SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless

Audio

SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless

Pros

  • This design feels more premium as opposed to other similar SteelSeries products
  • Soft and well fitting ear cups ensure good passive noise cancelling
  • Wireless through bluetooth & 2.4GHz using the station
  • Headband and ear cups are replaceable
  • Microphone can be retracted and is clear to hear for others in voicechat
  • Two batteries included, one for use, one to recharge whilst gaming
  • Compatible with PC, PS5/PS4, Nintendo Switch, smartphone and Mac
  • Happy to see a pop filter included

Cons

  • ANC is nice, but still a gimmick, room for improvement here
  • Not really a HiFi headset, but miles above other versions
  • A price tag of 377 Euros as of time of writing, not a cheap headset
SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless Review

Introduction

Steelseries, a name known and respected when it comes to gaming peripherals. With the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless, SteelSeries attempts to propel themselves into a higher category of gaming/hybrid headsets, does it belong? You can read it here!

Specifications

Let’s start with a short movie from SteelSeries about the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

Unboxing

Time to unearth the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless from its shell.

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

Upon opening, a pouch pouch/thin bag designed for the Nova Pro is shown, a manual, and a card that says ‘First Edition – For Glory’.

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

You can find a sticker on the station reading: “Important download for chatmix (PC Only)” below that is an URL for the SteelSeries GG app. And a bit of extra info on Sonar from SteelSeries.
What Sonar does can be seen in the video below.

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

What’s in the box?
– Arctis Nova Pro Wireless Headset
– Wireless Base Station
– 2x USB-C System Connections, 1x Line-in, 1x Line-out
– 2x Lithium Ion Batteries
– 2x USB-C to USB-A Cable (1.5m)
– 3.5mm to 3.5mm Audio Cable – 5 pole to 4 pole (1.2m)
– 2x Removable Magnetic Ear Plates
Microphone Pop Filter

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

Upon connecting the station I was prompted with a question if I was in the EU or not, I guess location dependant.

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

After confirming a message pops up: “Okay you’re all set! GLHF!”
In case you haven’t noticed, the battery can be pushed into the station on the right side for recharging.

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

The OLED screen shows the following info: Battery status of currently charging battery, headset volume, amount of kHz/bit, left and right channel and what input is currently in use.

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

When clicking in the big silver dial, the menu pops up. A menu with the following options:
– Usb input
— Audio input (USB-1 / USB-2)
– Audio options
— Equalizer (flat, bass boost, focus, smiley, custom eq)
— Gain (Low/High)
— ANC Options
—— ANC (on/off)
—— Transparent (on/off)
— Sidetone (on/off)
— Mic Volume (1/10)
– Wireless
— 2.4G
—— Pair
—— Mode (Speed/Range)
— Bluetooth
—— BT Default (on/off)
—— Auto Mute (on/off)
—— Clear paired
– Line out
— Audio output (speakers/Stream mix (main, aux, mic))
– System settings
— Display
—— Brightness (1/10)
—— Dim screen (off/60min)
—— Homescreen (detailed/simple)
— Mic led (1/10)
— Auto off (off/60 min)
— About
— Tutorial
— Reset

Lots of different options to configure the Nova Pro Wireless to your liking. If you need more options, SteelSeries GG has got your back.

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

The good thing about the Nova Pro Wireless is that a pop filter is being supplied. That prevents other people that can hear you from having to calm themselves down from a heart attack if you sigh.

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

One thing that is abundantly clear, the headset is designed to be used wireless. The USB-C connection being in the left earcup on the side, makes it near impossible to use with it whilst connected. Not the most comfortable if you do. You will however need this connection whilst updating the Nova Pro Wireless.

The covers are held together by 2 magnets.

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

As we’re accustomed to from SteelSeries, the microphone arm is quite flexible.

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

And now for the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless on its own. In my opinion, it seems a lot cleaner and premium than its predecessors. The hinges are made of plastic, which does raise the question how well that would hold up after falling down a few times. What does help is that the headset isn’t any heavier than it already is. The broad headband that rests on your head distributes the weight well due to its size. No annoying pushing down on your head.

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

I can safely bet that this headset would fit every head shape. The Arctis Pro Wireless is also very flexible. Pro tip, if a headset is too tight, spread it over an armrest or a box for a few nights to loosen it up. In my case, it’s fine and fits well. Even with my humongous unit of a head, they used to call me ‘Sniper’s Dream’ in school. (Editor’s note: It is entirely possible that I’ve made this up, don’t fire me! 🙂 )

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

Replaceable ear cups are a big plus. If by some miracle you can ruin yours through wear-and-tear it’s cheap and easy to buy new ones and attach them. And the same exact principle applies to the headband, good job SteelSeries!!

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

One side has the USB-C connection, the other side hides a battery, behind a cover plate.

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

The left ear cup contains all the connections and buttons.
On the front the retractable microphone, and a 3.5 mm jack for a console, PC etc.

Obviously, the volume button controls the volume. But it can also edit the chat/mix by clicking it once. The station will show an icon that displays the levels between the audio of the game/music and the chat/mix.

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

All the way on the top at the backside of the left earcup a small LED can be found, indicating if the Arctis Pro Wireless is on. Below that, the on/off button. The mute button also activates a small red light.

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

On the other side, we find a bluetooth button to pair your phone etc.

A personal boon is the ability to twist the earcups. If I need to take the headset to have a chat with my wife, it’s great to be able to rest it on my shoulders.

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

Software

Steelseries uses SteelSeries Engine for all their products. A very well made piece of software in my opinion. Making an account isn’t necessary, everything is easy to manage, and it doesn’t tax your system too much.

The pro about SteelSeries’ uniform software is that it is able to control different devices, provided its SteelSeries of course. And maybe you’ve noticed, I’m quite fond of testing all their products!

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

Through the engine, all apps are pushed to the hardware as well. Works like a charm.

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

After the update you’ll arrive at the overview of the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless. On the left hand side, you can make presets. Said presets can be linked to an app. Let’s say you have multiple configs on different apps, whenever you start said app or game, the config you want to use will be loaded automatically. Which is amazing in my opinion. If you want to shatter your ears with explosions in game A, configure the low tones more on that. If you want to hear enemies better in game B, configure mids and highs to pop out more. Whatever game you start up, your favorite config will come with you!

Right hand side has 2 options: Audio & Settings.
Audio is responsible for EQ edits. A few preset EQ’s are available: Flat, Bass Boost, Focus, Smiley and Custom.

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

The menu can also be used to adjust mic-volume, gain (extra boost of volume), mic sidetone, live mic preview and output configurations. By using sidetone, you can hear yourself, or not at all through your own headset. Having sidetone on high you can hear yourself talk clearly. And that’s a good feature. You’ll know if you’re not screaming over people, or how audio is perceived. Maybe a good feature to have at home, the wife would definitely like it if I talked a little softer…

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

Settings can be used for the following: Automatically turn the headset off after a timer such as 30 mins, default Bluetooth input upon turning the headset on etc.

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

And now for the cherry on top.. Sonar by SteelSeries. Sonar already has a boatload of presets for games, so you don’t have to finnick around with settings yourself. Only downside is that it does require making an account, if you don’t want to use it, no account needed.

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

Using mixer settings you can adjust different channels like game volume, chat, microphone etc. which is a lifesaver for when you livestream.

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

Custom games like Forza Horizon 5 already automatically have an EQ.
Using the same menu the gain and spatial audio (7.1) can be configured too.

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

The custom chat preset can adjust your voice, whether you want to sound like the average Fortnite player, or a seasoned combat veteran with a deep voice. Not just a cool gimmick, because you can truly finetune the way you want to sound.

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

Sonar is a nice addition to the already robust app of SteelSeries. It offers even more possibilities and options and ensures to extract the maximum amount of potential from the Arctis Pro Wireless, making it a lot more vivid.

Sound

Previously with the SteelSeries Arctis 9 where I had my sky high expectations to be slightly disappointed, the Arctis Nova Pro had the opposite effect. This headset is designed for gaming. Don’t expect a HiFi headset. A realization that came a bit late, it’s either HiFi, or a gaming headset. Hybrids aren’t there yet, and the Arctis Pro Wireless was a lot more enjoyable after that epiphany. Ease of use with the station, wireless options, always being able to continue gaming due to easy battery switching, it truly enhanced my gaming experience.

The headset can be worn comfortably for hours on end. And that is a factor of happiness for me. Not a single point of annoyance due to the broad headband and soft ear cushions.

Music with the Arctis Nova Pro sounds good, but not perfect. It won’t give you goosebumps like actual HiFi headphones, but it’s not designed for that, so music sounds good.
But I truly want to reiterate, it was never designed for that. The Arctis Pro Wireless does what it needs to do. Whilst playing Horizon Zero Dawn on PS5 or FarCry 6 (on PC) you hear what you need to hear. If you’re an avid fan of shooters like CoD or Battlefield, footsteps are clear, adding to the fun. When you are about to round the corner and so is someone else, having the drop on them is guaranteed fun! Provided you can actually finish the job…:)
Using Sonar, you can fine tune it even further.

ANC is nice, but still a gimmick. It doesn’t add that much to the experience. Don’t expect to be isolated from the world turning on ANC when you’re in a noisy environment.

Conclusion

SteelSeries has released a good high-end headset on the market with their Arctis Nova Pro Wireless.
A nice wireless headset with an extra battery, good working station that can be expanded upon with software.
The Pro Wireless sounds quite clear, for a gaming headphone. It’s packed with quite a bit of bass, which is noticeable whilst gaming. Thankfully the bass is in moderation, when an explosion happens near you in Battlefield you don’t have to grab your headphones from the floor.

The high-end talk is nice, but it’s not a high-end headphone for hi-fi audio. Hearing the first three verses of Aretha Franklin I’ve heard enough. Of course, it’s personal/taste. But for music, the maximum potential will not be reached. For gaming however, it will. Which it was designed for.
Footsteps during shooters are truly clear enough to have an advantage. And it might sound dull, but it’s just a world of difference comparing it to cheap in-ears/headsets. You WILL have one up on your opponents.

With a price tag of 377 Euros as of time of writing it’s not a bargain. But, one packed with options: ANC (Which is kind of meh), bluetooth, wireless through a 2.4GHz signal, station and spare battery. The Arctis Nova Pro can be used on a lot of different devices, phone or PS5 etc.

The range on wireless is just very good. I can waltz around my small apartment and still annoy my friends in voice chat.
And for the gamer who loves their friends so much, that they want to subject them to a trip to the bathroom whilst on Discord/Teamspeak etc. This is the perfect headset for you!

Steelseries is doing a perfect job supplying Steelseries Engine with all their products. No account needed, and everything in 1 application.
With more than enough options to tune the headset to your wishes.

The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless receives 4 out of 5 stars. A good gaming headset, that’s just less suitable when it comes to high-end audio.. But a step in the right direction.

STEELSERIES ARCTIS NOVA PRO WIRELESS

Let’s start a discussion

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