I seem to be cursed when it comes to headphones. Whether I buy cheap dollar store earbuds or are gifted Beats, they always fail on me within weeks. It was especially frustrating when I lived in New York City. Being able to slip on headphones and ignore strangers is a matter of survival for an introvert in a big city. Strangely enough, my gaming headset outlasted all of my regular headphones. I found myself wishing gaming headsets didn't have bulky designs or protruding microphones so I could just take those with me wherever I went. Finally, years later, STEALH answered my wish with the XP series.
STEALTH XP Cruiser
The Cruiser gets its name and its camo design from a lightweight tank used in World War 2, according to the STEALTH website. What does that mean for its sound quality? Nothing really. It is, however, meant to foreshadow just how versatile this headset is. The main selling point of the XP series is that it's a lifestyle brand. The mic locks into the left ear with a twist, where it remains staunch, while another twist lets you take it out. Then it's just a regular pair of over-ear headphones.
Overall, I was pleased with the quality. The headphones themselves are flexible yet strong. The way the mic locks in feels secure, and the mic itself is made of a hardy mix of metal and plastic. Despite the touted flexibility, nothing feels cheap. The sound quality is good. It's nothing terribly above headsets I've had before, but it does bring in both game audio and party chat nice and clear. The XP Cruiser is indeed a versatile headset that is good for both gaming and listening to music on the bus.
There is one thing that gives its true identity as a gaming headset away, however. The cord is too short. It's clearly made with the idea that it will plug into a PS4 or Xbox controller. When plugged into my PC, I found that the cord didn't quite extend enough for me to comfortably sit back as I watched movies or played Civilization. If STEALTH wants its headsets to truly be good for all types of media, it's going to need to offer a longer cord next time.
STEALTH Headset Stand
There's not much to say here. It's a typical headset stand that prevents me from putting my headset down somewhere and losing it. Supposedly, the unique design of the STEALH stand helps the headset last longer because it keeps its shape. It hasn't been long enough for me to confirm that, but hey, I'll take every chance I can get to make a pair of headphones last for once. It looks pretty neat on my desk, too.
STEALTH SP C50 PS4 Single Charging Dock
When I first opened the package STEALTH sent me, I thought this would be the most superfluous piece. A controller dock is visually appealing, sure, but I can just charge my PS4 controller as I play with a simple cord. However, this thing turned out to solve a very specific annoyance in my life.
My girlfriend and I have decided to marathon the Star Wars movies in anticipation of Episode IX. We're doing this via Blu-Ray on my PS4. I put the disc in, navigate the menus, and then we sit and watch. However, every time - and I mean every time - I put the PS4 controller down in such a way that it nudges a shoulder button and fast forwards. Now, I can just hit play and slip the controller in the dock. I no longer worry about button mistakes and my controller is always charged.
Gaming With STEALTH: A Lifestyle
The STEALTH XP Cruiser may need a longer cord, but it's still the closest I've gotten to fulfilling my dream of the all-in-one headphones. It comes with a neat stand that is currently part of a great bundle at Argos. The dock is way more useful than I originally thought, though it will depend on your controller habits. I didn't know much about STEALTH until now, but I'll certainly keep an eye on it going forward.
STEALTH provided all of the items shown to TheGamer for this review.
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