It’s been just a little over a yr since SteelSeries launched Arctis 7. One may guess they used all that point to excellent its small imperfections as a result of the Danish firm simply launched their latest headset line, the Arctic Professional; and we should say, we’re merely giddy about it.
We had the pleasure of taking its flagship mannequin, Arctis Professional + GameDAC, for a check run earlier than its shopper launch. And never solely are we impressed by its sound high quality and nice options, however we’ve additionally discovered that it corrects for Arctis 7’s minor inadequacies.
Be forewarned: at $249 (about £180, AU$320), it isn’t the most affordable, but it surely’s by no means a nasty value for a set of high-end headsets. It’s a value we’d gladly pay for stunning sound.
There’s just one phrase for the Arctis Professional + GameDAC’s design: magnificence. Whereas its greatest rivals appear to all be designing probably the most ambitious-looking, players’ headsets, it’s bringing all of it again right down to earth with a easy, minimalist and no fluff design.
SteelSeries as soon as once more opts for a complicated, matte look and an ergonomic design. Its metal headband boasts a gunmetal end with a padded underside. The swiveling ear cups flaunt detachable plates with a coat delicate contact paint and athletics-inspired Airweave cushions.
It additionally has a secondary headband that is just like a self-adjusting ski goggle suspension band, which traces the wearer’s head for an ideal match.
In fact, customers can substitute the headscarf and magnetic earcup covers for one thing just a little extra attention-grabbing, which we ourselves opted for and you may see our custom-made headset beneath.
You may put on these puppies for a very long time with out hurting your head and ears. Moreover, due to the detachable headband and the detachable ear cups, you simply get away from the standard black coloration scheme and personalize yours with its personal line of equipment that come in numerous colours and designs.
To present it that gamer’s look, LED lights run across the fringe of the ear cups and you may customise utilizing the GameDAC. The mic, which twists in any course and simply pushes into the left ear cup when not in use, has its personal LED gentle that glows when muted.
There may be one minor element that we’re on the fence about: the position of the mute button and the amount dial. They’re each situated at the back of the left ear cup, soyou kinda should retrain your self when adjusting the amount in case you’re a rightie. The upside is, you gained’t should take your hand off the mouse in the midst of a sport to take action.
The Arctis Professional’s greatest characteristic is its digital to analog audio converter designed particularly for gaming. . Whereas most gaming consoles and PCs have their very own built-in converters, the Arctis Professional’s included GameDAC will override them because it gives increased high quality audio efficiency.
As an additional perk, it additionally has its personal amplifier circuit. We observed that this characteristic doesn’t essentially give the headset a punchier sound than its rivals. Nonetheless, it does assist ship extraordinarily low distortion at even the very best output ranges.
This GameDAC, ergonomically talking, feels type of in the way in which. Like an anchor it’s massive, cumbersome,heavy and requires a USB energy supply. So that you’ll by no means have the ability to simply take the entire Arctis Professional setup and plug it right into a cellphone to get the perfect audio it might ship.. Nevertheless it’s one other minor element we are able to overlook, particularly due to its capabilities.
It has its personal OLED display show, which lets you alter the amount, EQ curve, enter, the Sidetone (how a lot you hear of your self whereas speaking on the mic), LED colours, and the ChatMix (the stability between in sport and chat audio) with out going by means of a software program. It additionally permits you to flip the DTS on or off with a press of a button to toggle digital encompass sound.
The GameDAC boasts a three.5mm audio jack, USB, and optical audio ports for enter. This flexibility of quite a few enter choices primarily addresses one in every of Arctis 7’s foremost flaws. This new mannequin might be hooked as much as the PS4 and the Xbox One utilizing an optical cable, which permits for a extra managed and a barely extra detailed sound than the USB, for high-res audio with out the necessity for the DTS enhance.
One factor to remember is that the when utilizing GameDAC has a most quantity limiter. While you’re going analog as a substitute of utilizing the GameDAC, the headphones are a lot louder.
The GameDAC comes with a built-in limiter due to a world regulation, however fortunately you may simply go into the setting to show off the protection characteristic in case you so select. (We will’t promise you gained’t injury your ears in case you do although)
So far as sound goes, Arctis Professional is an imposing siren. Its sound efficiency is of the audiophile selection, whether or not you select to go analog or digital.
In truth, these headset is so good there’s not a lot distinction between the analog and the digital inputs. Analog audio won’t however as detailed, but it surely nonetheless sounds unbelievable. That claims quite a bit about this unit’s sound high quality.
To not say that Arctis Professional is faultless. It’s soundstage, for instance, isn’t as huge as some high headsets available in the market—Inventive’s Sound BlasterX H7 Match Version, for instance, has an much more spectacular one. Nonetheless, it has an excellent stereo picture and each sound appears to return from the appropriate place. Nonetheless, the distances of the completely different components in a sport should not as palpable as they’re with the H7.
By extension, H7’s wider soundstage makes its digital encompass sound extra pure; however not by a lot. Arctis Professional’s digital encompass sound is fairly convincing , making up for an additional one in every of Arctis 7’s shortcomings. Whereas enjoying Hitman, we may hear voices passing and from behind us; with Dishonored 2, we may hear the guards working as much as us earlier than we even see them.
Does the DTS button on the GameDAC enhance it? In our exams, it doesn’t actually enhance this current 360-degree audio picture; no less than not in an apparent manner. It does, nonetheless, act as a compression characteristic with a high-mid bump that pushes voices to the forefront, makes music sound higher, and helps with trendy motion pictures with horrible sound mixing.
Nonetheless, all of it boils right down to the sound.
This gaming headset produces a formidable EQ frequency curve. There are not any bizarre bumps within the highs, mids and lows. There are not any cuts so whether or not you’re gaming or listening to music, you gained’t really feel like there’s one thing lacking. The bass isn’t overwhelming both (although in case you actually wish to, it may be pushed up by means of the EQ).
The result’s a lovely, well-balanced sound that’s nearly worthy of adulation.
Positive, we’d recognize a lower cost tag. However paying $249 for a gaming headset of this caliber is one thing we are able to simply dwell with.
As gaming headsets go, the Arctis Professional + GameDAC is shoo-in for audiophiles and players with a style for nuanced sound. SteelSeries clearly took discover of Arctis 7’s lacking options and slapped these on to what it does greatest – headsets that produce beautiful sound, mainly sealing Arctis Professional’s destiny as a high contender within the gaming sound units market.
With the Arctis Professional +GameDAC, you’re not simply getting a smooth, comfy design, enter flexibility, and a GameDAC that places management at your fingertips and supply a devoted, higher high quality converter. Most significantly, you’re getting mind-blowing sound worthy of audiophile worship.