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Review

The Arctis Nova 5 Wireless Headset Review

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I’ve been looking for a new headset for a while now, so I had to say yes when SteelSeries asked if I’d like to try a new one. The thing is, I’m in a little bit of a weird spot; I have no PC (only a Mac) and play predominantly on the Switch, so a lot of headsets, while great, usually don’t work with my setup. Usually, they’re all focused on PC gaming (which makes sense; I’m in the minority, I get it), so when they said this one had a mobile app to change the settings, I was very keen to try it out.

The Arctis Nova 5 Wireless¬†headset has all the features you’d hope for a headset in this price range, but the app is different. You can pair the headset to your phone like any other Bluetooth device, and the app picks it up. You can control the levels of the headset and the microphone on your phone, too (as well as check the battery life). The exciting thing is that the equalizer is built into the app to let you change the EQ for different games. There are also options for different music settings as well. Playing Apex Legends with the preset set sounded much better, as I could hear the people blast me from behind and kill me. I’m a bit rusty. Between the two connection types, 2.4 GHz (via dongle) and Bluetooth, you can save a different preset as well.¬†

The Arctis Nova 5 Wireless has two ways of connecting to anything you’re trying to use it on; the inbuilt Bluetooth and a 2.4 GHz USB-C dongle are also included. Unfortunately, there’s no way to store the little dongle somewhere, not even a bag or case with the headset. But seeing as you’re unlikely to leave your gaming dungeon with this thing, I’ll give it a pass. The dongle can plug into the Nintendo Switch via the USB-C port on the bottom of the console; the headset box includes a USB-A to USB-C adapter so that you can use docked as well. The PS5 has a USB-C port on the front, or you could use the adapter if you wanted. One thing to note is that the 2.4ghz and Bluetooth inputs can’t be overlaid; it’s one or the other. It is easy to switch between the two though with a button on the headset.

The Nova 5 offers a very impressive 60-hour battery life, which seems very impressive for something so light and pulling double duty between Bluetooth and wireless. I don’t have any long-term tests on the battery life, but I’ve had the headset a little while now and have yet to charge it. 

The headset’s microphone is better than my current headset’s microphone, which would just unmute itself and play the audio coming out of the headset back into an internal microphone – thus far, with my testing, I’ve had no complaints. Sorry, I had to whine about that somewhere. Back on the Nova 5, the microphone’s quality is quite good, hearing voice claps back though you do hear everything going on in your room. Some software can fix that up but that’s usually for PC gamers only, so as a console player you’re just going to have to listen to my dog and fan – sorry.

The Nova 5’s design is relatively unremarkable. I mean that in the nicest possible way; it looks like a black gaming headset and does its job well. It doesn’t have RGB or massive stickers and messes all over it, perfect. The stretchy headband up top and the light weight of the unit keeps things comfy for an extended period of time; my ears didn’t heat up as much as other headsets I’ve had in the past. I also like seeing the mute light on the headset boom – neat!

This is not me in the photo

The Arctis Nova 5 Wireless headset is a solid piece of kit, especially considering the asking price. Could the microphone have some sort of in-built noise suppression for console players? Sure. But it does everything else perfectly. The build quality is strong while keeping the weight down, the battery life is tremendous, and adding an app to adjust the EQ and other settings means console players don’t have to log onto their PC (or even have one) to change settings. Indeed, it is a solid buy.¬†

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The Good

+ Solid headset, great sound quality
+ App offers on the go adjustment of settings
+ Works on everything you can think of

The Bad

- Microphone picks up everything like its right next to you
- Plastic a little scratchy

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Final Thoughts

The Arctis Nova 5 Wireless headset is a solid piece of kit, especially considering the asking price. Could the microphone have some sort of in-built noise suppression for console players? Sure. But it does everything else perfectly. The build quality is strong while keeping the weight down, the battery life is tremendous, and adding an app to adjust the EQ and other settings means console players don't have to log onto their PC (or even have one) to change settings. Indeed, it is a solid buy. 

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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.

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