The SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless is a meat and potato based gaming headset. With PC titles you have everything you need to enjoy reliable wireless audio (plus PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, and Android). Its ease of use with its simple design goes a long way towards making it one of the most compelling options in its price range. Currently selling for $ 80 as of writing (we’ve seen that up to $ 100), it’s on the more expensive side of the fence as far as wireless gaming headsets go.
However, the lack of some comfort and microphone prevents it from being the best gaming headset to decorate our lab.
Design and comfort
SteelSeries keeps things simple with Arctic 1 Wireless. This headphone has no luxury and has a simple, elegant design that speaks for itself. The Architis 1 Wireless features a matte black finish for a subtle look, with the Steelburys logo appearing in silver on both silhouettes. In this RGB era, the Arctic 1 Wireless is free of attractive tricks and would equally be at home in a gaming office or office room.
Volume control and microphone on / off are conveniently located on the left earpiece and the power button on the right. The power button also doubles as a multimedia control, allowing you to answer and end calls with one press, pause, play, skip and vice versa with one, double and triple presses respectively.
The steel reinforced headband has a snug fit, so it does not slide easily around my head. Additionally, there is a slight noticeable elasticity to the headband.
The Arctic 1 Wireless also has solid padding in the earpads. But the earpieces themselves are smaller on the shallow side, resulting in discomfort with prolonged use. Your experience may vary, but my ears often hit the loudspeaker. The headset is remarkably light at just 0.55 pounds, making it easy to wear for extended periods of time without tiring. For comparison, the Turtle Beach Illite Atlas Aero, another set of wireless housing, is 1.8 lbs. For added comfort, the ear cups rotate and allow the headset to rest on the neck when not in use.
The Arctic 1 offers a wide range of wireless connectivity options. You can get a 3.5mm cable and a 2.4GHz USB Type-C dongle with a USB Type-A adapter for computers without a USB-C port and PS4. Meanwhile, it charges for USB-Type-A charging cable via microUSB.
With so many options, I used Arctic 1 Wireless with my PC, Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Android phone without any fuss. It simply worked out of the box without the need for a thoughtful handshake. However, iPhone users are excluded in the cold.
The Arctic 1 Wireless offers excellent audio performance for games, music, and movies, and it sounded great during my time with it. For those who are concerned about wireless connectivity, the sound over the 2.4GHz dongle connection has proved to be loss-free and completely pure.
There was also no noticeable lag or sound degradation. SteelSeries claims that it has a signal range of around 30 feet, and this was confirmed by my testing. I managed to walk from front to back of the building before coming in contact with the headset, although it was a few steps before the sound began to crack and cut.
The Arctic 1 Wireless’s frequency range is well-balanced, and many gaming headsets today lack the excessive bass response. The Arctic 1 default EQ setting is flat, and it properly shows how well these bins are set.
Listening to GZA’s “Liquid Swords” rewarded me with powerful bass, clean medium and high. Similarly, the fight scenes in the two towers were loud, without dialogue.
Arctic 1 Wireless Gaming is not slow with audio. The Dark Souls’ Spooky environment was particularly good in these boxes, and the balanced frequency response ensured that audio signals, such as Doom Eternal, were not lost in frenzied FPS titles.
The only thing I found missing in the games was the directional sound. I found myself in competitive titles like CS: I found more than I had expected. This is because I did not have the awareness of the same hearing condition that I am used to with headphones that do it better. Many of the headphones we reviewed recently achieved this with their Virtual 7.1 surround sound. Not everyone has succeeded in providing a noticeable surround sound effect, but the HyperX Cloud Orbit S is quite expensive on this front. If you are a die-hard FPS player and want to listen to important audio cue, such as footsteps, this is something to keep in mind.
The Arctic 1 Wireless is pushed harder, perfect for a noisy commute (the wireless form factor also helps here) or office. The headphones do a very good job of preventing intrusive sounds from the outside world and do not suffer noticeable audio distortion when moved to the extreme.
For interaction, the Arctic 1 wireless microphone proved to be very clear with balanced frequency response and high-frequency hissing. But the microphone is not the best at canceling noise. On the battlefield, my team reports that they can hear the Cherry MX Blue Keys from the best gaming keyboard on my voice. They can also hear other ambient room noise, such as my fans. Sometimes, there was arrogant pop music when I got stuck in the genre, which made me really hope that SteelSeries would include a pop filter with a microphone.
Features and software
Arctic 1 Wireless Audio can be modified with optional SteelSeries Engine 3 software. Although installing the SteelSeries Engine 3 is certainly not necessary to enjoy Arctic 1 Wireless, the additional audio configuration options are a nice touch.
The program features a six-band graphic equalizer from 64 Hz to 11 kHz.