Arctis Pro Wireless
So in a lot of ways, the Arctic Pro Wireless is like the Arctis Pro that we just went over so I am going to try to be a little shorter here to focus on what is different about it. One thing that is a lot alike was the packaging. While this box was a little bigger it does have the same white background and a large photo of the headset on the front. Only this time there is a different controller, not the GameDAC. The picture on the back shows the headset and receiver again only this time it also includes the two batteries in the picture. Then they run through the features again in all three languages.
The Arctis Pro Wireless comes nicely in tight in between the two formed plastic shells with the receiver/base up under the headband. Then under all of that, you will find a box with all of the accessories. The information guide and warranty card are just about the same with the exception of the name on the cover and all of the wireless setup information.
As for the rest of the accessories, things are a lot different for this one. We have more cables for starters. You have a USB cable for the transmitter that goes to your PC or PS4. There is a mobile audio cable that plugs directly into the headset. The mobile charging cable is something you won’t need most of the time. The base charges the batteries but this is nice to have to plug the headset directly in when traveling or when you need to update the firmware. That cable is USB to a USB B Mini connection, the same weird one that the Arctis Pro uses as well. There is a power cable for the transmitter base, this is USB to a round charging plug. Then like the Arctis Pro you get an optical cable for those more direct connections. Also, included is another microphone windscreen and the batteries. One comes installed and the other on its own to be put in the charger.
So one of the big differences between the Arctis Pro and the Arctis Pro Wireless (beyond the whole wireless thing) is the base that is included. Well, SteelSeries calls it a transmitter but to me, this is the hub and charging base where you charge the included swappable batteries. This is extremely different than the GameDAC included with the other combo but oddly enough this unit isn’t really new at all. It was originally designed for the H-Wireless and transitioned to the Siberia 800 when they rebranded to that. I recognize it because I used the H-Wireless for a long time. Now the wheel has changed to match the one on the GameDAC and the base is different but overall this is the same look. The front has a wheel that you can flip through settings on and press in to confirm and then a back button just like the GameDAC. There is also an OLED display on the front although this one is smaller than the GameDAC and it doesn’t have as many features. It does let you flip between all of the different connection options though.
Speaking of the connection options, the back of the transmitter helps show what you can do. You have line in and outs both with 3.5mm jacks and optical connections. Then there is the USB plug for the PC and PSU and an optional DC power connection. I learned later in my use of the H-Wireless than this was optional when hooked up via the PC USB connection, but you will need it if you use audio from the optical or line in connections.
What stands out about this base compared to just about any other headset (beyond the H-Wireless) is the battery charger on the right side. This is really what I was missing with the Arctis 7 and I talked about it a few times in that review. But you keep a battery in this charged and ready to go for when the battery in the headset runs out, so you never have to plug it in.
I mentioned the base having a different design. There seems to be a little more rubber overall. Beyond that, the normal certifications are all there as well as the model and serial number information you would need if you have a problem in the future.
I snapped a few shots of the transmitter with the headset itself, you can see that it is a little larger than the GameDAC. The GameDAC is a little wider but about half as deep and thinner as well.
So the earcup design has that same squared off oval design that all of the Arctis headsets have had and nothing changed here on the Arctis Pro Wireless. In fact, nothing here looks any different than the Arctis Pro I just talked about in the last section. The mounting design is the same with the 45-degree mounting point on an arm that also spins to allow you to lay the earcups down flat.
Now when it comes to the connections and buttons the left earcup is the main hub, just like with the Arctis Pro. In fact, there is only one thing changed from the Pro to the Pro Wireless on that earcup. This one has added a micro-USB charging port. You still have the volume control and the large microphone mute button. The USB B mini connection is there, so at any point in time you can hook the Arctis Pro Wireless up as a wired device. There is also the 3.5mm headphone jack as well that you can use as an input to listen to something from your phone or you can use it as an output to share what you are listening to with someone else. They just have to plug their headphones into it. Now the Pro Wireless does have a few things over on the right earcup (left in the picture) where the Arctis Pro didn’t have anything. This is where you can find the power button to turn the headset on. You can also put the headset into Bluetooth pairing mode with the Bluetooth button. This will let you sync any Bluetooth capable device to it, so if you are working with your headphones on you could sync your phone and take calls when needed as well.
The microphone is unchanged, so you get the same pullout hidable microphone that SteelSeries has always been known for. Only with the Arctis line, the microphone quality has been drastically improved. From what I can tell things have improved on the connection quality as well, in the past, they had issues with microphones dying from being pulled in and out but I haven’t heard of that being a big issue on the Arctis headsets. Specifications show the microphone unchanged from the Arctis Pro so that means the same 100-10000 Hz frequency range and -38 dB sensitivity.
So the headband design is a suspension design meaning there is an inner and outer headband. The outer band is the solid band, in this case, it is made from aluminum and finished in black. The other band wraps around the top but is loose on the inside so that it holds the headset up, keeping the aluminum band away from your head. In the past, before the Arctis line, SteelSeries did this with leather straps and a spring design, but they simplified things going with just elastic. The Arctis Pro Wireless and the Arctis Pro have the same design here, sharing the same design with the Arctis 7 as well that also went up and over the top band. You can get replacement bands in different designs as well as replacement magnetic earcup covers that match as well.
So I mentioned the removable earcup covers just a minute ago. Here is a better look at them. There is a small tab at the bottom where you can get a nail up under them and then they are held in place with magnets. This design was on the Arctis Pro but it is clear the whole reason for it is the Wireless model here. That is because they have the swappable battery up under the earcup, just like with the H-Wireless. This design is a lot easier to work with though, the H Wireless required that you twist the cover to get it off then you had to line it back up. All while still being in game. Now it goes on and off without looking. The whole swappable battery is unique and everyone should do this. I personally hate having to plug my wireless devices in and I always forget to do it. This design means you never plug in and you just swap between the two batteries when you need it. There is always one 100% charged so you never run out of juice.
As for what is inside of those earcups. Well, the Arctis Pro Wireless has the same 40mm drivers than the Arctis Pro’s have. That means the same 10-40000 Hz frequency range as well, putting them up well beyond what most gaming headsets are capable of. Now that is only if the wireless tech can get that good of quality to the headset and they don’t show much information on that. Just that it has a 40-foot range. Worse case the headset is capable of that range when plugged in via the wired connection.
I did grab the Arctis 7 that I have been using for the past year now to see if there were any big changes in the headset design. You can see how the silver headband makes a big difference in the looks. Beyond that, you can see the custom headband that my Arctis 7 has. Beyond that, on the earcups, the branding is now a little more subtle. On the underside with all of the hookups and buttons. We can see that the chat mix control is no longer built into the headset. There is also the addition of the Bluetooth connect button and the two status LEDs between those buttons.