If you haven’t heard of the SteelSeries they’re a company known for a lot of their PC peripherals. Whether it be their gaming mouse, headsets, or controllers, the company has always made high quality gear for gamers for a reasonable price and for their new Arctis series headsets they strive to bring quality audio across the board.
The Arctis is a new platform spanning from the series 3, 5, and 7. Sound is vital in a majority if not all types of gaming. There’s nothing like the sound of a engine in a car roaring alive and revving up, or the sound of a sniper rifle letting bullet rip out of a barrel to get a head shot and chambering another round for the next victim. What’s even better is when the sound is in full 7.1 surround sound, and SteelSeries’ entry level Arctis 3 does just that. With the base model starting with the new design and 7.1 surround sound S1 sound drivers, (same drivers that are used in their $300 headsets) their platform only grows. What good is a headset if you aren’t able to talk to your teammates?
On top of the S1 sound drivers, SteelSeries added their newly designed, exclusive bidirectional ClearCast mics. What is a bidriectional mic? To explain it a simple way it’s two microphones pointed in such a way where one mic is a noise cancelling mic and the other mic picks up only you. The mic is retractable, and once it’s pulled into place it feels natural and when you adjust it into place. On top of that when you upgrade to the series 5, you get the USB ChatMix dial that attaches by their new innovative universal cable system that can connect to different adapters for whether it be a 3.5mm headphone jack, the 4-Pole plug which adapts to USB, an extender,or to the split Y cord. As for the series 7, since it is wireless, the ChatMix is built right into one side of the ear cups and offers a zero lag audio experience because of a continuous frequency-hopping technology. A benefit of ChatMix is that when it’s plugged in, the driver loads in as two separate channels, one for desktop/game audio and one for voice/chat audio. So when teammates die and get chatty, you can adjust to just game audio to pull off an epic come back. Also when you upgrade from the 3 to the 5 you get built in RGB lighting on the outside of the ear cups, which have the ability to cycle through different colors at the same time or individually. Sadly the RGB option is only available for the series 5, and from the looks of it SteelSeries is putting their money on the 5 being the more popular purchase.
Overall the design of the headset seems very light and innovative. The head strap inside the headset to give it support is an elastic ski goggle like band that is made out of cloth which can be changed out to fit your style. Also the ear cups are made out of an airweave athletic type of mesh material so it’s breathable so your ears don’t sweat for those long sessions. Sewn into the ear cups is a polyurethane lining to keep just the right amount of pressure and seal to keep the bass tones in and ambient sounds out. In case you do sweat a lot and get your ear cups and head band dirty, you can remove them and throw them inside a washing machine to clean. First time I’ve heard you able to wash and clean your ear cups from any type of headset, definitely a thumbs up for innovation in this department. Also when I meant a headset for all your needs, the Arctis framework set up is made for anything from PC, Playstation, Xbox, or even cell phones. Because of the multi adapter plug that the Arctis comes with, you can switch from PC to consoles by just changing out plugs, and when you want to take it on the go for your daily commute just plug it in directly into your phones. Also, don’t worry, the ChatMix works seamlessly with all the platforms. The Arctis 7 will be out early November apparently, since preorders have already begun. Seems to be a great pick up for the holiday season, so definitely keep your eyes and ears out for the Arctis series.
Arctis 3 Available NOW for $79.99 – Available at Best Buy
Arctis 5 Available NOW for $99.99 – Available at Best Buy
Arctis 7 Available Nov 8th for $149.99 – Leaked by Amazon