SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless headset review

When I was sent the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless headset the first thing I noticed prominently on the box was the quote “Best Wireless Gaming Headset” from PC Gamer with a little “From the makers of” before it.  

I was getting ready to tease the hell out of this headset, but I quickly discovered that inside might be the most versatile headset I have ever played with. So unfortunately the above line is the closest I will get to teasing the Arctis 1.

Working its way around console limitations

The best feature this nifty wireless headset has is the plentiful cable and dongle options available. These include a 3.5mm cable, the USB-A to micro USB cable, the USB-A to USB-C cable, and a USB-C wireless dongle.

If the above seems like confusing gibberish caused by me rolling my face on the keyboard, for once this isn’t true.

If like me you like cabled headsets because you can Switch between your Switch and your phone on the fly on your commute, well boy is this going to make you happy. The USB-C dongle can be moved between your phone and your Switch meaning you can listen to podcasts and pause to listen to the cutscenes on your Switch game on the fly. It was as smooth as doing so with a 3.5mm cable but without that annoying cable.

Your PS4 and PC will work like any other wireless headset. If you want to use it on your Xbox, plug the headset in with the 3.5mm jack to the controller and you are good to go.

This is by far the headset’s greatest selling point, and it delivers. Console makers be damned, SteelSeries is going to make their headsets work.

Sounds good/ Looks good.

Having played with a few headsets around the $100 mark I was getting used to a certain sound quality. I wasn’t expecting the Arctis 1 to sound that much better but boy it does. Even navigating panels on the Xbox One I was noticing the surround sound as I moved from left to right, and other minor things like that.

You don’t know you want it until you hear it, and now I have heard it.

The headset has a classic look about it. Picture a generic black pair of headphones in your mind. Got it? Yea that’s what they look like. To be honest I dig the hell out of it.  Headsets don’t need to have flashing lights because that’s the TV’s job. The headset has a simple elegance that I am digging.

Comfort so you can enjoy those long Zoom calls.

The microphone is good quality, and thanks to being in a higher price bracket it has the benefits of being detachable. This is especially useful if you are using your headset as a commuting pair as without the mic it looks like any other commuters fancy headphones.

The cushions around the ears are a lot softer than I am used to which was a true delight. It was seriously comfortable for my lengthy Hutt Valley train rides. Given the massive battery life of up to 20 hours, this is especially useful.

There isn’t an easy way to see how much battery it has left at a glance which is annoying. If you keep that 3.5mm cable in your bag then worst case scenario you plug it in and you can keep going. So it’s a minor annoyance at best.

The versatility I have dreamed of.

With the Switch not having Bluetooth and the Xbox not supporting generic USB headsets/dongles it seems like consoles want to have you buying too many headsets.

I am sure the console makers aren’t doing it to help Big Headset, but SteelSeries has seriously made a winner with the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless headset. If you want the level of versatility it offers, then the headset is easily worth the purchase price.

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