While the brand new headsets gaming Arctis Nova Pro and Arctis Nova Pro Wireless have just passed through our test lab (and come out with honors), the Danish manufacturer SteelSeries is making a comeback. After these two very high-end models, it is now working on renewing the slightly more affordable part of its helmet offer. It is therefore now the Arctis Nova 1, 3 and 7 which succeed the “very short” Arctis models bearing the same numbers.
Honor where credit is due, the Arctis Nova 7 is the range’s wireless headset and proudly sports its Nova Acoustic System design, a high-sounding name behind which, we are told, lies “a high fidelity audio system”but without strictly any concrete technical details.
It also offers dual wireless connectivity, by proprietary radio via a USB adapter on the one hand and via Bluetooth on the other. These two connections can be used simultaneously, the two streams then being mixed. We can thus consider having the sound of the game via USB, while the voice chat is carried out in Bluetooth via a smartphone. The compact USB transmitter/receiver is equipped with a USB-C connector (a USB-A adapter is supplied), which allows it to be connected to a Nintendo Switch, even in mobile mode.
On PC, the headset works in tandem with the Sonar Audio application, capable in particular of providing it with virtual spatialization processing. The app can also come to the aid of the retractable bidirectional microphone, by applying a noise reduction to the captured signal “by AI”. On the autonomy side, the manufacturer announces 38 hours of endurance and a fast charge providing 6 hours of operation after 15 minutes of charging.
The Arctis Nova 7 is available in three variants aimed specifically at PC (Nova 7), PlayStation 4/5 (Nova 7P) and Xbox (Nova 7X) gamers. It should be noted, however, that the PC and PlayStation models are materially identical and both are perfectly compatible with both platforms. The Xbox model, on the other hand, is the only one that works with Xbox consoles; it can also be used with other platforms (including the Switch and the majority of mobiles and tablets with USB-C port), but without support for adjusting the game/chat balance.
The Arctis Nova 3 and 1 are wired models. The first takes advantage of a USB connection, necessary to provide it with the current required by its inevitable RGB lights. For the rest, it seems to differ only marginally from the Nova 7.
The Nova 1 is content with a very traditional mini-jack connection – which deprives it, one supposes, of the benefits of the Sonar software on PC with which it can no longer interconnect. However, it has the advantage of working with any source device with a suitable headphone output. This does not prevent it from also being available in PC, PS4/5 and Xbox variants, but the differences are only cosmetic and not functional.
The three headsets will be available in the coming days at indicative prices of €200 for the Arctis Nova 7 (as well as the Nova 7P and Nova 7X), €110 for the Nova 3 and €70 for the Nova 1.