SteelSeries Arctis Nova 4X Wireless changed how I feel about pro headsets

Ethan Dean
SteelSeries Arctis Nova 4X Wireless Header

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 4X Wireless have converted me from a no-frills gamer into someone who understands the need for pro headsets. They offer extreme comfort, ease of use, and – most importantly – incredible audio quality.

I want to start this piece off with complete transparency. Prior to picking up the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 4X Wireless, I did not game with headphones a lot. I picked up a cheap pair of $40 cans for the occasional game of Call of Duty and that was that.

They just didn’t do a great deal to improve my overall gaming experience so for the majority of the time playing the single-player titles, I was fine with my TV speakers. How wrong I have been.

Using the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 4X Wireless headphones for both single and multiplayer gaming has converted me. I finally understand the appeal of a pro headset, at least at its $119.99 USD price point.

Steelseries Arctis Nova 4x

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 4X Wireless prove to be a great wireless option

The Arctis Nova 4X Wireless headphones have a makeup of primarily plastic and silicone, unlike the more premium offerings in the SteelSeries range. Some sacrifices do need to be made to lower the overall cost of the product. When you consider that the next range up is priced between $220 USD – $379 USD, those sacrifices are bearable.

Outside of that, the Arctis Nova 4X Wireless has a comfortable fit with an elastic strap reminiscent of those that help motocross goggles fit. This strap and the cups themselves are adjustable to accommodate every head no matter how big or small.

Those cups are made from a breathable foam that firmly surrounds your ears for solid noise cancellation and they house the on-device controls. This includes volume control, a mute button, chat mixing, and a retractable mic that glides easily in and out for storage during single-player gaming.

In the box, you’ll find a charging cable, the USB-C Bluetooth dongle, and a USB-A to USB-C adaptor. Those last two make it incredibly simple to swap the Arctis Nova 4X Wireless to different devices. For those like me who have a multi-console setup, these particular headphones are a great wireless option that allows you to have a single set for all your gaming needs.

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 4X Wireless dazzles with its sound quality

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 4X Wireless adds to the impressive reputation that SteelSeries has for quality audio. I could immediately hear the difference between them and my $40 beaters.

When testing them out with music, they offered crisp, clear audio with serviceable bass that doesn’t distort at the higher end. All of this translated to the gaming experience but the key takeaway was how they captured the intricacies of in-game audio mixing better than any headphones I’ve used previously.

I’m not overstating when I say I heard elements of games that I had never heard before including the ominous groaning of crucified husks during an Elden Ring replay. The 3D audio of first-person titles like Cyberpunk 2077 was greatly enhanced and it ramped the immersion to new heights.

If for whatever reason you’re unsatisfied with elements of their flat mixing, the Arctis Nova 4X Wireless are compatible with SteelSeries’ GG app including the Engine EQ. With Engine, you can manually adjust the levels. Unfortunately, the software is only compatible with PC so any changes made won’t translate to consoles.

SteelSeries GG Software

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 4X Wireless Boasts an impressive 36-hour battery life. While I haven’t tested this to its limit yet, I’ve tallied up over 27 hours without seeing a single indicator to charge.

This includes around 10 hours of online gaming using its microphone which presumably puts more stress on the battery. Speaking of its microphone, my friends are incredibly happy that I have this particular set of headphones.

The noise cancellation afforded by the Arctis Nova 4X Wireless’ mic has managed to block out the piercing barks of my two small dogs. Those barks had become something of a meme in the group chat and I’m glad to be rid of it too.

Outside of the battery life and noise cancellation, the one thing I usually worry about with any wireless headphones is connectivity issues. I’m happy to report that I didn’t experience any disconnects or sync issues in my time with the Arctis Nova 4X Wireless, even when testing their range in my admittedly small house.

While the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 4X price point seemed a little prohibitive to me at first, They’re well worth it for someone looking to take the experiential element of their gaming to the next level.

The lack of customizable EQ levels for consoles is a bit of a drawback for audiophiles but even to my untrained ear, what I got from their standard settings was still leagues ahead of my lower-cost gear.

The highest praise I can give them is that they made me understand the appeal of higher-end headsets.

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