SteelSeries’ gaming headsets may simply be the gaming group’s best-kept secret. They basically modified the panorama, serving to to evolve headsets from mere bass-heavy machines with overly hyped highs to an audiophile’s moist dream. Living proof: the Arctis 7, which earned a number of accolades and made it to our best PC gaming headsets list.
It’s been a little bit over a 12 months since SteelSeries launched Arctis 7. One may guess they used all that point to good its small imperfections as a result of the Danish firm simply launched their latest headset line, the Arctic Professional; and we should say, we’re merely giddy about it.
We had the pleasure of taking its flagship mannequin, Arctis Professional + GameDAC, for a check run earlier than its client launch. And never solely are we impressed by its sound high quality and nice options, however we’ve additionally discovered that it corrects for Arctis 7’s minor inadequacies.
Be forewarned: at $249 (about £180, AU$320), it isn’t the most affordable, nevertheless it’s in no way a nasty worth for a set of high-end headsets. It’s a worth we’d gladly pay for lovely sound.
There’s just one phrase for the Arctis Professional + GameDAC’s design: magnificence. Whereas its greatest rivals appear to all be designing essentially the most ambitious-looking, players’ headsets, it’s bringing all of it again all the way down to earth with a easy, minimalist and no fluff design.
SteelSeries as soon as once more opts for a complicated, matte look and an ergonomic design. Its metal headband boasts a gunmetal end with a padded underside. The swiveling ear cups flaunt detachable plates with a coat mushy contact paint and athletics-inspired Airweave cushions.
It additionally has a secondary headband that is just like a self-adjusting ski goggle suspension band, which traces the wearer’s head for an ideal match.
After all, customers can change the headscarf and magnetic earcup covers for one thing a little bit extra attention-grabbing, which we ourselves opted for and you’ll see our custom-made headset beneath.
You possibly can put on these puppies for a very long time with out hurting your head and ears. Moreover, due to the detachable headband and the detachable ear cups, you simply get away from the standard black shade scheme and personalize yours with its personal line of equipment that come in several colours and designs.
To present it that gamer’s look, LED lights run across the fringe of the ear cups and you’ll customise utilizing the GameDAC. The mic, which twists in any route and simply pushes into the left ear cup when not in use, has its personal LED gentle that glows when muted.
There’s one minor element that we’re on the fence about: the location of the mute button and the amount dial. They’re each positioned behind the left ear cup, soyou kinda need to retrain your self when adjusting the amount in case you’re a rightie. The upside is, you gained’t need to take your hand off the mouse in the course of a recreation to take action.
The Arctis Professional’s finest characteristic is its digital to analog audio converter designed particularly for gaming. . Whereas most gaming consoles and PCs have their very own built-in converters, the Arctis Professional’s included GameDAC will override them because it presents increased high quality audio efficiency.
As an additional perk, it additionally has its personal amplifier circuit. We seen that this characteristic doesn’t essentially give the headset a punchier sound than its rivals. Nonetheless, it does assist ship extraordinarily low distortion at even the best output ranges.
This GameDAC, ergonomically talking, feels sort of in the way in which. Like an anchor it’s massive, cumbersome,heavy and requires a USB energy supply. So that you’ll by no means be capable of simply take the entire Arctis Professional setup and plug it right into a cellphone to get the very best audio it might probably ship.. Nevertheless it’s one other minor element we are able to overlook, particularly due to its capabilities.
It has its personal OLED display show, which lets you alter the amount, EQ curve, enter, the Sidetone (how a lot you hear of your self whereas speaking on the mic), LED colours, and the ChatMix (the stability between in recreation and chat audio) with out going by a software program. It additionally permits you to flip the DTS on or off with a press of a button to toggle digital encompass sound.
The GameDAC boasts a three.5mm audio jack, USB, and optical audio ports for enter. This flexibility of quite a few enter choices basically addresses one in every of Arctis 7’s most important flaws. This new mannequin could be hooked as much as the PS4 and the Xbox One utilizing an optical cable, which permits for a extra managed and a barely extra detailed sound than the USB, for high-res audio with out the necessity for the DTS enhance.
One factor to bear in mind is that the when utilizing GameDAC has a most quantity limiter. Whenever you’re going analog as an alternative of utilizing the GameDAC, the headphones are a lot louder.
The GameDAC comes with a built-in limiter due to a global regulation, however fortunately you’ll be able to simply go into the setting to show off the security characteristic in case you so select. (We are able to’t promise you gained’t injury your ears in case you do although)
So far as sound goes, Arctis Professional is an impressive siren. Its sound efficiency is of the audiophile selection, whether or not you select to go analog or digital.
In reality, these headset is so good there’s not a lot distinction between the analog and the digital inputs. Analog audio won’t however as detailed, nevertheless it nonetheless sounds implausible. That claims so much about this unit’s sound high quality.
To not say that Arctis Professional is faultless. It’s soundstage, for instance, isn’t as large as some prime headsets available in the market—Creative’s Sound BlasterX H7 Tournament Edition, for instance, has an much more spectacular one. Nonetheless, it has an excellent stereo picture and each sound appears to return from the fitting place. Nonetheless, the distances of the completely different components in a recreation are usually not as palpable as they’re with the H7.
By extension, H7’s wider soundstage makes its digital encompass sound extra pure; however not by a lot. Arctis Professional’s digital encompass sound is fairly convincing , making up for an additional one in every of Arctis 7’s shortcomings. Whereas taking part in Hitman, we might hear voices passing and from behind us; with Dishonored 2, we might hear the guards working as much as us earlier than we even see them.
Does the DTS button on the GameDAC enhance it? In our exams, it doesn’t actually enhance this present 360-degree audio picture; a minimum of not in an apparent means. It does, nonetheless, act as a compression characteristic with a high-mid bump that pushes voices to the forefront, makes music sound higher, and helps with fashionable films with horrible sound mixing.
Nonetheless, all of it boils all the way down to the sound.
This gaming headset produces a powerful EQ frequency curve. There are not any bizarre bumps within the highs, mids and lows. There are not any cuts so whether or not you’re gaming or listening to music, you gained’t really feel like there’s one thing lacking. The bass will not be overwhelming both (although in case you actually need to, it may be pushed up by the EQ).
The result’s a ravishing, well-balanced sound that’s nearly worthy of adulation.
Positive, we’d respect a cheaper price tag. However paying $249 for a gaming headset of this caliber is one thing we are able to simply dwell with.
As gaming headsets go, the Arctis Professional + GameDAC is shoo-in for audiophiles and players with a style for nuanced sound. SteelSeries clearly took discover of Arctis 7’s lacking options and slapped these on to what it does finest – headsets that produce beautiful sound, principally sealing Arctis Professional’s destiny as a prime contender within the gaming sound units market.
With the Arctis Professional +GameDAC, you’re not simply getting a smooth, snug design, enter flexibility, and a GameDAC that places management at your fingertips and supply a devoted, higher high quality converter. Most significantly, you’re getting mind-blowing sound worthy of audiophile worship.