The Arctis 3 by SteelSeries is, simply put, a great pair of headphones. Over the course of nearly a month I have put these headphones through the ringer, using them for all types of media, and on different devices. Not only have they held up well, they also sound great. Whether experiencing movies, music, or video games the sound is top-notch,, they are the perfect headset for people that want quality without breaking the bank, with a retail price of a little under 80 bucks.
The first thing I noticed about this headset was how good it looked and felt. I got the red color and the design was were striking. The color was bright and vivid, the ski goggle band had a great design, and the colors flowed together well. There is a variety of colors available; blue, black, and white to name a few, and many bands to choose from. They also felt sturdy and surprisingly lightweight. The pieces all felt solid and well put together and nothing about these headphones feel cheap. I was not only pleased but happy to wear these headphones out and about thanks to the retractable mic.
These headphones went everywhere with me during the time I was reviewing them, and I even got a couple compliments on how cool they look. Through trips around town, being moved and plugged in all over the house, and working out, they have held up and look and feel as great as they did right out of the packaging. I have not noticed any wear and tear on the looks, or the sound quality whatsoever.
Through all this use one of the main things I loved about these headphones was the comfort. The ear muffs fit snuggly, but comfortably. The only downside was after about half an hour of wearing them I did notice the area around my ear becoming hot and sweaty. The biggest blessing, and in my opinion a game changer, was the ski goggle band: It is a band the goes between your head and the headphones. It makes the headphones almost hover over the top of your head, and takes away all the pressure points that can come with headphone. It fits well on all different sizes of heads, and makes the headphones feel lighter and more satisfying than any other headphones I have owned. Their comfort alone makes them stand above many other headphones I’ve tried.
One of the only cons I have found with this headset is the cords and adapters for it. The Arctis 3 comes with a cord that hooks into the headset on one end, and then connects to the adapters on the other end. It does come with two adapters, one for computers with both headphone and mic inputs, and one that is just for electronics with a single input, While I greatly appreciate the ability to hook up to either type, I was constantly afraid of losing pieces as I moved from device to device. The connections into the adapter and the headphone could be a little more snug, and although it never accidentally came unplugged for me, I fear after a longer use they might be easier to disconnect.
The sound quality on these headphones, not only for less expensive headphones, and are able to compete with other gaming headsets. The bass is strong, the highs and lows are crisp, and the whole sound experience is superb. While playing video games, these headphones really shine. I played a huge variety of games including CSGO, Overwatch, Call of Duty: Black Ops 3, and Shadow of War The sounds are clear and crisp enough to hear enemy footsteps, doors closing, and in-game cues. Hardcore FPS shooter fans will appreciate this especially if you are playing on computer. Using the SteelSeries application, you can enable 7.1 surround sound which helps even more in-game. The highs and lows of the sound all stand out and the quality of the speakers are some of the best I’ve personally used and made gaming more immersive and hearing little clues and being able to tell which direction they came from actually improved my game.
The 7.1 surround sound on PC works flawlessly, but setting it up was a complete chore. First you have to register these headphones with a unique code just to use the software. After making a log-in, I had a hard time using and figuring out the software. After about 30 minutes ,I finally configured the headphones, but I really wish the process was more streamlined and didn’t require making a whole profile and registering the headphones just to use them. It may not be a huge deal, but with my three different computers I had to restart the whole process over three different times and it was not something I looked forward to.
SteelSeries Arctis 3
The Arctis 3 headset by SteelSeries are a fantastic pair of headphones at an affordable price. Although they had a couple drawbacks the visuals of them, performance, and durability make the minor annoyances worth it. They will continue to be my main headphones for games, movies, and music, and I cannot recommend them enough. If you’re looking for cheaper headphones that perform with the best, look no further than the Arctis 3.