The moment we unboxed the Turtle Beach Elite Atlas we were greeted by the fact that the American manufacturer has completely ditched everything flashy that could have been included in its design. There are no LEDs lighting up the headset, no odd shapes, no flashy gimmicks - one could say the Elite Atlas is a headset in its purest form, stripped down to the bare essentials.
The headset is all black except for the top band, and that is made using dark grey metal (essentially, it's almost black). Looking at the headset, one might think that Turtle Beach has spent very little time on the look of the Elite Atlas, and one might suggest that this is because of a focus shift to audio quality and overall comfort. With all of that said, the simple look of the headset isn't necessarily a bad thing - they definitely still look good, and people who want to wear a more anonymous headset will find a perfect design match in the Elite Atlas.
The headset feels sturdy and well-made when we bend and twist its various parts, and despite looking like they're made almost completely of plastic, there's a metal-core holding the headset together. The soft material used in both the underside of the headband and in the earcups makes the Elite Atlas incredibly comfortable to wear during long gaming sessions and despite the isolating design of the cups, it doesn't overheat one's ears either. Turtle Beach offers a neat little feature with the earcups too, as the padding is only fastened to the frame with magnets and can be removed for easy cleaning. There's also an indentation in the pads that adds to the comfort levels for those who wear glasses.
Coming in at under £90, we didn't go into the review process with high expectations regarding audio, but the Elite Atlas doesn't sound bad. In fact, it doesn't sound bad at all. The headset has huge 50-millimetre neodymium magnets that give off a nice sound with good balance and control even in the deeper frequencies. While the highs and lows shine bright, the headset struggles with the mid-range, but that's not strange for a headset within this price range. The Elite Atlas has a nice soft treble, so those of you who have a hard time with sharp notes will definitely appreciate this headset.
The Elite Atlas failed our sound fatigue test, however, and we found the smaller flaws in the audio to be too much for music appreciation after a time spent listening to our favourite playlist. That being said, however, for gaming sessions the little flaws aren't noticeable at all.
The Turtle Beach Elite Atlas is a nice and interesting alternative out in the headset jungle. It sports great audio, it's comfortable and very reasonably priced. The microphone is good enough for what you pay for and the braided cable with volume controls and a mute button works like a charm. When talking design, the Elite Atlas isn't exactly eye-catching but we're assuming this is a conscious choice and it's not exactly negative either considering the fact that futuristic-looking headsets are over-saturating the market right now. The Elite Atlas is definitely worth the money and for less than £90, it's a headset you won't be disappointed by.