SteelSeries Arctis Prime Review: Comfy great wired gaming headset at a good price

With the Covid-19 cases continuing to rise in Singapore, you are probably have to work from home and participate in many virtual meetings. And you might stay home to stay safe and start playing games to de-stress.

This is when a gaming headset will come in handy to perform both tasks. And the SteelSeries Arctis Prime might just be what you need.

The SteelSeries Arctis Prime gaming headset. (Photo: SteelSeries)

It is a wired gaming headset that can connect to a multitude of devices, such as PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, Nintendo Switch and PCs, via a 3.5mm audio jack. And since it is a wired connection, you do not need to worry about about dropped or laggy connectivity.

SPECS
PRICE: S$179, available in Lazada and Shopee
DRIVERS: 40mm Hi-Res
CONNECTIVITY: 3.5mm audio
WEIGHT: 348g

DESIGN
The Arctis Prime looks like any other SteelSeries Arctis series headset. In fact, without its detachable audio cable, it looks almost exactly like the flagship Arctis Pro Wireless.

The Arctis Prime looks just like any of its Arctis cousins. (Photo: SteelSeries)

It features the same ski-goggle suspension headband design with a metal frame as well as large ear cup with and a retractable microphone.

On the left ear cup, there is a main cable jack, a headphone share jack, a volume control dial and a microphone mute button.

At the bottom of this ear cup, you will find a retractable microphone that you can pull out for use and retract for storage. A microphone pop filter is included.

On the left ear cup, you will find a retractable microphone and a microphone pop filter seen here is included. (Photo: SteelSeries)

The ski-google suspension headband design is basically a band of elastic fabric being threaded through two openings on the metal frame and secured with a velcro. On the underside of the metal frame, there is a thin soft padding for extra cushioning.

It is quite an ingenious design, as it allows you to easily adjust the length of the band to suit your head size. As such, you do not feel those clamping force on your head, which you might experience with other gaming headsets.

PERFORMANCE
I worn the Arctis Prime the whole day for both work and gaming. But I didn’t feel any pressure or uncomfortable pressure on my head, despite its considerable weight of 348g.

FOR
+ Comfy adjustable ski-goggle headband
+ Solid sound performance
+ Great microphone quality
+ Good value for money

AGAINST
– Proprietary main audio cable
– Leatherette cushions might make your ears sweat

The large ear cups are able to cover my ears nicely with its leatherette cushions. But in the Singapore heat, my ears become warm and sweaty due to the leatherette cushions’ lack of breathability after just a few hours. Perhaps, using fabric materials for the cushions would have been better.

Of course, if you are in an air-conditioned room, this might be less prevalent. But not everyone will be turning their air-con on the whole day working from home.

The leatherette cushion of the ear cups might make your ears sweat a bit. (Photo: SteelSeries)

Out of the box, you will find a 1.2m proprietary main headset cable and a 1.8m dual 3.5mm-jack extension cable for you to plug into your gaming rig.

This is what you get out of the box. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

Using a wired 3.5mm connection, there is no need to install drivers or software when using the Arctis Prime. It is literally plug and play. However, if you lose that proprietary cable, you cannot just use a 3.5mm cable to replace it.

The proprietary main audio cable and the proprietary port on the Arctis Prime. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

In terms of audio performance, the Arctis Prime offers a pretty balanced soundscape for gaming.

Gaming headsets usually tend to favour bass for explosions to sound better. But the Arctis Prime delivers audio that does not emphasise the lows over the mids or the highs. Yet, you can still pick out the different layers of the soundscape clearly.

Whether it is a bullet screeching towards you or an explosion going off in the distance, you can hear it distinctly while your game character are having a conversation with a non-play character. It is quite remarkable, and it remains consistent whether you are playing Cyberpunk 2077 or Diablo II: Resurrected.

It is really comfortable to wear, but the leatherette ear cup cushions might be too hot for your ears. (Photo: Trevor Tan)

And the microphone is able to pick up my voice clearly despite all the virtual mayhem. All my teammates said they can hear me loud and clear. Even during virtual meetings, no one complained about not being able to hear me when I was speaking using the Arctis Prime.

Perhaps the only slight nitpick is the maximum volume for the Arctis Prime sounding softer than most gaming headsets in the market, or at least those I have tried. Actually, this might not be considered a weakness, as loud sound is not good for your ears anyway. But it is certainly something to take note of.

VERDICT
The SteelSeries Arctis Prime is a comfortable pair of wired gaming headset that offers great audio performance and audio quality at a relatively reasonable price.

RATINGS
FEATURES: 7/10
DESIGN: 8.5/10
PERFORMANCE: 8.5/10
VALUE FOR MONEY: 8/10
OVERALL: 8/10