In the market for possibly the best wireless gaming headset? If so, you should check out the Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 450 gaming headphones!
The Ear Force Stealth 450 from Turtle Beach is a completely wireless headset with fifteen-hour battery life. It also has a detachable omnidirectional mic and virtual 7.1 surround sound, thanks to DTS:X.
With all these fantastic gaming features on hand, you will find that this headset does not come cheap. In this Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 450 Review, we delve deep into the nuances and let you know just why it just might be the best headset for gaming currently on the market…
What’s in the Box?
You may be like us. Right after you get that new bit of gaming kit, the anticipation of opening it and seeing what it comes with can be truly compelling.
At first glance, the box that the Turtle Beach Stealth 450 comes in looks premium with multi-colored graphics and red descriptive lettering. It does not feature a flip-up lid as you would commonly find on Razer or Corsair products that give you a sneak peek of the headset inside.
Open up the top of the box, and you can slide the Stealth 450 headphones out. They come contained in a plastic molded tray with a clear plastic lid for protection.
Underneath the Stealth 450 headphones, there is a small, covered compartment. Lift the cover, and you will find all the included headphone accessories.
The Stealth 450s comes with a 2.4GHz USB adapter and a micro-USB charging cable. You will also find the detachable omnidirectional mic, a 3.5mm auxiliary cable, as well as a quick-start guide.
Stealth 450 Design and Comfort
The Stealth 450 headphones are mainly constructed from black matte plastic with a few glossy black pieces around the ear cups. Along the top of the headset, you have a mesh headband with foam cushions. This headband slides out from both ear cups, allowing it to fit a variety of head sizes.
On each of the ear cups, you will notice this combination of mesh and foam padding as well. Both ear cups have a bit of red striping around their circumference. And they both swivel 180-degrees, allowing you to lay the headset flat if you so choose.
Finding your fit…
When you first put the headset on, it feels surprisingly light, even though it weighs 0.69 pounds with the mic attached to the left ear cup. The ear cups are springy without being too soft. Thanks to Turtle Beach for equipping them with mesh rather than a leatherette type material, they even stay fairly cool over long periods.
That being said, they do clamp pretty tight to your ears. The headband is pretty rigid and does not flex all that much. Likewise, if you wear glasses, you might not find the Stealth 450 that comfortable. Other than those issues, this is one of the most comfortable gaming headsets you can buy.
To control the Stealth 450 headphones, you will want to focus your attention on the right ear cup. You will notice a Turtle Beach logo on the outside of the right ear cup that actually acts as a button. By pressing on the Turtle Beach logo, the headset will turn on or off. It will also light up and change colors when you are charging and using the headset as well.
Volume and EQ boost…
Moving on down from there, you will notice a series of controls sitting along the circumference of the ear cup. The front-most wheel control is used to control the master volume. Next, you will come to a small equalizer preset button. Tap it, and the onboard equalizer will cycle between bass boost, bass and treble boost, and vocal boost.
You then come to another wheel control that will allow you to increase or decrease the microphone monitoring volume. The last button on the headset after the auxiliary jack and charging port is your mic mute switch.
All in all, the controls are pretty standard and easy to reach and use. While you can use these headphones right out of the box once you plug in the USB receiver, they will not have virtual surround sound.
Setup and Drivers
To get the most out of these headphones, you will want to head to Turtle Beach’s website and download their DTS Headphone: X Surround Sound Driver available for Windows.
Once downloaded and installed, you have to go to your playback devices control panel in Windows. From there, select your Turtle Beach headphones and set them as default. Then click ‘Configure’ and choose 7.1 channel audio in the next menu.
You will then be brought back to the playback devices menu, where you will need to right-click on the headphones and select properties. In the headphone’s properties menu, you will see a tab called Turtle Beach Audio Settings. The Turtle Beach Audio Settings tab allows you to adjust your DTS:X sound modes between Game, Movie, or Music.
Customize your sound…
It also allows you to turn on or off the Superhuman Hearing function of the headphones. You can also assign a hotkey to turn this feature on or off as well.
The simple DTS:X driver package that Turtle Beach supplies is extremely basic. Given the Turtle Beach Stealth 450 price, we would have liked to have seen a software-based interface. Once you can get past the rather lengthy and somewhat challenging setup, the DTS:X drivers definitely make a huge difference.
Whenever we test a new headset, we load up a variety of first-person shooters. Since this headset prides itself on its DTS:X 7.1 virtual surround sound and Superhuman Hearing, a good FPS should sound immersive.
We started with a few multiplayer matches in CS: GO and at once noticed a 360-degree spatial sound. It gives you the sense that you are surrounded on all sides, with shots flying all around your head.
Thanks to the Superhuman Hearing function on the headphones, sounds like footsteps are also well pronounced. You can hear your opponents trying to sneak up on you!
Overall, the soundstage is very immersive, even though the headphones do not offer true 7.1-channel audio. That said, this is one of the best headsets for immersive gaming we have reviewed.
Get ready to rumble…
One thing that we did notice is that the 50mm speaker drivers in each ear cup produce a somewhat bass-heavy type sound. If you are near an explosion, the speakers produce a nice rumble that you can feel.
When it comes to coordinating with your teammates, the detachable omnidirectional mic is rather excellent. You come across nice and clear without feeling like you need to shout since you can adjust the microphone’s monitor volume.
Connectivity, Consoles, and Battery
If you own a Nintendo Switch, you can connect your Turtle Beach Stealth 450 headphones to it as well. Simply plug in the USB receiver into your Nintendo Switch, go into settings, and make sure Voice Chat is active and the Voice Chat Method is set to ‘Open Mic.’
The Stealth 450 is one of the best Nintendo Switch headsets on the market. But you will not have virtual surround sound, though. You can also use this headset with PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, but not wirelessly. Thankfully, the Stealth 450 comes with an auxiliary cable that you can plug directly into your Xbox or PlayStation controller.
Longer gaming session…
No matter if the headphones are connected to your PC or your Nintendo Switch wirelessly, the Stealth 450 has a playback time of about fifteen hours. To recharge the headphones, you will need a compatible micro-USB to USB-A adapter and three hours to spare.
Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 450 Review – Pros and Cons
- You can wirelessly use the headphones with your PC and Nintendo Switch.
- The headphones stay very cool even during long gaming sessions.
- DTS:X virtual surround sound for an immersive gaming experience.
- Integrated battery lasts for up to fifteen hours.
- The included driver package is rather basic and difficult to set up.
- They aren’t the cheapest headphones out there.
Looking for Something Else?
From gaming to swimming, we’ve got exactly what you’re looking for. So, check out our in-depth reviews of the Most Comfortable Gaming Headsets, the Best Headphones with Microphone, the Best Wireless Gaming Headsets, the Best Xbox One Headsets, and the Best Wireless PlayStation 4 Headsets you can buy in 2021.
Also, have a look at our comprehensive Jabra Elite 65T Review, our Bose SoundLink Around-Ear Wireless Headphone 2 Review, our Turtle Beach Recon 200 Review, our Bose SoundSport Free Review, and our Skullcandy Indy True Wireless Review for more superb headphones currently available.
Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 450 Review – Final Thoughts
The Stealth 450s sure have a lot going for them and very few shortcomings. They sound great, and with the use of DTS:X drivers, they sound even better!
A great gaming headset will make your gaming experience more immersive. The Stealth 450 headphones do not disappoint, leaving you with the sense that you are always in the middle of the action.
They are not the plushest headphones out there, though. The headband is pretty stiff and can be a tad bit uncomfortable over long periods. If you can get past those minor flaws, you will not be disappointed with the Turtle Beach Ear Force Stealth 450 headphones.