SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless Review: A Go-Anywhere Headset

When I journey, I prefer to spend the majority of my time with my headphones on, doing just about nothing. The three-hour prepare journey to Seattle is gorgeous as a silent film, accompanied by my very own private music. I stare out the window, sometimes play one thing on my Nintendo Switch, learn one thing, or—if the Wi-Fi works— grind via my weekly bounties in Destiny 2. I’m in my very own little world, and I find it irresistible.

In the previous, this has meant utilizing wired headphones with a headphone-jack-to-USB-C dongle in order that they hook up with my Google Pixel 2. It’s an extended collection of plug in, unplug, plug in, unplug, plug in—all whereas wrestling with the wire to discover a cozy place for it to put with out getting in my approach. I’ve tried my luck with Bluetooth earbuds, however they do not work with the Switch, and the fixed pairing is approach much less handy than my plug-unplug dance.

The SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless affords a intelligent option to resolve all of those issues. It’s a wi-fi gaming headset that doubles as a pair of nice headphones, but it surely would not join through Bluetooth. Instead, it has a tiny, itty bitty wi-fi USB C dongle that connects to my cellphone and Switch with a 2.four GHz wi-fi sign.

Photograph: Steelseries

Yes, I mentioned it makes use of a dongle, and traditionally dongles usually are not enjoyable and have a tendency to get misplaced, however hear me out: It’s a actually good dongle. It’s wirelessly appropriate with Android telephones, the iPad Pro, Nintendo Switch, Windows PC, PS4, and Mac. On high of that, it really works with Xbox when you plug within the 3.5mm wire that comes with it.

It is not appropriate with the iPhone’s Lightning port (which can be on most iPads), however the Arctis 1 is a near-universal gaming headset—a rattling good one.

Into the Arctis-verse

It’s the 21st century. You’d assume making a pair of headphones that really feel cozy and sound stellar can be a solved downside, but it surely is not. Everyone’s ears and head are totally different, and all of us hearken to totally different sorts of audio in several conditions. It’s nonetheless tough to seek out the correct pair, however the Arctis 1 threads that audio needle.

The USB-C dongle is slightly black rectangle, wider than it’s lengthy, so would not protrude an excessive amount of from whichever machine you plug it into. Just plug it in, press the facility button on the headphones, and also you’re achieved. That’s the entire setup. Want to change out of your cellphone to your Switch? Just unplug the dongle and plug it into the brand new machine. It works similar to a 3.5mm headphone jack.

It generally is a ache to maintain monitor of the little dongle, since there’s nowhere to retailer it on the headset itself. You might need to preserve it on you, although. The Arctis 1 is a good set of wi-fi headphones too.

Whether you are chasing down the worm god Zol for the thousandth time, or simply enjoyable and listening to music, the soundstage is broad and expansive—simply lean again and shut your eyes. It’s like listening to your favourite artist providing you with a non-public live performance at an out of doors amphitheater.

When the rain begins cascading throughout the Hylian Plains in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, you’re feeling it. It creeps up similar to an actual rainstorm, a pitter patter changing into a deluge that appears to cross over you. The Arctis 1 provides that dimension to quite a lot of video games, and sounds pretty near the SteelSeries Arctis Pro, although its included DAC does add readability.

The microphone supplies clear sound for on-line communications, with out noticeable lag. The built-in noise canceling additionally does a terrific job of isolating your voice from background noise.

Street Wearable

There’s been a transfer towards much less gaudy designs for gaming headsets within the final couple years, and I’m right here for it. I hate having a unique pair of headphones for all the pieces, I like having the ability to simply depend on one pair. Which is why it is irritating when going exterior sporting a gaming headset makes you seem like an air site visitors controller who bought misplaced on the best way to work.

The Arctis 1 would not undergo from this downside. The entire headset is matte black plastic with a small SteelSeries emblem on the aspect, and the mic is removable. Simple, easy, and in accordance with SteelSeries itself, the Arctis `1 was designed to with commuters in thoughts. That explains the killer battery life.

Photograph: Steelseries

These headphones bought me via the PAX West convention on a single cost. I charged them earlier than I left, used them on the three-hour prepare trip up, and carried them round to make use of whereas I used to be ready in line for panels and demos. They died on the prepare trip again to Portland, however not till I used to be exterior ready for my Uber. In phrases of uncooked numbers, I bought about 19 hours of battery life out of that single cost.

If you do occur to expire of battery, you should use it in corded mode even when the battery is absolutely useless. The solely draw back is that there is not any clear option to inform how a lot battery life you have got left, so that you is likely to be caught off guard if you have not charged up shortly.

Sauron Would be Proud

The Arctis 1 Wireless is a stellar gaming headset, a terrific pair of headphones, and simply among the best choices on the market for any type of gamer—particularly these on the Switch. At $100, they’re fairly priced too, cheaper than the top-end Arctis Pro Wireless by about $200. And to be trustworthy, I desire the Arctis 1 over its dearer siblings. They supply free expertise that you simply simply do not get from tethered-to-a-DAC headsets just like the corded Arctis Pro. If you do not thoughts cords, the usual Arctis 1 are solely $50.

The Arctis 1 is not simply my favourite SteelSeries headset, it is grow to be my go-to pair of headphones (higher than the Pro X). I can use them with something anyplace. They match into a distinct segment I by no means knew I wanted.

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