The Steelseries Arctis 3 Bluetooth is a well designed £135 gaming headset that boasts strong comfort levels, audio quality and connectivity.
Steelseries has had quite a bit of practice when it comes to designing gaming wear, so it’s no surprise that the latest Arctis headsets are among the best we’ve tested. Flexibility is the key here; you can hook up to PCs, all current consoles (Xbox One, PS4 and Nintendo Switch) and other devices including smartphones.
Most devices require a wired connection, via 3.5mm analog – you get a 4-pole adapter and dual 3.5mm extension cable for PC gaming. The bundled cables appear to be rugged enough for everyday use and travel, while also proving long enough for comfortable use.
However, where the Arctis 3 Bluetooth model really excels is with the Nintendo Switch. With both cabled and wireless connectivity supported simultaneously, you can enjoy your in-game audio and also hook up to your smartphone to chat with mates at the same time. Or simply blast some of your own toe-tapping tunes via Spotify.
Pairing over Bluetooth is a piece of cake and you can expect over two dozen hours of life per charge before the built-in battery dies.
Whether you’re going wired or wireless, we were happy with the headset’s audio quality. The surround-sound stereo output is ideal for deathmatch action and music playback also shines. Detail levels are strong enough to really bring your tracks to life, although bass could be a little heavier for those dance tracks and heavy riffs.
The bi-directional ClearCast mic proves just as impressive when gaming. My voice was picked up cleanly, with no distortion and a successful culling of background noise to keep things clear. There’s also a mute button alongside the volume dial, which is easy to find when needed. When you’re done gaming, that mic slides back inside of the left cup to keep it well out of your way.
Comfort levels are another highlight, which is just as well for those late night sessions. Although the Arctis 3 is constructed from plastic, there’s a soft fabric headband stretching across the interior. This rests on the top of your skull, providing plenty of padding. Adjustments can be made quickly and easily via the velcro fasteners.
Combined with the lightweight design and soft cups, you’re all set for hours of continuous wear. Unfortunately the Arctis 3 won’t fold up when you need to pack them away, although the cups do rotate 90 degrees.
You can grab the Arctis 3 Bluetooth headset from Steelseries right now, for £135.