With Virtual Reality being billed as the next big thing in gaming by Sony, Oculus, and HTC, it makes sense that accessory manufacturers are following suit with their own line of peripherals custom made for this market.
Turtle Beach, long time headset and peripheral maker, is no exception to this rule. They’ve got a headset out designed specifically for VR called, appropriately so, the Stealth 350VR. It’s an $80 set of cans that, in short, impresses in some areas, and performs about average in others.
A user’s first experience with the product will undoubtedly be with the packaging. Turtle Beach has always had a higher-end packaging than some other audio headsets out there. It’s not up to Bose’s standard for a $350 set of cans, but it certainly isn’t bargain bin stuff. The packaging is large enough to fit everything, but there’s little excess, which is always nice in our environmentally-conscious world.
Picking up the headset for the first time, however, leaves a little to be desired. While the website does a wonderful job of making the headset look like a premium product, the 350VR just doesn’t feel like it. It is overly plasticky in a flimsy way as opposed to a solid one, and it just isn’t the best impression when picking it up for the first time.
The quality of the headset, physical feel aside, is actually quite good, however. Somehow, while the plastic manages to feel a bit light and flimsy, there’s a solid click between various adjustments that can be made to the length and position of each ear cup. It also benefits the player that the headset is so light as the intended us of this headset being VR means the player likely already has a giant visor hanging off their face to contend with.
What makes the 350VR ideal for VR headsets are some smart design elements that other sets just don’t have. For example, the ample padding on the top of the set is truncated down the middle to allow for cable management. The extra-wide body allows it to wrap around the sides of the VR headset while still managing to cup your ears. The set also comes with interchangeable cables designed for HTC Vive, Oculus Rift, and PlayStation VR, in case you’ve got more than one VR setup at home.
There is a bit of an oversight to the onboard controls of the headset. The 350VR touts a wheel on its side for variable bass and volume, but given that you can’t see where your finger is on the side of your head while you’re wearing a VR headset, it’s too small to find reliably in the middle of a match when you probably don’t want to take your hands off the controller.
Other features of the headset are more well thought-out for what actually amounts to an extremely-well priced headset. The removable boom microphone is a nice addition as it equates to one less thing to run cable management for if the player simply wants to play sans microphone. The quality of the microphone is also impressive considering its size and, once again, the price of the headset.
Of course, we’d be remiss to not talk about the audio of the actual speakers. The 50mm drivers in each ear provide better than expected sound for a sub-$100 headset. They’re a bit tinny on the high end, but the bass more than makes up for that. Considering you’ve likely spent a solid amount of money on a VR setup, spending another few hundred dollars for a quality headset simply isn’t necessary with the Stealth 350VR.
Turtle Beach has managed to pull off a quality headset for their $80 price point. There is no guessing game with this set; you get all the features that are required for gaming in VR and online, good quality sound, options for different VR manufacturers, and perhaps most importantly, comfort for when you’ve got a beast of a screen strapped to your face.
- Comfort above all else
- Adapters for every major VR headset
- Great value for quality
- Build quality is a bit lacking
- Small controls are tougher to find