I’ve looked at a fair number of Turtle Beach headsets over the years, but I’ve never seen the words “PC Gaming” emblazoned across the packaging. Sure, you could still use Turtle Beach’s headsets with your PC—most via a simple 3.5mm jack, and even the recent Turtle Beach Stealth 700 could connect to your PC via the Xbox Wireless Adapter.

The Turtle Beach Elite Atlas ($99.95 on Amazon) makes it official, though. This is a PC-first headset, even if that’s mostly a marketing bulletpoint. Let’s dig in.

Playing catch-up

First I want to talk design, because that’s where Turtle Beach has seriously impressed me with the Elite Atlas. I’ve long derided Turtle Beach for its chintzy-feeling headsets. Even the more expensive models were built from budget materials (lots of plastics) and seemed one good twist away from snapping in half. With the Stealth 700, the best I could say was that it looked premium from afar, but getting up close broke the illusion.

The Elite Atlas, true to its name, is an actual premium headset—especially by Turtle Beach standards. There’s still a fair amount of plastic on the earcups, but it’s a slick piano-black gloss with minimal branding. And the headband! The Elite Atlas has a proper floating headband, with two thick rotating joints connected to the earcups and a durable piece of metal as support.

Turtle Beach Elite Atlas IDG / Hayden Dingman

Is it the fanciest headset I’ve used? Of course not. But it’s a marked improvement for Turtle Beach, which has struggled to match the upsurge in headset quality these past few years.

It’s also up there with the most comfortable headsets I’ve used. A lot of floating headband designs struggle to find the right balance between a firm grip and a vice grip on your head—or worst of all, the dreaded “too loose” feeling. But not the Elite Atlas. I’m not going to go so far as to say I forgot I was wearing it, but I did use it for hours at a time with no issue. There aren’t many headsets I’d rather wear for an all-day gaming session, at least as far as comfort’s concerned.

And the earcups are a significant part of that comfort as well. In the past I’ve been a fan of leatherette earcups, in part because I always find mesh or “athletic” padding scratchy and coarse. Worst of all are the headsets with mesh that pulls on my beard hairs. The Elite Atlas uses some sort of microfiber cloth though, similar to the fabric Razer’s using these days (e.g. on the Nari Ultimate). It’s really soft, while still being more breathable than leatherette.

Turtle Beach’s ProSpecs tech is in there too, of course—the company’s patented “glasses relief system,” a slim channel on each earcup that lets you wear glasses without the headset pressing them into the side of your head. I don’t wear glasses myself, but it’s a nifty feature regardless. 

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