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Review: SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC

by Tarinder Sandhu on 18 July 2018, 16:01

Tags: SteelSeries

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qadvlw

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Performance and Conclusion

Run through the GameDAC, the Arctis Pro headset is able to play high-resolution audio and the resulting sound is nothing short of excellent. Listening to an eclectic mix, from Massive Attack to The Flaming Lips, reveals a clarity and precision missing on rival headsets. In fact, it's pretty easy for me to say these are the best-sounding gaming headsets I have ever tested. The soundstage is good, if not super-wide, and with the default EQ configuration, bass is punchy rather than overtly heavy. Just the way I like it.

Moving over to games, Far Cry 5 on the PC is crisp and clear, with explosions having the right amount of heft and accuracy. The Arctis' clarity and detail become second nature after a while, only shown up, in a positive way, when moving back over to a cheaper set of cans.

Hooked up to a PS4 via the Optical cable, audio quality is, once again, well-balanced and rather good for a gaming headset. Enabling DTS doesn't do much for the soundstage other than bring more immediacy to vocals, however, so I left it and any pseudo surround off whilst gaming.

Of course, a good DAC's job is to make sure the last morsel of audio excellence is transferred from source to headset. It cannot, for example, do anything significant to improve lossy audio performance - YouTube clips are going to sound similar no matter which headset is used.

Audio quality isn't quite as good if connected directly to the PC or phone via the aforementioned adapter, hinting at the GameDAC doing its job well. Such DAC-less audio is not unpleasant, of course, but you do notice the slight lack of detail from a high-quality source. Point is, you need to use the DAC to get the most out of the headset.

All this said, wouldn't it be nice if you could have the quality on offer here with the convenience of either Bluetooth or wireless technology? Surely such a system would work far better in the living room. Who wants to have wires traipsing across the floor, right?

Wrap

SteelSeries hits many positive notes with the Arctis Pro + GameDAC bundle. All-day comfort, elegant design, a high-quality mic, and excellent overall audio reproduction are obvious plus points. Helped on by a decent DAC, the duo combines to offer best-in-class audio for both gaming and songs.

Sure, the street price of £200 is steep, but as a multiple-use headset, the Arctis Pro does a fine job at balancing decent audio and immersive gameplay. We'd recommend these to those of you who really do appreciate quality, accurate sound instead of the usual bass-heavy signature of a plethora of gaming headsets. Recommended if you can live with the necessary wires.

The Good
 
The Bad
Fantastic sound quality
Great mic
Very comfortable
DAC works well
Good looks
 
Expensive for most
Lacks official support for Xbox One



SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC

HEXUS.where2buy*

The SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC gaming headset is available to purchase from Scan Computers.

HEXUS.right2reply

At HEXUS, we invite the companies whose products we test to comment on our articles. If any company representatives for the products reviewed choose to respond, we'll publish their commentary here verbatim.



*UK-based HEXUS community members are eligible for free delivery and priority customer service through the SCAN.care@HEXUS forum.



HEXUS Forums :: 10 Comments

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You better hope those cables with a proprietary connector last longer than the headset itself because you'll be hard pressed getting replacements. I have the original Icemat (later SteelSeries) Siberia headset, which also has great sound quality. At some point the cable with the inline volume control developed a defect. I contacted SteelSeries for a replacement but was told to go buy a new headset instead. Unsurprisingly I wasn't pleased with that reply.

In short: great headsets, lousy customer support.
azrael-
You better hope those cables with a proprietary connector last longer than the headset itself because you'll be hard pressed getting replacements. I have the original Icemat (later SteelSeries) Siberia headset, which also has great sound quality. At some point the cable with the inline volume control developed a defect. I contacted SteelSeries for a replacement but was told to go buy a new headset instead. Unsurprisingly I wasn't pleased with that reply.

In short: great headsets, lousy customer support.

Which exact model is that? I didn't think they had a replacable cable- I know some SteelSeries have detachable cables, but not sure about that one. Have you got a photo you can host up here for me?
I think I might know the right people to ask - hey, it might not be viable, but I'm happy to ask because the UK team are v helpful.
azrael-
You better hope those cables with a proprietary connector last longer than the headset itself because you'll be hard pressed getting replacements. I have the original Icemat (later SteelSeries) Siberia headset, which also has great sound quality. At some point the cable with the inline volume control developed a defect. I contacted SteelSeries for a replacement but was told to go buy a new headset instead. Unsurprisingly I wasn't pleased with that reply.

In short: great headsets, lousy customer support.
They dont even sell the old siberia v2's. I had same problem, so bought similar model of amazon, i think v200 or something for around 40 quid, but they were so cheap and sound was nothing like v2's. I just instantly returned them, taped old v2 wire with gaffe tape and so be it.
Zak33
Which exact model is that? I didn't think they had a replacable cable- I know some SteelSeries have detachable cables, but not sure about that one. Have you got a photo you can host up here for me?
I think I might know the right people to ask - hey, it might not be viable, but I'm happy to ask because the UK team are v helpful.
It's this version. The cable in question is the one in the lower right side in the second image (the one right under “Products & Specs”). The headset itself doesn't have a replacable cable, but a short one that then plugs into the extension cable with the inline volume control. It's this extension cable (or rather the inline volume control, I suspect, which is knackered). As you can see from the date of the review the headset is quite old at this point (I got mine around 2006), although the problem also happened years ago. I found a cheap quality replacement for the extension cable, but it's never really been the same as the original one. Still, it's an ancient headset by today's standards. I really wouldn't bother looking for a proper replacement, but thanks for offering. :)
azrael-
Zak33
Which exact model is that? I didn't think they had a replacable cable- I know some SteelSeries have detachable cables, but not sure about that one. Have you got a photo you can host up here for me?
I think I might know the right people to ask - hey, it might not be viable, but I'm happy to ask because the UK team are v helpful.
It's this version. The cable in question is the one in the lower right side in the second image (the one right under “Products & Specs”). The headset itself doesn't have a replacable cable, but a short one that then plugs into the extension cable with the inline volume control. It's this extension cable (or rather the inline volume control, I suspect, which is knackered). As you can see from the date of the review the headset is quite old at this point (I got mine around 2006), although the problem also happened years ago. I found a cheap quality replacement for the extension cable, but it's never really been the same as the original one. Still, it's an ancient headset by today's standards. I really wouldn't bother looking for a proper replacement, but thanks for offering. :)
thanks for your post !! I was going to buy the headset in the above review (great review HEXUS ) I have astro A40tr and mix amp but get tired of switching from pc to ps4. but I have already broken the usb cable and optical cable ones I am parapleagic and run them over with the wheelchair often .having the ability to get replacements are a must !!!