A 4-in-1 USB-C gaming headset

8.8/10 rating

The last time I reviewed a SteelSeries headset was back at the end of 2017 and that was the Arctis 3 wireless gaming headset. They turned out to be pretty awesome and a headset that I used for a good while after. The SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless is a 4-in-1 gaming headset allowing you to work with any gaming system you have, including your Nintendo Switch and any Android device that uses USB-C ports. Continue reading below for the full review.

Specifications

  • Driver: 40mm
  • Headphone
    • Headphone Frequency Response: 20-20000Hz
    • Headphone Sensitivity: 98 dBSPL
    • Headphone Impedance: 32 Ohm
    • Headphone Total Harmonic Distortion: < 3%
  • Microphone
    • Frequency Response: 100-6500 Hz
    • Type: Detachable boom
    • Sensitivity: -38 dBV/Pa
    • Polar Pattern: Bidirectional Noise-Canceling
  • Wireless: Lossless 2.4GHz
  • Range: 30ft/9m
  • Battery Life: 20 hours
  • Compatibility: Android, PC, PlayStation, Switch, Xbox

What’s in the box

  • SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless Gaming Headset
  • Detachable microphone
  • USB-C Wireless Transmitter
  • USB-A adapter cable
  • 3.5mm cable
  • Manual

Design

SteelSeries has kept a similar design aesthetic for the Arctis gaming headsets the same and, personally, I don’t think they don’t need to change it. If they do, those small changes are more than welcome. The SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless Gaming Headset does look and feel very similar to the Arctis 3 I have and the Arctis 5 and 7. The headset’s outer ear cuffs are still matte black with the SteelSeries logo on each side.

The right side of the headset has only the power button with a small LED that will turn colors depending on how much battery life is left on the headset. As for the left side, you have the mute switcher, volume wheel, a 3.5mm jack to connect to an Xbox controller, a micro USB port for charging, and a port where you will plug in or take out the microphone.

The left side controls on the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless Gaming Headset
The left side controls on the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless Gaming Headset.

The cushioned earmuffs on the inside of the earcups take away some stress on your head during long gaming sessions and the inner earmuffs have the elastic headband giving it a cool design instead of seeing a black cloth. Above the earmuffs are an “L” and an “R” showing you which side the headset goes on. This time around, SteelSeries has opted to have a cushion instead of the elastic colored band that they usually have on their gaming headsets. It’s different but nothing serious that’ll make or break a buying decision for these.

When I first used the headset, it did give me a headache but that was most likely due to them never being used. After a few sessions, they did not seem as tight as they did loosen up enough to avoid headaches going forward.

Ease of Use

With the wireless SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless, you’re getting a 2.4GHz transmitter that you can plug into your PS4 and PC. The transmitter itself doesn’t plugin on its own but will be attached to a USB Type-A end that does plug into your USB port on either your PC or PS4. After having it plugged in, all that’s left to do is turn on the Arctis 1 headset and let the two devices pair together. Pairing is pretty much instantaneous, so you won’t have any issue with having to wait very long.

Now, if you’re looking to use this headset with your Nintendo Switch, all you’ll need to do is plug in the USB-C transmitter to the bottom of the handheld console and once again, let the headset pair automatically.

SteelSeries Arctis 1 Transmitter Adapter
USB-C Transmitter Connected to USB-A Adapter

For those who may want to use this gaming headset with your Xbox, you’re not left out. There will be an included 3.5mm jack that will plug to the bottom of the headset on one end and the other end can plug into your controller.

Phones are supported if they have a USB-C port. The only drawback is, if you’re using a Galaxy device earlier than the Galaxy Note10, only streaming media is supported but not voice chat. However, if you have a Galaxy Note10, audio over USB-C will be supported. I did try with my Google Pixel 3XL and only streaming media was able to work.

One drawback that may affect some people is that if you do plan on using this headset with your Android device, you will most likely have to remove your case as I had to do it with both my Galaxy S10 and Pixel 3XL. You could presumably get a USB-C extension cable, but we didn’t test that out to see if it would work.

Sound

Every gaming headset has different audio quality to it but when you have a gaming headset from SteelSeries, that’s a whole different story. Compared to the Arctis 3 gaming headset I have, the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless Gaming Headset sounds so much better. It didn’t matter if I was playing games such as Apex Legends, Fortnite, Destiny 2, Forza Horizon 4, Call of Duty, Pokémon, or any other game I played, I was able to hear just about everything.

When it comes to shooter games (CoD, Apex, and Fortnite), the environment around you can be heard clearly — especially when it came to footsteps. If an enemy was to the left or right of you, their footsteps become louder and louder behind you until you’re facing them. Any enemy that was firing ways away could also be heard. Not only shooter games sound good. I played slower-paced games such as Minecraft and was able to hear all the surroundings in-game.

SteelSeries Arctis 1 Earcuffs
The SteelSeries Arctis 1 wireless gaming headset has comfortable ear cuffs.

Of course, you don’t have to be into gaming just to use this headset. If you’re into music, mainly listening to it, you’ll still get the same audio experience as you would for gaming. What I mean by that is for the instruments that are in any song, you can hear them. Vocals came in clear with no form of being muffled or distorted. High, mids, and lows also sounded pretty good. Speaking of lows, those who want a little bass in a gaming headset will be pleased with the SteelSeries Arctis 1. They offer just enough bass for even the heaviest song that’s played.

Microphone quality

When talking with other people with this wireless gaming headset, they are able to hear me pretty well. Just as well as the Logitech G Pro and Audio Technica ATH-G1 gaming headsets I’ve used. A few times I was told there was a bit of an echo whether I had the mic close or far away from my mouth but it wasn’t too the point where it was so common that I had to change headsets. It could have been due to a poor connection when chatting with other people on Xbox but again, it wasn’t a consistent thing. Other than that, the mic quality was good enough for me.

Battery Life

The SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless comes with a 20-hour battery life. While I was going days without charging, I can safely say that you can get up to that 20-hour marker. For some games, I did have the volume up higher to hear people chatting with me or the in-game volume, which can have some effect on battery life.

As for charging the headset back to 100%, it did take around an hour and a half to two hours. When charging, there will be a red LED light next to the power button but once it’s reached max it’ll turn green letting you know you can use the headset.

Price

SteelSeries is selling the Arctis 1 Wireless Gaming Headset for US$99.99. The price itself isn’t bad at all considering this is one of the first gaming headsets that work with the Nintendo Switch without some attachment. This is the same price as the Logitech G Pros were when they first came out and along with the HyperX’s Cloud Stinger Wireless. This headset works with all gaming consoles (PlayStation 4, Xbox, and the Nintendo Switch) along with PCs and mobile phones, so it’s hard to pass up with this functionality along with the fact that you get up to 20 hours of battery life, low-latency lossless connection, and the tried and true Arctis design and comfort.

Wrap Up

At the end of the day, it’s coming down to how the SteelSeries Acrtis 1 Wireless Gaming Headset did overall. Personally, I think they faired pretty well. I’d recommend them to anyone who is looking for a budget gaming headset. Yes, budget meaning less than US$150. With the ability to be used through the USB-C port on the Nintendo Switch, PC, and PS4 (with the converter cable) it’s hard to pass up. Sure, you have to use the 3.5mm AUX cable for Xbox consoles but it’s a small sacrifice that’s worth it.

Steelseries Arctis 1 Wireless Gaming Headset

US$99.99

Nailed it

  • Same Arctis design
  • Comfy earcuffs
  • Easy to use
  • USB-C
  • Great sound quality

Needs work

  • Some echo when talking to others
  • Discomfort when first using
  • May need to take case off of Android device


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