Reviews

SteelSeries Arctis 9 Wireless Review

We want high sound quality and range with 2.4 GHz wireless connection for PC and console. On the other hand, we do not want to buy an easy-to-use Bluetooth headset for mobile phones, tablets and laptops once we have paid for the headset. This headset, which we define as double wireless, can be connected to devices with both 2.4 GHz and Bluetooth. In this way, we can get our work done with a single headset in almost any system that has a USB port or includes IT technology.

SteelSeries Arctis 9 Wireless Review

The SteelSeries Artcis 9 Wireless model is the brand’s most advanced gaming headset. Not only in terms of these wireless connections, but also in terms of the hardware and software it offers. 7.1 Surround sound support, settings offered through SteelSeries Engine 3, sound quality, microphone features and many important details in the physical structure of the headset.

Mugs and Insulation

There are removable fabric-covered sponges on the ear cups. The brand calls this soft and flexible mug skin SteelSeries Airweave. A coating that does not sweat the ears and is suitable for long use without making it too hot. At the same time, although it looks very contrary to this structure, the way the mug sits on the ear and the structure is also very successful in sound insulation. Normally, artificial leather coverings adhere better to the skin and insulate them better, while fabric or velor coverings leak more noise. But here both the shape and the fabric offer good sound insulation.

Ergonomics and Different Devices

It is very easy to fit the headphones in the bag as they are foldable. In addition, the microphone comes in, so you are not looking for a separate microphone in the bag as in models with removable microphone.

If you are going to use it with Bluetooth, you do not need to carry an adapter. In this respect, it offers very good portability and flexibility for those who want to take the same headset everywhere. Depending on your neck structure, you can easily hang it on your neck or wear it outside. However, it measures 16.9 x 9.2 x 19.2 cm and the cups are wide, so your collar size will change whether you can hang it comfortably around your neck.

With BT, you can connect to the phone and use it. For this, you have to hold the power-on button on the headset for 3 seconds, first turn on the headset, then hold the button with the Bluetooth icon for 6 seconds. You can then select it from the Bluetooth device add menu on your phone or computer. It would be better if they had this long press time written on the box, some users may have trouble connecting it by pressing it short and not seeing it on BT devices. Press and hold the BT key, you can pair while the blue light flashes fast.

However, unfortunately, I made a mistake on the first try and found the volume low on the phone, I couldn’t understand the situation when I tried it on the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. Then I realized the error, the volume wheel was not on the left in this headset, it was on the right rear top! It’s a simple and human mistake, not for the single voice on the left, guys. I shared this in particular because I have seen reviewers who found the volume low in the headphones in the comments before, but then realized that they made a similar mistake and corrected it.

PC, Console, Phone

As a result, after Samsung, I have repeatedly tried BT on iPhone SE 2020, MacBook Pro 2017 laptop, ASUS ROG Strix 17 gaming computer, desktop test systems on devices with USB and Bluetooth, and I did not have a problem in volume.

Then I passed the PC and PlayStation tests. Here, I did not encounter any difference or problem between devices while I was getting a stable high volume. The biggest deficiency I see is still using a Micro USB port for charging and updating on it. This makes it difficult to attach the charging tip and also requires carrying the Arctis 9’s Micro USB cable while having a Type-C cable for all mobile devices at hand.

The USB Hub we use for PC and console is very well designed. With the cable collector tape on itself, you can make an extended receiver / transmitter placement for a case at different distances. Since this headset is already connecting in the 2.4 GHz band, we did not feel a location-dependent signal difference and did not make any difference in use.

A classic USB adapter for the PC would work too, this adapter was designed in this style with a little more console in mind and has a white connector light on it. It also has two 3.5 mm ports, you can output to your speaker from here if you want. The inlet on the left is designed as the outlet port on the right.

The light on the headset also indicates that the power button and the Bluetooth button are on, with green and blue light on, BT connection. However, other lighting, RGB etc. does not exist. There is no need anyway.

Design and Ergonomics

The design of the headset features a stainless steel headband, under which a headband similar to that of skier sports equipment called Ski Band. The top adjustable band is very comfortable. The amount of pressure on your head and around your ears is very balanced and well adjusted.

However, with this distribution, the headset is not very suitable for lying down, it can slide backwards. It is designed to be used while sitting and standing. It’s a medium-weight headset with a roughly 370 gram weight. Although there are lighter models with wires, all wireless models have a battery inside and the headset cannot be designed to be both long battery life and very light.

The appearance of the plastic in the mugs is also very good, the design is stylish and simple. Do they use metal in the cup part of the player headphones? I wonder if we will see in the future that magnesium alloy or aluminum is used in mug cases instead of plastic and are still available at affordable prices. Because even though the crown band and the parts connected to the headphones are metal, now the plastic of the mug can be the next consolidation step.

On the other hand, it will be necessary to see how the resonance or ear temperature is affected in the headphones with metal mugs. Apart from this exercise of ideas, we can say that the Arctis 9 Wireless is currently one of the most durable models of SteelSeries. Wireless has a big share in this, because the cable connection does not have the risk of fraying and breaking.

Controls and Connections

There is the ChatMix wheel on the left cup, which compares the levels of the game audio to the chat sounds such as Discord. So if your friend’s voice overwhelms the game or the opposite is true, you set it here. Under Windows, you can use the game sound and the Chat application sound when you define it correctly on your SteelSeries Arctis headset. Game i.e. game audio and Chat i.e. Discord, Skype, Zoom, Teams etc. Just assign the app sound for SteelSeries separately. It will be worth making this setting.

In the right cup, there is the voice wheel at the top, the microphone button below. It has both a red mark and a red light on the microphone tip. In the lower part, there is a Bluetooth key, status light and power key. At the bottom is Micro USB data and charging connection, and finally 3.5 mm connection. This port seems to support both 3.5 mm analog and optical connections.

During the review I did not have a suitable device or cable at that time, so I did not test an optical connection and I cannot comment on this. However, I connected it to the laptop with a 3.5 mm audio cable and listened to music. This is actually referred to as Headphone Share Jack, or headphone sharing port. Its purpose is to output a second headset.

DTS Headphone: X v2.0 supported headset’s full settings and SSE3 usage is provided by wireless USB connection. Where he is most talented is the PC, and we mainly use it in PC and phone. However, the target audience is those who have a PC, PlayStation and phone and want to use the same headset. While all detailed settings and functions can be adjusted on the PC with software, these options are not available on consoles and phones. However, this is a natural situation.

Battery Capacity

In the high-end wireless gaming headsets I reviewed in 2020, the battery capacity and wireless usage time increase significantly. Arctis 9 Wireless is no exception, with a promise of up to 20 hours of battery life. In practical use, a charge is possible once every two, three days, or even a week for someone who plays little game. However, for the busiest players, it is possible to plug it in when they sleep and then train all day without interruption, so it has a very good wireless usage time.

Sound Quality

We are satisfied with the overall sound quality of the SteelSeries Artcis series, this headset is no exception. In particular, what we see now is that brands adjust the same drivers according to the new headphone structure and features, rather than changing drivers. This ensures a consistent sound character within the product family. SteelSeries reports that it uses 40mm neodymium drivers, which provide high resolution sound.

It has 20 Hz – 20 KHz frequency response, 98 dBSPL sensitivity, 32 ohm impedance, THD values ​​below 3%. USB wireless connection also has a stable character on different devices, at least we did not notice.

If you have used a headset from the Arctis family before, you will still get a similar character but well-tuned sound as you would expect from a high-end model. The music performance is quite good with the equalizer but we were satisfied with the default mode as well. The main area where it shines is games, as in all such sets.

Mic Quality

With its 100 – 6500 Hz frequency response, bi-directional design, -38 dBV / Pa sensitivity, 2200 Ohm microphone impedance and retractable structure, the ClearCast microphone offers good values. The voice filtering feature is obvious in his character, so positioning it close to the mouth is important for better results and louder voice. It doesn’t give a warm pro microphone quality when used as a broadcaster microphone, but is ideal for Chat.

Maybe we’ll see publisher versions of such headsets or broadcaster custom microphones in the future. The focus at the moment is to clear and clearly present background noises in actors and voice communication. I personally haven’t noticed any difference compared to the previous generation SteelSeries microphones, so there is no big improvement, but it’s already good.

Results Evaluation

DTS Headphone: X v2.0 is a very good technology, Stereo or Surround, the audio direction and distance of the Arctis series are extremely successful for a long time, and the Arctis 9 Wireless continues to do the same. We also talked about the microphone quality in detail and shared the sample recording in our video. It has all the features that a gaming headset should have, and the most important is the sound quality.

As a result, the most distinguishing feature of this headset among many options is its connectivity. It definitely deserves its price, with both 2.4 GHz high quality sound and the ability to connect via Bluetooth, the additional output on it, the additional connection options on its own USB Hub and much more. The flexibility it offers in terms of use in almost all devices with a single headset is very successful.

The Arctis 9 Wireless 2020 model, which is a very comfortable and wireless headset with a long battery life, has managed to improve itself without breaking the formula with the additional connectivity and compatibility options it offers compared to the previous 2019 model.

Click here for the price of the SteelSeries Arctis 9 Wireless headset.

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