Obsidian materials used to create ear-housing coffins. A microphone housed in jagged edges because 90 degree aesthetics are totes the future. LOUD NOISES. No matter which way you look at it, the Turtle Beach Elite Atlas is designed to not only be an esports heavyweight, but also a workhorse device. Need a headset that can cater to your online play across PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch (Hey those Splatoon 2 leagues are serious business)?
Then this is the headset that Turtle Beach wants you to have. A Jack of All trades that prioritises PC gamers and still provides room for console gamers to switch platforms on the fly. One headset to rule them all, and in the team party chat, bind them. For a wired headset, the Turtle Beach Elite…well, it’s okay.
First up, what’s in the box? Well if first appearances do mater, then this package doesn’t disappoint. The headset comes in a bulky box, nestled between layers of secure foam and underneath there lies a coiled collection of cables, literature and instructions. The Elite Atlas is a looker. The all black design looks modern, the ear cups are big enough for just about any head and the faux leather on the sides makes for an especially comfortable home for your biological auditory input devices.
What’s really great about the Elite Atlas, is just how easy it is to deconstruct everything. The speakers happen to be connected via some very powerful magnets, with the ear covers also using some of the oldest energy on the planet to stay locked into place until you need them. Why? So that on the off-chance that you break anything, you can easily find a spare part for the Elite Atlas and fix up the system with time to spare. It’s a neat touch, especially for the esports star on the go.
There’s also an entire anaconda snake’s worth of braided cables for the Elite Atlas, which depending on your preference for wiring, is either the best or worst thing ever. I’m not the biggest fan of braided cables due to the way in which they curl up and manage to tangle themselves up. There’s a lot of cabling available, but the takeaway here is that you’ve got a regular one-direction 3.5mm line to your consoles and another in-line control that is capped off by a splitter for audio and microphone connections on PC.
If you don’t mind dealing with wiring that is almost twice as long as I’m tall, you’ll be fine on this front. So how does it handle then? First up, let’s talk sound.
The head band is also pretty flexible, with a leather housing that feels natural and ergonomic. The Elite Atlas could do with more options on being able to elongate the distance between speakers and the mount, but unless you have a freakishly long head you should be fine.
Out of the box, you’re getting a headset with two 50mm Nanoclear drivers that boast a frequency response of between 12Hz and 20kHz. Not a bad setup, but don’t expect to be totally blown away by regular gameplay. Midrange and lower ranged sounds come off entirely alright and capable, although credit to the Elite Atlas for making ambient noises have a more audibly-defined pop that you’d otherwise miss on regular speakers.
More exciting sequences in gaming definitely hit the right mark with this stereo headset, especially on PC which the Elite Atlas favours more than console. As for PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Nintendo Switch? Sound results were consistent, clear and the middle range definitely rose to the challenge, but I’m not exactly sold on having the Elite Atlas replace anything else in my headset arsenal. As a go-to headset for al my gaming needs however? There’s definitely some potential here for it thanks to its ease of use.
The key feature here for the Elite Atlas, is communication. Turtle Beach say that they teamed up with one of the best CS:GO teams in the worlds, Astralis, to develop a headset that would make competitive play more accessible no matter what your skill level is. What does that mean? That the dialogue you have between teammates need to be crisp and capable of cutting through gameplay chatter whenever the situation calls for it.
Turtle Beach say that they’ve got this field covered with the use of their patented TruSpeak tech, which manages to negate any background noise and heighten your own voice in the process. So in theory, here’s a line of dialogue that I recorded right out of the box in Audacity while an airplane was flying over my house:
I’m kind of torn here with the audio quality. I think it sounds alright, but there’s a very definite high gain present. At the same time, that gain should pierce through even the most bombastic gaming background audio easily enough, and even my mangled mouth was able to spout a few clear lines of dialogue. The mic could do better in terms of pop filtering and a slight distortion that I sensed, but maybe I’m also spoilt because I use a Blue Snowball mic for my work.
I’ve got a feeling that in competition, the Elite Atlas should rise to meet the challenge of intense gaming.
The Elite Atlas may be pricy, but it balances its moderate sound by being a handy Jack of all trades that’ll easily work on whatever you throw at it. It’s primary function more than meets the demands of even the most stressed out esports star when they’re playing a clutch match, its modular nature makes it a reliable kit to travel around with and its a surprisingly comfortable headset to wear for long periods of time. It may not master everything thrown at it, but it’s more than capable of meeting any challenge head-on.
Last Updated: April 9, 2019