Razer and Turtle Beach are two of the earliest headset manufacturers to support the Xbox Wireless protocol, which allows you to connect directly to your Xbox One, or compatible PC (such as the Surface Book 2 15-inch), without cables or dongles.
The Razer Thresher (for Xbox One) and Turtle Beach Stealth 700 are both in the $150 price range, although the Stealth 700 is often on sale for a little cheaper on Amazon. Both headsets are similar in features, but there are some key differentiators worth considering.
I've used both headsets extensively, and here's what you need to know.
Stealth 700 vs. Thresher: Spec showdown
|Category||Turtle Beach Stealth 700||Razer Thresher (Xbox)|
|Frequency response||20Hz to 20,000Hz||12Hz to 28,000Hz|
|Microphone||Omni-directional (flip up)||Omni-directional (retractable)|
|Speaker||50mm neodymium||50mm neodymium|
|Weight||272 grams||390 grams|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth, Xbox Wireless,
3.5mm (cable not included)
|Battery life||10 hours (with Bluetooth on)
15 hours (with Bluetooth off)
|In the box||Headset and USB cable||Headset and USB cable|
Stealth 700 vs. Thresher: Design and features
Razer's Thresher has the Stealth 700 beat in almost every way with regards to comfort and design. Despite both headsets hitting the same price point, the Thresher feels more premium. The plastics feel more robust, metal is used for the top strap, and the floating headband makes the Thresher feel far more comfortable.
The Thresher has the Stealth 700 beat in every way with regards to comfort.
Razer's headset is also a lot more generous with its earcup cushioning, which is thick but also airy and adaptive. It's impressively cool, providing your soundscape with the comfort necessary for long sessions.
The Stealth 700 isn't bad by any means. It's also quite comfortable, with an adjustable head strap and decent cushioning throughout. It's nowhere near as isolating as Razer's, though, and it doesn't come with any add-ons to improve the situation.
Both are black with green accents, making use of textured gloss plastics throughout. The Stealth 700 has a strange, rubberized material on some of its buttons, which is a nightmare for attracting dust. The Thresher also has a grooved gloss circle feature on its cups, which attracts dust in a similar way.
Both headsets are wireless and thus have on-ear controls. They're decent, but the dial-button combos used on the Thresher are a little nicer than the squishy rubber buttons on the Stealth 700.
The Thresher has a retractable mic, but I'm not sure why you'd use it much. The Thresher headset has no 3.5mm connectivity for phones, so you won't be using the Thresher out and about for music or mobile calling. The Stealth 700 does have 3.5mm (thanks commenters for pointing that out) but in testing it doesn't offer a particularly great experience, giving me distortion in certain scenarios. The Stealth does, however, have Bluetooth, allowing you to use this headset on compatible mobile and PC devices in combination with your Xbox for chat and music mixing. I've found this to be robust when using it on my Surface Book 2.
Turtle Beach throws in Bluetooth support, which vastly improves the product's versatility.
The Thresher matches the Stealth 700 for battery life, which sport up to around 16 hours apiece (when the the Stealth 700's Bluetooth is disabled). Both headsets have solid Xbox Wireless connectivity, providing a largely lag-free experience, free of distortion or signal issues. Oddly, though, Razer's Thresher has no software support for PC, while the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 does. In fact, the Xbox Wireless version of the Thresher isn't even listed on Razer's support page. The firmware for the Stealth 700 is capable of receiving updates to improve the Xbox Wireless connectivity to fix some outlying issues.
The only gripe I have with the Thresher's design is that the speaker pivots have no resistance, which leads them to swing around precariously when you're not wearing them. In terms of design, comfort, and features, the Thresher is by far the better-made headset. However, Turtle Beach throws in Bluetooth support and other audio features, which vastly improves the product's versatility.
Stealth 700 vs. Thresher: Audio experience
Razer's Thresher dominates the Stealth 700 here, with a far bigger frequency response range, improving overall sound quality. Out of the box, the bass tones are deeper, the highs have greater clarity, and the soundscape across the entire spectrum just sounds richer. The Razer headset also has surprisingly great quality for Xbox party chat.
Once more, the Stealth 700 isn't "bad," it simply doesn't reach the same standard as the Razer Thresher. The Stealth 700 has some gaming-oriented tricks, though, such as its patented "Superhuman Hearing" sound setting, which searches for subtle audio cues like footsteps or reloads and accentuates them, giving you an edge in competitive titles. The Stealth 700 also comes with robust PC software for configuring other audio settings, including presets.
Neither headset has 7.1 virtual surround, instead pushing you towards either Windows Sonic or Dolby Atmos for that surround experience. I prefer 7.1, but Windows Sonic is a decent enough solution for those who don't want straight stereo.
Where the Stealth 700 has the Thresher thoroughly beat though, is the inclusion of mic monitoring. When you're using the Thresher, you can't hear yourself speak, which can result in you yelling rather than speaking softly. The Stealth 700 has loud and clear mic monitoring, configurable via the Turtle Beach PC software, which provides a far better chat experience.
Razer's Thresher headset is an impressive piece of kit for $150, providing a truly great audio experience, with clear voice chat support, atop a well-constructed and comfortable headset. Turtle Beach's Stealth 700 feels like it makes compromises when it comes to construction and sound quality, but it beats the Thresher for features, throwing in Bluetooth support and mic monitoring for chat.
Ultimately, the choice boils down to whether you want mic monitoring and Bluetooth. The Razer headset has better audio and comfort, but mic monitoring, Bluetooth, and better configuration features make Turtle Beach's Stealth 700 a compelling option (and there's an even cheaper $99 Stealth 600 option with mic monitoring).
Update May 5, 2018: Added a note about 3.5mm connectivity on the Stealth 700. Thanks to those who pointed it out! Also, updated the battery life to reflect the difference between Bluetooth enabled (10 hours) and Bluetooth disabled (15 hours) on the Stealth 700.
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