SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3 Review: Flexible but underwhelming – Reviewed

Taking into account the Arctis 1 Wi-fi was once $100 at release in 2019, the Arctis Nova 3 truly stumbles.

In regards to the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3

  • Value: $99
  • Taste: Over-ear, closed-back
  • Colours: Black
  • Drivers: Customized prime constancy 40mm drivers
  • Stressed connections: 3.5mm in, USB-C
  • Tool compatibility: PC, Mac, PS5/PS4, Xbox Sequence X/S, Nintendo Transfer, Meta Quest 2, Android, iOS
  • Microphone: Retractable, bidirectional noise canceling
  • Digital encompass sound: Supported
  • Weight: 8.9 oz

The Arctis Nova 3 is the next move up from the base-level Arctis Nova 1. It doesn’t exchange the ClearCast Gen 2 mic or speaker drivers, however its use of an not obligatory USB connection permits it to interface with application for AI-power microphone noise canceling, programmable RGB lights, a parametric EQ, and software-based encompass sound modes.

The primary era of SteelSeries Arctis headsets had a little bit extra aptitude till the corporate offered the extra subdued Arctis 1. The brand new Arctis Nova line retools one of the crucial options of the unique Arctis headsets, however the aesthetic adjustments are extra refined at the Arctis Nova 3. This type comprises RGB rings round each and every ear cup. The ski goggle-style scarf suits simply beneath the real plastic of the scarf and very easily helps the headphones, despite the fact that the elastic band can begin to sag after a yr or so of use.

The Arctis Nova 3 options the similar bland semi-circle yolks at the ear cups because the Arctis Nova 1 as an alternative of the attention-grabbing quarter-circle yolks on many of the unique Arctis headsets and the Arctis Nova Professional. The AirWeave cloth ear cushions are used once more on those headphones, offering a relaxed seal across the ears, despite the fact that now not a lot sound isolation. The pads also are slightly shallow, which will annoy delicate ears.


Credit score: Reviewed / Mike Knapp

The mic is totally retractable when now not in use.

The headset features a quantity dial and microphone mute transfer at the left facet. The mic can totally retract into the headset when now not in use, an growth over the unique ClearCast microphones which caught out slightly. Even the transfer to a USB-C connection is a plus (as an alternative of SteelSeries’ prior proprietary connector), despite the fact that vibrations can trip up the cable into the left ear cup.

The mic at the Arctis Nova 3 will get some at hand options when attached over USB, akin to a crimson indicator gentle at the tip to turn when it’s muted and mic sidetone—a device that permits you to listen your personal voice coming during the mic in actual time. The mic is as crisp as ever, choosing up my voice obviously with a decent fullness. With the bidirectional noise canceling, it subdues background noises however doesn’t do away with them. The SteelSeries application permits AI noise-canceling, which way more successfully erases background noise however introduces some small audio artifacts.

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3 places out crisp sound or even carries the bass during the combine successfully. Every so often audio is sort of too crisp, with prime treble notes like cymbal hits having a painful chunk to them. Dialing the quantity again takes the edge out with out draining the sound of its power. Each Of Montreal’s False Priest album and Bleachers’ Unusual Need benefited from the fullness the headset supplies and the precision it’s in a position to reach whilst maintaining with such busy tune.

The soundstage is missing, which sucks one of the crucial fullness out of the sound, however doesn’t really feel claustrophobic. In Overwatch, I’m in a position to select up on the place enemies are seeking to push during the line with sound cues, or even in frantic battles, I will listen final callouts to take care of situational consciousness.

To profit from the Arctis Nova 3, you want to attach it during the corporate’s SteelSeries GG application, the place you’ll be able to regulate a few of its fundamental settings, after which additionally allow Sonar (a sub-app) to get right of entry to one of the crucial enhanced options, like AI noise canceling and digital encompass. This kind of compartmentalization is exactly what makes different application, like Razer Synapse, a comparative ache to make use of.

Will have to you purchase the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3?

No, it doesn’t distinguish itself sufficient from less expensive choices


Credit score: Reviewed / Mark Knapp

It isn’t the largest growth over its predecessor, however the earpads are fairly relaxed.

In the end, the Arctis Nova 3 headset doesn’t stand out. At $100, it’s on no account a price headset. Taking into account the Arctis 1 Wi-fi was once $100 at release in 2019, the wholly stressed Arctis Nova 3 stumbles.

The entire Nova 3 brings to the desk is a remodeled design that’s additionally to be had within the less expensive Arctis Nova 1 (with similar audio high quality) and drab RGB gentle rings. They simply have three results–one of which is only a static colour–and aren’t brightly illuminated.

This center of the pack scenario makes the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3 a cross. Even with app integration that units it except for the Arctis Nova 1, different SteelSeries headsets will serve most of the people higher. The Arctis 3 Bluetooth equipped the ease of a Bluetooth connection for $100 when it debuted in 2018. In the meantime, headsets just like the stressed (*5*)HyperX Cloud Alpha S or wi-fi Logitech G435 Lightspeed are aggressive recent choices for much less cash.

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Costs had been correct on the time this text was once revealed however would possibly exchange through the years.

Meet the tester


Mark Knapp


Mark Knapp has coated tech for many of the previous decade, preserving readers on top of things on the most recent tendencies and going hands-on with the whole lot from telephones and computer systems to e-bikes and drones to split the promoting from the truth. Catch him on Twitter at @Techn0Mark or on Reviewed, , , T3, , and Industry Insider.

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