SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless Review: Premium and Pricey

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is a high-end wireless gaming headset from SteelSeries that’s been designed for multi-system usage.

SteelSeries sent through the Xbox version of the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless for us to review a while back and we’ve used it for about a month.

This gave us more than enough time to really get to know the headset, so brace yourselves as we do a deep dive into it.

First up, all the technical specifications are as follows:

  • Neodymium Drivers: 40 mm;
  • Headphone Frequency Response (Wired): 10–40 000 Hz;
  • Headphone Frequency Response (Wireless): 10–22 000 Hz;
  • Headphone Sensitivity: 93 dBSPL;
  • Headphone Impedance: 38 Ohm;
  • Headphone Total Harmonic Distortion: < 1 percent;
  • Active Noise Cancellation: 4-mic hybrid design with Transparency Mode;
  • High-Res Audio Capable: Yes (Headphone Speakers);
  • Headphone Volume Control: On Ear Cup;
  • Microphone Type: ClearCast Gen 2 – Fully Retractable Boom;
  • Microphone Frequency Response: 100–6 500 Hz,
  • Microphone Polar Pattern: Bidirectional Noise-Cancelling;
  • Microphone Sensitivity: -38 dBV/Pa;
  • Microphone Impedance: 2200 Ohm;
  • Microphone Location: Retractable;
  • Number of Batteries: Two;
  • At Home: Non-stop battery with hot-swap (within eight seconds);
  • On-the-go: 44 Hours – 2.4GHz Quantum 2.0 Gaming Wireless / 36 Hours – 2.4GHz Quantum 2.0 Gaming Wireless + BT (18-22 hours per battery);
  • Fast Charge: 15 mins for three hours pla;y
  • Bluetooth Wireless: 5.0;
  • Gaming Wireless: Low Latency 2.4 GHz;
  • Dual Connection: Simultaneous 2.4 Ghz & BT;
  • Wireless Range: 40 ft / 12m (2.4 GHz).

The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless comes in two flavours. The PlayStation/PC version, and the Xbox version. Both versions of the headset are pretty much the same though with the only major difference being that the Xbox version has a dedicated USB Type-C “Xbox port” at the back of the wireless base station.

If you want to use the headset across all your devices, we’d suggest buying the Xbox version since the “PlayStation and PC” labelled type won’t work with an Xbox Series X or S. 

Unboxing the headset, users will immediately see how premium it looks. The solid metal headband with hard plastic earcups screams quality and is a significant deviation from SteelSeries’ other Arctis branded headsets. The shape of the earcups in particular are quite different, being far more rounded than the Arctis line-up’s more squarish oval.

The earcups have leatherette earpads and this is how the headset maintains its active noise cancellation profile. SteelSeries have stated that they will eventually have replacement pads available for the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless but they won’t be producing cloth or mesh earpads.

This makes sense given how the noise cancellation aspects of the headset are one of its key selling points. At the time of writing this review, SteelSeries are selling coloured headbands and magnetic plates for the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless so we’re hoping that the earcups will be available soon too.

Upon wearing the headset, it creates a very snug fit on your ears. If you have larger ears though, this will cause issues for you. Comfort levels were fine for our prolonged usage but different users will report mixed feelings toward this headset because of the pressure it exerts on your ears. The clamping pressure it exerts on your ears is to maintain its noise cancellation by forming a seal around them, isolating your ears from the outside world.

To reiterate though, users with larger ears are going to have a bad time here, especially if they are wearing this headset for hours and hours on end. If you can try this headset out before purchasing it, that would be the best way to tell if they are right for you. 

The noise cancellation seal the earpads create around your ears is good but not as great as far more premium headsets out there. This isn’t a Sony WH-1000XM5 so don’t expect the same level of noise cancellation here. The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless does let some sound through but is quite good at filtering out ambient noise.

If a large truck drives past outside, you’re going to hear it here. If someone tries to talk to you while you have this headset on, they are going to have to raise their voice quite a bit to make themselves heard. In our testing, with no sound playing we could still hear the keystrokes of our mechanical keyboard with Cherry MX red switches.

The keystrokes were quite muffled and nowhere near as clicky as they sound without the headset on though so the noise cancellation does work well enough for gaming usage.

Connecting the headset is a breeze with the wireless base station plugging into your PC or console via a lengthy 1.5m USB Type-C to Type A cable. Upon your first time booting up the base station, you’ll have to select whether or not you are in the EU region and this is because of the EU’s laws regarding volume levels.

Blasting music at full volume directly into your ear is never a good idea as doing this for prolonged periods of time will adversely affect your hearing. The EU have put in measures to prevent this from happening and this warning plays right into that.

On that same note, the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is quite loud. We don’t recommend using the headset with its volume maxed out. Not only will you be actively harming your ears but you’ll be drowning out most of what you’re listening to as well with lyrics being overpowered completely by the bass output of the headset. 

This brings us to the overall sound profile of the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless. This is a high quality high-end headset and as such, you’d expect some sick beats and tunes to spew forth from its 40 mm neodymium drivers.

Users will get that here. If you play a horror video game like Resident Evil Village, be prepared to be fully immersed in that game world. The sound of footsteps, groans, crows and doors opening will be insanely creepy here since you’ll be hearing everything in crisp, clear detail.


The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless also supports SteelSeries Sonar which helps competitive gamers pinpoint exactly where sounds are coming from. The headset also supports ChatMix which is used to balance your audio between the in-game sounds and your teammates on a Discord chat. This feature works remarkably well in actual use.

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless sounds fantastic in action with the only gripe that we had being that once you pass a certain volume threshold, the bass emitted by the headset’s speakers becomes overpowering and drowns out everything else.

You’ll also have to actively play around with and adjust the equaliser settings for different games since the default “Flat” isn’t ideal for specific genres of music. Orchestral music in particular sounds amazing with this headset with instruments being clearly defined and crisp.

Anything that features lyrics with a lot of bass behind them though sounds a tad muffled or muddy, especially when the volume is cranked up.

The mic featured on the headset can be pulled out and pushed back in quite easily. Using it for gaming sessions, the “AI-powered ClearCast Gen 2” noise cancelling works well with SteelSeries Sonar on PC. With this feature, all the background noise and keyboard sounds are eliminated when talking to your teammates. 

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless also features a Bluetooth mode so you can pair it with your phone on the go if you’d like. We wouldn’t recommend using the headset while gyming or going for a run though because the headband isn’t as grippy as it should be for these purposes and you’ll most likely end up dropping the headset.

Honestly SteelSeries should have just stuck with the headband style of the older Arctis devices. The new style seen here isn’t as comfortable as the previous versions and isn’t nearly as adjustable either.

The battery life of the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is great coming in at around 30 hours of usage or more depending on your volume output settings and connectivity settings. SteelSeries also added a rather genius hot swappable battery charging port to the wireless base station. 

They generously provide 2 batteries in the package too so you can have one charging in the base station while another is inside the earcup of the headset itself. Swapping these in and out is a breeze and makes up their “Infinity Power System” aspect of the headset.


Much like the previous Arctis 7P+, SteelSeries claim that you can get 3 hours of headset usage from only 15 minutes of charging and this seemed accurate in our testing. The battery in the headset is hidden behind a magnetic disk on the earcup which can easily be removed by simply spinning it and lifting it off the cup. Swapping batteries won’t even take you a minute to do.

SteelSeries have also learned from their previous headsets and now clearly display a battery meter percentage for you to see in the SteelSeries GG software. You can also see the headset’s battery life on the base station too and if it’s currently charging another battery or not via the indicators that show up. 

The wireless base station is great with a button dial that controls volume that’s always easily accessible. The OLED screen on it clearly displays all the relevant information that you need to know such as volume and your Left and Right channel output by default.

Why SteelSeries opted for an OLED display here is anyone’s guess but it really does emphasise that this is a premium device. The base station also has more connectivity features with line-in and line-out ports but unfortunately there’s no optical audio here.

Overall, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is a great premium gaming headset with a lot of features that makes it standout above its competition. It’s also designed with gaming in mind and the SteelSeries GG software with Sonar support complements this perfectly. This is a plus that other more premium headsets don’t really have.

If you’re in the market for a high-end gaming headset, this set certainly ticks a lot of boxes with only a few drawbacks to it. Just be warned, this is quite a pricey device at $379.99 (~R6 221).


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