SteelSeries headphones are among the most coveted gaming headsets in the PC gaming community. They cater to all budgets, platforms, and connectivity needs. SteelSeries was born in 2001, originally called “Soft Trading”, and began producing mouse pads. After some smart investments and acquisitions, the company has seen a massive rise to eventually become one of the most successful gaming peripheral companies.
SteelSeries headphones are one of the most respected categories in the SteelSeries family of products, which also includes gaming keyboards, mice, and controllers. Arctis’ line of gaming headphones covers every step of the pricing range, from budgets under $50, all the way to incredible prices over $300. Let’s take a closer look and see which headset from SteelSeries suits you best.
Why buy a SteelSeries headphone?
Over the past few years, SteelSeries headphones have earned a reputation for quality, performance, and comfort. Not to mention the many esports endorsements and partnerships with some of the biggest players in gaming, such as Valve, EA and Blizzard Entertainment. We’ve reviewed quite a few SteelSeries headphones here at WePC and they have reliably impressed us so we can totally recommend them as a gaming headphone brand in general. But which SteelSeries headphone is best for you?
Which SteelSeries Headphone Should You Buy?
As with any gaming terminal purchase, it generally comes down to two factors: price and features. As mentioned earlier, SteelSeries headphones cover all price ranges, and the features of each headset are generally in line with the price. The lineup includes a lot of headphones with different features, let’s get into them.
SteelSeries Arctis 7+
But what if you don’t have more than $300 to spend on a headset, but still want convenience, quality, and reliable wireless connectivity, the Arctis 7+ might be your best bet. With the same 40mm neodymium drivers as the Arctis Pro, you’ll get the same sound quality, and similar wireless performance, for about half the price of the Arctis Pro.
You don’t get functionally unlimited battery life for the Switch system, instead, you get amazing fast charging via the USB Type-C port. The 30-hour battery life means that unless you’re into a long period of crazy gaming for days, you’ll be More than prescribed. Check out our full SteelSeries Arctis 7 review for more information.
Steel Series Arctis 7
20 – 20000 Hz
Other great features of this SteelSeries headphone include 7.1 virtual surround and the ability to individually balance play and chat volumes, so you can connect to it specifically to get the most out of both. It still baffles us that this feature isn’t standard because games are notorious for poor audio mixing, and the easy mitigation method should be ubiquitous. If you don’t feel the need for the Arctis Pro’s dual battery system, this is a stellar headset with nearly all the features, and you don’t have to skin two or three black market members to pay for it.
SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless Gaming Headset
Of course, the SteelSeries’ crown jewel is the Arctis Pro Wireless. It is packed with features and has an affordable price. So, if you have the money to pay, it is definitely the right choice for you. The most notable feature of the Arctis Pro Wireless is the built in base station, it not only works as a DAC, but also has a few tricks up its sleeve.
We’ve seen base stations additionally function as chargers and DACs before, like the dock included with the Astro A50, but what we haven’t seen is the dual battery system. Basically, the headset comes with two batteries, one of which drains when in use, and the other is charged by the base station, once the headset is dry you can simply swap out the batteries and resume playing. This practically makes for unlimited wireless performance. Plus, the base station is where you’ll find the volume control, I/O ports, and an easy-to-use OLED display that displays all the relevant information you’ll need.
SteelSeries Arctis Pro
10 – 40000 Hz
The headset itself is distinctive, too, with a new floating headband design that allows for less pressure on the user’s head and more extensive adjustability. We also like the retractable mic, rather than being removable or flip-up as we’ve seen before, the flexible mic lever literally pulls back into the earpiece in a way similar to a vacuum cleaner power cable.
The dynamic drives are capable of a maximum frequency response of up to 40,000Hz, despite having a diameter of only 40mm, which proves that bigger isn’t always better. Additionally, the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless comes in white or black, which means it will seamlessly integrate into the aesthetics of your gaming setup with ease.
Arctis Pro + GameDAC
Do you fancy a DAC, and don’t mind being chained to your computer? Arctis Pro + GameDAC might be just what you are looking for. It features the same internal components as the Arctis Pro Wireless Network base station but in a more compact form. DACs bypass low-quality internal DACs found on consoles and motherboards and produce higher-resolution audio. GameDAC’s added benefits are the additional control it provides, and the headphones are usually controlled only via the headphone controls, or via the accompanying software. Having a physical, visual interface with tactile input is a game changer for us. Additionally, the input/output options on the DAC make for seamless integration with the rest of the audio settings.
Like the rest of the SteelSeries range of headphones, the Arctis Pro features 40mm drivers and the same new mic retraction system. All SteelSeries headphones follow the same design conventions, with all but most budget options featuring a floating headband and simple oval earcups.
SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC Wired Gaming Headset
DTS virtual surround sound reappears here, simulating a full seven-speaker + one subwoofer setup with great precision. This allows you to accurately check the location and direction of enemies and teammates. All budget offerings except SteelSeries feature virtual surround sound and are invaluable for online games, especially FPS games like CS: GO and Rainbow 6 Siege where tactics and situational awareness are paramount. If you need more information, check out our full SteelSeries Arctis Pro review
Steelseries Arctis 1
Typically all peripheral companies make an entry-level product so as not to alienate the most budget-conscious consumers out there. SteelSeries is no exception to this rule and offered in the budget price segment is the Arctis 1. Some might call it basic, but it’s got what you need, without any additional trifles. Plus, it’s got some of the widest compatibility, thanks to the universal 3.5mm jack.
While it lacks the floating headband we love, it’s still functional and comfortable, and at a price that regularly drops below $40, it’s one of the best headphones if you’re on a budget. SteelSeries’ reputation for quality inspires confidence in even its cheapest products.
SteelSeries Arctis 1 . Wired Gaming Headset
Wired (3.5 mm)
From 100 Hz to 10000 Hz
The Arctis 1 lacks the maximum response of 40,000Hz found in their high-end offerings, but 20,000Hz is still quite respectable and attractive for an entry-level gaming headset. With 20k being a pretty decent gaming headset industry standard, the Arctis 1 gaming headset will serve you well. Check out our full SteelSeries Arctis 1 review for more information.
SteelSeries Headphones Buyer’s Guide: Final Verdict
Here we have, folks, a quick rundown of some of our favorite SteelSeries headphones. We’ve covered the best and most premium Arctis Pro Wireless, the equally capable and affordable Arctis Pro + GameDac, and the budget-friendly but capable Arctis 1. It comes down to its comprehensive range of gaming headsets. No matter your budget, platform, or feature preferences, SteelSeries has something to offer.