SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless Gaming Headset Review

The Best Nintendo Switch Wireless Headset?

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Photo taken by Alex Rowe.
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Photo taken by Alex Rowe.

OVERVIEW

The Arctis 1 Wireless sells for $99. It’s available in two configurations: a standard model with white lines inside the ear pads, and a “For Nintendo Switch” model with a different box (and blue lines in the ear pads depending on the print run) that’s exclusive to Best Buy, at least in the US. I bought the standard model for its full retail price, and you can find its official product page here.

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The control layout is nice and simple. Photo taken by Alex Rowe.

SOUND QUALITY

The Arctis S1 Speaker Drivers used here are a known quantity at this point, offering clean and crisp sound. These are the same speakers used inside the Arctis 3, 5, and 7, and not the nicer hi-res certified drivers from the Arctis Pro.

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Photo taken by Alex Rowe.

COMFORT/ISOLATION

The clamping force on the Arctis 1 Wireless is tighter out of the box than the wired model, which was immediately soft and comfy on my head. The wireless version eventually got there after a day or so of use.

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The compact dongle is great, and it seems like it’s most of what you’re paying for. Photo taken by Alex Rowe.

WIRELESS DONGLE AND BATTERY

I want to gush a little bit about the USB-C dongle. It’s great! It’s tiny and unobtrusive, and works perfectly with my laptop and both my Switch and Switch Lite. It has a low profile thin design that’s marred only by its width. This is fine on the Switch, but might cause an issue if you want to use the ports next to it on your laptop.

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SteelSeries Engine offers a few tweaks for this headset on a PC, a nice touch! Screenshot taken by Alex Rowe.
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These two pieces no longer sit flush due to the headband bending, just one of several fit and finish issues on this headset. Photo taken by Alex Rowe.

DESIGN AND BUILD

Here’s where my hype comes crashing down. In every category other than build quality, the Arctis 1 Wireless is a top performer. I’d have no trouble recommending it without hesitation, or adding it to this list.

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This sharp plastic corner easily scratches the pad every time I rotate the cup flat. Not great! Photo taken by Alex Rowe.
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I still like the sleek design of this headband pad. Photo taken by Alex Rowe.

MICROPHONE

The detachable mic included here is the same good ClearCast mic that SteelSeries features in all of their current headsets. It uses a bi-directional capsule that’s brilliant at cancelling out background noise, and even though it sounds a little bit nasally compared to some other mics, I still think it’s a great trade-off.

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These seal well even around my glasses and my current amount of hair. Photo taken by Alex Rowe.

FINAL THOUGHTS

I wish these were built with more authority. I wish the pads didn’t scrape against the frame when you rotate them flat, and that I had more confidence in the integrity of my slightly-bent headband pieces. With those tiny complaints out of the way, I’d have nothing bad to say about this headset and I’d shout from the rooftops that you should buy one.

Written by

I do radio voice work by day, and write by day and night. I studied film and production. I love audio, design, and music. Also video games.

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