Manufacturer: Turtle Beach
Where to buy: Turtle Beach
Price: £39.99 – Or Region Equivalent
Often a matter of taste, the overwhelming number of options for headsets in both the console and gaming space means there is something for everyone, from high-end wireless headsets costing hundreds right down to a cheap mono chat headset. Turtle Beach’s latest entry level headset makes that choice a little easier, offering excellent value for money.
The Atlas One retails for between £40 and £50 in the UK, making it a surprisingly affordable option, and while the overall build quality won’t win any awards, the sleek plastic finish doesn’t feel cheap. In fact, the headset certainly feels durable enough to carry in a bag without needing a case. The “carbon fiber” look on each cup doesn’t feel particularly ostentatious and gives it a nice modern appeal. The left cup contains a discrete volume wheel to the back to make on-the-fly adjustments.
This plastic is also lightweight, owing to a comfortable feel on the head. I tested the headset on a long gaming marathon with friends and found at no point did it feel uncomfortable. While I don’t wear glasses myself, I did wear some for testing purposes and found the Atlas One perfectly adaptable to eyewear (Turtle Beach calls this their “ProSpecs Glasses Relief System”, using a softer foam on the area which comes into contact with glasses).
Connection-wise, the Atlas One connects via 3.5mm jack to any device that has one. That means while you can use it on your Xbox One (those with the older controllers will need the headset adapter), you’ll also be able to use it on your PC, PlayStation or Nintendo Switch. The box also features a splitter cable for PC users.
Comfort and connection options are all well and good, but it’s fair to say a headset should be judged on the merits of sound quality. In this case, the Atlas One’s cracks begin to show, perhaps understandably.
I tested with “Red Dead Redemption 2”, “Call of Duty: Black Ops 4” and “FIFA 19” and found the results to be very similar throughout. Essentially, the Atlas One covers mid-level frequencies admirably – horse sounds in Red Dead, assault rifles in Black Ops or the sound the ball being passed in FIFA all feel just right.
Where the headset stumbles is in the extremes – a grenade in Black Ops loses a lot of the low-end, while the crowd feels decidedly flat in FIFA. It’s likely the price you pay for affordability, and there is a good chance that non-audiophiles will still find this preferable to the sound from their television.
The other side of the same coin is voice performance, and the Atlas One’s microphone was clear throughout testing. Playing Blackout Squads, a game mode with an inherent demand for teamwork, my squad were able to hear my commands clearly throughout. While the mic may look small, it does a great job of discerning voices from background noise, and its positioning feels absolutely perfect.
Those looking for an affordable first step into online gaming or just wanting to step up their audio experience will find a lot to love with the Atlas One. Whether you’re playing on console, PC, or using it with a mobile or tablet, the headset holds its own with audio and chat functionality. That said, those looking for a more pristine audio experience will miss the low and high ends of more feature-rich headsets. For the price though, you can’t go wrong.