SteelSeries Arctis 1 headset review: Great gaming headphones for Nintendo Switch owners

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The SteelSeries Arctis 1 headset has arrived, and the fact that it comes with a dongle is great news for Nintendo Switch owners that are looking to buy a headset. After all, the

Switch does not natively support Bluetooth headphones

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, so a dongle is essential if you want to use wireless headphones on Switch.

We’ve always been heading towards a wireless-world, whether that's with browsing the internet, gaming with a controller, or listening to music with wireless headphones.

With games, there’s a plentitude of devices that support wireless headphones, while some, like the

Nintendo Switch

, don’t.

This is where SteelSeries’ Arctis 1 comes in; that handy dongle allows you to use these headphones with your Switch, your

Chromecast

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, your TV, or anything else that doesn't have native Bluetooth support built-in.

Table of Contents

With that, here’s how the headphones managed throughout our tests...

Design - Score 82

As always with SteelSeries, the quality is top-notch, with easily adjustable ways and comfortable padding for most ears. The buttons on the left can adjust the sound and switch on/off the microphone when connected, while a jack can easily connect to a wired device such as a PS Vita when needed.

We found them to be comfortable to use, although the space between the ear and the speakers didn’t feel like there was enough padding, so after a few hours they needed to be taken off to give the pressure of the ear in the cups an ease.

The USB-C dongle needs to be talked about here. It’s incredibly useful, and enabled wireless-audio on the Nintendo Switch. It’s still baffling that there’s still no easy way of just pairing up some wireless headphones to the Switch, that this method is the only way. But it does work, and simply plugging it in enables the wireless connectivity. Other devices were tested such as an

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iPad Pro

, but the only limiting factor is USB-C, unless you can find an adaptor for mini-USB, or even a 30-pin connector for an iPod, but it can be possible.

We found the battery-life to be excellent; it would last a day and a half in use until we were prompted to recharge them again; perfect for a time on the iPad when commuting, or at least when that returns to some normality.

But this opens up the headphones to be used on a greater amount of devices, and you don’t need to pair and unpair between a Switch or a tablet constantly, you can just plug in the dongle and go.

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Sound - Score 90

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The headphones were used when playing Dino Crisis, Tekken 7, and Warzone, and it all worked great, with sounds booming when a special attack was performed in Tekken, or when a T-Rex would appear in Dino Crisis.

Other ways such as Mario Kart 8 Deluxe on the Switch, and watching a stream on the iPad, all of it was loud and worked well.

Having a detachable microphone is a great touch here, as you can remove and attach it when needed, without having to fiddle around if you’re just in the garden. Using it in

Warzone

worked well, and with the same Discord-approved ClearCast feature to block out any outside noise, friends had said that the voice could be heard loudly and clearly, which is all you need from a microphone.

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Price - Score 75

At £99.99 from

SteelSeries

or

£79.99 via Amazon

, it’s at a manageable price point, especially when you factor in the wireless dongle that opens up the peripheral to devices previously closed-off from such things.

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But when you consider that there’s barely any padding between the ears and the speakers, resulting in a less-comfortable time with these, it does make the price seem slightly questionable.

But with it being able to pump out fantastic, loud sound in many different situations, you may be able to look past £99.99, especially if you’re wanting to use some of your lockdown-time on Animal Crossing or just get some work done on a tablet that has USB-C.

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Our Score

Pros

  • Wireless dongle opens up access to Switch and other devices
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  • Great sound
  • Long-lasting battery

Cons

  • Lack of padding for the ears which can result in discomfort
  • The RRP of £99.99 could be considered steep, so look out for a deal!

The Arctis 1 is a great all-in-one package. The Switch gains wireless-headphones with next-to-no hit on its battery, while the easy access to controls on the peripheral itself with a detachable microphone is a nice bonus.

The battery life was also great, with no prompt in needing to charge it after a full-working day at the least.

The only part of where it lets itself down is its comfort and lack of padding for the ears. It seems slightly baffling, especially at £99 buying direct from

SteelSeries

- we'd definitely opt for

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£79.99 via Amazon

instead.

But when you’re looking for headphones that generate sound, and good sound at that, then you can’t go wrong here.

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