Turtle Beach Atlas One gaming headset review: $50 well spent

Turtle Beach is a trusted headset brand with a wide array of products, but the promising Atlas line represents some much-needed evolution.

Windows Central Recommended Award

Turtle Beach has been an industry leader in gaming headsets for some time, known primarily for licensed Xbox and PlayStation 4 headsets. The company's new Atlas range shows Turtle Beach's growing commitment to PCs and eSports, where standards are often higher.

Turtle Beach's Elite Pro Tournament headset remains a personal favorite for its comfort and quality, but it's certainly a pricey headset and not for those who just want something durable and decent for everyday PC (or console) gaming. The Atlas One is a far cheaper option at $50. But does it compromise on quality to reach that price point?

You're going to lose out on some premium materials in this price range, but Turtle Beach has not cut corners on the most important aspects. Keep reading for more details.

What you'll love about Turtle Beach Atlas One

Turtle Beach Atlas One headset

Turtle Beach Atlas One headset (Image credit: Windows Central)

The Turtle Beach Atlas One headset is aimed at PC gamers looking to up their audio game without breaking the bank. In that goal, it does rather well. The Atlas One covers a solid frequency range with decent 40mm drivers, complete with a flip-to-mute microphone and volume controls on the headset.

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Frequency Response20Hz to 20kHz
Speaker Size40mm
Connection3.5mm and a PC splitter option
CompatibilityXbox One, PC, PS4, Mobile, and Nintendo Switch

Comfort-wise, the headset is well-built with decent materials. It doesn't feature the airy memory foam found on the more expensive Elite range, but it does its job well, with synthetic leather that's easy to clean. I found the top band to be a little uncomfortable after a few hours, due to the quite stingy amount of foam on top, but it wasn't terrible by any means. The over-ear cups fit well due to their oval shape, and they isolate you from outside noise adequately.

The microphone is solid for communication across Discord or Xbox Live, but you won't be using it for podcasting or any kind of high-quality voice recording. The fixed arm is positioned unobtrusively to the side, but it manages to pick up voice audio loud and clear.

In sound quality, the Atlas One performs admirably, particularly so in games. Turtle Beach headsets are gaming-oriented, and as such, they tune their headsets to accentuate highs and mids to give distinction to audio cues that might be useful in games.

A $50 PC-gaming purchase you absolutely will not regret.

The Atlas One, like many Turtle Beach headsets, emphasizes things like footsteps, player weapon reloads, and more, which genuinely create a tactical edge. I'm a big fan of these features, particularly in games like Overwatch and Battlefield, where audio is a big focus of the game's overall design.

Turtle Beach has also dropped the gaudy electric-green accents found on its Xbox line, instead going for a muted monochrome color pallet with carbon fiber patterns. While colors are always down to personal preference, it's refreshing to see Turtle Beach evolving with its audience, providing a headset that looks more like, well, a headset, and less like a toy. The company has also baked some metal internals into the overall design, giving the Atlas One a robustness often missing in other headsets in this price range.

All in all, the Atlas One is a quality $50 headset, but there are a few downsides.

What you'll dislike about the Turtle Beach Atlas One

Considering this is supposedly aimed at PC gamers, I'm not quite sure what sort of PC scenarios Turtle Beach has been testing it with, because I find the cable to be maddeningly short. Right now I'm using an audio controller that sits to the back of my desk, and while I'm not particularly surprised it can't reach that far without an extension, the fact that it's even a bit of a struggle to get it into the audio jack to reach to my laptop says it's probably too small for most situations.

If you have your PC under your desk or off to the side, you may find yourself maxing out the 1.2-meter cable fairly quickly. That said, it comes with a PC splitter cable, if that's what your motherboard is using, which can extend the reach considerably.

Also, it's worth noting that while the audio quality is great for gaming, the tuning makes it sound a little unnatural for things like movies and music, with a bit of distortion. Turtle Beach is not exactly marketing this headset as an entertainment solution, though.

Should you buy the Turtle Beach Atlas One?

Turtle Beach's Atlas range seems like it will shape up nicely if it's this good on the lower end. I happily recommend the Atlas One for all types of gaming, as someone who enjoys Turtle Beach's audio tuning when it comes to emphasizing in-game audio cues. If you're on PC, just ensure that the 1.20m cable is long enough for your set-up before hand to avoid disappointment.

With quality construction, comfortable cushioning, great gaming audio, and solid comms features, this is a $50 PC-gaming purchase you absolutely will not regret.

Jez Corden
Co-Managing Editor

Jez Corden a Managing Editor at Windows Central, focusing primarily on all things Xbox and gaming. Jez is known for breaking exclusive news and analysis as relates to the Microsoft ecosystem while being powered by caffeine. Follow on Twitter @JezCorden and listen to his Xbox Two podcast, all about, you guessed it, Xbox!