The versatile headphone.
Wireless headphones are now the trend – no more messy wires or weird setups, just turn it on and pair it with any device that you own. The problem is that not all Bluetooth connections are reliable and in the case of some device like the Nintendo Switch, Bluetooth isn’t a preferred wireless connection.
SteelSeries seemingly solves this issue by including the main dongle on its wireless headphones. The Arctis 1 includes a USB-C Wi-Fi dongle that can be connected to any device that has USB-C or a standard USB port. This easily makes it compatible with all available consoles like the PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch including PCs and even smartphones and tablets.
The dongle broadcasts sound using the 2.4 GHz signal, which also means that it doesn’t support Bluetooth. That could be a deal-breaker for some, but considering the compatibility options, it opens when the wireless dongle is used.
Dongles can be frustrating, yes, but the Arctis 1’s dongle is small enough that you’d barely notice it’s plugged in. The only caveat is that it doesn’t have support for Lightning ports, primarily used by iPhones.
Design-wise, the Arctis 1 is pretty much low-key. It’s primarily a gaming headset, but the detachable microphone easily transforms it into a decent pair of headphones. Even the look was made in a way that the Arctis 1 is more of a headphone than a gaming headset.
The small dongle easily connected to my Nintendo Switch, and the same goes for any console I connect it to. I had to use a wired connection for my Xbox One, but having one headphone for playing and using it on my daily commute is definitely convenient.
The Arctis 1 features high-performance speaker drivers similar to the ones found on the Arctis 7. This translates to an expansive soundstage, letting you hear every detail whether you’re playing a game, watching a movie or listening to your playlist. The microphone is Discord-certified and uses a bidirectional design similar to the ones used by aircraft carrier deck crews. It may be over-the-top, but the noise cancellation offered by the microphone is worthy of praise.
I spent a couple of hours on the Arctis 1 playing Jedi: Fallen Order and loved every minute. Blasts and lightsaber swings surround you from left to right and the audio soundstage even mimics the sound you’d hear if you are inside a cinema. The same outstanding sound output also translated to the movies I watched on my phone and even the music I was playing on it.
What’s more, the Arctis 1’s promised 19 hours of battery life delivered with flying colors. I used it for days before I realized the battery’s dead – in which you can still plug it as wired headset so you can continue using it. Another quip is that the Arctis 1 doesn’t give you battery status and you won’t really have any idea if the battery is running out.
The SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless is a great pair of versatile headphones that’s literally compatible with any device that you may own. Despite some flaws, it’s easily the best pair of wireless headphones we’ve tested.
+ Great battery life
+ Compatible with any console and device
+ Good sound output
– Isn’t easily compatible with iPhone unless you buy a separate adapter
– Some users still need Bluetooth connectivity
Final Rating: 4/5