SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless headset review: Simply the best - MrLiambi's blog


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Wednesday, 5 October 2022

SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless headset review: Simply the best

We've tried a lot of gaming headsets, and one of the unspoken tests for even a headset we're looking at really favourably is whether we actually keep using it beyond the testing period.

For a year or more, we've defaulted back to SteelSeries' Arctis 7P Plus when gaming on PS5 or PC, because of the combination of convenience and quality it offered, but SteelSeries has stolen its own crown with the new, top-of-the-line Arctis Nova Pro Wireless, and we're sticking with it as our new daily driver. Find out why in our full review, below - or check out our list of the very best headsets for PS5 gamers.

A new look

  • Weighs 337g
  • Retractable microphone
  • Comfort headband

SteelSeries swapped things up in a quite major way by its standards when it unveiled the Arctis Nova Pro and Nova Pro Wireless earlier this year, updating its core designs for the first time in a long while.

The wireless version of the headset looks incredibly similar to its wired counterpart, which we've also reviewed in full, and we're big fans of that new look.

Gone are the flat planes that used to sit on the outside of each earcup, replaced by a more graded finish and new, smaller swappable plates that can be customised with different colours if desired.

The new design is lighter and features ear cushions that are even more comfortable than on older Arctis models, which is quite an achievement. The headband is also a little different but still repeats the core trick of keeping some of the headset's weight suspended above your head.

It makes for a ridiculously comfortable fit, one that we have happily kept on for hours at a time without any discomfort to speak of.

The design also means that the microphone is more hidden than ever, fully retracting into the earcup housing it so that it's entirely invisible when you're not using it.

Separate to the headset itself is the base station that it comes with - this plugs into your console or PC, effectively as a super-powered dongle, allowing you to change some settings on the headset and to charge a spare battery (more on that later) while you play.

It's sturdy and useful, albeit something that we rarely actually interact with. For a predominantly PC player it makes more sense as a desktop unit but when it's over by your TV as you game on PS5, that's a little less useful.

Sound quality

  • 40 mm Neodymium drivers
  • 10â€"22,000 Hz wireless frequency response range
  • Range of 3D audio specs supported

Let's be clear about something upfront - for now, wireless audio carries some necessary compromises compared to high-resolution wired audio, so for the true audiophiles out there, we'd recommend the wired Nova Pro.

However, in the realm of wireless headsets, it doesn't get a whole lot better than this. The Nova Pro Wireless sounds absolutely superb in a range of genres and situations, and consistently amps up the experience of a wealth of games.

In the Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 beta, it made picking out footsteps easy while gunshots and explosions were almost wildly booming and impactful. In Metal: Hellsinger, riffs came in with a punch that we could practically feel, and the vocals were clear and high.

Even Fortnite became a bit of a different beast when we used the Nova Pro Wireless, its audio's warmth and clarity shining through to make for a somewhat transformational experience.

So, to again put it simply, this is the best wireless headset we've yet tried on a console, bar none.

That's aided by some smart features that only grace this wireless model, including in particular some gentle active noise-cancelling (ANC). This means that slipping the headset on is a little more isolating than the norm, and makes gaming in the same room as someone else significantly more doable.

You can swap to Transparency Mode if someone's trying to talk to you, but we rarely needed to since we could just slip an earcup off instead. The overall impact of this ANC is really welcome, and while it doesn't compete with top-end headphones like the Sony WH-1000XM5 for sheer isolation, it's still a great addition.


  • Infinity Power System (base station charges a spare battery)
  • Change EQ settings on base station
  • Simultaneous wireless and Bluetooth audio

If SteelSeries has nailed the design and sound quality side of things with the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless, it seals the deal with some smart features that really top everything off nicely.

The most impactful is in the battery life department. The battery life of the headset is rock solid at an impressive 44 hours when using a single connection, but that wasn't enough for SteelSeries.

Taking off the flat plate on the side of the left earcup reveals the lithium-ion battery, like a smartphone battery of old. You can simply lever this out and replace it with a spare that comes with the headset for another full 44 hours of play.

Best of all, your spare battery slips into a slot on the side of the base station to be charged up while you play, meaning you literally never have to charge your headset with a cable - you just swap these batteries when prompted. Do that swap within 8 seconds and your sound won't even be interrupted, which feels like magic.

It's an absolutely brilliant system, an innovation in a sphere we thought was past such leaps, and we love it massively. Here's hoping other headset makers perk their ears up and think of similarly impressive ideas. That said, if a headset offers 180 hours on a charge as some now do, you're already doing good work.

This is added to further by the way you can edit your experience using the base station - adjusting your EQ levels and more, unlocked even further using SteelSeries' Sonar software on a PC. It comes together to make for a system that feels responsive to your needs.

Microphone quality is very solid - which, to be fair, is actually a little disappointing given the sterling work being done in every other department, but it's still more than good enough to outclass a lot of the competition.

By default, we found microphone pickup to be pretty low, but this is something that can easily be adjusted on a hardware or software level depending on what you prefer.

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