SteelSeries makes a variety of gaming headsets, from budget-priced wired fashions to costly wi-fi bundles. The Arctis Professional Wi-fi is within the latter camp, with a hefty $329.99 price ticket and the efficiency, construct high quality, and options to again it up. It encompasses a devoted transmitter with its personal display screen for adjusting sources, EQ settings, and audio mixing with out even touching your PC or console, and comes with two batteries so that you by no means should plug it in to cost. It additionally has Bluetooth connectivity and even a wired choice, so you should use it together with your smartphone and go away the transmitter at residence. Its full function set, sturdy audio efficiency, and comfy match earn it our Editors’ Alternative for wi-fi gaming headsets.

Design

The Arctis Professional Wi-fi headset is sort of an identical to the wired Arctis Pro + GameDAC, however geared up with a battery and Bluetooth controls, and missing coloured lighting. It is understated and black, with barely rubberized plastic earcups. Smooth, breathable fabric-covered earpads simply match over most ears, and a black anodized steel headband holds every earcup on a virtually quarter-circle arm that lets them fold flat and pivot barely vertically. An elastic strap runs alongside the size of the headscarf, offering adjustable suspension that lifts the headset off of the scalp. This lets it match comfortably over even giant heads for pretty lengthy intervals of time. It is rather more understated than the anodized coloured aluminum piping of the Astro Gaming A50, and we discover the suspension on the headscarf a bit extra snug to put on than commonplace headband padding.

The left earcup holds many of the headset’s controls and connectors alongside its edge. Beginning on the again and dealing downward, there is a microphone mute button, a clickable multi-purpose quantity wheel, a connector for the included headset cable (the identical one utilized by the wired Arctis Professional), a Three.5mm pass-through to let different customers hear the audio going by means of the headset, a micro USB port for charging, and a growth mic that stays retracted contained in the earcup when not in use. The correct earcup options simply two buttons, Energy and Bluetooth, on the underside edge, together with indicator lights for each. The again panel of every earcup is hooked up by magnets, and pulls off simply. The left earcup panel hides a geometrical design and nothing of mechanical use, however the proper earcup panel covers the battery compartment.

Transmitter

The wi-fi transmitter is a 1.Four-by-Four.Three-by-Four.Three-inch (HWD) black field related in form and dimension to an Apple TV, with a monochrome OLED show, clickable dial, and separate Again button (that additionally toggles DTS simulated encompass sound on and off) on the entrance. The correct aspect encompasses a battery slot, whereas the again holds Three.5mm and optical audio inputs and outputs, together with a micro USB port and a barrel plug energy connector (which is non-obligatory, however permits you to hold the transmitter energetic so you’ll be able to change the headset’s settings with out your PC or console actively linked to it). The transmitter additionally allows high-res audio playback by means of the headset. It helps as much as 96kHz, 24-bit audio, which will not apply for many video games however generally is a large boon if you wish to hearken to lossless music.

These are nearly all the options you can need in a wi-fi gaming headset transmitter, aside from a spot to truly put it when not in use. Because it’s only a black field, you’ll be able to’t set the headset securely over it like you’ll be able to with the Astro Gaming A50’s mixture transmitter and charging base.

By default, the transmitter exhibits the linked system, quantity stage, and present battery ranges of each the battery within the headset and the one within the charging slot. Clicking the dial opens up the menu system, which helps you to modify audio settings like recreation/voice chat combine, select equalizer presets (or make your personal customized EQ setting with a five-band equalizer), toggle simulated encompass sound, or change the supply between PC (USB-only), PS4 (USB for voice chat, optical for recreation audio), and something linked to the transmitter by means of the three.5mm enter.

It is a useful interface and helpful to have available as a substitute of requiring diving into an app or menus in your TV or monitor, however it’s a lot clunkier than the interface on the GameDAC included with the wired Arctis Professional. Happily, the clickable quantity wheel on the headset itself makes up for it; whereas the transmitter requires going by means of menus, clicking the wheel cycles by means of quantity management, recreation/voice combine, equalizer, and audio supply settings.

The Arctis Professional Wi-fi comes with all the cables it’s essential use and hold it charged, together with optical audio, USB-to-micro USB, cell audio (proprietary headset connector-to-Three.5mm), and three.5mm. Whereas it has connectors for charging the headset and utilizing it wired, you do not want any of them to maintain the headset operating. It comes robotically paired with the included wi-fi transmitter, which has a battery slot for charging. Because it comes with two batteries, you’ll be able to swap them out and hold one charged always, so you do not ever must plug within the headset itself to make use of it. Based on SteelSeries, every battery can last as long as 10 hours.

Connectivity and Microphone

The Arctis Professional Wi-fi is designed to be used with a PC or PlayStation Four, utilizing the transmitter both linked by means of USB for a PC, or by means of each USB and optical audio for a PS4. The PS4 Slim would not have an optical audio output, however the optical audio output out of your TV will work simply as properly. In case your TV would not have an optical audio output, this headset is not appropriate for console gaming.

You may as well use the headset by itself over Bluetooth, by powering it on and holding the Bluetooth button down till it flashes. It could actually deal with audio despatched concurrently each by the transmitter and the linked Bluetooth system, so you’ll be able to hold your telephone available whereas gaming. It additionally works standalone with out the transmitter in Bluetooth mode, or wired with the included cable.

The microphone on the Arctis Professional Wi-fi sounds excellent. My voice got here by means of clearly in take a look at recordings on a PC, with loads of element and low-mid resonance with out sounding significantly sibilant. I observed a low-level hiss within the take a look at recordings, which appeared to come back from our take a look at lab’s overzealous air flow system greater than any type of interference. The hiss did not seem with the PS4 in our quieter take a look at room, so it is one thing to remember when you’ve got a loud air conditioner.

Music Efficiency

The Arctis Professional Wi-fi handles music fairly capably, with a sculpted sound that provides loads of bass, typical for gaming headsets. At most and borderline unsafe quantity ranges, it reproduced the throbbing subwoofer-like bass drum in Run The Jewels’ “Legend Has It” with considerable power and no distortion. The vocals on the monitor got here by means of clearly towards the sub-bass notes, as did the shaker backing the combo.

Sure’ “Roundabout” additionally sounded excellent on the Arctis Professional Wi-fi. The guitar plucks within the opening had loads of string texture, and the dense combine left sufficient room for the vocals and drums when issues actually kicked in. The electrical slap bass did not sound significantly punchy, however it additionally did not overwhelm the remainder of the monitor or muddy the hits of the high-hat.

Recreation Efficiency

Just like the Arctis Professional + GameDAC, the Arctis Professional Wi-fi makes use of DTS Headphone:X for simulated encompass sound. We have but to listen to a headset that may produce actual encompass sound, however the Professional Wi-fi’ 40mm stereo drivers can at the very least generate a bigger-sounding audio area with processing and mixing. You will not see a lot, if any, tactical benefit since correct imaging of audio sources as in entrance of or behind you is not possible, however it could nonetheless make the gaming expertise extra immersive.

Monster Hunter World sounds excellent on the Arctis Professional Wi-fi. The headset produces simply sufficient low frequency response to offer highly effective hits some punch with out overwhelming the remainder of the sport audio, and delicate seems like utilizing whetstones or mining minerals get quantity of excessive frequency finesse. The DTS Headphone:X simulated encompass sound affords sturdy lateral imaging, mixing the stereo channels to offer sense of left-to-right positioning.

Nier: Automata additionally sounds wonderful. The sport’s unbelievable soundtrack has loads of low-mid presence to offer the devices bombast, and better frequency sound results like laser blasts and audios cue to dodge come by means of cleanly. Dialogue can be simply heard even in the course of battle.

Conclusions

The SteelSeries Arctis Professional Wi-fi is without doubt one of the most full-featured gaming headsets we have seen, with Bluetooth connectivity and a strong transmitter with its personal show and controls. It additionally sounds wonderful and feels very snug to put on, which helps justify its $320 price ticket. For every thing it affords, the Arctis Professional Wi-fi earns our Editors’ Alternative for wi-fi gaming headsets. If you’d like sturdy efficiency for much less cash, the Astro Gaming A20 and SteelSeries’ personal Arctis 7 are excellent wi-fi headsets that do not have fairly the flexibleness or construct high quality of the Arctis Professional, however are half the worth.

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