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Steelseries Arctis 5 2019 Edition gaming headset review

Steelseries Arctis 5 2019 Edition gaming headset review MOBA shooter Paladins has launched a collaboration with the animated series RWBY

Every day the market of gaming devices is replenished with new models, as well as fresh technologies, some of which are really useful, and some of which are a simple marketing ploy. Today we have a device on our table that has convenient “chips” that competitors do not have, but has several ambiguous solutions. It’s about the Steelseries Arctis 5 2019 Edition wired gaming headset.

Packaging and equipment

The headphones are delivered in a small box made of soft-touch material with a geometric print. Inside there is another box made of thicker cardboard, and the headset itself and accessories are placed in a plastic container.

A no-frills package: a USB cable for connecting a headset, a game / chat volume control encoder, an adapter from USB to 3.5mm jack, instructions and the headphones themselves. By the way, the total length of cables from the headphones to the volume control and from it to the PC is as much as 3 meters, which is enough for any cable management of the workplace.

Steelseries Arctis 5 2019 Edition gaming headset review MOBA shooter Paladins has launched a collaboration with the animated series RWBY

Build quality and headset controls

Despite the fact that the Steelseries Arctis 5 gaming headset is made entirely of plastic and does not have metal elements, it does not creak or make unnecessary sounds when twisted slightly. The ear cushions are made of fabric, and inside them there is a soft filling without a clear memory effect. For two months of operation, there are no complaints about the assembly, but every time you worry that the plastic structure will begin to crack in the headband area over time.

One of the most interesting, but at the same time controversial solutions is a Velcro strap on the headband for adjusting the fit of the headset on the head. On the one hand, adjusting the fit takes a little time, and the strap does not slip and does not change its position due to the tenacious Velcro. However, if this device is purchased not for one person, but for a family, for example, then such a feature can be inconvenient, since everyone will adjust the headset for themselves.

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On the head, the Arctis 5 sits comfortably and does not cause discomfort after hours of gaming sessions. But what I didn’t like was the incomplete fit of the cups to the ears. It is quite possible that this is my anatomical specificity, however, the device should be universal and suitable for almost everyone.

An interesting solution is a design element where a thin line is barely visible along the contour of the bowls, which serves for RGB backlighting. It is made of matte plastic, due to which the light is pleasantly diffused along the contour. The backlight is moderately bright and uniform. It can be configured in the proprietary Steelseries Engine application.

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This element will not seem necessary to everyone, and I partly agree with you, since putting headphones on your head, you will not see all the charms of the backlight if you do not put a mirror in front of you. On the other hand, when the headset is on a stand or just a table, it complements the overall interior quite well.

Below, on the left earpiece, there are controls, connectors and a microphone (we’ll talk about it a little later):

An encoder for adjusting the volume, which controls the volume of the headphones themselves and does not affect the Windows setting in any way. When scrolling, there are no clear cutoffs, so it is not always clear at what level the “spinner” is. Nevertheless, there is no backlash, since the encoder is firmly seated in the bowl.

The microphone mute button also sits confidently in the headphones and does not rattle if you shake them. Believe me, it is very annoying when the buttons on the headset are made poorly and make noise when you turn your head, so I pay attention to these points. When you press the mute button, a fairly bright red indicator on the microphone itself lights up, which will not let you forget about the included mute.

1624578666 362 Steelseries Arctis 5 2019 Edition gaming headset review MOBA shooter Paladins has launched a collaboration with the animated series RWBY

From the connectors here are USB for connecting a headset to a PC and a 3.5mm jack jack for connecting, for example, to a smartphone or to other headphones, for sharing movies on two devices.

The most interesting “feature”, which is really convenient and to be honest, I didn’t attach much importance to it until I tried it – it’s a modular game / chat regulator. It is located separately from the headphones and allows you to adjust the volume of the game in relation to the chat. For example, there are game moments when you stop hearing the interlocutor and at this moment you can turn the “spinner” towards the chat and the teammate’s voice will become louder. The same is the other way around. I tested this feature on discord and everything works flawlessly.

1624578666 253 Steelseries Arctis 5 2019 Edition gaming headset review MOBA shooter Paladins has launched a collaboration with the animated series RWBY

This effect is achieved due to two different sound sources created automatically in Windows and collected in one line. For example, in discord, you set the Arctis 5 Chat output and input, and the game automatically takes the Arctis 5 Game source. For the entire time of use, no bugs and artifacts were noticed during sound adjustment.

It seems like a trifle that you never think about, but you quickly get used to convenience.

Characteristics

Before a detailed analysis of the sound, positioning in games and the microphone, let’s take a look at the “dry” characteristics of this device.

Headphones

  • Emitter heads diameter – 40 mm
  • Frequency response – 20 Hz – 20,000 Hz
  • Harmonic distortion – 3%
  • Resistance (impedance) – 32 Ohm
  • Speaker sensitivity – 98 dB
  • Surround mode – 7.1

Microphone

  • Frequency response – 100 Hz – 10,000 Hz
  • Microphone sensitivity – 38 dB
  • Microphone mute – yes
  • Microphone noise reduction – yes

Features of the

  • DTS Headphone: X v2.0 surround sound technology for immersive gameplay with precise positioning
  • USB ChatMix Knob
  • Modular cable
  • RGB backlight

Sound quality

To begin with, the perception of sound is a highly subjective topic. However, I will try to describe my impressions, giving objective examples.

In the previous review, where I talked about the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro wireless gaming headset, it was said that headphones must be versatile. They should fulfill their original task of ensuring correct positioning in games, the ability to watch movies with a pleasant sound, and plus / minus high-quality listening to music. With our today’s “patient” from Steelseries, not everything is so simple and let’s discuss it in detail.

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When it comes to positioning in games, the Steelseries Arctis 5 gaming headset performs just fine. At times it seemed to me that her understanding of the location of opponents is even better than the BlackShark V2 from the green. The headset is calibrated so that the user can hear the mids and highs better, and the bass does not overlap the sounds of footsteps and gunshots. I also liked the DTS technology, which makes the sound less “dry”, but the same surround as in the classic 7.1.

For movies and watching videos, everything is also pretty good. But if in the previous case you can use the standard 7.1 without DTS, then during a movie session, I recommend using the technology “built-in” into the headset. Fans of watching movies based on comics, for example, from Marvel or DC, will like the sounds of effects, explosions, because they will all be voluminous and filled with bass.

But in music, everything turned out to be very weak. The sound is “dry”, “flat” and “dirty” at times. When listening to various pop songs, in general, everything is not bad, but if you turn on something more filled with various complex harmonies, then “porridge” begins. The sound mixes and some instruments become difficult to distinguish. This applies to both classical music from the Vivaldi category and heavy metal. If in the last review about BlackShark V2 the sound was commendable, then for me it became a clear disadvantage. Of course, audiophiles will not buy a gaming headset for listening to music, but I am obliged to cover this aspect.

Rejecting all of the above, please note that the Steelseries Arctis 5 gaming headset performs its declared functions by 99.9% and does an excellent job with its tasks. However, let me remind you that for me the sound should be good in everything, so every aspect is discussed.

Microphone

The quality of the microphone here is up to the mark: the sound is clear without any artifacts, and the built-in noise cancellation works with a bang and does it efficiently. On discord, no one complained about noises or unpleasant sound. However, the microphone is definitely not suitable for professional voice recording or streaming.

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Despite the fact that the voice is quite clear, the sound itself is “flat” and calibrated for mid / high frequencies. For a gaming session, where a clear understanding of what has been said is important, the headset produces excellent results, but for recording you will not have enough volume, bass and richness. And who buys such devices for recording sound?

The microphone in the Steelseries Arctis 5 is not modular, but it can be easily retracted into the bowl. The very basis is flexible enough and has a memory effect for the ability to “fit” it to yourself. Also on the microphone itself there is a red LED signaling whether the mute is on or off.

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Price and general impressions

The price of this device ranges from 7,500 to 9,700 rubles, depending on the store and discounts. In this price segment, the Arctis 5 has enough competitors, but they are at plus / minus the same level and quality.

The Steelseries Arctis 5 2019 Edition gaming headset turned out to be very ambiguous: on the one hand, high-quality positioning, convenient “features” in the form of a “game / chat” regulator, a good microphone, on the other hand, a flat sound that weakly shows itself in listening to music.

In general, the Steelseries headset turned out to be quite curious and, what is also interesting, fits perfectly into the modern interior due to its backlit design. For playing competitive session shooters, this device is suitable and copes with the tasks assigned to it, as mentioned earlier, by 99.9%.

Write in the comments your opinion about this headset, as well as what devices you use yourself.

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