Turtle Beach is a pretty big deal in the console space, but, like any good company, it’s not content with this market dominance alone. Turtle Beach is planning a new expansion – one that might mean you see a lot more of its distinct palm tree logo around these parts. The headset manufacturer is taking its larger-than-life reputation and audio expertise and diving into the PC gaming market with three new tailored PC headsets: the Elite Atlas, Atlas Three, and Atlas One.
Turtle Beach is no stranger to PC audio, but its core demographic has always been console players. After 12 long years in the market, the audio peripheral company is finally ready to go up against the established PC peripheral companies. Turtle Beach is bringing everything it has learned from its time developing for generations of consoles, but is also prepared to change it all up for PC patrons.
The Atlas lineup isn’t simply a console port – PC gamers everywhere shudder at the thought alone – it’s a range of headsets custom-tailored to professional PC gamers. Specifically, they’re built for the number one team in CS:GO right now, Astralis. The top-ranked team partnered with Turtle Beach back in May 2017, and since then has played a huge part in moulding the upcoming Atlas gaming headset lineup into a championship-winning product, and one that Turtle Beach is prepared to pit against the stern competition.
“For a player and as a team, it’s a privilege to be involved in the making of a headset like this,” Astralis player dev1ce says. “We’ve tested and provided a lot feedback and suggestions during the development process to try to ensure it’s the best possible headset for esports pros, but also to use for any PC gamers.”
The template for the Elite Atlas has been “hiding in plain sight” for over a year – as the Turtle Beach team puts it – in the form of the Turtle Beach Elite Pro used by the Astralis team as it battled its way to the world’s top rank. The audio curve from that headset has been distilled into the Turtle Beach Atlas range. And if CS:GO isn’t your game, the team worked with the likes of the OWL Houston Outlaws and OpTic Gaming to find the best master curve that fits across a range of games.
It’s hard to find a median that works for everyone. But it’s important work that the pro teams knew had to be done for Turtle Beach’s PC inauguration to have an impact in the highly competitive PC gaming headset market. A headset built for a console just wasn’t going to cut it.
“Typically, the sound profiles that PC gamers need are different from a console gamer,” Nick Bourne, director of product and partnerships, says. “The sound profiles of PC games such as CS:GO, Dota, League of Legends, Overwatch, etc., lean towards the mid and the high frequencies over bass/low frequencies… our Atlas series has been specifically tuned to make those mid and high frequencies more prominent, which equates to a better audio experience and crystal-clear team chat on PC.”
And it’s not just the $99 (£90) Elite headset that’s getting the full esports treatment, either. The $79 (£70) Atlas Three and $49 (£40) Atlas One both feature that same refined master curve, albeit with different hardware and features to cater to the diversity and individuality that burns bright in the PC gaming world from the ground up.
If you want volume, the Atlas Three with its battery-amplified audio and 50mm drivers is your best pick. Entry-level gaming is the domain of the Atlas One, however, which despite shedding some of the price premium, still features glasses-friendly memory foam ear cups, 40mm drivers, and a metal headband capable of surviving almost anything you can throw at it.
Turtle Beach certainly has the gumption to push its way into the PC market. “If we’ve done a good job, PC gamers are going to have three great new products to choose from,” Turtle Beach CEO, Juergen Stark, says. And he’s no stranger to PC gaming himself. Stark’s flight sim rig is no half measure.
“I’m sure that the PC audience will be completely stunned to know that the CEO of Turtle Beach is building a very high-end PC rig at home,” he says.
But maybe we shouldn’t be so stunned. PC gaming is everywhere; it’s the mainstream. With esports prize pools surpassing £20 million and streamers making megabucks off the latest PC titles, it’s no wonder Turtle Beach wants to get involved. Despite the gaming headset market’s recent and huge financial success due to Fortnite, Stark says that Turtle Beach’s move into PC gaming isn’t solely down to one game: “PC is certainly booming, it grew rapidly last year as well, even ahead of all the Fortnite trend, but that certainly helped give us a push here to say now’s the time.”
It’ll be worth watching what Turtle Beach can really do with the open expanse of PC gaming ahead of it. This is just the start of a PC ecosystem in waiting from Turtle Beach. In the meantime, we’ve got the Elite Atlas, Atlas Three, and Atlas One to look forward to – gaming headsets from a console giant that have been truly built from the ground up for PC gamers.