Comparing SteelSeries headsets 

Video gamers have a lot of choices regarding gear, accessories and peripherals. There are plenty of companies that make excellent keyboards, mice and headphones, but Dutch maker SteelSeries is one of the most popular.

Founded 21 years ago, the Soft Trading brand started by selling Icemat and SteelPad mouse pads, with the latter serving as the basis for its iconic name today. Its gaming accessories now are legendary, so you might be wondering which SteelSeries headset you should get. There are many styles and designs, so the answer might not be straightforward.

Your platform of choice

Computer

Millions of gamers prefer to play video games on their computer, needing a compatible headset. SteelSeries has several headsets that work on Windows-based and Apple’s Mac computers. Amost all SteelSeries headsets work with a computer, as long as it has a Bluetooth connection or a 3 1/2-millimeter jack.

Gaming console

The chances are excellent that a PC headset is also compatible with a gaming console such as Microsoft’s Xbox or Sony’s PlayStation. But that isn’t always true for headsets designed for Nintendo’s Switch handheld console or mobile phones. And other factors could also determine which SteelSeries headset is right for you.

Connection method

Wireless

A wireless Bluetooth connection is the most convenient way to connect your headset to your gaming platform. A benefit of wireless is that you aren’t restricted in your movements and don’t need to take it off when walking away from your gaming system. However, there are drawbacks, such as battery life, frequency interference and the possibility of audio lag.

Wired

Wired headsets don’t need charging, as they draw power from the device you plugged them into. You also don’t run the risk of hearing signal interference or audio lag. But they do restrict your movement somewhat. The cables are only a few feet long, and if you forget about them when standing up, you could damage the headset with a violent disconnection.

In-game communication

Detachable microphone

You won’t need a microphone when you play games solo. But you do if you want to chat with friends. That’s why a detachable microphone comes in handy, as you can remove it when not needed and replace it when you need to talk. Typically, the microphone connects to the headset through a dedicated 3 1/2-millimeter jack, and you just pull to remove it.

Built-in microphone

As the name implies, built-in microphones are permanently affixed to the headset, not removable. While some models have retractable microphones, most these days are small enough to not be in the way. And because they are so small, you can adjust them over your mouth if your friends can’t hear you.

What you need to buy for your platform 

Steelseries Arctis 7X Wireless for Xbox Series X

SteelSeries Arctis 7X Wireless For Xbox Series X

Designed specifically for Microsoft’s Xbox Series X, this headset uses Lossless audio compression over a 2.4-gigahertz wireless connection. The technology improves the audio latency so that the visuals and sound sync perfectly. It has a built-in ClearCast bidirectional microphone, and you’ll get about 24 hours of gaming from the rechargeable batteries. The left ear cup has a volume button, mute switch and a charging port.

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SteelSeries Arctis 7P Wireless For PlayStation 5

SteelSeries Arctis 7P+ Wireless For PlayStation 5

With the same color scheme as Sony’s PlayStation 5, the Arctis 7P+ is designed to work with the console’s Tempest 3D Audio for clear, immersive sounds. It connects to the console through a USB-C 2.4 GHz wireless dongle, and a supplied USB-A adapter lets you connect it to other platforms. It has a retractable microphone on the left ear cup, and the rechargeable battery can last about 30 hours.

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What you need to buy for your connection method

SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC Wired Gaming Headset

SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC Wired Gaming Headset

This wired headset comes with the GameDAC amplifier to turn your PC or PlayStation into a high-performance audio source. It is the first headset certified as a high-resolution audio system with built-in DTS surround sound. In addition, the headset has a retractable Arctis ClearCast bidirectional microphone with background noise cancellation. It is compatible with PS4, PS5 and PC, but should also work with the Xbox Series X.

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SteelSeries Arctis 9X Wireless Gaming Headset

SteelSeries Arctis 9X Wireless Gaming Headset

The X9 is unique in its connection method, as it uses Bluetooth or the Xbox controller for wireless audio. The rechargeable batteries will give you about 20 hours of playtime, and the built-in microphone is retractable. The steel frame is durable, with soft padding on the headband. It is compatible with mobile devices and the Xbox Series X.

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What you need to buy for your microphone preference

SteelSeries Arctis 1 With Detachable Microphone

SteelSeries Arctis 1 With Detachable Microphone

If you need to remove the microphone when not in use, the Arctis 1 is an excellent option. It is available in wired or wireless versions, and the ClearCast bidirectional microphone attaches to the headset through a 3.5-millimeter jack on the left ear cup. The reinforced headband flows down to the padded air weave ear cushions, which can fold flat when not needed.

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SteelSeries Arctis 3 With Built-in Microphone

SteelSeries Arctis 3 With Built-in Microphone

When you need your microphone to be ready at any time, the Arctis 3 is a great choice. Available in wired or wireless models, the retractable Discord-certified ClearCast microphone has built-in background noise cancellation. In addition, it is compatible with all gaming platforms and PC, and it uses Windows Sonic Spatial Audio for native surround sound. 

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Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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