I want to thank SteelSeries for sending this wonderful product for review.
The nominal impendance of these headsets are 32 Ohms, which means they do not require a ton of power to push high audio levels, which is great for battery longetivity and great aswell for mobile devices. These headsets are capable of outputting a very wide band of frequency, from 10Hz to 40000Hz, which puts it in the Hi-Fi range with their large neodymium magnet speakers. What is Hi-Fi? Hi-Fi is short for High Fidelity, which means you’ll hear the sound as close as possible to how it was a created, a higher fidelity of the input sound outputted through the headset. With a total of less than 1% of harmonic distortion (sound accuracy), which enables these to produce accurate sound. A sensitivity of 92 dBSPL (Decibel, sound pressure level), is more than enough for any normal user as anything over 85 dB for the vast majority of humans will cause hearing damage, 92 is just a little less than a grinder in a machine shop, that gives you an idea.
The microphone is bidirectional noise cancelling and has a frenquency range of 100Hz to 10000Hz with a sensitivity of -38 dBV
Arctis Pro Wireless
The Arctis Pro Wireless features dual RF wireless, lossless, Lag Free 2.4GHz, Bluetooth V4.1 with a range of up to 12m/40ft and a battery life of 10 hours per battery for a total of 20 hours.
Arctis Pro + GameDac
The Arctis Pro wired headset is paired with a DAC which features a ESS Sabre 9018Q2C chip, still one of the industries top chips, which can output audio formats in 44.1-96kHz and 16-24-bit. An insane low of less than 0.0032% total harmonic distortion and noise and a signal to noise ratio of 109 dB, which is the strenght of the signal carrying the signal. (DAC chip specs)
The headsets come in a fully colored, fully detailed box with accurate product pictures. The front has pictures and short descriptions of the products, the sides have more detailed product specifications (and a little special something), the rear has features spotlights for both models, the bottom regulatory and product serials and UPCs and finally, the top with small logo and mention of “most awarded gaming headset line”.
Once you take off the two pieces of clear vinyl stickers keeping the box together, you can pull the top off, which reveals the headset directly in a plastic molded spacing. Packaged in the same manner, the wireless model had come a bit loose from the packaging and showed the top elastic band kinked (more on this later). The wired model didn’t have this issue.
Removing the headsets is easy as it should be. The GameDac from the wired model is well protected with clear static clinging plastic and the wireless model has the same protection for its wireless transmitter and controller unit.
Wireless model specifics
The transmitter and controller unit has a spiraled rubber grip for the knob, which has a great feel, the button is non-intrusive to the design and the silkscreened logo is well placed. The top features an embossed logo, which is glossy, while the rest of the top is matte, this will not show scratches as much as entirely glossy with time has a tendancy to being scratched, even though they’re not touched. One side has the battery recharge slot, while the back has ports for line out, line in, 5V DC optional power, USB connectivity along with optical in and out. The bottom is fully rubber and has information on power draw and a few other things.
The headset itself has a button for power and bluetooth on the right ear cup, while the left ear cup has microUSB, line in, mobile audio line in, volume roulette and microphone mute button. The left ear cup also has the microphone, which you can hide almost entirely, it has a red LED turned on when it’s turned off via the button on the left ear cup.
The right ear cup has the battery, which is in the same manner as some previous SteelSeries headsets. Just remove the magnetic covers and voilà! It also has the power button, which has a unintrusive white LED and the bluetooth button which also has an unintrusive blue LED.
Included in the packaging for the wired model is a users guide, feedback page, and various cables for power and connectivity, a foam pop filter and the second battery. This is all inside an accessory box.
Wired model specifics
The wired, much like the wireless, has a lot of the same connections for the headset, it is lacking the power and bluetooth buttons and microUSB ports. The wireless model features LED rings around the ear cups, which gives the headphone a nice glow, these are under the magnetic covers.
The GameDac has an optical port, USB port for power, line out and mobile in ports. It also sports the same rubbery knob as the wireless model, but size differently (a bit bigger) and sits at an angle instead of flat like the wireless model. It sports a o-ring like feet that goes around the perimeter of the unit.
The accessories included with this model are the main cable, the one for linking the headset to the GameDac, the cable for linking the GameDac to the outputting device (PC or PS4 for example), an optical cable and mobile adapter as well as the same pop filter as the wireless model.
The headband strap is removable from both models so if even they’re dirty, you can easily clean these, same goes with the ear cup tissue. The ear cup magnetic covers are also easily removable, I feel that SteelSeries could easily sell custom covers for these (they might just do that? Who knows?).
The OLED screens of the control/DAC units is easy to read and the menus are easily navigateable and very straight foward.
The product feels and looks premium, I feel that SteelSeries has really upped their game in the headset departement and are setting a new standard with these models. After prolonged use 10+ hour sessions, my ears, head or neck were all fine, even with the added weight of the wireless model, as confortable as when I put them on. Also remember that kink I said was present when unboxing, well after just a few hours of wearing these, it’s totally gone, so that’s great news, these type of things happen in shipping.
First off, I’ll say that sound is very objective what might sound good for me, might now sound as good for you. I took a series of songs from reliable sourced and listened to them at least twice.
Here is the list of songs I listened to, these are all familiar to me so that I can spot particularities of each, I made sure that I had various genres of music so that I could make the test as broad as possible.
- Jack Johnson – Upside Down
- Jason Mraz – I’m yours
- Flobots – Handlebars
- Pink Floyd – Money
- Rush – YYZ
- Wiz Khalif – Black and Yellow
- Kid Cudi – Day ‘N’ Nite
- All That Remains – The Air That I Breathe
- Amon Amarth – The Way of Vikings
- Eminem – River ft. Ed Sheeran
- Slipknot – Duality
- Deadmau5 ft Rob Swire – Ghosts N Stuff
After listening to these, I can easily say this is the headset that has generated the best sounding versions of these songs to me. Small details were more pronounced, I felt like I was more present at the recording that anything I’ve ever listened to.
For gaming I played quite a few rounds of PUBG and BF4, with my duo partner (we’re not actually good, we just have a blast). I actually feel like I could hear the enemy more disctinvely, like I could better hear where they were.
As far as the microphone goes, he says the voice quality wasn’t at the level of my Blue Yeti, but I was high enough that everything said was clear and easily understandable, the pop filter seems to help with the sound coming from my keyboard.
I want to recommend these for anyone in the market for headsets in this price range, the wired model has an MSRP of $249.99 USD, while the wireless model has $329.99 USD. They sound great, look great, have great features and software for them, which enables further control over these. I give these a 5 out of 5 flames, hands down the best audio experience I’ve ever had in a headsets.