SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless gaming headset review: Sound investment
The SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless gaming headset are the best wire-free cans to ever cover my ears. Despite testing dozens of other options, this is the gaming headset I keep going back to for online shooters, Zoom calls, and everyday PC use. The price is steep and the retractable mic isn’t the best, but the other pros more than justify the steep investment.
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*Pricing data accurate at the time of publish on 28/08/2020
Some would argue that investing in the right gaming headset is more important than other peripherals like gaming mice, gaming keyboards, or even a gaming monitor. There’s a lot of truth in this. A good headset isn’t just great for gaming, it’s also an investment in late-night music or video entertainment that doesn’t distract the neighbours (or your housemates).
And an investment is exactly how you’ll want to frame the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless if you consider buying it. At an asking price of $549RRP, these high-end cans are best bought on special, but the results are absolutely worth it.
Arctis Pro Wireless Specs
|SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless||Specs|
|Drivers||40mm Neodymium Magnet|
|Microphone polar pattern||Bidirectional noise-cancelling|
|Connectivity||Wireless, Bluetooth (4.1)|
|Spatial sound||DTS Headphone:X 2.0|
|Headphone sensitivity||102dB SPL|
|Wireless range||2.4G, 12m (5–40,000Hz)|
|Battery life||20 hours (10 per battery)|
|Compatibility||PC (Windows 7+), Mac (OS X 10.9+), PS4, Xbox One, Switch, mobile|
What’s in the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless box?
Everything you need for cross-platform play
Pop the box to get to the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless gaming headset (available in black or white). Beneath the headset is the transmitter box base station, USB 2.0 audio cable, power cable (optional for charging while powered down), mobile charging cable, mobile audio cable, and an optical audio cable. There are also two batteries (one inside the right earcup) and a microphone pop filter, plus a product information guide, which can also be read here.
Check out the video below for unboxing and setup on PC.
What are the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless’s main selling points?
All-day comfort with impressive audio
The SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless is built as a never-wired wireless gaming headset, which includes how the batteries are charged. While only 10 hours per battery, swap out a battery in under a minute, get it charging in the transmitter box base station, and keep on gaming. Basically, you never need to run out of juice. These high-end cans also boast hi-res drivers for immersive audio that’ll offer a competitive edge in games (particularly shooters). They’re also lightweight for all-day use yet robust with the right mix of aluminium alloy and steel in the design.
SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless in-game performance
Fully armed and operational
Make no mistake, the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless is a gaming headset first and foremost, but it’s also great for audiophiles looking to benefit from “hi-res” audio sources (like lossless music). As for all-important gaming, the better the game’s audio, the greater the return. Shooters like Rainbow Six Siege (or any shooter made by DICE), renowned for its excellent audio, are great places to take these SteelSeries cans for a spin. Just be sure to ensure spatial sound is switched to DTS Headphone:X for the best results. Your squad mates and enemies alike will be accusing you of having wall hacks because of how audio cues tip you off to foes’ locations.
SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless multiplatform play
One set of cans for every major platform
For the multi-platform gamer that doesn’t mind reconfiguring between platforms, the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless is a one-headset solution across devices. This gaming headset is at its best on PC with the SteelSeries Engine 3 tweaks you can make, but the base station offers straightforward control over the essentials: volume, chat mixer, equaliser, and Bluetooth.
Officially, the primary other platform for the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless is the PlayStation 4 (unboxing and setup steps are in the video above), including the all-important DTS Headphone:X 2.0 surround sound. But while not supported out of the box, the Arctis Pro Wireless also plays nice with the Xbox One. To make it simpler, you can connect the base station directly to your TV via optical cable to have audio from any device connected to your tele, including the Nintendo Switch.
Speaking of the Switch, the Arctis Pro Wireless’s Bluetooth means you can connect to your smartphone for voice chat. That Bluetooth connectivity also means the Arctis Pro Wireless gaming headset is viable for playing, watching, or listening on a smartphone or tablet. You can even answer calls while you’re gaming.
SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless software
Simple at-a-glance tweaks
PC and Mac users can install SteelSeries Engine 3 software for further SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless personalisation. Tweak, name and save configurations that are listed down the left of the screen, then make your per-configuration tweaks under the Audio or Settings tabs. Activating DTS Headphone:X V2 also tends to lower the volume, so you may want to disable the volume limiter at the bottom of the Audio settings. Here’s where you’ll also tweak bass and dialogue, as well as other equaliser settings and mic tweaks.
The Settings screen lets you modify battery-preserving features like when the headset automatically shuts off or whether Bluetooth turns on at all with the headset. You can also tweak the OLED screen settings here, too. It’s all incredibly straightforward to use, and the live preview option lets you make meaningful changes on the fly.
Is the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless worth the price ($549RRP)?
Split the use-cases, split the cost
The price may reek of an audiophiles-only affair, but the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless proves its value as soon as you pop the lossless, lag-free gaming headset on your noggin. The unrivalled wireless audio quality, overall comfort and swappable batteries mean impressive results during all-day use. If you happen to use the Arctis Pro Wireless on one other device – or, better still, multiple devices – the steep asking price becomes a whole lot cheaper because this multiplatform gaming headset cuts down the need for a headset per platform.