SteelSeries ‘ new Arctis 1 Wireless headset begins shipping today and there is a metaphorical silver bullet inside its box that will make it a must-have for Switch users, in specific: a USB-C receiver that, when plugged into the bottom of your Switch, can immediately stream audio to the headset easily.
If you own a Nintendo Switch, you’ve likely been looking for the best ways to stream audio game to your Bluetooth headphones for a reasonable quantity of time. This headset utilizes wireless 2.4GHz instead of Bluetooth, and the outcome is precisely what you want: there is no noticeable lag, pairing or charging is not required, and it sounds good.
The Arctis 1 Wireless is a capable wireless peripheral audio that operates with Switch and a number of other gaming systems, including PCs, Android phones, PS4, and will work with Google Stadia when it launches. To plug it into a Xbox One controller, you can use the included 3.5 mm cable. SteelSeries tells us that Samsung phones don’t work at the moment, and the jury is out on whether the Switch Lite will support audio-out through its USB-C port.
Cameron Faulkner: For the previous few weeks, I’ve been using this headset. It’s not reasonable to expect at $99 that these will be as comfortable as my Sony 1000X M3 over-ear headphones, and they’re not (nor sound as nice). If not for the USB-C receiver, I wouldn’t be as keen on enduring the big ear cups and plastic-clad design of this headset, so it’s nice that it was included in the box by SteelSeries. (We also need a term for SteelSeries: this charge via Micro USB despite being shipped with a wonderful USB-C receiver.)
But when I went on a plane last week, I had to choose between the two, and I was amazed how rapidly I chose the Arctis 1 Wireless. Of course, it enables me to be an enthusiastic Switch player who likes to appreciate Fire Emblem: Three Houses every time I wake up. It’s also a testament to how well this headset reaches its aim.
With regard to the use of the headset, turning the volume up and down with its textured volume wheel is intuitive. There is a mute switch that you can also turn when you plug in the microphone included.
The energy button functions as a multifunction button secondarily if you use it with a mobile or tablet. Once you click it, the music stops ; twice clicking skips songs.
Wirelessly it can operate well across a multitude of systems as the receiver is a plug-and-play affair with most USB-C devices. If you do not have a USB-C port on your Windows 10 PC or macOS computer, SteelSeries will include a USB-C-in to a USB-A-out cable. I thought moving the USB-C receiver from one device to another would be a pain, but it doesn’t take more effort than changing between Bluetooth phones with my Sony headphones; when I’m on the train, I can hot-swap the receiver from my phone to my switch and the headset picks it up rapidly. Then at work, to begin listening to music on my laptop, I can pop it into the receiving end of the cable.
Gaming or not, there are a few problems with the Arctis 1 Wireless. The dependence of the headset on the 2.4GHz band may be its Achilles ‘ heel depending on where you use it. Usually, while wandering through downtown Manhattan, I had to maintain my phone in my breast pocket instead of my pants pocket or the signal would get choppy. Your locale may not be so crowded with competing signals, then again.