Friday, 24 June 2022 11:12

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro is coming, setting a new standard for gaming headsets, and your ears will thank you

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What can be said but 'wow' - SteelSeries has released what can be truthfully said to be the most comfortable, awe-inspiring, durable, and precisely audio-engineered gaming headphones the world has seen. It’s the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro that comes in wired and wireless variants.

Gamers demand functionality that "mere" audiophiles cannot appreciate, and gaming headsets need that extra touch. Yes, you can have your daily standup, your never-ending business Zoom and Teams calls with them. Sure, you can play podcasts, and you can most certainly play music. For the best music experience you want high-fidelity audio hardware, and for the best team and collaboration experience, you want active noise cancelling.

The best gaming headsets deliver this, but more. And the new SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro then takes it up another notch. Actually, so many notches that it left the belt way, way behind.

Where do we start? First, the Arctis Nova Pro range includes high-fidelity audio hardware augmented with Sonar audio software to give the ultimate listening experience. It provides 360-degree spatial audio by using the 5.1 / 7.1 soundtracks to send the exact placement of bad guys right to you. Other devices use stereo tracks and widen them, but instead, SteelSeries use the full surround track to provide you with the sensory input you need to keep tabs on teammates and enemies alike.

The headphones include pro-grade parametric EQ. What this means is you have the power to control specific sound frequencies. Turn up the sound of your opponent’s footsteps. Or turn down the annoying teammate. Hey, we’ve all been there, there’s no judgement. I’ve had no shortage of gaming sessions where one teammate is unbelievably quiet while the next is unbelievably loud. You don’t have to put up with it anymore.

The headphones provide four-microphone hybrid active noise cancelling to remove outside sounds - like dogs barking, noisy flatmates, or heck, even pesky office colleagues bugging you to help them with their Excel problem while you’re in the middle of serious competition. Meanwhile, the microphones in the ear cups balance the audio for optimal clarity. And then you also have the microphone you speak through, which is augmented with ClearCast 2nd gen AI-powered noise-cancelling and with SteelSeries’ Sonar technology to silence all the nearby background noise like your keyboard and CPU fan.

And, if you don’t want to be safely cocooned in your immersive experience, you also have a one-push press-for-transparency mode with adjustable hear-through levels so you can keep abreast of just what is going on around you in the real world. Simple audio cues inform which mode you’re in.

That’s crazy, you say, but that's only the start. With the Arctis Nova Pro you also get multi-system connect so you can seamlessly swap between two systems at once. That’s right; listen to music on your phone while on the team chat through your gaming PC or console. Or, play the game but also be poised for action if the phone rings. Or play two games at once on two different devices, whatever you want to do the reality is you can because you can mix two audio connections at once.

The headset also includes SteelSeries' GameDAC 2nd gen hi-res audio certification and a built-in amplifier. It’s simply a monster bundle of complete audio freedom, control, and pinpoint accuracy. Combine it with the SteelSeries GG app for fine control.

As mentioned, the Arctis Nova Pro comes in both a wired and a wireless version. The wired version simply plugs in and off you go; the wireless version runs off a battery, but to keep you gaming as long as you need SteelSeries provides two batteries so you can charge one while using the other.

It sounds incredible, and it feels even better. The headsets have height-adjustable rotating ear cups, a flexible tension band, and pivoting hangers. It is fashioned from premium PVD-coated steel and provides comfort and durability that will last longer than your gaming session.

iTWire used the wired version and it was like stepping into a whole new world. I heard brand new sounds from games I’ve played for years; I smashed the enemies; I talked, laughed, listened, and even loved. Let me tell you, this headset and I have been through some adventures.

With seriousness, and without hyperbole, it really is true to say SteelSeries has redefined what it means to be a gaming headset. The Arctis Nova Pro sets a new standard for flagship headphones and is without any doubt the most featured-packed headset available.

The Arctis Nova Pro will be available in mid-July for a recommended retail price of $649.95 (wireless) and $499.95 (wired), so get your pennies ready.

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David M Williams

David has been computing since 1984 where he instantly gravitated to the family Commodore 64. He completed a Bachelor of Computer Science degree from 1990 to 1992, commencing full-time employment as a systems analyst at the end of that year. David subsequently worked as a UNIX Systems Manager, Asia-Pacific technical specialist for an international software company, Business Analyst, IT Manager, and other roles. David has been the Chief Information Officer for national public companies since 2007, delivering IT knowledge and business acumen, seeking to transform the industries within which he works. David is also involved in the user group community, the Australian Computer Society technical advisory boards, and education.

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