The Turtle Beach Elite Atlas is certainly one of my favourite $100 gaming headsets, combining a super-comfortable design with implausible sound and widespread compatibility. However the Elite is not the one headset within the Atlas lineup; there’s additionally the $80 Turtle Seashore Atlas Three. And whereas it can save you a cool $20 for those who decide up the Atlas Three, I would not advocate it.
The Atlas Three is not that comfy; getting it up and operating generally is a ache, and to high all of it off, the sound high quality is not that nice. Whereas the Atlas Three is hardly irredeemable, it isn’t practically pretty much as good as a few of Turtle Seashore’s different merchandise — or some opponents in the identical value vary. Possibly decide this one up if you will discover a very good sale, however in any other case, you are higher off saving up for the Elite Atlas.
In case you’re conversant in Turtle Seashore’s older, cheaper headsets, the Atlas Three will look acquainted. This peripheral sports activities a plain black, plastic chassis, with some grey foam padding on the ear cups and the scarf. On the left ear cup, you will discover a quantity management, a chat-mix management, a growth mic and two buttons: one for energy, one for equalization modes.
At first, I questioned what the facility button was for. In spite of everything, the Atlas Three is a wired, 3.5mm headset; it should not want an unbiased energy provide. I assumed, incorrectly, that the powered mode was obligatory for the equalization settings, however the headset would nonetheless work in an unpowered mode. It is a comparatively frequent characteristic in music headsets, and whereas it may be just a little obnoxious, it is hardly a deal breaker.
However the Atlas Three does not have an optionally available powered mode. In case you do not energy the headset up, you will not hear a factor. And for those who do not take heed to something, the headset will robotically shut itself off after 5 minutes or so. This fixed powering and repowering obtained previous nearly immediately. Regardless that the headset’s battery lasts a very long time (as much as 40 hours, based on Turtle Seashore, though there is no such thing as a straightforward approach to take a look at this), this repowering continues to be an enormous inconvenience in a wired headset.
Not less than the Atlas Three works with nearly any system, because of its 3.5mm jack design. You may hook it as much as a console, laptop computer or cell phone with a single wire, or to a PC with an (included) audio/mic splitter cable.
Like loads of older Turtle Seashore headsets, the Atlas Three feels fairly tight, no matter the way you place it. You may modify the place with some very, very inflexible notches on both aspect of the scarf, however in my expertise, it is laborious to get a very good match. When you overcome the preliminary friction, which is appreciable, the metal rod will slide approach up or down, overshooting your vacation spot by a large margin. And irrespective of how far the rods lengthen, the headset will at all times press down in your temples fairly tightly.
I handed off the Atlas Three to a co-worker, who shared my evaluation. He stated the headphones felt fairly tight however weren’t technically uncomfortable to put on — at the very least for an hour or two at a time. Neither of us was dying to throw the headset off after an extended gaming session, however we additionally agreed that Turtle Seashore has made a lot, far more comfy peripherals in latest reminiscence.
The Atlas Three performs fairly effectively in recreation. I examined it with quite a lot of PC video games and located that the sound scape, whereas considerably treble-heavy, will get the job accomplished throughout quite a lot of genres. I may hear the place my foes have been coming from in Overwatch; I loved the orchestral soundtrack of Age of Empires: Definitive Version. World of Warcraft and Baldur’s Gate: Siege of Dragonspear sounded simply fantastic, from dialogue snippets to swords-and-sorcery sound results.
I used to be rather less impressed with the console efficiency. Getting the proper quantity whereas taking part in Closing Fantasy VII on the Change wasn’t that straightforward, and after I completed it, nothing within the recreation sounded very wealthy. The Atlas Three can deal with nearly any recreation you throw at it, on any platform, and that is to the headset’s credit score. However my ears by no means perked up at an unusually nuanced or vibrant sound, and yours might not both.
Inserting quantity and chat-mix dials immediately on the left ear cup is a superb concept; placing them one proper on high of the opposite, and making them really feel indistinguishable, is much less nice. I fairly often adjusted the chat combine after I wished to manage the general quantity, and vice versa.
There’s additionally the growth mic, which sounds fantastic — supplied you are in a quiet space. The mic recorded my voice pretty clearly, with out an excessive amount of fuzz or distortion. Nevertheless it additionally recorded the voices of my co-workers talking at regular volumes just a few desks away. Since there isn’t any approach to modify the mic’s sensitivity, this will not be an important answer in a loud dwelling.
Nonetheless, the Atlas Three’s largest characteristic is available in its equalization modes, since in idea, these ought to justify needing to energy the headset consistently. There is a default sound scape, a treble increase and a voice increase — and in my assessments, all three sounded practically similar. It is but another excuse to really feel pissed off with needing to cost a wired headset.
The Atlas Three will get one a part of listening to music proper: the immediacy. All the tunes I listened to sounded near my ears, fairly than distant or hole, like what you get from loads of cheap gaming headsets. In any other case, although, music on this headset is a reasonably mediocre expertise. There’s not sufficient bass, and vocals can sound muddy.
I listened to tracks from Previous Crow Drugs Present, Flogging Molly, The Rolling Stones and G.F. Handel, and I shrugged my shoulders by means of all of them. Each tune was heavy on the treble, and because the solely music-friendly equalization mode is Treble Increase, that did not assist a lot. The expertise isn’t unhealthy, per se, simply underwhelming throughout.
Whereas the Atlas Three is not a horrible headset, it does not get something fantastically proper, both. The sound high quality and luxury are simply OK, and all the pieces else about this peripheral looks like a problem. The facility button is a big annoyance, the equalization choices do not add a lot, and the mic picks up approach an excessive amount of background noise.
In the identical value vary, the SteelSeries Arctis 3 ($80) is a significantly better funding, however your finest guess could be simply to drop the additional $20 for the Atlas Elite.
Credit score: Turtle Seashore