SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless Review – I’ve reviewed tons of wireless gaming headsets here at Craving Tech from various top gaming brands, but none (if I’m not mistaken) has a replaceable battery system at warm like SteelSeries flagship headsets. I first came across this design when I was looking at the SteelSeries H Wireless helmet in 2014.
Four years later, the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless took the throne, but since then many new wireless gaming headsets have come out with new technologies and features. Although I don’t have the hot-swappable battery system, I fell in love with their Arctis 7P+ Wireless which can be used on both PC and PS5. However, you still need to plug in a cable to charge from time to time.
Finally, SteelSeries has now launched its latest flagship wireless gaming headset that has everything you want in a gaming headset with the new Arctis Nova Pro Wireless.
SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless Review – Unboxing and Package Contents
SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless Review – Design and Features
It still has the same concept: a wireless gaming headset connected to a separate wireless base station and featuring a hot-swappable battery system. However, almost everything else has been perfected with modern technology, design and purpose.
For starters, the new Arctis Nova Pro Wireless looks really modern and sleek, without attracting attention. This is important as you would want to wear the headset outside of your home away from your gaming devices (PC, Mac, Xbox, PlayStation or Nintendo Switch). The microphone boom is retractable but, more importantly, can be stowed away seamlessly, as if it were part of the headset’s design.
So the first question is, why would you want to wear this wireless gaming headset outside your home? Well, it supports bluetooth connection so you can play games like Diablo Immortal on your mobile phone or watch movies on it. It also has active noise cancellation to stop unwanted noise while you move.
The hybrid 4-mic design works well enough to muffle the noise around you and while it’s good, it’s definitely not as good as Bose Quiet Comfort 45 that I have. I can still hear some sounds obtained through the noise suppression algorithms, such as the sound of water flowing near the lake or when a helicopter is flying in the distance. But I have to say that the ANC is good enough to keep you immersed in your content and obviously if you really want the best noise-canceling Bluetooth headset, you’ll never be able to find it in a gaming headset.
Amazingly, the headset features HearThrough mode so you can hear your surroundings while wearing it. This feature definitely sounds promising for gamer dads like me who typically have to wear their gaming headphones with one side out of the ear, so we can hear when our babies need attention. While the HearThrough works great, I find the immersive experience with the headphones still makes it difficult to listen to those screams, especially when things get intense. Wearing the Arctis Nova Pro outside is really good because I can still hear my surroundings while I listen to music or play my games.
At home, you can connect the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless to both 2.4GHz wireless and Bluetooth at the same time. There is a dedicated power button to turn on the headset (wireless) and Bluetooth separately. When a call comes in, you can just press a button to answer and you can use the headset to chat. It’s a nice feature because some of us have partners and there are definitely times when you’re playing a game and your partner calls you.
Sound quality level is excellent. The 40mm high-fidelity speakers sound really good for gaming, listening to music, and watching movies. The wireless headphones can output 48kHz/24bit audio and support 360 degree spatial audio for extra immersion. While demoing the headset when I met SteelSeries, I watched a video clip of Inception with this feature enabled and was blown away. Not only is this important for the perception of sound in games, but also for that extra immersion when watching action movies with the headset.
The microphone is powered by AI to cancel noise so no matter where you play, you can be heard properly by your teammates, all thanks to SteelSeries Sonar technology. When I turned on noise canceling, it completely cut out my PC fan noise during the audio recording test. For an intense moment as you strafe left and right while talking, eliminating distractions is crucial to winning.
I can vouch for the audio positioning and quality of the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless Headset. During the game Surveillance During my 2-3 week review period, there were countless times when I could hear a short, tiny sound detail of an unseen enemy trying to flank our positions. Some of my teammates couldn’t hear them most of the time, so I was quite amazed at how many fine details this headset can pick up.
In the short Overwatch clips below, you can see some examples of what I’m talking about:
- In the first part, I could hear a faint footstep (which only lasted half a second) near our spawn. It was Lucio from the enemy trying to get a pick from our support and luckily I was able to stop him from killing our Ana and in the end I took him down for good.
- In the second part, I could hear our Widowmaker growling, then the bullet hits coming from an enemy Tracer. I quickly came to the rescue and killed the unsuspecting enemy. I even got a thank you from my teammate as a result.
- In the third part, I knew that the enemy’s Junkrat was unleashing its ultimate skill from the front left. So I prepared to shoot his RIP-Tire and saved our team from getting wiped out by this skill.
- In the last part, I could hear the footsteps of enemy Cassidy (McCree) trying to do a corny flank. It’s an easy kill once my Roadhog’s hook makes the connection. I’m sure he didn’t expect this.
There are also EQ presets you can select and tweak in Sonar to focus on hearing footsteps in games and more. There are also presets to adjust how you want to sound into the microphone (I prefer the Deep Voice setup) and other advanced settings you can adjust. You can record an audio sample and play with the settings while listening to how it changes your voice in real time. Really elegant and useful.
Thanks to the hot-swappable battery system, you have literally no downtime – except for a few seconds it takes you to change the battery inside the headset. The headset will use one battery where the other can be charged inside the wireless base station. The amount of battery remaining on the headset and inside the dock will be displayed on the bright OLED display.
There are options that can be changed directly on the wireless base station, including volume control, but many more like HearThrough sensitivity level, tethering switch (if you also have your PS5 on the same office), etc Unlike the Arctis 7P+ however, there is no wireless USB dongle that you can easily carry around if your PlayStation console is located in a different room. You must use the wireless base station.
Conclusion of the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro wireless review
SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless has it all: rich sound quality, comfort to wear for hours indoors and outdoors, multiple connectivity, versatility, active noise cancellation (audio and microphones), hot-swappable battery system and unexpected full audio customization using SteelSeries Sonar technology.
This is definitely the mother of all wireless gaming headsets! Of course, you will pay handsomely as it costs A$649 RRP, but if you love all the features mentioned here, you will definitely love the headset! The helmet is available from retailers in Australia and also on Amazon.co.uk
Disclosure: A SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless review sample was provided for review
SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless Review
High-fidelity audio, hot-swappable battery, simulated Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connection, modern design, ANC/HearThrough, advanced AI audio and microphone, and customizations – this wireless gaming headset has it all
- Sleek and modern design, the microphone is completely hidden from view
- Supports wireless (2.4GHz) and Bluetooth 5 connection simultaneously
- High quality audio, excellent audio positioning, support for 360 degree spatial audio
- Hot-swappable batteries. Use one battery while the other is charged inside the Wireless Base Station
- Can easily switch between two gaming devices (like a PC and an Xbox or PlayStation)
- Has ANC and HearThrough function
- Comfortable to wear for hours
- SteelSeries Sonar offers advanced AI-powered customizations
- The Arctis 7P+ is better if your console is located away from your PC as you can simply plug/unplug the wireless dongle to use the headset
- ANC not as good as ANC headphones from Bose or other specialist brands
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