SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless Review
SteelSeries are renowned for their top quality gaming headsets that deliver on comfort, audio quality, connectivity, design, and versatility. The Arctics range of gaming headsets is some of the best on the market for players looking for high quality where it matters; audio, comfort, and functionality rather than fancy RGB lights and other gimmicky aesthetics.
Often that level of quality usually comes with a high-end price tag, especially when it comes with wireless technology. The Arctis 1 Wireless is the entry-level gaming headset from SteelSeries that offers wireless connectivity for PS4, Nintendo Switch, Android and PC. I had the opportunity to test the Arctis 1 Wireless out for myself and see if the cheaper price tag came at the cost of quality.
The SteelSeries Arctis range has a distinctive, understated design with their trademark ski goggle headband for sizing adjustments. It’s also what makes the Arctis range so comfortable to wear for those long gaming sessions in my opinion — love it or hate it the ski-goggle band is there, except for the Arctis 1 Wireless. The Arctis 1 Wireless has a steel re-enforced plastic headband that adjusts at either earcup for sizing with a synthetic leather cushion on the underside.
The headset does feel a bit cheap and light when first taking it out of the box. As with the other headsets in the range the design is understated and doesn’t really scream out gamer. The controls for volume, mic-mute, boom-mic connection as well as the 3.5mm jack for wired gaming and the charging connection are all located on the left earcup and the power button on the right.
The microphone on the Arctis 1 Wireless is a detachable design, which is unlike the other Arctis models with retractable mics. This makes this headset look more like over the head audio headphones rather than a gaming headset. The oversized earcups are made with the same air weave material found on all SteelSeries headsets. The material is extremely comfortable and allows the player’s ears to breath and doesn’t press on pressure points.
The plastic band does mean the headset has a much firmer fit on the head but by no means is it uncomfortable. I have used the headset for hours on end with no discomfort at all, a credit to the overall design of the headset. Overall the Arctis 1 Wireless design is simple but delivers on comfort and functionality. The headset does feel a little light and cheap compared to the higher end models but that’s to be expected with an entry-level model.
The Arctis 1 Wireless is a versatile wireless headset that uses a direct wireless connection through a USB transmitter rather than Bluetooth. Many gamers shy away from wireless headsets due to audio latency issues caused by Bluetooth connections, utilising a USB transmitter delivers ultra-low latency to combat this. I certainly could not detect any latency even when running the TV volume and headset at the same time, the audio was simultaneous, unlike many Bluetooth headsets I have tried. The USB connection also means that it is a simple plug and go in any compatible device.
As the headset doesn’t use Bluetooth it does mean it can only be connected to one device at a time, so if you’re looking for a headset that you can game on and take phone calls, or listen to music over the top this won’t work for you. There is a 3.5mm jack connection available and is included in the box for gamers who want that wired connection, or if the batteries for wireless are running low. This also means the headset will work wired on any device with a 3.5mm jack, including Xbox consoles via the controller port. Overall the versatility of this headset should have most players covered with wireless/wired connections for Nintendo Switch, PS4, PC, and Android devices, and wired connection only to Xbox delivering high quality, low latency lag across all platforms.
With the Arctis 1 Wireless being an entry-level headset, one would assume the audio quality would reflect that but I can assure you it doesn’t. I have used various brands of wired, and wireless headsets that are far more expensive than the Arctis 1’s and they are not even in the same league.
SteelSeries may have toned down some of the build quality and options for this headset but they are using the same speaker drivers found in the higher-end models. Although the headset doesn’t offer stereo surround sound, the mid-range audio is crystal clear and the headset offers decent bass levels, far better than more expensive headsets on the market. My main headset is the SteelSeries Arctis 9x for Xbox that retails for nearly double the Arctis 1 Wireless. There is a minor improvement in bass levels, but the mid-range sounds spot on.
The Arctis 1 Wireless audio quality is up there with the high-end gaming headsets including others in the SteelSeries range. The Clear Cast microphone is noise-cancelling and discord certified and does a great job of clearly projecting the player’s voice for clear and concise communication. The overall audio quality from the Arctis 1 Wireless is by far one of the best on the market in this price range and delivers audio quality often found in high-end gaming headsets, not entry-level.
The SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless headset may be the entry-level model for the Arctis range but it does not compromise where it counts. The headset may be stripped back from certain features, high-end finishing, and materials that other models in the range have, but when it comes to comfort, versatility, and audio quality, it delivers in every way. I have actually replaced this headset as my go-to for Nintendo Switch and PS4 over more expensive headsets for those consoles. I still have a love affair with the Arctis 9x for the Xbox so it won’t be replacing those, but if I didn’t have them I can see myself adopting these for all my console gaming needs. The SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless retail in JB Hi-Fi for $199 AUD at the time of this review, but can be picked up online for as low as $160 AUD. Many of the SteelSeries Arctis range along with many other wireless headsets are sitting well within $250 – $500AUD range with other brands not even coming close to the audio quality this headset delivers. If you are looking for your first headset, upgrading, or looking for a headset that has you covered for multiple platforms that delivers where it counts make sure you check out the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless.
SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless Review
- DESIGN - 89%89%
- AUDIO - 92%92%
- QUALITY - 87%87%
- VALUE - 96%96%
The SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless is the entry-level wireless headset from SteelSeries — The audio quality is fantastic and delivers better quality audio than a lot of high-end headsets on the market. The headset works wirelessly on PS4, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Android devices, not to mention also work on a wired connection utilising its 3.5mm jack. The headset feels a bit cheap out of the box but very comfortable to use on those long gaming sessions. For one of the cheapest wireless headsets on the market, the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless is a headset well worth having a look at if your in the market for a new gaming headset that delivers where it counts and without the high-end price tag.
For more information on SteelSeries, please check out our previous coverage here