SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless review: Wireless versatility
There are some big reasons to buy the SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless. If you like the idea of an ultralight mouse that’s an accurate gaming companion as well as a long-lasting versatile everyday mouse, it’s a great pick. USB-C is a welcome touch, but it’s likely too small for larger mitts and there are better dedicated gaming mice out there.
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It wasn’t so long ago that RGB lighting was the big gaming trend. Now, for gaming mice, the latest craze seems to be ultralight chasses with honeycomb holes punched in them. This is where the SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless steps in, and it’s a versatile mouse, particularly for those who fancy claw or fingertip grips, but it’s priced in a way that makes it fall short in comparisons to other gaming mice, like the SteelSeries Rival 650 Wireless. Check out our full breakdown of the best gaming mice you can buy right now, and read on for our analysis of how the Aerox 3 Wireless performs after weeks of testing.
SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless gaming mouse specs
|SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless||Specs|
|Primary grip||Claw or fingertip|
|Sensor||TrueMove Air optical|
|Battery life||200 hours (Bluetooth); 80 hours (2.4GHz)|
|Connectivity||Bluetooth, 2.4GHz, 1.8m USB-C soft microfibre mesh cable|
|Switch durability||80 million clicks|
|Compatibility||PC, Mac, Xbox, Linux|
What’s in the SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless box?
All of the essential kit for wired and wireless use.
You’ll find everything you need in the SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless box, including a product information guide, which you can also download here. The mouse is in there alongside a USB-C to USB-A cable for fast charging and no-nonsense connecting (at least on the C side), as well as a USB-C dongle and extension adapter.
What are the SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless’ main selling points?
- Ultralight wireless gaming mouse
- USB-C fast charging
- Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless connectivity
The SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless gaming mouse is punched full of honeycomb holes, which helps keep the weight to an incredibly light 66 grams. This makes it easier to move around the mouse mat – helped along by some smooth-gliding feet – while the ultralight weight helps with overall mobility.
The addition of both Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless connectivity means you have a default choice between longer battery life (Bluetooth) or better accuracy (2.4GHz). Bluetooth pairing is achieved by holding down the CPI button (just below the scroll wheel) while flicking the switch underneath from ‘Off’ to the left. Flicking right gets you to 2.4GHz wireless connectivity, but that should pair automatically with your computer if the dongle is attached.
SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless: wireless vs wired
A versatile mouse for gaming and everyday use.
The best battery life comes from Bluetooth connectivity, but that also drops the polling rate to a fixed 125Hz and locks out some of the other settings in the software. Still, this is the best wireless way to go for everyday use and cross-device compatibility, even if you have to get into habit of flicking the bottom switch between Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless connectivity to take advantage of the battery-life gains.
For gaming, you’ll want to stick with 2.4GHz for the accuracy of the 1000Hz polling rate, which you should absolutely use, but will also impact battery life. Wired performance is as good as 2.4GHz wireless, and the soft microfibre mesh USB cable is both light and drags less than other cable materials. But 15 minutes of plugged-in charging equates to around 40 hours of battery life, so you shouldn’t need to rely on wired for too long. If you do, pair it with a mouse bungee (like the excellent one SteelSeries sent me).
SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless: gaming performance
Great for those who have the right grip and fancy ultralight mice.
One of the trickiest things about reviewing gaming gear is balancing out your adoration of one bit of kit that ticks all the right boxes with something new that isn’t quite for you. That’s the case with the SteelSeries Rival 650 Wireless and the Aerox 3 Wireless for me: the latter isn’t as good for my large mitts (and I prefer a heavier mouse), but the Aerox 3 still performed admirably during dozens of hours of gaming across genres.
I quickly got used to switching sensitivity via the top-mounted CPI button, which is small enough to avoid accidental clicks, but still easy enough to find mid-round if you fancy lower or higher sensitivity. Mouse buttons three and four, controlled by the thumb, are also in a great easy-to-reach position, even if their small size sometimes leads to accidental clicks. I tend to switch between a palm and fingertip grip when I play – the former favouring bulkier mice bodies – but the smaller size of the Aerox means it’s meant more for fingertip and claw users (palm grip feels weird).
SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless software
Streamlined tweaks for wired and 2.4GHz modes.
Whether you’re using a SteelSeries Rival 3 Wireless gaming mouse, Arctis Pro Wireless headset, or the Aerox 3 Wireless, any tweaks you want to make are made via SteelSeries Engine 3 software. The configuration screen for the Aerox 3 Wireless mouse is almost identical to the Rival 3 Wireless, albeit with the addition of an Illumination Dim timer slider. Having access to five mouse sensitivity levels for the CPI button is a nice touch, and I also like that you can remove the increments you don’t want to streamline the clicking process for the sensitivities you do use.
There are a few options here that let you influence the overall battery life, but bear in mind that toggling on High-Efficiency Mode will cap your polling rate at 125Hz. Despite my preference of the bigger Rival 650 Wireless, outside of rare accidental clicks on mouse button three and four, the Aerox 3 Wireless proved to be a faithful fragging companion. Click on the Illumination tab for basic lighting controls, which you can tweak between active (top lights) or reactive (bottom side lights). To save batteries – or, y’know, because lights on your mouse don’t make a whole lot of sense when your hand is covering them – disable them entirely.
Is the SteelSeries Aerox 3 Wireless worth the price ($189RRP)?
Great versatility but there are superior options at this price point.
If you didn’t know a better gaming mouse existed in the SteelSeries Rival 650 Wireless, you’d be totally right in gunning for the Aerox 3 Wireless. Considering you can pick up the Rival 650 Wireless for cheaper, though, the main reasons you’d buy the Aerox 3 Wireless instead is your grip preference (fingertip, specifically), love of lightweight gaming mice, you appreciate the versatility of Bluetooth, or you love that USB-C charging means you don’t have to fiddle around getting a cable in the right way. If any of those sound like you, the Aerox 3 Wireless is a worthy purchase.