Once upon a time, a “budget” headset meant something super cheap and plasticky, with low quality, tinny audio. Not anymore.
Turtle Beach’s latest range of headsets, Atlas, offers up three different sets over three price tiers. At the top, there’s the Elite Atlas Pro, costing £90. In the middle is the Atlas Three, with a price tag of £70. And at the bottom of the pile is the Atlas One, with an RRP of just £40. Turtle Beach has provided us with an Atlas One headset to try out, and honestly, I’ve been blown away by just how impressive it is.
We’ve been trained not to expect anything amazing from the “cheapest” option. After all, there has to be some incentive to spend more money, right? I’m not sure what else I could want from the Atlas One. Taking it out of the box and even before I put it on my head, I knew it was going to be comfortable. It’s made with super lightweight materials – it didn’t even feel like anything was in the box – and the ear cups themselves are perhaps the softest I’ve ever encountered.
Using a new technology developed by Turtle Beach, which the company has patented “ProSpecs™ Glasses Relief System”, it means the Atlas range of headsets have been designed with glasses-wearers in mind. The softness of the earcups means the material moulds around your glasses frames, so rather than just digging into your face, your glasses also sink into the headphones. It works just as well as advertised, and as a glasses-wearer, it truly is a game-changer. I’ve previously been unable to wear large earphones for long periods of time thanks to the pressure they put on my glasses, causing them to dig into my head. But with the Atlas One, that’s no longer an issue.
Thanks to the soft and comfortable cups and the lightweight frame of the headset, I barely even knew I was wearing the Atlas One. For me, comfort is certainly the key factor that won me over, but I certainly can’t complain about the audio quality either. Everything is crisp and clear, and using them on Xbox One X with Microsoft’s built-in Dolby Atmos, I couldn’t really ask for much more. And depite this being marketed as a PC headset, there’s nothing stopping you using it with whichever device you’d like.
The Atlas One’s microphone is small and neat, and can fold up out of the way if you’re not using it. There’s also a volume wheel built under one of the ear cups. It’s easy to reach, but is perhaps the only part of the headset that feels budget. A control panel on the cable itself may be preferred by some, but at least this way it means you don’t have to keep tugging at the wire every time you need to make an adjustment.
I suppose the downside to the Atlas One’s comfort is that due to the materials being so soft and light, they might not be quite so hardwearing in the long run. But providing you look after them – put them away in a drawer when you’re not using them, and don’t chuck them around – it shouldn’t really be a massive issue.
When the cheapest option is this good, honestly, you have to wonder why more expensive options exist. Turtle Beach’s Atlas One is the most comfortable headset I’ve ever worn, and the sound quality on offer is stellar, too. For £40, it really is a steal, and I couldn’t ask for anything more.