When running the Arctis 5 via USB on your PC it opens up a few different options. On top of getting all of the RGB lighting, you also have a few adjustments you can make when using SteelSeries Engine 3. This is the same software that controls all of SteelSeries’ modern products and as you can see below, when you have multiple hooked up and open up the software you get your pick of what you want to control. For the Arctis 5 when I booted things up I was prompted to update the software then after that it wanted me to do a firmware update on the headset.
Clicking on the headset once everything was up to date brought me to a page with a photo of the headset on the left and on the right a line of adjustments that can be made. The photo lets you see the headset and from there you can click on the lighting controls by the individual ear or together, I will get back to that in a minute. On the right, you have control of how to tune the USB sound card with a 5 point equalizer or a few presets. There are also things like DTS 7.1 and dynamic range compression. SteelSeries packs in so many options that you have to scroll down to get to the other half. Personally, I wish the software just had a page for the microphone and a page for the headphones. I almost missed the second half of the options and I’m sure others will as well. The microphone options let you tweak noise reduction, volume, and the sidetone. Sidetone picks out outside noises and feeds them into your headset to help you listen for things like your kids, the doorbell, or slendermen.
When you go to adjust the lighting, like I said before you can pick from each ear or you can link them together and control them with one setting. You can set a static color or get into colorshifts or multicolor breathing options. SteelSeries does a great job here, a lot of companies will give you a standard colorshift and call it a day. But they give you multiple color presets or let you make your own. You can also adjust the speed of the colorshift or breathing.
The last thing I wanted to show wasn’t in the software at all, but how the Arctis 5 shows up in windows. In order for the USB controller to be able to flip between in game noise and your coms it shows up as two devices. One is automatically set to default communications device and the other is regular default device.