Headphone juggling: it’s a thing. The cans you wear to work probably aren’t the ones you pull on when sitting down for a gaming session. But what if they were? Steelseries’ new Arctis Nova Pro over-ears have been built from the ground-up to be properly multi-purpose.
Available in wired and wireless forms, the Arctis Nova Pro promise stellar sound quality, multi-device playback, all-day battery life and (if you go for the cable-free version) active noise cancellation. It has four mics dedicated to recognising outside distractions and cutting them out before they reach your ears.
SteelSeries veterans will instantly notice the new headband design, which ditches the elasticated strap that always reminded us of a pair of ski goggles. The new look brings four points of adjustment, including height-adjustable leatherette earcups (for those with a particularly big bonce) and a fully-retractable microphone that’s all but invisible until you extend it. The streamlined design should fit in on the Tube just as well as on a Twitch stream.
When you’re home, the second-gen GameDAC delivers Hi-Res Audio at 96KHz/24-bit, and lets you mix channels between microphone, console and PC. It’s packing an ESS Sabre quad DAC, which SteelSeries says delivers a 78% purer signal than a regular plug-and-play headset. It holds one of the two hot-swappable battery packs, so you’ve always got charge to spare if you’re in the middle of a marathon gaming session. An OLED display shows at-a-glance input info, and lets you tweak EQ settings on the fly without having to boot up any software. There are versions for the PlayStation and Xbox, and both will play nicely with PCs, smartphones and other gadgets.
Steelseries’ own Sonar Audio suite adds 360° spatial audio support, and brings what the firm is calling the world’s first parametric EQ for gamers. For anyone that’s not an audio technician, that basically means continuous, fine-grain control over every frequency.
The headset will play back two audio connections at once, to stay connected on the phone via Bluetooth while PC or console gaming over 2.4GHz wireless.
The Arctis Nova Pro line-up is on sale now, direct from SteelSeries and from all the usual retailers. Expect to pay £250 for the Nova Pro and Nova Pro Xbox, and £330 for the Nova Pro Wireless, Nova Pro Wireless Xbox and Nova Pro Wireless PlayStation. The Sonar Audio suite is free to download from the SteelSeries website.