Why the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is still the best gaming headset

Sayem Ahmed
SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro in White

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless has just gotten a fresh new colorway, but despite being several years old, it’s still one of the best gaming headsets you can buy today: Here’s why.

It might come as no surprise, but as someone who reviews tech for a living, I often test my own fair share of gaming headsets. Last year I reviewed new pairs from Logitech, Razer, Audeze, and more. But, there’s one that I keep coming back to: The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless.

Initially launched back in 2022, the Arctis Nova Pro wireless still holds its own against newer contenders, and for one good reason: it set the standard for modern gaming headsets. While many audio brands like Audeze, Skullcandy, and JBL are turning their heads toward a gaming market, Steelseries has been there for years, and they understand what gamers care about.

I’ll admit, after testing periods of reviewing cans, I normally use a different set as a part of my “main” gaming setup. In 2023, after reviewing the Audeze Maxwell, I just couldn’t ignore the killer sound quality and planar magnetic drivers and switched to it as my daily driver, away from the Nova Pro Wireless.

Audeze Maxwell vs Arctis Nova Pro wireless

But, using the Maxwell came with sacrifices. The headset was much less comfortable and offered a worse microphone than the Arctis Nova Pro wireless. The Maxwell also doesn’t come with a connectivity station allowing me to hook it up to multiple devices at once, so I had to remember to switch the dongles over every time I wanted to shoot some bugs in Helldivers 2.

Nova Pro Wireless next to Audeze Maxwell

Moreover, during intense sessions of ranked Street Fighter 6, I found my ears getting quite hot, due to the higher clamping force, which resulted in more than a few cases of uncomfortable and sweaty ears. But, the audio quality offered by the Audeze Maxwell is class-leading, but ultimately is not worth the tradeoffs in comfort and utility compared to the Nova Pro Wireless.

I soldiered on with the Maxwell, having already passed the Nova Pro Wireless to a family member. But, the Maxwells stopped working after just eight months of use. After contacting Audeze, the issues were boiled down to what the brand claims is a one-off issue with disconnecting earcups, and has been raised to be sent back to Audeze HQ for analysis.

It was then that, completely coincidentally, SteelSeries sent over their white variant of the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless. like the glistening white rays from Shadowfax and Gandalf the White coming down from the hill during the Battle for Helm’s Deep, I was back using the Nova Pro Wireless after nearly a year of using the Maxwell and testing rival cans. But, I didn’t realize how much I had missed the flagship SteelSeries cans until I was back to using them full-time.

The Nova Pro Wireless is two years old, but still fantastic

Sporting a new white colorway, the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is delightfully lightweight, a big contrast to the Audeze Maxwell, which by comparison is bulky, and a touch heavy. The clamping force of the headset never feels too tight, either, allowing you to wear them for long periods very comfortably.

Again, to compare against a rival headset like the Razer Blackshark V2 Hyperspeed, changing the position of your earcups to rest on your collarbones makes it for a much more comfortable experience than Razer’s current offering.

Steelseries Nova Pro close up

But, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro wireless isn’t perfect: Its audio quality compared to Logitech’s G Pro X 2 wireless is slightly worse, and the Audeze Maxwell remains the gaming audio king. Its microphone categorically isn’t as good as the black magic instilled within the BlackShark V2 Pro. But, what it does offer are quality-of-life features and consistency.

Killer quality of life

The ability to mix audio through multiple sources makes the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro great for those with big gaming setups, thanks to its wide console compatibility and base station. It’s here that you’ll also find a place to recharge a spare battery, so you ultimately never have to charge the headset at all, meaning gaming sessions are totally interrupted.

Nova Pro Wireless in White's GameDAC

Moreover, SteelSeries’ firmware and software have matured, offering even better quality on its microphones within the earcup, in addition to tweaked ANC profiles. SteelSeries Sonar has also evolved a lot since the device’s launch, and it’s now easier than ever to customize the EQ with unique gaming profiles to your liking.

Moreover, the company has also released “booster packs”, allowing you to customize the colors of the headset, to add a personal flair, which will go delightfully well with the friendly white and silver colorway of the newly-released refresh.

A jack of all trades

The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless isn’t the newest headset on the market, but its robust features make it a fantastic all-rounder, which means that it’s still relevant to gamers looking for a device that can do it all, and do it all damn well in 2024. Two years ago, Dexerto reviewed the Nova Pro Wireless as it was released, and gave it a perfect score.

I’ve used them for hundreds of hours at this point, and the score it received two years ago still stands up to the test of time. After long-term testing, the Nova Pro Wireless is still the best gaming headset you can buy today. That doesn’t mean that it’s class-leading in every respect, but its high-level features and a comfortable design are still worthy of your cash, even as competition heats up.

The White version of the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is out now, and you can pick up the black colorway at Amazon.

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About The Author

Dexerto's Hardware Editor. Sayem is an expert in all things Nvidia, AMD, Intel, and PC components. He has 10 years of experience, having written for the likes of Eurogamer, IGN, Trusted Reviews, Kotaku, and many more. Get in touch via email at sayem.ahmed@dexerto.com.