SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless review: wireless gaming headset for all platforms

Wireless headphones are really convenient. And this applies not only to everyday smartphone headsets. Playing wirelessly is also very comfortable. In September, SteelSeries unveiled its new Arctis 1 Wireless gaming headset. So we hasten to share our impressions.

What is interesting about the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless headset?

SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless is a full-size, wireless gaming headset with an enclosed acoustic design, 40mm dynamic emitters, and a removable bi-directional microphone with passive noise reduction. For wireless communication, a 2.4 GHz radio channel is used. The headset is versatile and can be used with PCs, PS4, Xbox, Nintendo Switch consoles, and Android smartphones. A transmitter with a Type-C connector is used for connection. They promise that from one charge the headset can work up to 20 hours, the radius of action is 9 m.

What's in the box?

The headset comes in a large white-and-orange cardboard box with information about the specifications, technology and scope of delivery. Well, the image of the headset itself, of course. The set includes SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless itself, a removable microphone, a compact USB Type-C transmitter, a Type-A to Type-C adapter cable, a 3.5 mm cable, a MicroUSB charging cable and documentation.

What does SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless look like?

All SteelSeries Arctis headsets are pleasing with their minimalism and stylish, moderately strict appearance. SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless continues this good tradition. Nothing more, just black matte plastic. Of the elements of "decor" - only small logos on the cups. Plastic with a slightly rough surface is used. It remotely resembles Soft-touch, although it is not, which is for the best: it does not collect prints so much.

The headphone cups are quite large, the covers are flat. The headband is attached with a standard “plug”. Mounts allow the cups to take the desired angle, and there is also the opportunity to deploy them to yourself so that they do not interfere if the headset is hanging on the neck and is not used.

Unlike most Arctis models, the headset received not a double hanging headband, but a “classic” version with sliding size adjustment. Outwardly the headband is plastic, inside - a durable steel frame. On the inside of the headband there is a soft insert:

The ear pads are upholstered with interesting, breathable fabric. It vaguely resembles that used in sportswear. Inside is a foam filler with a memory effect. The speakers are covered with a geometric fabric. Interestingly, on the international site there is this model with Switch, PlayStation and Xbox posts. According to the characteristics there are no differences, only the picture inside the cups of different colors. Blue and green for the PlayStation and Xbox respectively.

The bidirectional removable microphone on a flexible leg:

The functional elements of the headset are located on the lower parts of the cups. On the right - only the LED indicator and power button. It can also be used to control playback. One press - pause/play (or receive a call when used with a smartphone), two presses - the next track, three - the previous:

The left cup has a lot of things: a microphone jack in the recess, MicroUSB for charging a headset (a strange solution, I would like Type-C), a 3.5 mm jack for wired connection, a volume control wheel and a microphone mute slider. Often only volume control and a slider will be used and they are placed very conveniently. Just under the thumb.

The transmitter is equipped with a Type-C connector. It is very small in size, flat in shape, so it’s quite convenient to connect it to a smartphone and put it in your pocket: 

USB cables are medium in thickness, with a rubber braid, there are no special complaints about them. The 3.5 mm cable is significantly thinner. When using with him there were no problems, but durability is doubtful. Although the pinout is standard and replacing it will not be a problem.

There are no complaints about the appearance of the headset. The only thing that bothers is the plastic used in the construction. I will not argue after such a short time of use, but it does not feel like the most durable.

How convenient is SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless?

The headband size adjustment range is quite wide, and the downforce is optimal. The headset does not fly off, but it does not crush anywhere. The size of the cups and ear cushions allows the auricles to be completely inside. I won’t say anything about the summer, but now, in November, in SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless, you can sit full-time almost without taking off or feel any discomfort. Ears do not “overheat”; nothing presses anywhere and does not interfere. There is a suspicion that leatherette upholstery would provide better sound insulation, but fabric is definitely more comfortable. Convenience is also facilitated by the low weight of the headset: they could not find information on the official website, but on the network they write that a little more than 250 g. This is very modest by the standards of a full-sized wireless headset.

With the connection, everything is extremely simple. If it concerns a smartphone (with Type-C, of ​​course), a Nintendo Switch or a laptop / PC with Type-C, then just connect the transmitter and turn on the headset. No more manipulations are needed. There are only two points to be aware of. The first is the Samsung Galaxy Note10 line: there was no way to check, but it is likely that it will not work. Like absolutely all third-party audio devices that we tried to connect to the flagship line of Samsung. The second is the shape of the transmitter. It is not suitable for use with smartphones in protective bumpers.

Devices without Type-C, like the Sony PlayStation 4 or not the latest desktops / laptops, are connected using the included adapter cable. It plugs into the USB Type-A of the required device, and into it is a complete transmitter. The headset "starts up" immediately after switching on, no additional manipulations are required on either the consoles or the PC. In any case, I had no such problems. In case of a discharged battery, a 3.5 mm cable and a connector for it are provided.

SteelSeries promise up to 9 meters range. In real life, there are no problems with the signal. At a distance of about 6 meters, with a wall barrier, no gaps are observed.

What about sound quality, microphone and software functionality?

SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless uses 40mm dynamic drivers. On the official website, the manufacturer indicates that the same drivers are used as in Arctis 7. I have not heard this model, but, apparently, it turned out to be successful. Either gamers have become more demanding on the sound quality, or the mod for buzzing bass clogging up all the other frequencies just passed, but recently gaming headsets have produced significantly more balanced sound. In any case, not the cheapest models. SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless also showed itself in this regard from the best side: there are no significant dips or excessive peaks over the entire frequency range, just enough, the average ones are not recessed. At the same time, when it is needed (in games and films in the first place), the headset shows that it is capable of delivering very massive and voluminous bass where it is needed. Game and cinema sounds, effects and various rumble sound very convincing and dense. The positioning of sound sources is also up to par. The headset is also suitable for listening to music if you are an average listener. Audiophiles will not be satisfied with sound quality, and the headset is not positioned as an advanced solution for music.

In the settings of the headset itself, there is an equalizer with different presets and the ability to manually adjust, adjust the microphone volume, the ability to turn on your own voice from the mithrofon in the headphones, a compressor for equalizing the volume and setting the headphones to turn off automatically to save battery power. The interface is simple and straightforward and has almost everything you need. Only the aforementioned battery indication is missing.

What is the battery life?

SteelSeries promises that Arctis 1 Wireless can last 20 hours on a single charge. Although it is not specified at what volume. In general, according to personal feelings, the stated operating time is true. The headset worked for two full working days wirelessly and the charge remained one more division.

In the dry residue

SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless is a very successful gaming headset and is perfect for those who are looking for a universal, convenient solution. It is compatible with all current gaming platforms, including Nintendo Switch and Android smartphones. It can work both wirelessly and by wire if the battery is dead. Although the headset works for a long time on battery power. Arctis 1 Wireless sounds good (taking into account the class of the device), is equipped with an intelligent microphone and looks nice. Of the controversial points, it may be noted that not the most durable (according to personal feelings) plastic. Well, if you have an iPhone, then you can’t connect a headset to it. The price of SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless is  about 100$, which is quite adequate, given its functionality.

5 reasons to buy SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless:

2 reasons not to buy SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless: