SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless Gaming Headset Review
- Neodymium Drivers – 40mm
- Headphone Frequency Response – 10-40,000 Hz
- Headphone Sensitivity – 102 dBSPL
- Headphone Impedance – 32 Ohm
- Headphone Total Harmonic Distortion – <1%
- Retractable Boom
- Bidirectional Noise-Cancelling
- Microphone Frequency Response – 100-10,000 Hz
- Microphone Sensitivity – -38 dBV/Pa
- Microphone Impedance – 2200 Ohm
- 4G range: 40 ft/12m – 5-40,000 Hz
- Battery Life – 20 hours (10 per battery)
- Bluetooth Version – 4.1
- Bluetooth Profiles – A2DP, HFP, HSP
If you can understand what all of those numbers mean, fair play to you, you’ll fly to Mars someday. Me on the other hand, I understand performance. Boy does the SteelSeries Arctis Wireless Pro perform well; but is it worth the price tag?
Design and Comfort
As a man of simple tastes; the Arctis Pro Wireless is right up my street. The design is elegant and beautiful, with a stunning matte black and gunmetal finish. The headset is made primarily of steel and aluminium, keeping it nice and light. The build quality is exceptional, you can really feel the hard work put into its design each time you put it on. As soon as I opened the box I was in love, and I couldn’t wait to get it on my head.
The ski goggle suspended band is a work of art, I understand it has been used with previous models but this is my first experience using one. Without a doubt the most comfortable way of keeping a headset stable on your head without the need for excessive tightness or over bearing pads of foam. Again it is so simple; it’s just a strap that keeps the actual rigid headband away from you. Not only does it do its job, but it eliminates the chance of hair being caught in adjustable sections, it’s just a thin piece of fabric on your head. It can be adjusted using the Velcro strap on the left hand side; personally I didn’t need to adjust it at all, it feels like it was made for my head!
The fabric and padding used on the speakers is like velvet; I have had hours of game time wearing this set and have had absolutely no irritation. I am even wearing them as I write this review, I have them connected to my phone via Bluetooth and I am listening to some music, but more on that later. Everything about this set seems to be designed to make life easy. The mic is retractable; no more detaching it when you’re not using it, or bending it out of the way, simply push it back into the ear-piece and pull it out to chat. The battery door is held on with magnets, there is no fiddling with a catch or anything, just pull it off to change the battery then it pops right back into place.
I have heard sounds that I did not know were in the game since using this set, the sound quality is incredible. On the default equaliser settings it sounds great, but you don’t get the real ‘pop’ until you try something different. I changed it up to the ‘Immersion’ setting and immediately noticed what I’d been missing out on. I have recently been playing Bloodborne which has a fantastic atmospheric feel when playing through TV speakers. Using this setting and playing the game in a dark room has changed the whole experience for me. The mutterings of the townsfolk can be heard from a great distance, axes dragging along the concrete now make my heart race each time I enter a new area.
My FPS experience has also seen a change. The incredible high-res surround sound helps me to locate threats much earlier and give me a clear edge in game. Shots can be heard from across the map, snipers locations aren’t a secret any more. Even the audio when listening to music is improved over other sets that I own. In day to day use I have the Power Beats3 which are also wireless and connected via Bluetooth. Granted they are much smaller and are in-ear they are still high-end earphones, and they don’t come close to what the Arctis Pros can do. This is hands down the best audio quality that I have ever used for gaming.
The microphone is also exemplary, whether it be in-game chat, in a party, using Discord or even on the phone; people have never heard me so clearly. When it advertises as noise cancelling it truly means it. Gone are the days of me muting the mic every time my dog decides to bark at the slightest noise (or because she is bored and wants to play). A lot of head set mics can sound quite ‘tinny’ and will pick up the slightest movement; this mic picks up your voice, incredibly clearly, and nothing else which is exactly how it should be.
The transmitter base station is very easy to set up. For the PS4 you plug the optic in the back and the USB in the front and you’re ready to go. Its OLED screen is clear in any lighting conditions and shows you everything you need to know. It is easy to navigate and the menu is fully customisable. The base also acts as a charging point for the extra battery, meaning unless you forget to plug the battery in, you will always have one on charge. The battery life is 10 hours per battery, and this is absolutely true. I’ve had this set for a few days now and have only had to put one of the batteries in to charge, the second is still on around 50%.
You can use the headset on both types of wireless simultaneously; the headset connects to the base over 2.4GHz, which is the same as WiFi, meaning you can also use Bluetooth to connect to a phone or other Bluetooth device. If you’re in the middle of a game and need to take a call, you can!
Same as the battery door, the other plate can also be removed, which leads me to believe new plates will be available soon to allow you to customise the headset further. Same with the ski goggle strap which has been interchangeable on previous models. This is a cool feature but I love the way this thing looks already.
The only problem have with the set is the price. £300 is steep for a headset, you can’t really argue with that. I used this primarily on a PS4, which you can get for almost £100 less than the headset. At the start of this I asked is it worth the price? As amazing as the headset is I do think that the price will affect a lot of people’s decisions on buying one. There are a lot of wireless gaming head sets out there, however most are only capable of 22,000 Hz so if you want up to 40,000 Hz then you may have to pay it.