Arctic Nova Pro Wireless Headset Review
The Arctic Nova Pro Wireless headset is a multi-receiver connection headset that tries to do it all and comes very close to succeeding. It features incredible audio fidelity and active noise cancellation at the touch of a button. It also has a built-in microphone that dulls background noise. Most importantly, you can use it for as long as you want to. Switch between consoles and PC goes incredibly fast with the wireless base station. However, these benefits are balanced out by some minor inconveniences and a few glaring issues.
The full package contains the headset, two USB cables, an audio cable, and the wireless base station. Also in the package are two Lithium-Ion batteries and a microphone pop filter. There’s a fair bit of unpacking involved, but trust me, you want to have all the pieces ready before you turn the headset on. The headset itself is quite stylish, with highly polished removable speaker plates on the backs of the earcups that feature the SteelSeries logo. It also features an elastic headband to cushion your head during use. In short, it’s a pretty slick piece of gear.
Stellar Audio Quality
Let me be upfront about this: the Arctic Nova Pro Wireless provides some of the crispest audio I’ve ever heard. Even without using the active noise cancellation function, it still manages to dull and block out most background noise, making for a very focused audio experience. It works well for listening to music and watching videos, but the peripherals are pretty clearly aimed at gaming. Not that I’m complaining, because the result is incredibly convenient.
I was pretty skeptical about the elastic headband at first, but it’s surprisingly comfortable. Its presence also completely removed the need to adjust the headset manually. Sure, you can still adjust the sliders if you want. But if you have a small head, you can cut that entire task out. Forever. Even if you still need to adjust the headset to get it to fit, the elastic headband is still comfy.
You can easily adjust the volume with a volume/control wheel located on the back of the left earcup. There’s quite a few buttons to remember, so it can take a bit of time to locate the volume wheel at first. Once you have its location in your muscle memory, however, it’s easy to adjust the volume in the heat of the moment.
The Most Convenient Headset I’ve Ever Used
The main appeal of this headset is the wireless base station, which allows you to quickly change which gaming device you’re listening to. As I said before, you can actually plug the headphones into your PC and use Bluetooth to connect them to a console. When you break the connection, you can go back to listening to PC audio almost instantly. If you have a stationary gaming set-up, this means you will basically never have to move your audio gear again.
I really appreciate that the headset can be charged both on the go and by swapping the batteries. Speaking of the batteries, not only are they rechargeable, they give you two of them. This means you can pop one battery into the wireless base station and charge it while still using the headset. This is the kind of generosity and regard for player convenience I like to see from gaming accessories. You can charge both the headset and the wireless base station while using them, all while also charging the spare battery. This is what I call excellent design.
Set-up Takes Forever
Now for the downsides. First and foremost, trying to set up the Arctic Nova Pro Wireless headset is pretty intimidating. I recommend having the instructions booklet open the entire time. A detailed product overview labels each element of the headset and assorted add-ons, which is excellent. Don’t be afraid to flip back and check that out as you go.
Once you have the wireless base station plugged into your computer, it’s time to go to the website. If you don’t have the SteelSeries GG app, you need to download it. Once you have the app, you then need to apply a firmware update in order to change the settings. Let me save you a lot of time and worry: you need to plug both the base and the headset into the computer. Do not try and plug the headset into the base, it won’t work and you’ll feel very silly afterward. Once you have all of that done, you can finally use the headset.
Also, you would think that the inclusion of an audio cable would allow you to just plug it in and use the headphones. You would be wrong. I was completely unable to get the headphones to work without plugging them into both the wireless base station and the device in use. As you can imagine, a pair of wireless headphones that won’t work wirelessly is a bit of an issue. However, the battery to the headphones drains so rapidly that leaving them plugged in is more convenient anyway. That way, they can charge constantly. There is Bluetooth functionality, at least, which means you can use the headphones for consoles while they’re still plugged into your PC and charging.
When it comes to pure convenience, this headset has no rivals. However, this is the Arctic Nova Pro Wireless Headset’s main selling point. Keep that in mind if you’re looking for something other than raw convenience from a headset. Or if you’re bad at setting up complicated pieces of equipment.
<li>Great sound quality</li>
<li>Can charge while in use</li>
<li>Headset becomes uncomfortable after a while</li>
<li>No plug and play</li>
<li>Lots of buttons</li>
<li>Low battery life</li>