I won’t exaggerate: once you try the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless, you won’t need to buy another headset until it physically stops working. This headset is the best I have ever used, and I don’t think I will need another one until the next gaming generation — at the very least.
Right off the bat, the quality of the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless (we’ll call it the Nova Pro from now on) is apparent through its packaging. Stylish and functional, it takes a lot from Apple packaging with everything in its own box or compartment, safe and secure. ‘Stylish and functional’ is also the overall theme of the Nova Pro, which is evident once you start using it.
The headset itself, with its elastic headband, fits bigger heads like mine very comfortably. The size of my head is a problem I normally have with gaming headsets. Thankfully, there was no pressure from the Nova Pro. The elastic headband also doesn’t feel too tight when stretched out all the way. Its earcups are made of a soft leather and can embrace my ears for hours without displeasure settling in. They also stay comfortable even if you start sweating a little, something I appreciate very much as a native of swampy Florida.
Even without the noise isolation function on, the headphones do a good job of filtering sounds out. With the function on however, they accomplish their intended purpose incredibly. Outside noise is effectively filtered out without the distracting humming sound many other noise filtering options have, and it makes complex audio stand out even more. This is especially true for games with very bassy or bombastic soundtracks. I played through all of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Shredder’s Revenge with the Nova Pro, and every sound effect came through crystal clear. Similarly, the already amazing soundtrack was enhanced further with the Nova Pro’s incredible sound quality.
Form and function in a stylish package
The microphone is discreet, and pulling it out from the left earcup is effortless. It is also flexible, easily going exactly where you need it to be on your face. I played multiple matches of Evil Dead: The Game, a game that requires good team communication for the Survivors. My teammates never had any trouble hearing me. The Nova Pro even comes with a pop filter that easily slides on to the microphone for a little extra clarity if necessary.
The Nova Pro also comes with an audio cable for connecting to an audio jack, which I tested on both my iPad and mobile phone. With both devices, the sound quality remained consistently stellar. The cord is long enough to reach from your pocket comfortably if using on your phone, and it doesn’t curl or twist easily. Of course, the “wireless” in the Nova Pro’s full name makes a big impact as well. The Bluetooth works great on PC, console, and mobile devices. I only had a slight issue when trying to connect to my mobile phone, but that is more due to my phone’s age and not the fault of the Nova Pro itself. So those with older model cell phones might have some issues getting it to connect for the first time.
A multitude of uses and functionality
One of the biggest selling points of the Nova Pro, though, is the wireless base station. By using an included USB-C to USB-A cable, the wireless base station connects to your PC or console (with the Xbox having its own dedicated port). Once your device powers on, you can control every aspect of the sound quality with the station’s LED screen and control wheel. You can use the wheel to adjust the headset volume, toggle surround sound on and off, use preset equalizer settings (or make your own), as well as control gain, sidetone (how much you hear your own voice when speaking into the microphone), and the mic volume itself. You can also alter the volume with an easily reachable slide wheel on the left earcup.
Also included is an extra Lithium-Ion battery for the wireless base station. The right speaker plate can also be easily removed to charge the headset with the USB-C to USB-A cable while connected to any USB power source. The battery life is also excellent. I only had to charge the device once during my first week of use, which involved several hours of gaming every day, as well as watching TV and movies through the Amazon Firestick, which it also works great for. The Nova Pro also connected to that device’s Bluetooth seamlessly.
Body scrubs and listen to chill beats
The Nova Pro is marketed as an esports-ready headset, and I can easily see why. Between the amazing sound quality, fantastic noise cancellation, and standout microphone, it seems like a no-brainer for any competitive esport. While I don’t play any competitive team games like League of Legends, I am definitely using this headset for the next Guilty Gear Strive tournament that I enter. The price tag of the Nova Pro might scare off some at a whopping $350 USD, but it’s absolutely worth the investment if you’re looking for a headset to last. You will be able to get a lot out of the device, even more so if you play any competitive or team-based games.