5 Best SteelSeries Gaming Headsets

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If you’re in the market for a gaming headset, you can’t go wrong with SteelSeries products. The Danish company offers a good selection of headsets suitable for gaming on PC and consoles, with some of the headsets also offering easy wireless connectivity with mobile devices. SteelSeries headsets are known for their more casual looks, customizability, and mic quality, along with the unique headband design on premium models. If you’re shopping for the best SteelSeries gaming headsets, the products below are the best options right now.

Budget
best-budget-steelseries-gaming-headset
SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless
3.9/5.0
Type: Wireless over-ear
Battery: 20 hours
Compact USB-C dongle and removable mic.
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Best Value
best-value-steelseries-gaming-headset
SteelSeries Arctis 7
4.1/5.0
Type: Wireless over-ear
Battery: 24 hours
Low-latency wireless connectivity.
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Top Pick
top-value-steelseries-gaming-headset
SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless
4.4/5.0
Type: Wireless over-ear
Battery: 10 hours
Steel headband and dual battery system.
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SteelSeries Gaming Headsets Comparison Table

ModelRatingTypeMicrophoneBatteryConnectivityPrice
SteelSeries
Arctis Pro
Wireless
4.4Wireless
over-ear
Retractable
boom mic
10 hoursUSB wireless
transmitter,
3.5 mm
audio cable,
Bluetooth 4.1
Check Price
SteelSeries
Arctis 1
Wireless
3.9Wireless
over-ear
Detachable
boom mic
20 hoursUSB-C
wireless
transmitter,
3.5 mm
audio cable
Check Price
SteelSeries
Arctis 7
4.1Wireless
over-ear
Retractable
boom mic
24 hoursUSB wireless
transmitter,
3.5 mm
udio cable
Check Price
SteelSeries
Arctis 5
3.9Wired over-
ear
Retractable
boom mic
N/AUSB audio
cable, 3.5
mm analog
adapter
Check Price
SteelSeries
Arctis 9X
4.0Wireless over-
ear
Retractable
boom mic
20 hoursXbox
Wireless,
Bluetooth 4.1
Check Price

1. Top Pick: SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless

SteelSeries Arctis Pro WirelessView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.4/5

The Arctis Pro Wireless is one of the best and most versatile gaming headsets currently out, with its wired and wireless connection options making it compatible with different gaming platforms, including mobile devices. It’s a well-designed gaming headset with a bunch of features, including dual wireless connectivity, a dual battery system, and channel mixing. While it normally sells for around $350, which makes it one of the most expensive gaming headsets, you can get it for $300 or less during a sale.

Design & Features

Compared to some gaming headsets, the Arctis Pro Wireless has a cleaner and more casual look with no fancy RGB lighting system. It’s a wireless over-ear headset with large, closed-back ear cups, a sturdy steel headband, and an adjustable headband strap. It has a flexible boom mic that retracts into the left ear cup and an easily accessible battery slot in the right ear cup. Although it has a tight fit and subpar breathability, it’s comfortable to wear for long gaming sessions.

For controls, you can use either the controls on the ear cups or the wireless transmitter included with the headset, which has an OLED screen. On the ear cups, you get a mic mute switch, a control wheel, a power button, and a Bluetooth button, with the latter also assigned for call and music management when connected to a mobile device. With the wireless transmitter, you can change sources, control the volume, balance the chat and game volumes, and adjust equalizer settings.

The Arctis Pro Wireless comes with a lot of accessories, including different cables for both the headset and the wireless transmitter. For the headset, you get an extra battery, a mic windscreen, an analog cable, and a micro USB charging cable. For the wireless transmitter, you get USB and optical audio cables for connecting to a PC or console, along with an optional power cable. If you want to charge the battery in the transmitter or prefer the device to be always on, you need to use the power cable.

Performance

The overall performance of the Arctis Pro Wireless is good and will satisfy most consumers. It has a well-balanced and accurate sound with a decent soundstage for a closed-back headset. Its retractable boom mic is outstanding, which is beneficial if you like to play online multiplayer games and use voice chat to communicate with other people. You can use the SteelSeries desktop app to alter some aspects of the headset, with options to adjust the sound and mic settings.

Capable of running up to 10 hours per battery and up to 20 hours in total, the Arctis Pro Wireless is suitable for long gaming sessions. Its dual battery system allows you to use one battery while the other is charging in the wireless transmitter, which has a slot where the battery is inserted like a cartridge. If both batteries are depleted, you can still use the headset in wired mode with the included analog audio cable. You can also use the micro USB charging cable to directly charge the battery in the headset.

The Arctis Pro Wireless offers different connection options. If you want to use the headset in wired mode to eliminate latency issues, you can use the provided analog cable, which terminates in a 3.5 mm analog connector that you can directly plug to compatible PS4 and Xbox One controllers. For wireless connectivity, you can use either Bluetooth or the wireless transmitter, with the latter boasting much lower latency. The headset allows for wireless connectivity with PC, PS4, Xbox One, Switch, and mobile devices, but the connection setup is different for each one.

Although the Arctis Pro Wireless doesn’t support multi-device pairing in Bluetooth mode, it allows for dual wireless connectivity. You can connect it to two audio sources using both the wireless transmitter and Bluetooth. This means you can pair it with your smartphone (via Bluetooth) and PC or home console (via the wireless transmitter) at the same time. The headset also has an output port that allows you to connect another pair of wired headphones for audio sharing.

Wrap-up

Overall, the Arctis Pro Wireless is an excellent gaming headset for both casual and hardcore gamers. Its build quality and overall performance are good while its list of features is one of the most impressive among wireless gaming headsets. It’s comfortable to wear for long gaming sessions, with its tight clamp making for a more secure fit, and offers multiple connection options that allow for compatibility with a PC, home consoles, handheld consoles, and mobile devices.

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Tech Specs
Type: Wireless over-ear
Microphone: Retractable boom mic
Battery: 10 hours
Connectivity: USB wireless transmitter, 3.5 mm audio cable, Bluetooth 4.1
Pros
Steel headband
Dual battery system
Excellent mic performance
Dual wireless connectivity
Comprehensive controls
Cons
Very expensive
Weak passive noise isolation

2. Budget: SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless

SteelSeries Arctis 1 WirelessView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 3.9/5

The Arctis 1 Wireless is the best budget headset in the current SteelSeries lineup, edging out its cheaper wired variant mainly due to its better connectivity options and compatibility with the SteelSeries desktop software. It comes with an analog audio cable for wired connectivity and a USB-C dongle for wireless connectivity with a PC, consoles, and Android mobile devices. You can get it for around $80-100, making it significantly more affordable than our top pick.

Design & Features

A wireless over-ear headset, the Arctis 1 Wireless has a less premium design compared to the Arctis Pro Wireless. While it has a metal-reinforced headband for a sturdier frame, its mostly plastic build is cheaper and less durable. It has closed-back ear cups with a detachable boom mic, which makes it the only SteelSeries headset in this guide with a removable mic. Its ear cups can rotate to a flat position, making it less cumbersome to wear around your neck. In addition to the USB-C dongle, the headset also comes with a micro USB charging cable, an analog cable, and a USB-A adapter for the dongle.

The Arctis 1 Wireless has a good on-cup control scheme composed of a multi-function power button, a volume wheel, and a mic mute switch – all of which are responsive and easily accessible. The power button allows for call and music management when connected to Android mobile devices, which is notable since gaming headsets usually lack call and media controls. Unlike with more premium SteelSeries headsets, there are no channel mixing and equalizer controls for the Arctis 1 Wireless.

Performance

The Arctis 1 Wireless is a surprisingly good-sounding headset suitable for different kinds of games, including action-packed first-person shooters and story-driven games with a lot of dialogue. Its boom mic has good noise reduction capability, but its recording quality is not as clear and detailed compared with other SteelSeries headsets. Its tight over-ear fit makes for a decent passive seal to keep sound leakage low, but noise isolation is mediocre except against high-frequency noises.

You can use the Arctis 1 Wireless for gaming on PC, consoles, and compatible Android mobile devices, either wirelessly or using the 3.5 mm analog audio cable. For low-latency wireless connectivity on PC, Android mobile devices, Switch Lite, and a regular Switch in handheld mode, you can use the extremely compact and travel-friendly USB-C dongle.

For PS4 consoles, a Switch in docked mode, and a computer lacking a USB-C port, you need to use the USB-A adapter included in the box. If you want a wireless connection with Xbox One consoles, you have to buy the Xbox version of the headset; the other variants only allow for wired connectivity with Microsoft’s gaming consoles.

On top of good sound quality and versatile connectivity options, battery performance is another notable strength for the Arctis 1 Wireless. The headset can run up to a solid 20 hours on a single charge, which is good enough for very long grinding sessions in online role-playing games. It also has a customizable auto-off timer and can be used as a completely passive headset when the battery runs out, thanks to the included audio cable.

Wrap-up

If you want an all-around wireless gaming headset but have a limited budget, the Arctis 1 Wireless is the best option in the current SteelSeries lineup. It’s one of the best and most versatile gaming headsets under $100. Its on-cup controls, sound quality, mic performance, and battery life are good while its customization options on the SteelSeries desktop app are decent. Among the wireless headsets in this guide, it’s the most suitable for gaming on the go due to its travel-friendly USB-C dongle.

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Tech Specs
Type: Wireless over-ear
Microphone: Detachable boom mic
Battery: 20 hours
Connectivity: USB-C wireless transmitter, 3.5 mm audio cable
Pros
Low-latency wireless connectivity
Compact USB-C dongle
Removable mic
Good battery performance
Low sound leakage
Cons
Mostly plastic frame
Tight clamp

3. Best Value: SteelSeries Arctis 7

SteelSeries Arctis 7View on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4.1/5

The Arctis 7 is what you get if you take the Arctis Pro Wireless and remove some of its features, such as the dual battery system and Bluetooth connectivity. It’s a wireless headset for gaming on PC and consoles, with its USB dongle allowing for low-latency wireless connectivity. You can get it for around $150 or less and offers great value for the money, especially if you intend to use it for both PC and console gaming.

Design & Features

Featuring a steel headband and a retractable boom mic, the Arctis 7 is a well-designed headset in an over-ear format. Its build quality is good, with its metal headband making for a sturdier frame, while its appearance is more on the casual side. Its closed-back ear cups have thick earpads that help mitigate its tight clamp, improving the overall comfort. It has a secure and stable fit, which means it won’t slide off easily when you’re moving around.

The Arctis 7’s on-cup control scheme has fewer functions compared with the Arctis Pro Wireless, but it’s still good and offers most of the functions you’d need for gaming. You get a mic mute switch, a volume wheel, and a separate wheel for balancing the game and chat volumes, along with a power button. Unlike with the Arctis Pro Wireless, the Arctis 7’s USB wireless transmitter doesn’t act as an alternate control hub. Additionally, there are no call and music controls on the headset, which can also be said for many other wireless gaming headsets.

Included with the Arctis 7 are three accessories: the USB wireless transmitter, the charging cable, and an audio cable that terminates in a 3.5 mm analog connector for easy compatibility with most devices, including smartphones and laptops. There is no travel pouch included with the headset, which hurts its overall portability, but this also applies to all the other headsets in this guide.

Performance

The Arctis 7 is not going to impress serious audiophiles, but it’s a good-sounding headset nonetheless, with powerful bass and a detailed mid-range. It’s great for different kinds of games and for general media consumption, but it’s not recommended if you want a large and spacious soundstage specifically for first-person shooters. In addition to its good sound quality, its boom mic is also excellent, especially regarding noise reduction, making it ideal for voice chat during multiplayer games. You can use the SteelSeries desktop app to modify the sound and adjust the mic settings.

You can use the Arctis 7 for gaming on PC, consoles, and mobile devices, but wireless connectivity is only available for select platforms. For low-latency wireless connectivity on PS4 consoles, computers, and a docked Switch, you can use the included USB dongle, which has a USB-A connector. For Xbox One consoles, the Switch Lite, a regular Switch in handheld mode, and mobile devices, you can only use the analog audio cable for wired connectivity.

With its 24-hour battery life per charge, the Arctis 7 has the best battery performance among the four wireless headsets in this guide. It has a power-saving feature in the form of an auto-off timer, which can be adjusted on the SteelSeries desktop app. If the headset runs out of battery at an inopportune time – like in the middle of an online multiplayer match – you can simply switch to wired mode using the included audio cable.

Wrap-up

All in all, the Arctis 7 is a great product and makes a strong case for the best wireless gaming headset under $200. Its build quality, on-cup controls, sound quality, and app support are good while its battery performance and mic quality are excellent. It’s compatible with different gaming platforms, including handheld consoles and mobile devices, with its USB dongle allowing for a low-latency wireless connection on PC, PS4, and Switch. If you like the design and performance of the Arctis Pro Wireless but don’t really care about its extra features, the Arctis 7 is a better investment.

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Tech Specs
Type: Wireless over-ear
Microphone: Retractable boom mic
Battery: 24 hours
Connectivity: USB wireless transmitter, 3.5 mm audio cable
Pros
Steel headband
Low-latency wireless connectivity
Great battery performance
Excellent mic quality
On-cup channel mixing control
Cons
Subpar noise isolation
No wireless connectivity for Xbox One

4. SteelSeries Arctis 5

SteelSeries Arctis 5View on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 3.9/5

The Arctis 5 is another budget-friendly SteelSeries gaming headset that can be bought for around $100, which places it in the same price range as the Arctis 1 Wireless. Compared to our budget pick, it has a slightly better-built frame and features virtual surround sound and channel mixing. But it has fewer connection options and can only be used in wired mode.

Design & Features

With its suspension strap and retractable boom mic, the Arctis 5 looks similar to the Arctis Pro Wireless and the Arctis 7, but its build quality is inferior. It has a less durable plastic headband, but it still feels sturdier than the Arctis 1 Wireless, which also has a mostly plastic frame. It has spacious ear cups with thick cushions to mitigate its tight clamp, improving the overall comfort. Unlike all the other headsets listed here, the Arctis 5 has an RGB lighting system on the ear cups, which can be customized using the SteelSeries desktop app.

Although its build quality is not the best, the Arctis 5 is comfortable to wear for hours. It has large ear cups that can comfortably wrap around most ear sizes. It has a lightweight frame and soft earpads that don’t trap too much heat for better breathability. You can easily adjust the suspension strap, but it has a rather limited adjustment range. The headset also has a tight over-ear fit, creating a better passive seal and making for a more secure fit.

The Arctis 5 has a straightforward on-cup control scheme with just the basic functions you’d need for gaming. It has a volume wheel and a mic mute switch located on the left ear cup, right next to the cable port. This control setup is easier to use than an in-line remote, especially while in the middle of a fast-paced game such as first-person shooters. Additionally, the headset includes a USB dongle with a dial for balancing the chat and game volumes, but only on PC.

Performance

Suitable for different games, the Arctis 5 is a good-sounding headset with a warm sound profile that many people will like for gaming. But if you don’t like the default sound, you can modify it using the SteelSeries desktop app, which has a graphic equalizer and an option to enable virtual surround sound when connected to a PC. The Arctis 5’s boom mic is also great for voice chat, which is beneficial if you love to play online multiplayer games. As with the sound, the desktop app offers a good amount of customization options for the boom mic.

Like all the SteelSeries headsets listed here, the Arctis 5 is not particularly good in the noise isolation category, which is a drawback for some people. Its closed-back design and tight passive seal allow it to block a good amount of high-frequency noises, but not against background chatter and low-frequency noises. On the bright side, the headset has a low sound leakage, which is beneficial if you want to play games at high volume but you don’t want to disturb people around you.

The Arctis 5 has the fewest connection options among the headsets in this guide, only offering wired connectivity, but it offers both analog and digital connection options, which is a plus. Its main audio cable is a USB cable that connects to the USB dongle for channel mixing control and extended cable range. For an analog connection, you need to use the included adapter, which has a 3.5 mm analog plug for easy compatibility with most devices, including mobile devices, handheld consoles, and PS4 and Xbox One controllers.

Wrap-up

If you don’t really like wireless headsets and prefer the more straightforward setup of wired headsets, the Arctis 5 is a better budget option than the Arctis 1 Wireless. While it has fewer connection options, it has a slightly better-built frame and a more comfortable over-ear design and features virtual surround sound and channel mixing control. It also has a better boom mic and a nice RGB lighting system that can be customized for a more personalized look.

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Tech Specs
Type: Wired over-ear
Microphone: Retractable boom mic
Battery: N/A
Connectivity: USB audio cable, 3.5 mm analog adapter
Pros
Customizable RGB lighting
USB dongle with channel mixing control
Great mic quality
Low sound leakage
Analog and digital connectivity options
Cons
Plastic headband
Underwhelming virtual surround sound

5. SteelSeries Arctis 9X

SteelSeries Arctis 9XView on Amazon

Editor’s Rating: 4/5

The Arctis 9X is the best SteelSeries gaming headset for Xbox One consoles. It has the same premium build quality, customizability, and complete on-cup controls of the Arctis Pro Wireless. But instead of using a USB dongle, it supports Xbox Wireless technology for direct wireless connectivity with Xbox One consoles. It also features Bluetooth and a dual wireless setup, but it lacks an audio cable. You can buy this headset for around $200, which makes it more affordable than our top pick.

Design & Features

An over-ear headset with a closed-back design, the Arctis 9X is a well-built headset featuring a sturdy steel headband and a retractable boom mic. It looks similar to the Arctis Pro Wireless and the Arctis 7, but it has noticeable green accents – a common detail among gaming headsets designed specifically for Xbox One consoles. It has a tight clamp and a relatively limited strap adjustment range, but it’s still comfortable to wear for long hours, mainly due to its generously padded ear cups and light frame.

The Arctis 9X has one of the most complete control schemes among wireless gaming headsets. It has a pair of dials for controlling the general volume and for balancing the chat and game volumes, along with a mic mute switch and multi-function power and Bluetooth buttons. The two multi-function buttons are used for managing your calls and music and toggling between equalizer presets, with the former being an uncommon functionality among gaming headsets.

Among the headsets listed here, the Arctis 9X has the fewest accessories. The only accessory included in the box is a USB cable, which is used for charging the headset and connecting it to a computer to interface with the SteelSeries desktop software. There is no audio cable included, although the headset still has a port for wired connectivity.

Performance

The Arctis 9X is good in most performance aspects except in the noise isolation category, where the headset is subpar. Its sound quality is good, with a good bass response and a decent soundstage for a closed-back headset, while its mic performance is excellent, which is beneficial for online multiplayer gaming. With the SteelSeries desktop software, you can modify the sound and mic settings, but only when the headset is connected to your computer using the provided USB cable.

Out of the box, the Arctis 9X is limited to wireless connectivity. You can connect directly to Xbox One consoles with no need for adapters or dongles, which is convenient. For computers and mobile devices, you can connect using Bluetooth. Of the two wireless options, the Xbox Wireless protocol has much lower latency. You can also connect the headset to two devices at the same time using both wireless options. But as mentioned, the Arctis 9X lacks an audio cable; if you want to have the option to switch to wired mode when the battery is low, you need to buy the required audio cable.

Speaking of the battery, the Arctis 9X has good battery performance, matching the Arctis Pro Wireless in total battery life. It can run up to around 20 hours on a single charge, which is more than enough for very long gaming sessions. You can also use the headset while it’s still charging, but it lacks a customizable auto-off timer or any other similar power-saving feature as of this writing.

Wrap-up

For Xbox One gaming, the Arctis 9X is the best SteelSeries gaming headset currently out. Unlike the other wireless headsets mentioned in this guide, it can connect directly to Xbox One consoles using Microsoft’s Xbox Wireless technology. It’s a well-designed headset with a sturdy metal headband, comprehensive on-cup controls, good battery performance, and Bluetooth support. Its build quality and sound quality are good while its mic quality is excellent.

View on Amazon

Tech Specs
Type: Wireless over-ear
Microphone: Retractable boom mic
Battery: 20 hours
Connectivity: Xbox Wireless, Bluetooth 4.1
Pros
Supports Xbox Wireless technology
Steel headband
Complete on-cup controls
Excellent mic quality
Dual wireless system
Cons
No audio cable included
Weak noise isolation
0/50 ratings