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Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 500P review – hands on

We get an early listen to the latest Turtle Beach headset for PS4, which is the first of its kind with true wireless

Turtle Beach has officially announced its latest gaming headset, the Ear Force Stealth 500P – the first truly wireless third party headset for the PS4.

Unlike other wireless headsets for Sony’s next-generation console, there’s no need to run a cable from the headphones to your DualShock 4 controller; the headset truly cuts the cords for wire-free gaming. Instead, a USB dongle the size of a flash drive handles both game and chat audio, connecting to the console with a digital optical audio cable. The internal battery should last for up to 15 hours of solid gaming, and you can keep playing while recharging using the bundled micro USB cable.

Finished in black, with blue accents and illuminated Turtle Beach logos, the 500P is refreshingly understated for a gaming headset and is surprisingly lightweight too. With plenty of padding on the ear cups and adjustable headband, it should be comfortable to wear for a marathon gaming session. It doesn’t quite match the premium fit and feel of the flagship Elite 800, but considering it costs significantly less we think it’s a fair trade. The headset includes a 3.5mm audio cable in the box, so you can use it with a smartphone, tablet, or more likely a PS Vita handheld.

Separate volume controls on the ear cup let you adjust chat and game volume independently, while the boom mic uses multi-directional microphones to capture your voice clearly wherever you put it. We had no problems making ourselves heard in a quick Call of Duty match, even in a busy room filled with other journalists, so it should be ideal for home use. It’s detachable for when you want to play solo, too. There’s also a dedicated button for cycling through the four equaliser pre-sets; Signature Sound, Bass Boost, Bass and Treble Boost, and Vocal Boost.

Like the rest of Turtle Beach’s high-end headphones, the Ear Force Stealth 500P uses DTS Headphone:X surround sound technology. Whereas TV and film surround sound tends to put the centre channel around eight feet in front of the listener, DTS Headphone:X pulls the centre channel further towards the player. It worked particularly well in Call of Duty: Ghost’s prologue, with voices sounding like they were originating from main character Logan rather than in front of him.

As you might expect from a gaming headset, there’s plenty of low-end to give gunshots and explosions plenty of oomph, but the mid-range and high-end sounded clear and precise too during our short time trying it out. Switching between the different EQ presets dials down the bass for when you want to watch TV or listen to music, so there shouldn’t be any need to swap to another pair of headphones.

The Ear Force Stealth 500P will be going on sale later this month for £99.99, exclusively to Game stores here in the UK. We’re hoping to take a closer look a little closer to launch, but it is already shaping up to be an excellent alternative to Sony’s official wireless headset.

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