SteelSeries Arena 3 Review

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Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy

The SteelSeries Arena 3 is the latest addition to a long-running series of PC audio accessories that have impressed even the most uncritical listeners with their high-quality sound. Not only has SteelSeries improved the gaming headset market, but the way gamers perceive sound in games has also been greatly enhanced by its Arctis range of headsets.

Given that even the most impressive PC speakers aren’t as appealing to players as PC gaming headphones, the SteelSeries Arena 3 has enormous expectations placed upon it.

Fortunately, SteelSeries is also an expert at providing a diverse selection in a way that all gamers, not just the wealthy few, can enjoy. In addition to the Arena 3, it debuted the subwoofer-equipped 2.1 Arena 7 and the massive (and mind-blowing) Arena 9, which floored us with its surround sound capabilities.

Thanks to the two speaker systems, the Arena 3 can focus on satisfying the demands of PC users and gamers looking for affordable speakers for their daily listening needs. As of now, it’s an excellent choice with a charming appearance, a spacious soundstage, and ample loudspeakers.
These PC speakers are fantastic but won’t compare to the Arena 9.

Affordability and Price

The SteelSeries Arena 3, a mid-range gaming mouse, is now available in the US, UK, and Australia. It will set you back $149 (£149, AU$289). Undoubtedly, less expensive alternatives provide sound that is on par with more expensive ones if money is tight. While most bookshelf speakers have a larger footprint, a few offer greater quality for about the same price. The SteelSeries Arena 3 strikes an excellent mix of price, portability, and sound quality.

With the room and the means, the SteelSeries Arena 9 delivers superior, more immersive sound with a little extra oomph. But it’s also far more costly.

Design

SteelSeries deserves credit for trying to create a visually striking and distinctive design. The SteelSeries Arena 3 speakers are charming, and their egg-shaped stand makes them look like breakfast soft-boiled eggs served in egg cups. We’re not complaining, though, because we love eggs.

While it’s true that some speakers are more compact and easier to transport, they certainly will maintain your style. That is, unless you’re talking about those gigantic bookcase speakers some folks use for their computers. The fact that they come with compact yet sturdy adjustable stands is a plus. To enhance your listening experience, you can tilt the speakers using these stands.

A bass port, a space with a specific purpose—typically to augment low-frequency sounds—is located above each speaker’s four-inch driver. Unfortunately, they can’t substantially improve the sound quality.
The primary control for the right speaker, which may be used for muting, changing input sources, and more, combines a volume wheel and a multipurpose button. Additionally, it features three audio connections on the rear, allowing you to connect three separate audio sources at once: PC wired, auxiliary, and wired headset. Not to mention, these speakers already have Bluetooth connectivity.

Sonar, a new extension for SteelSeries’ GG software, allows for a good deal of personalization in this area, and it was made with the brand’s audio equipment in mind. You can tweak the sound of your Arena 3 by using Sonar to turn the Chamonix on and off, change the Master Volume, and play about with the parametric EQ.
One nice feature of Sonar is the Parametric EQ. Since only audiophiles and audio experts use it, gamers rarely encounter it. Therefore, having it on hand is crucial since it permits a great deal of adjustment.
You know, the one that Christopher Nolan nearly never remembers to use when mixing his films? The Gain and Smart Volume compressor makes loud bits a little quieter and quiet bits a little louder. While Sonar enables and fine-tun Spatial Audio, it widens the soundstage on the Arena 3.

Performance

SteelSeries Arena 3 Review
Image credit: Future / Michelle Rae Uy

 

Despite their diminutive size, the SteelSeries Arena 3 speakers pack a mighty punch and, at maximum volume, can fill a medium-sized room with sound. You may also supply a small room with it at half volume.
The sound is decent, but without a subwoofer, songs like “Levitating” by Dua Lipa—a dancing song—and “Unemployed” by Tierra Whack—a song with a lot of bottom end—will sound severely lacking. There may not be as much rumble as you were hoping for. Because, well, there isn’t a subwoofer; there is no sub-bass.

The lower mids are amplified and noticeable to compensate for the lack of a true bass. While it may not be the best approach, it does the trick in some situations. Even if “Mammamia” by Maneskin isn’t as powerful, the lack of bass isn’t noticeable because the song is primarily rock. Rock tends to center its sound on the midrange, and these speakers’ enhancement of the lower midrange makes the music sound more expansive.

The remaining mids are reasonably balanced. Nevertheless, the treble and brightness are muted, which diminishes your presence, and the highs are muted as well, so detail is lost.
Despite the lack of satisfying rumble in Cyberpunk 2077, the environmental aspects are surprisingly audible, which is a pleasant surprise given that the soundtrack provides the game’s high-end.

This isn’t a system with genuine surround sound; instead, it has a soundstage more typical of bookshelf speakers. However, you may discern elements shifting from side to side or coming closer or farther away.
The soundstage is slightly widened by activating the Spatial Audio option in GG’s Sonar. The incorporation of reverb makes it seem like there are more elements since it grants space to sound parts, giving them dimension and a slight boost in weight.

Wrap up

The SteelSeries Arena 3 are fantastic computer stereo speakers because they have good sound, a large volume knob, and a charming egg-shaped design. However, the sub-bass and immersive sound that the Arena 9 provides needs to be added to this model. This is fine if all you need are standard computer speakers. Opt for the 5.1 version if you desire a more immersive experience with ample rumbling.

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