Review of SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3: Superb pair of inexpensive headphones

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3 lauded Arctis headset range has been redesigned for 2022 with brand-new looks and a little less muddled model lineup. The Arctis 5 has been completely eliminated and essentially incorporated into the Arctis Nova 3 headphones. The Arctis Nova 3 is a superb pair of inexpensive headphones for both gaming and general entertainment. It has the same excellent audio drivers as its older sibling, the Arctis Nova 7, and it has some fancy new RGB lights on the exterior.

Arctis Nova 3 by SteelSeries: Design and Features

The Arctis Nova 3 features the new Nova Acoustic audio technology, which sounds excellent and is included on the remainder of the Arctis Nova line. When playing games, viewing movies, or listening to music, the 40mm drivers in the Nova 3 produce high-quality audio.

The Arctis Nova 3 is an improved version of the previous model, with a lightweight plastic frame construction. The new headphones have a retractable microphone that rests flush with the headset when not in use and a completely adjustable height. Additionally, the Nova 3 can bend and twist without showing too much wear because to its plastic frame. Did I mention how lightweight this headset is? The Arctis Nova 3 is lighter than both the DualSense controller for the PS5 and the wireless controller for the Xbox Series X|S, weighing only 253 grammes.

The incredibly comfortable AirWeave memory foam cushions on both earcups by SteelSeries have a rotating design. They fit comfortably around the ears and are soft but breathable. Additionally, glasses wearers can rejoice because this headset is pleasant to wear for extended periods of time and doesn’t put too much pressure on your lenses.

Returning is the supple overhead band, which enables the headset to lay peacefully on top of your head without exerting any additional pressure. It still ranks among my favorite aspects of the Arctis range of headsets, and up until this point, I haven’t discovered a more cushy set of gaming headphones.

A lever on the side makes it simple to turn off the lighting on the go. The Arctis Nova 3 also has a customizable RGB ring around the outside of both earcups for some added flair. When connected to a device through USB, you may select from 16.8 million colors and take advantage of dynamic lighting effects, much like with the majority of RGB-capable peripherals.

A newer, completely retractable ClearCast 2 noise-cancelling microphone is also included with the headset; when not in use, it rests flush. Similar to the Arctis Nova 7, its AI technology intelligently filters out undesirable audio, such as loud keyboards and noisy fans, to guarantee that communications between you and your teammates are clear.

Software SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3 Software SteelSeries Arctis

The Arctis Nova 3 fully utilizes the remarkable features of SteelSeries’ new Sonar audio-enhancing software, which is present in the most recent version of the SteelSeries GG app for PC.

On a PC, you may customize practically every audio EQ setting to your taste. If you don’t feel comfortable fiddling with the numerous sliders, you can also enable preset settings for particular games. This makes it possible to easily adjust your audio settings for many of the most well-liked games, like Apex Legends, Valorant, Fortnite, League of Legends, and many more with just one click. Check out our review of the Arctis Nova 7 headset for a thorough summary of Sonar’s capabilities.

The addition of programmable RGB settings in the Arctis Nova 3 is the sole variation in the customization choices provided. For a static color effect, you can pick from 16.8 million different colors, or you may select from a few different dynamic settings, including a breathing effect or switching between two hues. Although the RGB customization options aren’t the most extensive I’ve seen, the lighting ring on the outside of the headset is naturally quite faint, so it seems appropriate.

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3 – Gaming

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3 – Gaming

Through SteelSeries Sonar, SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3 fully utilises 360-degree spatial audio on PC, as well as 3D Tempest audio from the PS5 and Windows Sonic on PC and Xbox.

On a number of different platforms, including the PC, PS5, Xbox Series X, and an iPad Pro with USB-C support, I tested the headset. Since it uses the same audio drivers as the Arctis Nova 7, it is virtually identical to the Arctis Nova 7 in terms of audio, and I have no issues in that regard.

The majority of my time with the headset was spent playing through the recently revived King’s Fall raid in Destiny 2, and I wore the Arctis Nova 3 the entire time I played on Day 1. I had plenty of time to respond to the throngs of Thrall and other Hive opponents that would spawn from different areas of each fight thanks to the superb virtual surround sound.

Using the provided microphone, my teammates had no trouble hearing my callouts, and everyone was audible. The absence of a ChatMix dial on the headset is the only disadvantage I discovered when compared to the Arctis Nova 7. Because of this, I occasionally had to manually change the game’s audio settings through Windows in order to hear some of the noisier players.

I had a good experience with the console side of things as well. I enjoyed exploring the Forbidden West in Horizon and enduring a few more trips through Atropos in Returnal with the help of PS5’s 3D audio. I tried the 3.5mm auxiliary connector on the bottom of the Dual Sense controller as well as the direct USB-C connection on the front of the PS5, and both delivered the same audio quality.

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3 Nova 3 with a PS5

The Arctis Nova 3 now occupies a very strange position in the Arctis Nova family with the Arctis 5 being dropped from the roster. With the exception of the RGB lights, AI-powered microphone, and USB connectivity, it is essentially identical to the less priced Arctis Nova 1. You would be better off saving $40 and purchasing the Nova 1 if you want to use the Nova 3 with a PS5, Xbox, or Switch but don’t care for the external lighting effects.

On the other hand, it’s worth spending an additional $80 for the Nova 7 if you want a wireless audio experience with simultaneous Bluetooth connectivity, a more upscale build quality, ChatMix dial, and more. Having said that, the Nova 3 is an excellent budget headset that won’t let you down, although it sometimes has the impression of being the middle kid.

Is the SteelSeries Arctis 3 headset worth it?

Our Opinion. For neutral listening, the SteelSeries Arctis 3 are excellent. They offer a good treble range, a balanced midrange, and a reasonable bass. However, they don’t reliably distribute their audio between users, therefore most people won’t experience the same audio with these headphones.

Is the Arctis 3 noise Cancelling?

Noise-cancelling ClearCast microphone

Your speech will sound clear and natural thanks to the Arctis ClearCast microphone’s improved noise reduction, which uses the same bidirectional design as aircraft carrier deck workers.

Which is better SteelSeries Arctis 3 or 5?

Our Finding

Because they are compatible with the SteelSeries Engine software, which provides a wealth of customization and control options, the SteelSeries Arctis 5 2019 Edition are superior gaming headphones to the SteelSeries Arctis 3 2019 Edition.

Does the Arctis 3 have surround sound?

SteelSeries 7.1 Surround Sound is a feature of the Arctis 3 that provides absolute performance and style.

Does the Arctis 3 work on PC?

Yes, using the provided 4-pole 3.5mm connector and dual 3.5mm extension cables, The Arctis 3 is compatible with all popular gaming systems, including PC, PS4, Xbox, and Switch.

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