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Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero review: This wireless Elite Atlas is better in every way except price

Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero review: This wireless Elite Atlas is better in every way except price


Late last year Turtle Beach stunned me with the Elite Atlas. After years of frankly unimpressive budget headsets, here was a truly beautiful bit of design work—and a PC-first headset, too. It gave me hope for the brand, and some interest in what would come next.

And what came next turns out to be a wireless version, the Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero. It’s a mouthful of a name, sure, but can it overcome that unfortunate stumbling block and recapture the magic of its wired predecessor? I put it through its paces to find out.

Note: This review is part of our roundup of best gaming headsets. Go there for details on competing products and how we tested them.

All-Elite

Despite the name, the Elite Atlas Aero isn’t quite a one-to-one reproduction of the Elite Atlas. It’s similar though, with generally the same elements as its wired compatriot—piano black earcups, minimal branding, floating headband.

Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero IDG / Hayden Dingman

A year in, I still really like the Atlas. It punches well above its weight as a $100 wired headset, and the design’s only slightly less remarkable repurposed for a $150 wireless model. And again, it’s doubly impressive coming from Turtle Beach. The last wireless Turtle Beach model we tested was the Stealth 700, which cost almost as much as the Atlas Aero ($130) but which, as I said in our review, suffered from “an abundance of plastic.”

The Atlas Aero uses metal sparingly, but even so it improves the look and feel immensely. It’s solid, durable, and without the rattling I associate with Turtle Beach’s chintzier plastic headsets. The silver headband is a slick contrast to the rest, and the grills on the earcups lend them some much-needed texture.

Is it my all-time favorite? No, but the Aero stands up perfectly fine next to Turtle Beach’s peers and that’s what matters. After many years spent lagging behind, Turtle Beach is making a compelling case for itself again.

Turtle Beach Elite Atlas Aero IDG / Hayden Dingman

And like the original Atlas, the Aero is surprisingly comfortable as well. One of the few noteworthy design changes, the Aero’s earcups attach to the headband with a new pivoting hinge, which allows it to fold up small when not in use. The hinge hasn’t had any negative impact on comfort though. Like the Elite Atlas, the Atlas Aero is snug without squeezing too hard.

The earcups are also a credit to Turtle Beach. Sheathed in microfiber and packed with cooling gel, they’re generously padded and have kept relatively cool even during San Francisco’s hottest October weather. And while I don’t wear glasses, I remain impressed by Turtle Beach’s ProSpecs tech, which creates a channel through the padding to alleviate pressure on the temples. It’s a smart idea, and almost a shame Turtle Beach has a patent on it, as I wish it were more widespread. I hear a lot of complaints about headsets and glasses. If that applies to you, the Atlas Aero might be your best option.



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