Hardware Review: Steelseries Arctis 3 Bluetooth Headset


The audio situation with the Switch is a little weird, cumbersome and just plain harder than it needs to be.

While the Switch has a 3.5mm headphone jack which you can do a lot with, that doesn’t help if you’re docked. There’s no Bluetooth audio without adapters like the Genki, and the Pro Controller doesn’t have a headphone jack as the other consoles have with their controllers to pass-through audio. Never mind the entire “thing” with the online app and voice chat that only works on some games.

One headset that hopes to try and solve this issue. The Steelseries Arctis 3, we’ve had it a while and it’s still not going to solve all the Switch audio issues but it gives you a good bang for your buck.

The Arctis 3 is a good solid choice for a starter headset for the Switch and the good news is that it works with everything else. The box says it works with the Switch, which is correct it can connect via the headphone jack and also connect wirelessly – to the Nintendo Switch Online app at the same time. That means you can hear the game, but also hear your friends at the same time. Which still isn’t great, but it’s hardly the headsets problem.

Games like Fortnite which poo-poo Nintendo’s voice chat work perfectly without the app, but you’ll need to be connected with the wire.

If you’re not interested in chatting and just want to use the headset as a wireless headphone (and maybe connect to consoles without convoluted online setups another time) then something like a Genki will connect these cans to the Switch.

While not overly loud, The SteelSeries Arctis 3 has a strong sound, but without an overpowering bass. There’s a solid spread in the stereo which can make finding the enemy in Fortnite a lot easier (I actually won my first game with these!). The microphone has good clarity, the kids yelling at me in games weren’t complimentary about how I played but couldn’t find anything wrong with how I sounded. The boom microphone slides out from within the ear-cup and hides away when not in the use.

Aside from Bluetooth which is simple and easy to connect to any device, the other way to connect the headset with a wire, unfortunately, is with a proprietary headphone cable. While one end has the 3.5mm jack, if you lose it you won’t be able to just use any other standard cable. There is a 3.5mm socket on the headphones but this is for ‘sharing’ your audio out. The headset charges via micro-USB and while I couldn’t tell you how long it lasts – I can’t remember the last time I charged it.


The headset overall feels like on your head because of the comfy “ski goggle headband” the headset never actually sits on your head. The pads are comfy and not too warm. The Arctis has no trouble fitting over my fat head either and should be fine on smaller heads too. I’m also thankful that the headset doesn’t look like some gaudy-green RBG-lit thing. You could wear these in an office environment and no one would look twice. Sadly the headset doesn’t fold down for travel too well, it’ll take up quite a bit of room in your bag.

Until Nintendo ditch their convoluted online app and/or add Bluetooth support to the system we’re never going to have the perfect headset setup. If we’ve gotta play by Nintendo’s rules then you might as well have a great headset such as this. The SteelSeries Arctis 3 gives terrific bang for your buck, with a solidly built, great sounding headset.

Thanks to Steeleseries for providing the headset for review.


What's your reaction?
Oh wow!
About The Author
Daniel Vuckovic
The Owner and Creator of this fair website. I also do news, reviews, programming, art and social media here. It is named after me after all. Please understand.

You must log in to post a comment