Packing everything you need in a headset is the SteelSeries Arctis 9 Wireless. It comes with both Bluetooth and 2.4GHz Wi-Fi wireless connectivity, retractable microphone, and a physical volume dial. The Arctis 9 is also really comfortable to wear, and has a great battery life to boot. Shame it’s a bit more expensive compared to the other options around.
- 40mm neodymium drivers
- Volume controls on earcup
- 2.4GHz Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1 (A2DP, HFP, HSP)
The one thing that really stands out for the Arctis 9 are the cloth straps that easily adjust to the shape of your head. I like it better than having to extend the ear cups on other headsets. The over-ear cups use fabric and sit really comfortable without pressing in. I’ve worn the Arctis 9 for hours while gaming or listening to music and they don’t feel tiring. The earcups also don’t press in too hard, so you can wear glasses without feeling strained, too. It also doesn’t get too hot, though it’s best to use it in an airconditioned room.
There are two physical volume dials, one on each earcup. The left side adjusts your game audio and chat audio balance. The right side controls the overall volume. Besides using Wi-Fi, the headset also supports Bluetooth, so you can use it with your phone (but there’s no aptX codec support). The dongle also works with the PS5, so you can hook it up to enjoy 3D audio. The retractable boom mic offers good quality capture, but struggles with wind (from a fan). There’s also a physical button to mute the mic on the right earcup.
The audio is crisp and clear, with a focus on mids and highs. The bass is a bit weaker, but this works out somewhat for a more neutral sound. The soundstage feels a little close, but honestly, it’s hard to compete with the Creative SFXI Air Gamer here (which has a unbelievably wide soundstage). I also prefer the warmer sounds of the Razer Barracuda X, which the Arctis 9 share similar features to. You can, however, adjust the EQ to your liking using the SteelSeries app in Windows. As for battery life, I was about to get about a week’s use from it without having to recharge. My daily usage sessions ranged from two to four hours, which puts the Arctis 9 close to the rated 20 hours of battery life.
There’s plenty to like about the SteelSeries Arctis 9 Wireless. It has great features and sounds pretty good, too. The official retail price is S$349 on Shopee and Lazada. My only complaint is that it is a bit expensive compared to the other options, such as the Razer Barracuda X. I do note the Arctis 9 has Bluetooth, while the Razer headphone does not.
Note: Review unit provided by SteelSeries.