SteelSeries is a Danish manufacturer of accessories for video game enthusiasts and professional gamers ‘ needs, established itself as one of the market leaders. Founded in 2001 the company has rapidly gained popularity due to the stylish and high-quality keyboards, mice, game controllers, and, of course, stereocenters. Today I will tell you about the new headset called SteelSeries Arctis Pro, which recently appeared on shelves of Russian stores. Let us work with you examine the device and find out if it worked and this time the engineers SteelSeries to surprise their fans?
In the framework of the author’s columns devoted to video games and gaming accessories, I have already told you about two sets of production SteelSeries. It was 100 Siberia and Siberia 840. The era line of Siberia came to its logical conclusion, and in its place came a new series of devices called Arctis. It all started with the budget Arctis 3, then it was added a more expensive model Arctis Arctis wireless 5 and 7. To stop the Danish company was not going, so the line it was decided to continue releasing the premium headset for the most demanding players. The first sign premium just became Arctis Pro, is designed for those who truly appreciate the sound in video games and not only.
Box with a headset made in bright colors and slightly iridescent sequins, applied on orange decorative strip. In the lower part of the front surface of the box, you may notice small marks on the benefits of the model. For example, Arctis Pro used proprietary technology noise cancelling microphone ClearСast and adjusting the audio balance between game and voice chat. Also from this information we learn that the headset uses high quality Hi-Res dynamic emitters.
The rear surface of the package continues the description of the advantages of the model Arctis Pro in three languages.
Inside the box the headset is well protected against external influences by means of a plastic substrate and hard transparent cover.
Looks device, in my opinion, extremely unusual. Immediately catch the eye materials that designers SteelSeries used to create Arctis Pro. At first I was somewhat confused, as I used to before the company were held in high esteem faux leather. This time the choice was made in favor of breathable athletic fabrics.
From the accompanying documentation in the box I found the manual and a brochure with funny faces on the cover, at once sets you into a good mood. The manufacturer is very important the opinion of users, so it offers, if the headset will have the buyer’s liking, write a review on it and tell your friends about your purchase. If the device is anything upset user, you can always contact the support service of a company that will do everything possible to resolve any issues associated with the product. A trifle, but very pleasant and, I would even say, friendly.
At the bottom of the box I also found some wire and a so-called USB Chat Mix Dial – the remote control for sound mixing. But first a little more about the wires. Included with the headset is missing the traditional cable that lets you connect it to the computer by the method of jack-jack, so connect as follows: you stick the headset in the supplied cable with a proprietary plug which then attaches to the remote mixing, and he, in turn, clings to the USB port of the computer. There is a small adapter, which you can use to connect a headset to the 3.5 mm mini-jack connector. However, such a solution looks more like a “crutch”. This made me squirm.
As for the console for sound mixing, it is intended to adjust the balance between game sound and voice chat. If you can’t hear their teammates during the game, simply turn the knob at the side of the box Chat, and their voices will be louder, while the background sound of the game will decrease. A convenient thing for those who haven’t see the network without the daily struggle in popular shooters and other Dota 2.
Arctis Pro is pleasant to hold in hands. In addition to the plastic as materials were used high-quality metal alloys that not only makes the headset lighter, but also significantly extends its service life. In the case of gaming devices is extremely important. Often in the heat of online battles some of the most temperamental players can angrily throw the headset on the table and on the floor. I firmly believe that the Arctis Pro will withstand even such brutal treatment from her. But to check their own guesses, I have not the slightest desire.
Cup of the headset on the outside is covered with frosted plastic covers that hide the LEDs. Yes, Arctis Pro is equipped with RGB backlight palette of 16.8 million colors. But about it we will talk later. Cover with the cups can easily be removed by just slipping them in a special place with a nail. They hold two powerful magnets, so they will never fall off, no matter how much you shook his head.
Looking at the new SteelSeries headset, involuntarily you catch yourself thinking that even not knowing its value, you immediately realize that you are dealing with a premium device. So Arctis Pro monolithic, one-piece, it is extremely difficult to find fault with the point of view of design or build quality.
Very unusual to see a fundamentally new approach to creating a headband headsets series Arctis. This time it is based on the elastic strap is made of fabric that is most often used when creating masks for skiers and snowboarders. The headband is now called “ski” — I read it in the attached to the headset of the user.
Strap gently supports the headset on the user’s head from the inside, passes over the entire length of the headband on the outside and is fixed on the left side with Velcro. If you want to change the ride height – just glue the Velcro just above or below. All this is clearly seen on the pictures that I have prepared for you. But you know what? The company plans to sell replacement straps on their official website. You can choose one from dozens of different colorful designs and turn your headset into a unique visual point of view accessory.
Arctis Pro ear pads are very soft to the touch and incredibly gently take your ears to your heart. Auricle in them practically does not sweat even in the extreme heat, although the device is quite tightly hugs the head and isolate the user from surrounding sounds. In terms of insulation, this model is very good. In the process of testing the device, I sometimes do not notice that my phone is literally 30 centimetres away from me or that I was already five minutes in a row I can’t shout to my wife and daughter. However, I would not say that in those moments was listening to loud music or been passionate about a video game. Very high quality headset just cuts off ambient sounds.
Advanced 40 mm Hi-Res speaker units using neodymium magnets, the size of which is 50% more than the older flagship models of the company. This allowed to significantly expand the frequency range. Now he really is impressive and is 10-40, 000 Hz. Standard same model set, as a rule, are not selected above $ 22 000 Hz. The manufacturer is very proud of the fact that the dynamics of this model are quite suitable even for audiophiles, but for this device must be connected to a quality DAC and output music format Hi-Res. Looking ahead, I will say that I did an experiment and will definitely share my impressions with you.
All the necessary audio controls located on the left Cup. Oblong patterned button enables and disables sound, taken with the built-in microphone and a rubberized scroll wheel adjusts the volume.
Next to the volume control you can see the connector for the aforementioned proprietary cable, and 3.5 mm mini-jack where you can plug like a second pair of headphones to share the sound with another user and a cable to connect the headset to the computer in a more traditional way. As I said, I was deeply impressed, complete with Arctis Pro is missing this cable. In fact, excluding the bundled adapter, you can achieve better quality sound when listening to the same lossless music.
Built-in microphone ClearCast cannot be detached from the headset, but it is quite deep burns in her body and did not mind at all if you suddenly decided to take a walk in your headset through the city, connecting it to your smartphone or Hi-Res player.
The flexible legs allow you to pull it and as comfortable as possible positioning in front of your face. Dual-microphone array operates in the frequency range 100-10 000 Hz and is equipped with a software adjustable noise reduction system. I must say that the sound it conveys is simply amazing. No, it’s not a Studio instrument, but if you like to stream games or just to chat with friends in online games – this option will suit you in all respects and exceed your expectations. The sound of the voice is very crisp, clean, legible, so throughout the game, your online buddies will hear you as if you are there for them.
Cup of the headset turns almost 100 degrees, allowing from time to time to give my head a rest, outweigh Arctis Pro on the neck and rotate the mechanism so that the device is comfortable lying on your chest.
The time has come to discuss how the headset has shown itself in games and when working with different game platforms. And here, I have to disappoint the owners of gaming consoles Sony PlayStation 4: manufacturer immediately warns: Pro Arctis reveals its full potential only if connected to a gaming PC. No, of course you can connect a headset to the controller DualShock 4, and the sound will be output to it. However, in this case, you will not be able to enjoy full surround sound. In Arctis Pro uses a technology called DTS Headphone:X Surround Sound 2.0 – a unique development engineers of the company DTS, which works only after installing the appropriate drivers. As you know, to console these drivers to deliver will not succeed at all desire.
Speaking of DTS Headphone:X v2.0, we note that the engineers of the legendary American company actually managed to create something absolutely amazing. 12-channel binaural sound will not leave anyone indifferent. Using only two dynamic transducer, they were able to get rid of the so-called “tunnel effect”, when instead of a full surround sound the player hears only the approximate direction of the sound source. Now the scene around the user is greatly expanded and literally comes alive. It is difficult to describe in words, as it is necessary at least once to experience this technology for yourself. I tested the headset in a remarkable game, Ori and the Blind Forest and marveled at how fabulous the forest otherwise sound using binaural sound. It seemed that I simultaneously hear the rustle of every leaf and every blade of grass, a breath of wind and soft footsteps of the protagonist. Technology is not solely limited to video games. With its help, you can also enjoy movies and videos with surround sound.
After playing a few nights in the last game of the series Battlefield and Call of Duty, and Zarubinskiy in the incredibly popular Counter-Strike: GO, I came to the conclusion that the positioning of the sound sources headset transmits almost perfectly. Opponents have not seen me, but I have seen them before. And it gave me a distinct advantage on the battlefield, despite the fact that I am not a professional in network shooters. In short, Arctis Pro will be available to those who have not used in a video game professional decisions at this level. This feeling is akin to how if you move with battered domestic Zhiguli once behind the wheel of expensive foreign cars of a representation class. Needless to say, Arctis Pro will be the perfect addition for VR headsets, because binaural audio and virtual reality are inextricably linked and very important to the overall immersion of players into fantasy worlds.
Go to the most interesting part of my experiment, namely the possibility of listening with Arctis Pro lossless music using audiophile equipment. Since the manufacturer insists that the device uses Hi-Res speakers, it would be foolish not to check this statement in practice. So I immediately got in touch with their friends, involved in setting up and selling expensive audio equipment. They kindly agreed to help me test the headset and to Express their professional opinion. As a sound source has been selected, the Korean amplifier, SOtM sHP-100 with built-in DAC. Music listened long and carefully, at first using the supplied cable with adapter (is already blasphemy by the standards of the audiophile), and then a higher quality copper cable.
Now everything should be in order. If you are going to listen to music using the supplied cable – be prepared for the fact that it significantly compresses the scene, will make the high frequencies less expressive and not too transparent. In other words, sound like “podpilivaya” and “scroogled”, even though it sounds fairly smooth, one might even say – comfortable. But if you change the included cable to normal 3.5 mm copper (or more expensive copper coated with silver), the picture immediately changes completely. The scene expands and fills with air, the sound becomes clearer and the treble is crystal clear. For the bass, which gives the headset, the specialists did not have any issues – it is just great. The same can be said about the MIDs. After a couple hours of testing we came to the conclusion that Arctis Pro at applying sound closer to Japanese models of headphones from manufacturers such as Audio-Technica, Sony and Fostex. Headset reveals its full potential only with the use of quality audio cable and a good DAC, so if you have such equipment you will not only love to play video games, but also to enjoy your favorite music in lossless format without any compromises. We can safely say that Arctis Pro – the world’s first gaming headset that can meet the needs of the audiophile.
To configure the headset, used official software SteelSeries Engine 3. In the application you can separately adjust the backlight color of each of the cups and the illumination color of the microphone when it is switched on and off. In this modes there are several: even, the movement of flowers, colorful breath or just off color. For me, the lights in the headset never played a special role, so, after admiring it a couple of nights, I simply turned it off. Anyway, when the headset is on the head – you can’t see it.
Here you can enable or disable the DTS Headphone:X, to scratch with the EQ, if you don’t like “sound out of the box” to activate the dynamic range compression, equalizing the sound and releasing it from sudden changes in volume level, to activate and adjust noise cancelling microphone and also to make several profiles on all occasions. In principle, the software is intuitive and easy to use, as always from SteelSeries.
- SteelSeries Arctis Pro
- The manual
- Remote Chat Mix Dial
- Cable to connect to the Chat Mix Dial
- 3.5 mm adapter
Features of headphone:
- Color: black/grey
- Headphone type: covering, closed type
- Material: plastic, metal, fabric
- Mode: wired
- Transducers: dynamic, 40mm
- Characteristics of emitters: Hi-Res, neodymium magnets
- Frequency response: 10-40 000 Hz
- Impedance: 32 Ω
- Sensitivity: 102 dB
- Total harmonic distortion: <1%
- Weight: 350 g
Characteristics of the microphone:
- Polar pattern: bidirectional
- Resistance: 2200 Ohms
- Frequency response: 100-10, 000 Hz
- Sensitivity: -38 dB
- Noise reduction: there
- Durable construction, quality materials and impressive design.
- Unusual, but very nice sitting on the head ski headband.
- Light with multiple modes and a palette of 16.8 million colors.
- Excellent bi-directional microphone with noise cancelling function.
- Cool Hi-Res dynamic emitters with a huge frequency range.
- The world’s first headset that can satisfy even audiophile.
- A handy software for audio settings, microphone and backlight headset.
- DTS Headphone:X v2.0 makes the sound truly three-dimensional.
- Soft breathable ear cushions, providing excellent soundproofing.
- In the kit there is a normal 3.5 mm cable.
- Headset is incompatible with the Sony PlayStation 4 console.
- High price able someone to scare.
Arctis Pro will be a real gift for any fan of video games, but for this joy, as you can guess, will have to pay a certain price. To date, the cost of a headset in Russian stores is from 14 to 16 thousand rubles. Given the impressive number of advanced technologies incorporated in this device, as well as the fact that it, among other things, is quite a Hi-Res headphones for audiophiles, it’s not such a big price. SteelSeries turns out to surprise me from year to year. It would seem that to continue to grow nowhere, but engineers from Denmark continue to take every new technological heights. That’s why I sincerely admire them. From myself I recommend Arctis Pro all those who are willing to pay good money for truly exceptional sound quality and positioning of its source in video games. In fact, you will buy an amazing versatile device where you can not only play but also to watch movies and listen to lossless music without any compromises. And this will agree, a wonderful combination, not found in any of the products of other companies.