Turtle Beach Titanfall Atlas Multi-Format Gaming Headset
Peter Donnell / 3 years ago
Turtle Beach is one of the biggest gaming brands around, having earned a great reputation for producing a wide range of headset products that cover a wide spectrum of budgets. Whilst I’ve seen and heard a lot of good things from their budget models, the really exciting stuff is obviously at the upper end of the budget scale. The latest addition to their range certainly falls into the premium bracket, with an RRP of £119.99 (and many retailers selling at around £140) they’re obviously not targeted at your average gamer.
With the release of Titanfall came a huge wave of associated merchandise and peripherals, the Titanfall Earforce Atlas is the official headset of EA’s new FPS and as such it should be one of the best headsets around to enjoy one of the most popular games on the market right now. Designed to work with the Xbox One, Xbox 360 and PC, the Atlas offers improved value for money as it works on multiple formats, hopefully negating the need to own more than one headset. I also know that since this headset features a 3.5mm jack plug, it’s perfectly compatible with the PlayStation 4 and mobile device, something work keeping in mind if you’re not an Xbox fan.
I normally find something here to say about the features and specifications of the products I test, but for some reason Turtle Beach haven’t published technical specifications of their headset. The only thing I did find was this marketing riddled feature list that you can see below. In summary we can say that the headset features multi-format support, powerful drivers, bass boost features (360 and PC only) and microphone monitor.
- Designed for Xbox One – Headphones are tuned to provide the highest quality audio from the Xbox One Audio Adapter.
- Customize Your Audio – Personalize game & chat mix volume, plus mic mute right at your fingertips.
- Be Heard Loud and Clear – High-Quality removable mic for chat on Xbox One, Skype, and Xbox Live.
- Comfortable, Twist-Cup Design – Breathable mesh cushions on ear cups rotate-to-flat for wearing around your neck.
- Bass Boost – Built-in Bass Boost adds more depth and punch to the game audio (Xbox 360 & PC only).
- Mic Monitor – Hear own voice in the headset to avoid shouting.
- For Your Entertainment – Ear Force Atlas isn’t just great for Titanfall. Enjoy your favorite movies and TV shows with superior quality sound. Then crank up your tunes from music services like Xbox Music or Skype with friends!
- Mobile Gaming – Perfect for gaming on your mobile phone, tablet or portable game devices.
- Turtle Beach Audio Advantage – With more than 35 years of audio experience, Turtle Beach delivers innovative technology to provide a competitive advantage and the most realistic and immersive audio experience built into a high quality, comfortable headset. Outstanding sound, features and quality. That’s why we are #1 in Gaming Audio.
The packaging on the Atlas is really nicely designed, lots of cool graphics and a nice image of the headset on the front of the box. Down the right side is a labeled image of the Xbox One audio adapter and the Xbox 360 / PC in-line amp which are included in the box.
Around the back is a slightly more detailed run down of the headsets features, but once again the packaging lacks any real technical specifications of the hardware other than the fact it features 50mm drivers. The box is also keen to point out that Titanfall is not included in the box.
Upon opening the box, you’ll find all the components neatly laid out and well protected by the plastic mould packaging.
Almost everything you need to get you going is in the box, including the Xbox One audio adaptor, cables, microphone, in-line controller /amp and of course the headset. The only thing not included is an Xbox 360 audio adaptor, so those wanting to use the 360 will need to buy that separately, fortunately I already own one from previous headset reviews.
The in-line amp and controller is only for use with the Xbox 360 and PC, but offers you volume controls, mute functions and an extra long cable to run it from your console / PC to your seating position. The AUX to 3.5mm female cable for the Xbox is included, but again, you will need your own Xbox 360 audio adaptor to connect it to your console.
The Xbox One doesn’t need the in-line amp, but gets the same audio control functionality via this clip-in attachment for the Xbox One controller. Do keep in mind that your console needs to have the latest update applied for the headset to be compatible.
Finally in the box you’ll find a detachable microphone, it features a flexible boom and a large foam head which can easily be removed for cleaning.
A Closer Look
The headset comes hard-wired with a nice quality 3.5mm jack, making it out-of-the-box ready for use with PlayStation 4, tablets, smartphones, mp3 players and other similar devices. Or of course you can connect the 3.5mm connection to the included PC/360 amp, or the included Xbox One controller adaptor.
The headset is really nicely designed and features a funky looking headband with the Titanfall logo across the top.
There is a small amount of padding material on the inside of the headband, it doesn’t look much, but it’s nice and soft and provides plenty of grip to prevent the headset from sliding off of your head.
The sides of the headband feature a durable feeling extender, which can be adjusted quite small, making it ideal for a younger audience, but also extends long enough to fit even my own very large head.
The side of the headband, as well as the back of each driver is covered in some very cool graphics that are in keeping with the style seen in Titanfall, sure it’s only painted on symbols, but they really do make the headset look awesome.
The drivers feature a semi-open back design, with a small mesh section behind each ear cup.
The headband is set at an off-angle to the top of the drivers, so the ear cups sit at a slight slope on the side of your head, providing a more natural fit, while the headband slopes slightly toward the back of your head. I find this sloped “n” shape to be much more comfortable than headsets with the headband mounted in a straight over your head “n” shape.
Each ear cup can be rotated around to allow a good resting position when wearing the headset around your neck between games, I also find this makes it easier to clean and maintain the headsets ear pads. The foam is quite hard-wearing with a durable cloth covering, this may be uncomfortable at first, but it’s going to be long-lasting and will mould to your head a little better after extended use.
While mostly made of plastic, the headset still feels very durable and the matte finish looks and fells pretty good too. The plastic construction means the headset is lightweight, which should bring benefits after long gaming sessions.
The microphone plugs into the left ear cup and then rotates around to lock firmly in place.
Overall a great look headset and very tough build quality, so let’s plug it in and see how well it performs.
As you can see from the chart below we’ve got three dBA scores for each headset. Direct is measured by placing a decibel meter directly between the ear cups and cranking the volume as high as it goes. The next would be myself wearing the headset while leaving the decibel meter on my desk at a distance of 0.75m with the volume at 100% and then again at 50% volume. I’ve chosen a specific piece of music and a specific time frame of that song for this test, which is the first 90 seconds of Devin Townsend’s – More, with each test performed three times to ensure results that are as accurate as possible.
Max volume was a very impressive 94 dBA, certainly louder than you’ll feel comfortable with, unless of course you want to damage your ear drums. After a little digging around I found the drivers to be 16 Ohms, so they don’t need much power to get them going, when I plugged them into my Silverstone desktop amp I managed to get them up to 105 dBA before they started to distort, but they did start to lose quality beyond 95 dBA anyway and once again this is louder than you should ever want when something is this close to your ears.
Despite the open back design, the Atlas do very good job of keeping noise leakage to a minimum, so while those around you will be able to hear what is going on in your, it’s not going to be distracting.
Gaming performance on the headset is great, the sound quality is pin sharp and there is a solid thump to the lowered end, giving explosions and other bass dependant sound effects a nice cinematic quality. Mid tones and treble are very clear also, brining a lot of extra detail that can often be lost from desktop or TV speakers. In game chat is loud and clear and really benefits from having separate control over chat and game volume, meaning you can dial in more or less volume to whichever is more important.
Music performance was pretty solid, I threw a few of my favourite albums on a playlist and I was happy with the bass, clarity and general power of the Atlas headset. Those wanting a headset just for music would benefit from getting dedicated headphones at this price range, as gaming is certainly the strongest aspect of the Atlas. Movie performance was also good, benefiting much in the same way gaming does from the good dynamics and powerful EQ. There is certainly really good clarity on vocal tracks and sound effects more so than the musical scores, but still very good performance overall, those wanting this headset for all their desktop / console audio needs will not be disappointed either way.
The Turtle Beach Titanfall Atlas is quite expensive, and while I suspect in some respects you’re paying for the brand names (both Turtle Beach and Titanfall), it’s not much more expensive that none Titanfall branded Turtle Beach headsets of a similar specification. For around this kind of money I can find a few similar performance headsets, but in most cases it all boils down to personal preference rather than which is better or worse. If you were to buy a dedicated PC headset you could certainly get better quality, but given that this headset ticks the boxes for PlayStation, Xbox, PC and mobile, you’re saving money by only purchasing one headset to work on each, which is obviously a very good way of saving money and not having to store and maintain multiple headsets. At time of writing I found one really good deal on this headset that brings the price down to £115 from Zavvi.co.uk, still expensive, but the slightly lower price helps make it more competitive.
Having a high quality headset can really change your gaming experience, giving you a level of immersion that often can’t be achieved with your regular speakers, but also by shielding you from the sounds of the world around you, leaving you to focus on the game you’re playing. They also bring great benefits to team chat, because yelling through your Kinect or PSEye isn’t exactly ideal. The Titanfall Atlas shows its strength when it comes to gaming, the chat microphone is pin sharp and it won’t take long before you and your team mates reap the benefits of being able to communicate more clearly. The punchy bass and clear high tones mean you can enjoy the thundering engines and gunfire from your favourite multiplayer games, but all while maintaining a solid level of clarity for your party chat. This is further improved by using the chat and game volume controls, as it means you can focus you attention on the things you really want to hear.
The headset may only be made from plastic, but it feels really robust, so much so that the headset is actually a little uncomfortable at first. It really clamps on to your head, but of course this will be different for each user as we all have different size and shaped heads. However, after extended use, the foam padding and to a lesser extent, the plastic frame, will break in a little and you’ll learn to like the closer fit since it keeps the drivers snug against your ear, blocking out external noise.
Titanfall does sound great on this headset, but so too does any game really. I fired up a few games of Forza, Titanfall and Battlefield 4, even moving over to the Xbox 360 for some Halo CE: Anniversary campaign mode and finally hooking it up to my Nvidia Shield to use on Skype and play some Ridge Racer. The Atlas headset didn’t have any issues with any of them and they all sounded great. As I said before, movies and music sound very good, not quite as good as dedicated headphones, but still good enough to justify their price tag, especially when you consider that the headset is quite versatile in terms of format support.
“Multi format support, rock solid build quality, powerful audio and more make the Turtle Beach Titanfall Atlas a solid all-rounder that is perfect for those who not only own an Xbox One, but also don’t want to invest in a separate headset for all their other gaming systems. The Turtle Beach brand often means paying a premium, but their attention to detail goes a long way to justifying the price tag.”
- Powerful drivers
- Multi format support
- One of the few premium Xbox One headsets on the market
- Good build quality
- Lightweight construction
- Detachable microphone
- In-line controller
- Can be uncomfortable at first
- High price tag may put off many
- No Xbox 360 audio splitter included (despite the premium price tag)
- Lack of technical hardware specifications on packaging and website
Thank you TurtleBeach for providing us with this sample.