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The SteelSeries Arctis 5 RGB Wired Gaming Headset is on a mission to claim the title of the best gaming headset in the market. This headset boasts a sleek and modern design, complete with eye-catching RGB lighting, a retractable microphone, a ChatMix dial for volume control, and impressive virtual 7.1 surround sound.
Priced at $99, the SteelSeries Arctis 5 is compatible with various platforms including PC, Mac, gaming consoles, controllers, and smartphones. While it excels in gaming, the headset truly shines when it comes to other forms of content, such as movies.
SteelSeries Arctis 5 Specs
Design of SteelSeries Arctis 5
The SteelSeries Arctis 5 sports a clean and contemporary look. Available in black and white variations, the headset’s standout feature is its RGB lighting that wraps around the ear cups. By default, the lighting transitions through different colors every 10 seconds, but users have the freedom to customize the effects and speed using the Engine 3 software. Despite its stylish appearance, the RGB lighting remains subtle and elegant.
Not just a pretty face, the Arctis 5 is also incredibly comfortable to wear. Its adjustable strap offers a customizable fit, and the soft cups, made with SteelSeries’ Airweave material, provide a comfortable and secure grip. Even during extended gaming sessions, the lightweight design of the headset ensures a comfortable experience. Additionally, the headphones can be swiveled flat for easy neck-wearing.
An added bonus is the retractable microphone located on the left cup of the headset. It is both versatile and easy to adjust, folding outwards and snapping back into place effortlessly. The controls on the Arctis 5 are straightforward, featuring a volume wheel and a mute button for the microphone.
Audio Performance of SteelSeries Arctis 5
Even without installing any accompanying software, the SteelSeries Arctis 5 performs impressively straight out of the box. However, to fully unlock its potential, the Engine 3 software must be installed. Once set up, users can fine-tune their audio experience using the ChatMix dial. This dial allows for seamless volume adjustment between voice chat and game audio, enhancing the overall immersion.
The Arctis 5 offers two audio profiles within the software: Headset Earphone (Arctis 5 Chat) and Headphones (Arctis 5 Game). Though the difference between the two profiles is minimal, with the Chat profile being slightly louder and lighter in pitch, and the Game profile offering a deeper and more robust sound.
One of the key features of the Arctis 5 is its virtual 7.1 surround sound, powered by DTS Headphone:X v2.0. This technology creates a three-dimensional audio experience, elevating gameplay immersion. However, it’s worth noting that in tests, the difference between having the surround sound on or off was not noticeable. Nevertheless, the Arctis 5’s audio quality remains top-notch even without this feature.
The bidirectional microphone of the Arctis 5 is Discord-certified and boasts impressive noise-cancelling capabilities. It effectively eliminates background noise, ensuring crystal-clear communication during gaming sessions. Additionally, the microphone’s design minimizes unwanted sounds like claps and stomps, creating a seamless communication experience.
Features and Software on SteelSeries Arctis 5
To maximize the potential of the Arctis 5 headset, SteelSeries provides the Engine 3 software suite. Compatible with both Windows and macOS, this software offers a plethora of customization options. Users can activate various audio enhancements like surround sound, stereo, bass enhancement, dialogue enhancement, equalizer, and dynamic range compression.
The Arctis 5’s RGB lighting can also be customized through the software, allowing for different illumination effects, timing, patterns, and color selection. Additional features include the PrismSync app for syncing RGB settings across devices, and a Library section to connect headset settings to individual games.
In conclusion, the SteelSeries Arctis 5 RGB Wired Gaming Headset combines style, comfort, and impressive audio performance. While it excels in gaming, it also delivers exceptional results when used for other forms of media, such as movies. The virtual 7.1 surround sound may not make a significant difference, but the overall audio quality remains exceptional. Additionally, the customizable RGB lighting and versatile microphone further enhance the gaming experience.
At $99, the Arctis 5 is a solid investment for gamers seeking a comfortable and high-performing headset. Alternatively, for those craving a beefier sound profile, the Patriot Viper V380 is a worthy contender. Priced similarly, it offers RGB lighting and larger neodymium drivers for a more immersive audio experience.
Ultimately, the SteelSeries Arctis 5 stands as an excellent choice, providing hours of comfort and high-quality audio, making it a top contender in the gaming headset arena.