SteelSeries Arctis 3 Review
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SteelSeries Arctis 3 Bluetooth Review

SteelSeries Arctis 3 Bluetooth Review

Recently I had the opportunity to test out the SteelSeries Arctis 3 Bluetooth to see if this product can deliver on the high standards that we have come to expect from SteelSeries on not just one or two gaming platforms, but all five; Nintendo Switch, Xbox, PS4, PC and Bluetooth for mobile gaming and music. It’s designed to be one of the most versatile headsets on the market for at home play and on the go, with a one size fits all attitude. I spent a few weeks with the headset to see what if it could deliver.

Design

The design of the Arctis 3 Bluetooth is what we have come to expect from SteelSeries Arctis range of headsets. The entire headset is finished in a matte black plastic material that looks like steel. There is no RGB lighting of any kind, the only light on this headset is the flashing Bluetooth light at the base of the right ear cup. The earcups are the typical oversized gaming design with microfibre material over memory foam cushions that are extremely comfortable for extended amounts of time and they allow your ears to breathe. True to the SteelSeries Arctis range, the band is not adjustable in the traditional sense and uses the ski-google elastic band design that can be adjusted on the inside and a solid hard plastic frame on the outside. I personally love this design and find it the most comfortable headset design I have used. I have seen commentary from the gaming community that suggests this design doesn’t allow for larger sizes but I have approximately an inch of space between the elastic strap and the hard plastic frame so I don’t have any issues with sizing.

The earcups swivel 180 degrees so the player can rest them on the shoulders when not in use. The microphone is situated on the left ear cup and is retractable, again another design feature I love about this headset, apart from the little nub that sticks out the microphone all but disappears when you don’t need it. The micro USB charging port, 4-pole 3.5mm connection, volume controls, and mute button all sit at the base of the left ear cup also. The Bluetooth connection button is situated on the base of the right ear cup.

Overall the design of the Arctis 3 Bluetooth is what we have come to expect from SteelSeries products; high-quality finishes and a simplistic design that’s extremely comfortable whilst grinding out those all night game sessions. I spent about 6 hours at one point slaughtering my enemies in Modern Warfare and never once felt like I needed to take the headset off to give my head or ears a break.

Connectivity

The Arctis 3 Bluetooth delivers top-quality audio on all gaming platforms; that’s right all of them. Although the headset has Bluetooth functionality, the connection to each platform is via a 3.5mm wired connection. The headset comes with a 4-pole 3.5mm cable for connecting to PS4, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch controllers and a duel 3.5mm cable for PCs. The Arctis 3 Bluetooth also comes with a micro USB charging cable for the wireless Bluetooth mode, which is very straight forward, plug them in and your good to go. The Bluetooth connection is as simple as holding down the button on the right ear cup for a couple of seconds until the light starts flashing and then search for it on your desired mobile device. The Bluetooth will work simultaneously with the gaming audio if you’re connected to your mobile device listening to music for example. I did test whether or not phone calls could also be taken using the headset but unfortunately, it doesn’t work. The ring tone comes through the headset but the microphone doesn’t produce any audio when you answer — Weird, right?

Overall the connectivity of the Arctis 3 Bluetooth is easy and simple to use on any platform you choose. The Bluetooth connection was strong when using my mobile or tablet device and I didn’t experience any drop outs or disconnections.

Audio

The Artics 3 Bluetooth delivers high-quality mid-range audio that is clear and crisp on all platforms. The headset delivers top-quality gaming audio utilising that strong mid-range frequency with just the right amount of bass. The roaring engine of my GT Mustang in Forza, the gunfire and explosions in Modern Warfare, and the clashing of steel swords to the subtle environment sounds from Ghost of Tsushima all sound fantastic through this headset. Unfortunately, there aren’t microphone/gaming audio adjustment levels which caused some frustrations in FPS shooters where the game audio is so loud and intense that it’s hard to hear teammates through gaming chat. The microphone uses bidirectional noise canceling that doesn’t completely block out ambient noise, but voice audio comes through loud and clear. The microfibre ear cups also allow for a fair bit of sound bleeding to occur. If someone is sitting next to you at home or out in public like on a bus for example with the audio turned up they will be able to hear the game or music audio easily.

As most gaming audio is tuned into that mid-range frequency, music quality is compromised through the headset. The music audio is clear and offers decent bass levels compared to others on the market but will never deliver the same quality as a dedicated music audio headset. The Bluetooth connectivity is a great feature for connecting to mobiles, tablets, or even TV’s if the option is available on the device.

Overall I found the gaming audio fantastic through the Arctis 3 which delivered clear and crisp sound. Being a wired headset there was no connection or latency issues using the 3.5mm jack and the Bluetooth connection worked flawlessly.

The Verdict

Overall the SteelSeries Arctis 3 with Bluetooth is a fantastic all-round headset for at-home gaming or on the go. The simplistic design with the microfibre ear cups and ski-goggle design headband is one of the most comfortable headsets I have used. The headset delivers a high quality of gaming audio on all major platforms with the Bluetooth functionality to connect to mobile devices for mobile gaming audio, music, and videos. The one downside to this headset is the fact it doesn’t have a travel case — as the headset caters for the on the go gamer, it would have been a nice inclusion to a have case that allows all the connections and the headset to be stored whilst on the move.

At the time of this review, the Bluetooth version of the Arctis 3 headset isn’t in major Australian retailers such as JB HiFi or EB Games but can be found at online retailers with prices ranging anywhere from $160 – $225 AUD. If your the type of gamer that plays on multiple platforms regularly and are looking for a one-stop, high-end gaming headset you can use at home or on the go, the SteelSeries Arctis 3 with Bluetooth has you covered.

SteelSeries Arctis 3 Bluetooth Review

Pros

  • Works on all platforms
  • Top Quality Audio
  • Bluetooth functionality
  • Comfortable
  • Quality Design
SteelSeries Arctis 3 Bluetooth Review

Cons

  • No Chat/Game volume dial
  • No Travel Case
SteelSeries Arctis 3
  • 85%
    DESIGN - 85%
  • 87%
    CONNECTIVITY - 87%
  • 92%
    AUDIO - 92%
88%

Summary

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The SteelSeries Arctis 3 with Bluetooth is a high quality all round gaming wired/Bluetooth headset for the at home gamer or on the go. The Arctis 3 Bluetooth can connect to all gaming platforms via the 3.5mm jack and simultaneously connect to a Bluetooth compatible mobile device for listening to music or watching videos. If your a gamer who plays on several platforms at home or on the go, the SteelSeries Arctis 3 with Bluetooth may be just the headset you’re looking for.

Written by Michael Wood

His palms are sweaty, knees weak, arms are heavy
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