SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless Review: A Go-Anywhere Headset


When I journey, I wish to spend the majority of my time with my headphones on, doing just about nothing. The three-hour prepare journey to Seattle is beautiful as a silent film, accompanied by my very own private music. I stare out the window, sometimes play one thing on my Nintendo Switch, learn one thing, or—if the Wi-Fi works— grind via my weekly bounties in Destiny 2. I’m in my very own little world, and I adore it.

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In the previous, this has meant utilizing wired headphones with a headphone-jack-to-USB-C dongle in order that they hook up with my Google Pixel 2. It’s a protracted sequence of plug in, unplug, plug in, unplug, plug in—all whereas wrestling with the wire to discover a comfortable place for it to put with out getting in my approach. I’ve tried my luck with Bluetooth earbuds, however they do not work with the Switch, and the fixed pairing is approach much less handy than my plug-unplug dance.

The SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless presents a intelligent strategy to resolve all of these issues. It’s a wi-fi gaming headset that doubles as a pair of nice headphones, nevertheless it does not join through Bluetooth. Instead, it has a tiny, itty bitty wi-fi USB C dongle that connects to my cellphone and Switch with a 2.four GHz wi-fi sign.

Photograph: Steelseries

Yes, I stated it makes use of a dongle, and traditionally dongles aren’t enjoyable and have a tendency to get misplaced, however hear me out: It’s a actually good dongle. It’s wirelessly suitable with Android telephones, the iPad Pro, Nintendo Switch, Windows PC, PS4, and Mac. On high of that, it really works with Xbox should you plug within the 3.5mm twine that comes with it.

It is not suitable with the iPhone’s Lightning port (which can also be on most iPads), however the Arctis 1 is a near-universal gaming headset—a rattling good one.

Into the Arctis-verse

It’s the 21st century. You’d suppose making a pair of headphones that really feel comfortable and sound stellar can be a solved downside, nevertheless it is not. Everyone’s ears and head are completely different, and all of us hearken to completely different sorts of audio in numerous conditions. It’s nonetheless difficult to search out the correct pair, however the Arctis 1 threads that audio needle.

The USB-C dongle is a little bit black rectangle, wider than it’s lengthy, so does not protrude an excessive amount of from whichever system you plug it into. Just plug it in, press the ability button on the headphones, and also you’re carried out. That’s the entire setup. Want to change out of your cellphone to your Switch? Just unplug the dongle and plug it into the brand new system. It works similar to a 3.5mm headphone jack.

It could be a ache to maintain observe of the little dongle, since there’s nowhere to retailer it on the headset itself. You might need to maintain it on you, although. The Arctis 1 is a good set of wi-fi headphones too.

Whether you are chasing down the worm god Zol for the thousandth time, or simply stress-free and listening to music, the soundstage is broad and expansive—simply lean again and shut your eyes. It’s like listening to your favourite artist supplying you with a personal live performance at an outside amphitheater.

When the rain begins cascading throughout the Hylian Plains in The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, you’re feeling it. It creeps up similar to an actual rainstorm, a pitter patter changing into a deluge that appears to move over you. The Arctis 1 provides that dimension to lots of video games, and sounds pretty near the SteelSeries Arctis Pro, although its included DAC does add readability.

The microphone gives clear sound for on-line communications, with out noticeable lag. The built-in noise canceling additionally does an important job of isolating your voice from background noise.

Street Wearable

There’s been a transfer towards much less gaudy designs for gaming headsets within the final couple years, and I’m right here for it. I hate having a distinct pair of headphones for every part, I like with the ability to simply depend on one pair. Which is why it is irritating when going exterior sporting a gaming headset makes you appear to be an air visitors controller who got misplaced on the way in which to work.

The Arctis 1 does not endure from this downside. The entire headset is matte black plastic with a small SteelSeries brand on the facet, and the mic is removable. Simple, simple, and in response to SteelSeries itself, the Arctis `1 was designed to with commuters in thoughts. That explains the killer battery life.

Photograph: Steelseries

These headphones got me via the PAX West convention on a single cost. I charged them earlier than I left, used them on the three-hour prepare experience up, and carried them round to make use of whereas I used to be ready in line for panels and demos. They died on the prepare experience again to Portland, however not till I used to be exterior ready for my Uber. In phrases of uncooked numbers, I got about 19 hours of battery life out of that single cost.

If you do occur to expire of battery, you should use it in corded mode even when the battery is absolutely lifeless. The solely draw back is that there isn’t any clear strategy to inform how a lot battery life you’ve got left, so that you may be caught off guard if you have not charged up shortly.

Sauron Would be Proud

The Arctis 1 Wireless is a stellar gaming headset, an important pair of headphones, and simply one of the perfect choices on the market for any type of gamer—particularly these on the Switch. At $100, they’re fairly priced too, cheaper than the top-end Arctis Pro Wireless by about $200. And to be sincere, I want the Arctis 1 over its costlier siblings. They supply free expertise that you simply simply do not get from tethered-to-a-DAC headsets just like the corded Arctis Pro. If you do not thoughts cords, the usual Arctis 1 are solely $50.

The Arctis 1 is not simply my favourite SteelSeries headset, it is grow to be my go-to pair of headphones (higher than the Pro X). I can use them with something anyplace. They match into a distinct segment I by no means knew I wanted.

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