While we’ve tried a range of different headsets over the years, the Arctis Nova series continues to be an incredibly solid choice for anybody who values a high-quality audio experience.
Using the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless in particular for my Xbox and PC (which was unveiled last year), the amount of features that are included makes for a pretty compelling package, even though the cost is at a premium.
Positioned as SteelSeries’ new flagship headset, the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless certainly presents as a high-quality product as soon as you take it out of the box. It has a grey metallic look, a PVD-coated steel frame and is very adjustable while keeping lightweight. It’s a comfortable headset for all sizes (it fits on my trademark big head rather comfortably for long play sessions) thanks in part to its cushioned ear padding, rotating ear cups and an adjustable band.
While this is absolutely marketed as a gaming headset, there’s enough buried within the Arctis Nova Pro that means it’s useful for anything, whether that’s watching video content, listening to music, or taking calls through whichever device you choose. It features multi-system connect, which means you can connect to two different devices via either 2.4GHz wireless and Bluetooth simultaneously. This means you can listen to your favourite radio show while gaming, for example, which is a nice touch.
“In my busy household with dogs, a partner, a washing machine and more rolling on, the noise cancelling worked perfectly.”
A key touted feature in this edition from SteelSeries is Active Noise Cancelling, which does exactly as it says on the tin. You can easily switch from having this on or off, or allowing transparency (so you can hear noise from the real world) if needed, through the microphones in the headsets. These four microphones on and around the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless allow outside noises to be cancelled out, and it works incredibly well. In my busy household with dogs, a partner, a washing machine and more rolling on, the noise cancelling worked perfectly.
The overall audio quality of these things is stellar, though. Bass comes through deep, and soundscapes have a lot of clarity, whether I was immersing myself deeply into a horror game or simply taking in all the wild and wacky sounds of emotes and gunfire in Fortnite. Compared with other headsets I’ve tried, I’d say these are at least equal to the Astro A50 Wireless, which I primarily use as my PC gaming headset of choice. Now, it has another real contender.
The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless comes with a fully retractable mic, and it picked up my voice very clearly when having multiplayer sessions, but for what it’s worth my regular squad noticed the difference in quality when chatting to them; from their side, I was coming through more distorted than even the cheap-but-effective Xbox Wireless Headset. They noted that it wasn’t hard to listen into or anything like that, just comparatively not as crisp.
For those who want to get the absolute most of the headset, there’s of course the accompanying software so that you can tinker to your heart’s content, and have comprehensive settings to switch between depending on the game you’re playing or the activity you’re taking part in. You can really pump the bass here or ensure that certain in-game sounds like footsteps or explosions all come with their own frequencies, so it feels adaptable. I’m not the kind to obsess over this stuff with a lot of detail, but I can see the amount of potential there is for personalisation and customisation, which is a real plus.
When it comes to charging and battery life, the headset comes with a pair of lithium-ion batteries that are interchangeable, and charge within an hour or so; anecdotally, the headset lasts a few night’s worth of gaming sessions before needing a battery swap, and having a second one charged and ready to go certainly makes that a very hassle-free process that will make sure your use is uninterrupted. These plug in and charge via the sleek transmitter, which reduces latency when connected to a console or PC via two USB ports, and has an OLED screen that shows battery level and a dial to change the control to ChatMix, which lets you adjust the balance between game audio and voice chat audio.
While the formidable Arctis Nova Pro includes a laundry list of impressive features, you’re going to be paying for it.
You’re looking at around the $600 mark for one of these bad boys, which is more than some gaming consoles, so I understand that recommending such an expensive audio solution might seem wild. There are also wired variants that offer much of the same feature-set for a less gasp-worthy price. But if you’re somebody who is looking for a premium option that is really packed with features, with the trademark SteelSeries style that is undeniably slick, the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless Headset should be a serious consideration.
Find out more about the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless Headset here.