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Steelseries Arctis 3 2019 Edition Wireless Headphones Review

The Steelseries Arctis 3 Bluetooth wireless gaming headphones represent good value for gamers, both serious and casual. But since everybody has their own preferences when it comes to gaming audio, let’s take a look at the pros and cons of the Arctis 3 Bluetooth headphones so that you can be the judge.


Steelseries Arctis 3 2019 Edition Wireless Headphones

The Pros

Let’s take a look at all the things we love about the new Steelseries Arctis 3 2019 Wireless headphones.

Comfortable fitting headphones

There is certainly nothing wrong with the design of the Arctis 3. Being an over-the-ear style of headphones, it doesn’t suffer from the bulkiness of some of its competitors. Many gaming headphones on the market are simply too big to be comfortably used elsewhere, but you would have no trouble using the Arctis 3 on your commute to work or anywhere else.

The headband strap is easy to adjust because it doesn’t have any annoying notches to move around. The strap is attached with Velcro and therefore extremely easy to change should you ever need to. The reality is, once you’ve got it the way you like it, there is little need to change anyway unless sharing.


Good quality sound

The sound quality of the Arctis 3 is good without being excellent. One key feature is the use of the Steelseries Engine 3 software. For gamers, this gives you the option to play around with soundscapes for different games, making it easy to create an immersive experience. With that being said, the preset soundscape of the Arctis 3 performs admirably across a range of different game genres.

Music sounds great, too. But with a disclaimer, it sounds considerably better on a PC than it does on a mobile device. Without the Engine 3 software to play around with audio customisation, mobile music quality is definitely lacking. Still, for the price, gamers can expect to be really happy with PC and console audio.


Multi-purpose headphones

As we touched on, being a more sleek and smaller design, you can use these headphones for gaming, but you can also wear them while out for a walk. Audio fanatics might be disappointed with the mobile audio performance, but for the budget-savvy customer, owning the Arctis 3 means you don’t need to own more than one pair of headphones.


Excellent microphone quality

The entire Arctis range is known for having a great microphone for gaming, and the Arctis 3 is no exception. Despite being the most ‘budget’ in the range, this microphone performs extremely well for gaming. Users can expect a clear, crisp sound that copes well with all gaming situations.

As an entry-level gaming headset, though, professional streamers may want to look for something a little higher in quality. But if your main concern is having a clear audio system for online gaming, the Arctis 3 delivers well.


Bluetooth compatible

The world has mostly gone wireless now, so it’s no surprise that the Arctis 3 is Bluetooth-compatible. There’s not much else to say on this front, however, we will touch on the downside of the Arctis 3’s connectivity when we get to the cons.


The Cons

With plenty of positives, you’re sure to find a few negatives. Here are a couple of areas the Arctis 3 could improve on.

No USB option

Perhaps the most glaring deficiency in the Arctis 3 headset is the lack of USB connectivity. On the plus side, you can still use it wired or wireless. But on the downside, it only has a 3.5mm input. When compared to the Arctis 5 at only around $20 more with USB and 3.5mm connectivity, this does leave the Arctis 3 lacking a little.

Many gamers like to play wired because there is less chance of audio interference and latency issues, especially if they don’t have a terrific internet connection. So, while this is possible with the Arctis 3, it’s not really ideal. When connected, you can still change equalization and surround-sound profiles, but the process can feel cumbersome.


Difficult customisation

On that point, let’s touch on audio customisation. While the Engine 3 program allows for quick and easy audio customisation options on a PC, it takes a little longer to get to that point. We’re not even particularly sure why, but if you used an Arctis 5 with USB, for example, all you need to do is plug in and launch the Steelseries Engine 3 program to access plenty of audio customisation tools.

You can do that with the Arctis 3 using 3.5mm plugs, however, you first need to create a Steelseries account, mess around with product codes and then you can access these features. It’s not a deal-breaker, but it’s certainly more complicated than it needs to be, as proven by Steelseries’ own Arctis 5 model which actually costs less than the 3 (albeit minus Bluetooth/wireless functionality).


Music quality suffers on mobile

We touched on the decreased mobile music quality before, but it’s worth mentioning again because it may be a significant factor for many customers. Gamers should have no trouble and enjoy a rich selection of soundscapes that work across all genres. Even playing different genres of music through your PC or console delivers great sound. But on mobile, it is lacking.

Vocals in particular sit very much in the front of the sound, which draws away from some of the background noise that enhances a song. So, if you’re intending to use your Arctis 3 headphones on the go, be prepared for a dip in sound quality.



Overall, the Arctis 3 Bluetooth model sells for RRP $130, while the standard Arctis 3 (analog only) sells for $80. So, you’ve got choices there in terms of whether you need wireless connectivity or not. Without it, you’ll need a phone with a 3.5mm audio jack, so that won’t suit iPhone users. From that point of view, this is a pretty affordable wireless headset that offers plenty of great features.

However, if you’re not interested in going wireless because you mainly use your headphones for gaming, it would be worth considering the Arctis 5 which has now dropped in price to $60. But for wireless functionality, the Arctis 3 Bluetooth gaming headphones are excellent value. At the very least, it might save you buying another pair of wireless headphones for listening to music on the go.


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