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Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 450 review

Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 450 - hero
Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £100
inc VAT

Wireless PC headsets don't get much cheaper than the Ear Force Stealth 450, yet it's surprisingly capable

Turtle Beach is continuing to expand away from consoles and into PC gaming with the Ear Force Stealth 450 headset. It joins the Grip 500 mouse and Impact 700 mechanical keyboard as the first wireless headset in the range, and takes a similar approach to price; at only £100, it’s one of the cheapest wireless headsets around. The detachable microphone and presence of Dolby DTS Headphone:X virtual 7.1 surround make it look like an absolute steal.

Understandably the Sealth 450 can’t excel in all areas at this price, with styling being the main offender. With a mix of matt and glossy plastics, it’s not the best looking headset, although the red stripes around each ear cup are a nice touch. It’s sturdy enough, and the padded headband is a welcome addition. The height extension has a very firm locking mechanism, which ensures you can find the best fit. It feels incredibly tight when you first put it on, with the ear cups clamping down with considerable force. It’s not overly comfortable at first, but you do adjust over time. At least the ear cups are sufficiently padded, and are articulated to fit your head. They are breathable, so your ears don’t get too hot, but they do let sound pass through quite easily. Turn up the volume and anyone nearby will be able to hear what you’re listening to.

Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 450 - ear cup 2

The Stealth 450 feels surprisingly light for a wireless headset, but that doesn’t mean Turtle Beach has skimped on batteries. The headset is rated for around 15 hours of battery life on a full charge, which is roughly in line with what I saw in everyday use. A full charge takes three hours, but you can use the bundled microUSB cable to top up the battery while you continue to use the headset. It plugs directly into the right ear cup.

There’s also a 3.5mm audio jack for making a wired connection, although you still need a fully charged battery even if you’re using it in wired mode. The Stealth 450 will work with the PS4 and the Xbox One, as long as you have one of the new controllers with integrated headphone jack. It will also play nicely with any smartphone or tablet. There’s no in-line control on the bundled cable, but that’s only because all the buttons and volume dials are built onto the ear cup. There are separate wheels for headphone and microphone volume, a preset button to cycle through natural, bass boost, bass and treble boost and vocal boost audio presets, and a mute microphone button. A set of voice prompts announce each preset as you switch through them, indicate when the microphone is switched on or off, and warns you when the headset is automatically shutting down after a period of no sound.

Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 450 - controls

Setup is a lot simpler than other wireless headsets I’ve used in the past. Simply plug in the USB dongle, wait for the drivers to install, and turn on the headset by pressing the logo on the right ear cup. The two pair straight away. You’ll need to download the proprietary sound driver to get the Dolby DTS virtual surround effects, but this merely adds an extra tab to the Windows audio properties page rather than fill your system tray with icons. 

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