Log in to the Arctis headset product line of SteelSeries $100 suggested retail price, SteelSeries Arctis Prime is designed for e-sports gamers who want to fine-tune their experience. It has the same comfortable fit and high-resolution audio features as the high-end headphones in the product line, such as SteelSeries Arctis Pro (180 USD MSRP), and ask players to seek high-quality but simple things.
However, many functions familiar to gamers familiar with the Arctis series have been retained on the editing room floor to provide a smoother experience. This includes rewards such as ChatMix dial-up or the option to connect to your PC via USB.
SteelSeries Arctis Prime specifications
|Drive type||40mm neodymium|
|Frequency response||Speaker: 10-40,000 Hz|
|Microphone: 100-10,000 Hz|
|Microphone type||Two-way noise reduction, scalable|
|Connectivity||3.5mm cable (single TRRS and split TRS)|
|cable||6 feet (2m) detachable 3.5mm cable|
|Weight (with microphone)||0.78 lb (348 g)|
Design and comfort
Arctis Prime is the newest member of the legendary Arctis series of SteelSeries, which simplifies the expectations of gamers for the headset series. The earphones are in attractive matte, invisible black, and the SteelSeries logo on each earmuff is highlighted in gray. The mainstays of the Arctis series, such as retractable microphones and over-ear mute and volume control, are back here. The high-end products of the Arctis series are steel headbands, Velcro adjustable suspension systems and drivers capable of providing high-resolution audio. The Arctis series is known for providing gamers with a wide range of connection options, but Prime only chooses 3.5 mm, offering wiring with a single TRRS connector and a split adapter with dual TRS connectors.
The earmuffs are very deep and can fit the earmuffs during a long game without uncomfortably pressing the ears on the driver. The artificial leather cushioning provides plenty of padding while also maintaining breathability. The earmuffs also provide excellent isolation from outside noise, reducing the surrounding environment sound to a whisper.
Arctis Prime’s aluminum and steel headband is sturdy and durable, distributes the weight evenly across the two ear cups, and is used in conjunction with the adjustable Velcro suspension strap.Compared to other wired headsets, Arctis Prime weighs 0.8 pounds, while Epos H3 Is 0.6 pounds, and ASUS ROG Delta SIt also supports Hi-Res and weighs 0.7 pounds.
During my use of Arctis Prime, I found that it is very suitable for long-term games, and almost does not need adjustment, even though my head is too big. The headset has a firm grip, but it won’t be too tight. Although the inner band is somewhat fragile in appearance, there is almost no slippage.
The headphone controls are located on the left earcup, which is easy to reach in the game. The volume wheel is at the bottom, and the microphone on/off button is just above the wheel. The microphone button has a subtle texture, so it can be easily found by just touching it.
Arctis Prime has the same 40mm neodymium driver as the more expensive Arctis Pro, supporting high resolution. The focus of our review can reproduce an impressively wide frequency range (10 – 40,000 Hz), and the volume can be easily adjusted to its maximum. During my testing, I never noticed distortion, even at high volume. When pushing Arctis Prime, the audio is still clear and clear.
Although the audio reproduction and stability of Arctis Prime are commendable, the sound is not suitable for all use cases. Arctis Prime is not a flat EQ curve, but it sounds in a deeper way than I want. The midrange is weakened, which favors the rich bottom end, and the treble is pushed up to provide more bite and clarity. Of course, if you only plan to use Arctis Prime for games, this is basically no problem.
Higher audio fidelity and wider frequency domain bring a lot of details in game audio mixing, making the footsteps of opponents in competitive games such as CS:GO clearly audible in chaotic battles. This auditory clarity has also proven to be beneficial in single-player FPS games, such as Doom: Eternity, which helps to understand the craziest battlefields. Unfortunately, the bass-heavy equalizer makes it difficult to hear other elements of the mix in certain titles, such as BioShock Infinite.
But for $100, you may also want to listen to music with headphones. In this case, the high-resolution performance of the headphones is sometimes a bit impressive. Especially when receiving a 96kHz/32-bit .WAV mix using a wide tone palette. More compact and compressed mixes, such as Dr Dre’s classic “The Chronic”, sound great, but more complex soundscapes, such as Opeth’s “Blackwater Park”, seem to disappear a bit from them, and encounter It’s more two-dimensional than expected.
Movies usually perform better, and my test sequence (The Battle of the Helmets in The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers and the Omaha Beach scene in Saving Private Ryan) really came alive with the driver carefully tuned by Arctis Prime. However, sometimes, the enhanced bottom end can make the dialogue a little illegible. This is another situation, in which case a flatter EQ curve will have a different effect. In more crowded listening moments, Arctis Prime’s strong bass response may be subtle and rough. It’s worth noting that the soundtrack of the mentioned Blu-ray movie is not Hi-Res (48kHz/16-bit, and Hi-Res must be at least 48kHz/24-bit, and the audio file used for testing is, so this is all Sound problems exist in all audio formats.
The Arctis Prime headset is equipped with the same two-way microphone as the Arctis series. The cantilever microphone called ClearCast has a noise reduction function, a frequency response range of 100-10,000 Hz, and a sensitivity of -38 dBV/Pa.
The microphone is crisp and clear, and can capture and reproduce real sound performance without the harsh, nasal and hiss of many competing gaming microphones. The noise cancellation is above average, but the microphone still occasionally picks up some ambient room sounds.
However, the real disappointment here is the lack of SideTone or microphone monitoring, which allows you to control how much sound you can hear, and ChatMix, which allows you to balance the audio from your teammates and the actual game. Both are true leaders of high-end Arctis headsets (Arctis 5 and later), so disappointingly, neither is here. Arctis Prime does provide a very good game audio experience out of the box without complicating things, but sometimes cutting features for simplicity seems to be a wrong decision.
There are also no software components to match Arctis Prime, so you have to deal with the preferences for the settings as they are. I personally prefer a flatter EQ curve, which can work more generally across use cases, or, if not, be able to use SteelSeries Engine (software used with some other SteelSeries peripherals) to make changes and save presets.
However, although it would be nice to have the option of using the engine to adjust the audio settings, Prime is a very “as is” experience for those who just want to plug and play.
SteelSeries’ Arctis Prime occupies a strange position in the Arctis lineup. It is geared towards competitive game marketing, but also emphasizes simplicity and is known for its lack of reward features (such as ChatMix or the ability to adjust audio through software).
On the bright side, Arctis Prime has a comfortable fit, soundproof earmuff cushions, and Hi-Res audio capabilities. Bear, Arctis Pro + GameDAC and Arctis Pro wirelessThis means you will be able to get high-end game audio while saving money. The microphone also lived up to the reputation of the series.
However, there are some notable omissions. Without the option of connecting via USB, the most shocking feature cuts compared to the aforementioned high-end Arctis headsets may be Sidetone and ChatMix. Being able to fine-tune the monitor mix in the headphones is a wonderful feeling, and is part of the reason why the upper Arctis headphones are unique.
You must also be fascinated by the out-of-the-box experience of Arctis Prime, because that’s all you get. This means pure plug-and-play, heavier bass configuration may not be what you want.
If you are looking for more connection options in this price range, Fnatic reaction+Logitech G-Pro is priced similarly, providing side tone support and USB DAC, but at the expense of HiRes audio.High-quality high-resolution will make you spend more money, but ASUS ROG Delta S Helps make the investment in high-resolution audio worthwhile.
Nonetheless, Arctis Prime provides you with some advanced features and comfort in a simple package at a reasonable price, which is worth taking seriously.