SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless Gaming Headset
Today I’m going to discuss the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless Gaming Headset. It is not going to be a full on review, but rather my decision making process for purchasing them over other wireless headsets, and to share my experience with them along with a few pictures.
I’ve been using a Turtle Beach Earforce PX51 wireless headset for about five years now. They are quite comfortable and sound great. I would probably just keep using these because I have been happy with them except for one extremely annoying fault.
They automatically shut off while watching a video, but not while gaming. I mostly just use them for gaming so I’ve been living with it, but now they are starting to shut off during cut scenes or even quiet sections of games. I can reach up and turn them right back on again, but I’ve had it!
If you google the problem it is quite wide spread and Turtle Beach either can’t fix the problem, or is just neglecting to actually fix the problem. Therefore Turtle Beach will NEVER receive any of my money again!
Here’s the now retired Turtle Beach headset
During the time I was building this rig, I have been researching wireless headsets. I know there are many great wired headsets out there, but I just hate the wire so “wireless”
is a must have feature for me!
At first I was comparing the Steelseries Siberia 800, and the ASTRO Gaming A50 headsets. I actually went back and forth on these two headsets. I liked how the A50s charged while sitting in the dock. Then the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless Gaming Headsets came out, and I went back and forth again finally deciding on the Acrtis Pro Headset.
So I put those on my wish list and decided to wait until the build was done before actually buying them since I didn’t really get much gaming in during the building process. Then I saw bluedevil’s review
here on OCN of the just recently released Sennheiser GSP 670 Wireless Gaming Headset. This is their first foray into “wireless gaming headsets”
I proceeded to read every review and watch every youtube video I could find on these new Sennheiser GSP 670s, and almost bought them. AnandTech did a very thorough review
of these which was enough to sway me to stick with my plan to buy the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless headset.
Besides that particular review there were four main reasons for selecting the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Headset over the Sennheiser GSP 670 Headset:
Starting with comfort, I liked the fact that the Sennheiser GSP 670s had an adjustable top headband, but numerous reviewers complained that even with the headband set to the largest size they still felt the headphones squeezed their heads too much, particularly at the bottom of the ear cups, while all the reviews of the SteelSeries headsets stated that they were extremely comfortable.
I’ve been using them for about two weeks now, have worn them for up to three hours straight, and I can attest that they are very comfortable. However, be aware that this headset barely fits me. The top band is not adjustable, and I have the adjustable band as large as it will go. My head almost hits the top band but not quite. I measured my head circumference around the forehead at 23.5 inches, so if you have a very large head this headset may not fit you.
The ear cups are soft, comfortable, and slightly larger than my Turtle Beach headset that I have been using. The ear cups do not touch or pull on my ears at all.
Next is the batteries, the Sennheiser GSP 670 headset has a built in battery that is not user changeable which I really don’t like because eventually the battery is going to die or not stay charged for very long. Plus you have to pull out a USB cable and plug it into the headset to charge it. My Turtle Beach headset was the same way, and I always found it to be kind of a pain in the neck.
The SteelSeries headset comes with two batteries! One in the headset and one sits in the base station and charges while you are using the other one. Just using the headset out of the box I got more than eight hours of game play before I got the low battery warning beep.
I merely paused the game, the right side ear cup is magnetically held in place so you just pop it off and swap batteries with the one in the base station. Boom right back to action with no need to drag a USB cable out to charge the headset or have to have it plugged in to finish that gaming session.
Also you can buy another pair of batteries for $19.95 if you ever need new batteries. This was a huge benefit to me over the Sennheiser headset.
The Sennheiser GSP 670 Wireless Gaming Headset uses a USB Dongle that communicates with the headset via software. Apparently the software is fairly new and not the greatest. It does have a 7.1 surround sound mimicking setting, but every review I read stated that it actually sounded better with it off.
Here’s a software screen shot I pulled of the web.
I personally don’t like to add software to my computer that I don’t really need, and I would prefer not to have to depend on software for my headset to function properly. Just as an example I know that with the newest Windows 10 versions, the people with Creative Labs Sound Blaster Z and ZXR cards are not working properly any longer due to the fact that Creative won’t update the drivers or software.
That is kind of and apples to oranges comparison because Creative Labs has always had notoriously horrible support, and Sennheiser might do a great job of software support… but maybe not, you never really know.
The SteelSeries Actis Pro headset does not use any software. It just uses the desktop base station. You plug in two USB cables into the back of your computer, one for power, one for sound, and Windows installs it immediately.
Here’s how the Sound window looks once you plug it in.
Not having to rely on software to use the headset is another huge advantage of the SteelSeries Arcis Pro over the Sennheiser GSP 670 headset.
I don’t use a microphone all that much personally because I don’t do much online multiplayer gaming, but from the reviews I’ve read it seems that the SteelSeries mic is better than the mic on the Sennheiser headset. In fact, in some reviews that is what the reviewer was most disappointed in was the microphone quality.
The Sennheiser mic swings up when not in use and comes on automatically when you swing it down, where the SteelSeries mic pushes up into the left ear cup which I like because it’s more out of the way and cleaner looking when not in use which is how it will be for me most of the time.
Ok I know I said that there were four main reasons I liked the SteelSeries Arcis Pro headset over the Sennheiser GSP 670 headset, and this is the fifth reason. Just think of this as a bonus
The Sennheiser GSP 670 headset lists for $350 on their web site, and that was the only place I could find to purchase them when I was doing my research, and the SteelSeries Arcis Pro headset normally lists for $330.
So the price is fairly close, and honestly I was going to buy the one I wanted no matter what. But I was able to pick up the SteelSeries Arcis Pro headset on sale on Amazon for $280, so that was nice getting it for $70 less!
Now that I’ve explained why I decided to go with the SteelSeries Arcis Pro headset, let’s take a look at a few unboxing pictures.
I’m only using two of these cables, but it has all the cables you need in the box.
How does it sound?
Now I am no sound aficionado, but for the ten or so hours of gaming I have done while using this headset it sounds fantastic to me! It does come with a sound volume limiter turned on by default, with games I had it turned all the way up or the second highest volume level, and it was plenty loud enough.
For videos I found myself turning it down quite a bit from the highest setting. I did turn the sound limiter off though, and it’s for sure plenty loud enough for games.
I don’t listen to much music while at my desk, but I do have an extensive classic rock music collection, so I did spends some time listening to some music with the volume turned all the way up with the sound limiter off. With Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, and others cranked up to the max, there was no distortion at all! I even played around with the built in equalizer. Here is a custom setting I set up directly on the desktop base station.
You can adjust the volume either with the desktop base station or the easy to find wheel on the left ear cup. Either way you adjust the volume the display on the desktop base station temporarily turns like this and gives you a nice visual of how high the volume is.
After a few seconds it turns back to the normal display. Here you can see the charge level of the battery in the base station too.
I have not tried or used the blue tooth feature yet, but it supposedly works flawlessly.
So far I am very happy with my decision and purchase of this SteelSeries Arctis Pro Headset and I plan to get many years of enjoyment out of it
Edit: Just two days after I originally posted this Toms Hardware came out with a review
of this headset.
Plus the price has dropped even further to $264.