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Steelseries Arctis 5 Wireless

The price has been slashed, but you get all the essentials.

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Let me be honest and state from the outset that I like Steelseries' core design philosophy when it comes to headsets. Look at both my own and the Gamereactor network's reviews of various models in the Arctis range and you'll find a generally broad positivity around the key design elements.

And that's echoed here. You get the same great elasticised band that creates more comfort than almost any other headset on the market. You have the ClearCast 2.X microphone that as always can be stored inside one cup, definable physical buttons that are always easy to press and differentiate from each other, and broad functionality and subtle design. Almost everything good that can be said about the more expensive Pro models applies here.

The Arctis 5 costs £110. That's about half of what you'd pay for a Nova Pro Wireless, so you'll have to do without the great battery replacement system, GameDac and active noise cancellation. On the other hand, you get pretty much everything else. First of all, the construction is flexible, the durable fabric cools effectively and never creates the pressing effect that artificial leather can tend to, and the aforementioned elasticated strap prevents your head from coming into contact with the headband, which is great for long-term use.

Steelseries Arctis 5 Wireless

There's room for around 60 hours of battery life, and USB-C Fast Charging means you'll be up and running again quickly when it finally runs out. In active use, there's also Quick Switch, so you can use a USB-C dongle that works for PC, PS5, Switch, Mac, VR headsets, Steam Deck - you name it (except Xbox) - and Bluetooth on a mobile phone. I've never really liked features like this, but it means you can keep the headset on if someone calls.

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The microphone is downright brilliant and it's so much easier to be able to pack it away completely when not in use. There's also a clear LED light to indicate whether it's muted or not, and the physical, tactile buttons mean it's always easy to switch on and off - it's just a win-win. Furthermore, Steelseries' drivers are again quite excellent.

You surrender active noise cancellation, but get a brand new companion app. Yes, there's a dedicated Nova 5 app on iOS and Android that offers over 100 game-specific audio presets at the time of writing. These are supposedly created by engineers and are tailored to each game. Crucially popular games like Fortnite, Apex Legends and Minecraft are all here, but so are many newer games like Baldur's Gate III, Alan Wake 2 and Cyberpunk 2077. It's hard to judge such a feature, as there's no guarantee that future games will have dedicated profiles or how long you'll have to wait before a profile appears for your favourite game. Nor should you expect smaller titles to be added. But it works pretty well, and especially in competitive soundscapes like Battlefield 2042, Halo Infinite and PUBG, there's reason to be excited.

Steelseries Arctis 5 Wireless

Don't choose an Arctis Nova 5 because of this app. There are countless app-based ecosystems nowadays that entice you with dedicated audio profiles. No, you should choose an Arctis 5 for some much more basic reasons. Steelseries doesn't give you quite the same comprehensive package for the price, and the price may be a little high, but you get excellent basic features here. Great sound quality, great comfort, great microphone - all the essentials are here, and for that Steelseries gets another pat on the back.

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09 Gamereactor UK
9 / 10
overall score
is our network score. What's yours? The network score is the average of every country's score

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