Review: SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless headset
It’s expensive, but we’ve never seen a headset quite like it before from SteelSeries.
Over the years, SteelSeries has continued to deliver quality headsets with its Arctis line.
And all of the company’s research and development has seemingly led up to its latest release, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless headset.
The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is the pinnacle of gaming headsets from SteelSeries to date.
There’s also a version with a dedicated port for Xbox. But you’ll lose the ability to connect to two other devices. We’ll get more into that in a minute.
So SteelSeries is definitely targeting customers looking for a premium option with this headset. And premium is exactly what you get with the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless.
What’s in the box?
The premium experience of the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless starts with the unboxing experience. The headset comes packed in a soft, cloth bag. Removing that package reveals a couple of USB-C cables, a 3.5mm audio cable, an extra battery, and the wireless base station.
The base station acts as the 2.4Ghz wireless hub for the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless. It has two USB-C ports on the back, allowing you to connect two different systems and easily switch between them using the base station’s controls.
That’s what we were talking about above with the Xbox version of the headset. That version replaces one of the ports with one specifically for Xbox. So you would lose the ability to connect the base station to, for example, a PlayStation 5 and a PC at the same time.
The headset also has dual audio stream capabilities using a 2.4Ghz connection and Bluetooth at the same time. So you can connect to your PC or console via 2.4GHz and your phone via Bluetooth at the same time. And you manage all those connections right from the base station itself.
What else can the base station do?
And that’s really just the beginning of the base station’s capabilities. The base station really helps the Arctis Nova Pro stand out from similar headsets. It acts as a volume control as well as a mixer to adjust between game and chat sound.
As we said earlier, the base stand lets you easily switch between two connected systems. It’s also where you manage your Bluetooth connection.
You can even use the base station to adjust the equalizer on your headphones if you’re not using the SteelSeries Sonar app.
So what about that extra battery that comes with the headset? The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless has an easily removable battery that you can replace. You just pop off a magnetic cover on the right earcup and you can access the battery.
And there’s a convenient little port on the right side of the base station that you can slide the extra battery in to recharge. So when your headset runs out of juice, just swap it with the one you’ve been charging in the base station and begin charging the dead one.
Each battery is rated for around 18 to 22 hours of gameplay. But you’re always recharging one while using the other. That means you can game with the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless headset virtually uninterrupted forever.
Is the headset comfortable?
When it comes to design, the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless follows the traditional style of SteelSeries headsets that we’ve seen in the past, but with a few tweaks and adjustments. It features the classic, retractable boom mic that’s used for both voice chat and active noise canceling.
There’s also the familiar ski goggle-like headband attached to an aluminum frame that you can adjust to perfectly fit your own head. The earcups slide smoothly down for even further adjustment, leading to a perfect fit for any head shape.
This time around, the company opted for a leatherette covering for the earcups, as opposed to the cloth cover found on most of its headsets. I was concerned that this could lead to my ears getting hot after long periods of use, but I haven’t noticed any problems like that.
But how does the Arctis Nova Pro headset sound?
Of course, the base station is nothing but a glorified gimmick if the headset itself doesn’t make the cut. Fortunately, that’s something you rarely have to worry about with SteelSeries. And the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless isn’t any different.
This headset offers clean and clear audio, no matter how high you turn up the volume. If you’re like me and have essentially ruined your hearing over the years, the headset sounds perfect even at the highest volume.
And with the SteelSeries Sonar app, you can set up three different equalizer settings to have the perfect sound for each occasion. The app features tons of preset equalizers, including a Valorant option that I use for the tactical first-person shooter that completely optimizes the sound profile for cues in the game.
Additionally, the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless features both active noise canceling and transparency mode. While those features can tend to be dodgy in certain devices, they are actually pretty impressive on this headset.
When playing games with active noise canceling mode enabled through the base station, nearly all outside noises are cut out. It certainly does help to increase immersion, even if it does somewhat limit your perception of what’s going on in real life.
And with transparency mode enabled, the microphone on the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless amplifies outside noises that come in clean and clear. I can hear birds chirping and cars rumbling outside, even with the volume on the headset cranked up.
Should you buy the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless gaming headset?
With the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless headset, SteelSeries has delivered the same high-quality sound and comfort that we have come to know from the brand’s gaming peripherals. But the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless takes things up to another level.
Coming in at $349.99, SteelSeries is definitely branding this as a premium headset with tons of features aimed at improving your gaming experience. The addition of active noise canceling and transparency mode are nice additional touches that the headset offers.
And what really sets the headset apart from its competition is the wireless base station. The base station lets you easily connect to two different systems and switch between them with the push of a button. It also houses a charging port for the extra battery so you always have a fresh charge for non-stop gaming.
It’s hard to compare the price point for premium headsets like the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless. They all tend to be relatively unique.
For example, the Master & Dynamic MG20 that we tested is $100 more expensive, at $449. It’s made with only premium materials but doesn’t have many of the extra features.
On the other hand, the EPOS H3Pro Hybrid offers similar features, with noise-canceling and dual connections for only $279. But it doesn’t come with anything like SteelSeries’ wireless base station.
Where can you find the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless headset?
At the end of the day, the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is a fantastic headset that, in my opinion, is worth the premium price. It builds on the previous Arctis line of headsets, adding premium features like active noise canceling and dual-channel connections.
And the base station is a unique approach to the headset’s wireless connection. It lets you keep a battery charged constantly and manage just about every aspect of the headset with the push of a button.
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