SteelSeries Arctis 3 Headset Review – 2020

By | March 28, 2020

From the many awards that the Arctis line of headphones have received, SteelSeries is certainly not taking chances in its product development. These headsets are compatible with Xbox, Nintendo Switch, VR, PS4, Mac, PC, and mobile devices. In addition to the cable connection, Arctis 3 goes a step further to include wireless Bluetooth connection.

Arctis 3 headset is also a great multifunctional gaming headset.

While it performs exceptionally well as a gaming headset, it also performs well as an entertainment and communication headset and fits the bill for someone who wants a single pair of headphones that is built to handle several functions.

SteelSeries Arctis 3 Wired and Wireless Gaming Headset

SteelSeries Arctis 3 Wired and Wireless Gaming Headset

Features:

  • Wired and Wireless Connectivity
  • 3.5mm wired connection
  • Perfect for Xbox One, Windows, Mac OS X, Nintendo Switch, Windows 7, PlayStation 4
  • Best mic in gaming
  • Studio-quality voice clarity and background noise cancellation
  • Ultra-low distortion audio to hear every detail

Pros:

  • Comfortable to wear
  • Clear mic sound
  • Great sound quality on both highs and lows
  • Long battery life
  • Compatible with a wide range of gaming platforms

Cons:

  • Not very breathable especially when worn over a long time
  • Not the best option for intensive physical activity
  • Not compatible with SteelSeries gaming software hence offers no customization
  • Sound delivery varies across users depending on whether they have glasses on and how well the headset fits

Design

This headset features a simple adjusting matte plastic headband with an elastic ski band lining the inside part to give you a good fit and a comfortable feel. The Arctis 3 Bluetooth headset comes with large ear cups like others in this line of headsets, but with thicker padding under the soft AirWeave fabric for greater comfort.

The ear cups are joined to the headband using metal hinges which allows them to swivel and lay flat on your chest when hanged on the neck. This makes up for the fact that they cannot fold to a compact size for easy storage.

While this headset is comfortable to wear, it is not the best for the overly sporty activities like jogging and athletics. You are bound to experience breathability issues when you wear them for long plus they may not be as secure especially when worn during intensive physical activity.

Each ear cup is integrated with controls to make its operation friendly and convenient. The retractable mic is attached to the left ear cup. If you are looking for a wireless option, the Arctis 3 Bluetooth headphone makes a good option. Otherwise, its counterpart comes with a fixed cable and may not be as flexible.

Microphone

Arctis 3 ClearCast bidirectional microphone is attached to the left ear cup. It boasts excellent noise cancelation thanks to its design and a greater sensitivity rating of -38 dB. This makes it a good bet in a noisy environment and will deliver clear speech sound within 100Hz - 10000Hz frequency response range.

You can mute and unmute the mic with the mute button on the left ear cup.

Sound

With the latest improvement in its bass output, Arctis 3 retains its frequency response range at 20 - 22,000 Hz, with a deep bass range that goes up to 10dB at its LFE (Low-Frequency Extension). This, however, will vary depending on how well the headset fits the user, based on whether they wear glasses, and on other factors.

Both the mid and fairly even treble range are equally good and well balanced. However, just as in the bass, this depends on the same factors of the fit.

The treble is distinctly sharper at 10dB below 10,000Hz and may sound a little uncomfortable for the ears in some tracks. Still, Arctis 3 headset performs remarkably well in terms of sound as compared to other headsets and scores well among gamers.

Connectivity

Part of the improvement on the 2019 Arctis 3 headsets is the simplified cable system. The four-pole adapter is replaced by a 3.5mm plug alongside a 3.5mm extension cable which is helpful especially for those using PCs. The cable is detachable on Arctis 3 Bluetooth headset.

An outstanding feature with the Bluetooth Arctis 3 model is the fact that it can connect simultaneously through the cable to PCs, Nintendo Switch, and other devices and through Bluetooth version 4.1 to Smartphones. Quite impressively, the Bluetooth connectivity scores well with very small latency.

Performance

In terms of sound, noise-reduction, and both wired and wireless audio, the Arctis 3 delivers a stellar performance. For the bass, mid-range, and treble, sounds come through loudly, distinctly, and clearly without ambient noise distraction, a feature that all Arctis series headsets share.

Plus the Windows Sonic surround function adds to the immersive experience. However, it takes some patience enabling the surround sound as the process is a little complicated.

In addition, even with both the wired and Bluetooth modes in use, Arctis 3 still performs quite well.

Controls

For easy and convenient operation, Arcis 3 is designed with easy-to-use on-headset controls. The right ear cup hosts the power/Bluetooth while the left cup holds the mic mute button, volume wheel, 3.5mm audio jack, the micro USB port, as well as the retractable microphone. The power button doubles up as the call receive and music play/pause button.

Importantly, the 2019 Arctis 3 headsets come with firmer controls for better handling.

Power

Arctis 3 is powered by an in-built rechargeable battery that can take you through a decent 42.3 hours of normal use. It charges in 3.8 hours through the micro USB port.

Special Features

As we have already mentioned, Arctis 3 stands out for its ability to connect simultaneously through both the Bluetooth and the 3.5mm cable. This adds to its versatility and is a big selling point.

Verdict

Arctis 3 headset excels as a gaming headset. Still, its features make it a versatile option that can be used for other functions including streaming music and receiving VoIP calls. Another advantage that it offers is its compatibility with a range of gaming devices including Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Playstation 4, VR, PC and connects via Bluetooth to mobile devices, laptops, and the Switch chat mobile app.

Overall, its sound quality is good with the wired mode producing a better sound than the Bluetooth mode. Its mic delivers exceptional sound recording quality. It features robust construction with premium matte plastic and the additional ski headband with ample padding on the ear cups makes it comfortable. It is also adjustable and will offer a perfect fit for different head sizes.

While it may be a little bulky for some, Arctis 3 headset offers impressive comfort and a decent and among the best battery life. Finally, it doesn't offer much in terms of customization but this does not make it less of a performer.

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About Silver Moon

A Tech Enthusiast, Blogger, Linux Fan and a Software Developer. Writes about Computer hardware, Linux and Open Source software and coding in Python, Php and Javascript. He can be reached at [email protected].

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