealth 500P. I’ve been using it for a couple of weeks now and it provides great surround sound audio, though the other features can frustrate.

The 7.1 sound processing makes it easy to pick out the precise direction of your enemies and is a noticeable improvement over plugging just any old set of headphones into the PS4 controller. You control everything using the easy-to-find buttons and dials on the right ear-cup. Three audio presets will adjust your sound between Game, Movie and Music modes. The game mode does tend toward the bassy side – very satisfying for explosions – while movie mode lightens things up and provides clearer dialogue.

I don’t listen to music through my PS4 so can’t comment on the Music setting, though you can also choose to just play the original sound without tweaking. Adjusting the presets or muting and unmuting the mic does interrupt your audio with a voice telling you what you’ve just done, as there’s no other indicator on the set.

There are separate volume controls for in-game and Party chat as well as a mute mic button, which is always appreciated. The headset also features a mic monitor mode, which loops your voice back into your ears so you don’t wind up shouting obliviously to your room during noisy bits. However, this leads to my biggest problem with the 500P – I can hear a constant, quiet buzzing behind everything. It goes away when I mute the microphone so I suspect it’s from the mic monitor. During a firefight, this sort of thing is barely noticable but I find it very distracting when the action dies down. Just to be sure, I tested it with two separate headsets and have had similar reports from other reviewers as well.

What’s also disturbing, is the blue, blinking Turtle Beach logo on both cups. While snazzy from a “look at my cool thing” perspective, it’s totally distracting as it blinks away when you’re sitting in a dark room at 2am.

The Stealth 500P uses a USB wireless dongle with a supplied optical cable to get the best audio signal, so you will have to give up one of the two USB ports on the PS4. You’re set if this will be your primary sound system and your friends are happy to plug their own headsets into their controllers. However, I use room speakers during the day and headset at night so I’m fiddling with cables twice a day. If you’re using these as a supplementary system, you’ll want to buy an extra optical splitter.

The headband is lightweight, durable plastic that will take a lot of bending should you spend a lot of time lying on a sofa watching Netflix (like me) as well as sitting up to play games. The cups are a little chunky so it’s not quite ideal for lying around but if you’re going to spend a hundred pounds on a headset for good sound, you should probably sit up and appreciate your game properly.

Stealth 500P Headset on Debbie

That said, the cups are so massively square that I definitely wouldn’t wear them out in public. They do come with a smartphone cable – you can use this to hear the phone ring while your game runs through the wifi, but you can’t actually hold a conversation simultaneously through it. Interesting feature but ultimately, I’m not sure it’s entirely useful.

The headband continues the Turtle Beach design of being set slightly forwards from the top of your head. Coupled with some decent padding under faux-leather covers for the headband and cups and you can wear it comfortably for a good few hours.

Battery life is excellent. I only need to charge it twice a week after days of intensive gaming or Netflix-watching. This is easily done through the PS4’s USB port with supplied cable.

The new Ear Force Stealth 500P for PS4 sounds great and will make an excellent primary system for a solo/online player. As with almost all gaming headsets, it’s chunky and not exactly stylish but since it’s designed for at home, no one’s going to be looking at you anyway. Shame about the mic feedback buzz.