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The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is one of the best gaming headsets available right now, offering cross-platform compatibility with Xbox consoles, PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, and PC. It also boasts premium features like simultaneous Bluetooth and 2.4GHz connections, active noise cancellation (ANC), swappable battery packs, and a retractable microphone.
The Nova Pro Wireless improves on many of the best features found on SteelSeries' cheaper Arctis Nova 7, which is another one of our favorite wireless headsets. The biggest perk you'll get with this more expensive model is its OLED base station, which is a wireless transmitter that doubles as a battery charger and control center to manage the headset's many settings.
The headset and its base station pair especially well with home entertainment systems and dual PC or console setups used for streaming and content creation. While cheaper options like the Nova 7 will satisfy most gamers, the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless offers high-end features for those willing to pay top dollar. Here's why it's among the best wireless gaming headsets you can buy.
The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is an excellent headset for anyone who wants high-end performance. It supports every major platform (Xbox, PlayStation, Switch, and PC) and boasts active noise cancellation, a retractable mic, and swappable battery packs.
Straight-forward design with a retractable mic and comfortable earcups
The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless has a relatively straight-forward design, utilizing a metal frame covered in plastic, adjustable ear cups with leatherette memory foam cushions, and a retractable microphone. It's not flashy but it's comfy and well-built.
On-board controls include the power button, a mute button, volume dial, microphone mute, and a Bluetooth control button. The plates on the outside of the ear cups can be removed, revealing the battery pack on one side and a USB-C charging port on the other. If for whatever reason the wireless transmitter is not available, it's still possible to use the headset's USB-C port and 3.5mm headphone jack for a wired connection.
The Nova Pro Wireless is comfortable enough to wear for long gaming sessions without issue, and I rarely have to readjust the fit of the headband. The leatherette ear cushions are comfortable as well, though some may prefer the more breathable mesh material used for the more affordable SteelSeries Arctis 7.
Being able to retract the microphone when it's not in use is a handy feature compared to other headsets that force you to swivel the mic out of the way or remove it entirely. The headset also feels durable and less likely to crack than models that use more plastic along the frame.
You can even swap out the Nova Pro's ear plates and headband for different color packs that are sold separately. Other available colors include red, mint, rose quartz, and lilac. The selection isn't great for $35 add-ons but they do add a bit of extra customization.
The wireless base station sets the Arctis Nova Pro apart from other models
The Arctis Nova Pro's wireless OLED base station is its most unique feature, replacing a typical USB dongle with a compact command center that gives you complete control of the device.
The base station features two USB-C inputs that you can use to connect to a console or PC. Once connected, the base station then transmits a 2.4 GHz wireless signal from the device to your headset. If you have an Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, you can connect both through USB-C at the same time and use the base station to select which console you want to hear.
The ability to use Bluetooth devices simultaneously with 2.4GHz is an excellent benefit as well. You can take calls or listen to music on your phone while gaming, or connect to two PCs at the same time. Just keep in mind that the Bluetooth connection can have a slight delay that may be significant if used while gaming.
The wireless transmitter has a range of about 30 to 40 feet, which should be plenty for the average gaming setup. Volume is controlled directly through the base station rather than your console or PC. Settings for noise-cancellation, EQ, and more can be adjusted with the base station as well and you can monitor everything via the device's handy OLED screen.
The base station also serves as a battery charging station; Arctis Nova Pro Wireless comes with two batteries that last about 20 hours each. The spare battery can be left in the base station to charge until the one in the headset runs out. Swapping batteries takes just a few seconds and the base station will display the battery level for the headset and your spare battery.
The base station supports 3.5mm audio in and out too, allowing you to send your console's audio to a secondary device like a soundbar or streaming PC, or send wireless audio from any device with a headphone jack, like an iPad.
Great sound quality with ANC and spatial audio support
Of course the most important feature for a headset is its audio quality, and the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless doesn't disappoint. The headset offers a balanced sound profile that's further supported by spatial audio support and ANC. Its microphone features background noise cancellation as well, and includes voice monitoring so you can hear how you sound to other people.
Spatial audio is especially important for gaming, offering a more immersive surround sound experience that can make it seem as if effects are coming from multiple directions rather than just left and right. The Arctis Nova Pro is compatible with PS5's Tempest 3D spatial audio, Microsoft's Windows Sonic on Xbox and PC, and SteelSeries' own Sonar Surround on PC. Dolby Atmos and DTS:X spatial audio formats are also compatible, but may require a paid license to use on Windows and Xbox.
The Nova Pro's great spatial audio performance can help you track the direction of footsteps and other ambient sound in competitive games like Call of Duty and Fortnite, and it adds depth to the soundscape of detailed environments in adventure games like God of War: Ragnarok and Horizon Forbidden West.
The active noise cancellation does a decent job of filtering out ambient background noise like fans and air conditioning, but some sounds, like airplanes passing overhead and my cat's bubbling water fountain, can still be heard. There is a transparency function that's intended to make voices easier to hear, but I had no trouble hearing people in the same room with regular ANC on and no transparency. Ultimately the Nova Pro Wireless's ANC is adequate for gaming, but doesn't block background noise at the same level as the best noise-cancelling headphones.
SteelSeries offers an audio software suite called Sonar that lets you further customize settings like ANC, EQ, and spatial audio, but it's not at all necessary to get the most out of the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless.
SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless Headset: Specs
Arctis Nova Pro Wireless Headset
2.4GHz wireless, Bluetooth 5.0, 3.5mm wired
40 mm neodymium drivers
About 20 hours per battery, two rechargeable batteries included
Embedded dual noise-canceling mics
2.4 GHz Wireless range
30 to 40 feet
Charges battery via wireless transmitter or USB-C
PS5, PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, MacOS
Should you buy the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless Headset?
The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is an excellent multi-platform gaming headset that checks every box in terms of features and performance. Casual gamers may be better off with a more affordable headset, like the Arctis Nova 7, but hardcore gamers and content creators will absolutely appreciate the Nova Pro's extra features, like ANC and its OLED base station.
Buyers can choose between two Arctis Nova Pro Wireless models: an Xbox version and a PlayStation version. However, the Xbox version is actually wirelessly compatible with PlayStation as well, so we recommend buying that edition to cover all available consoles.
Video Game Reporter
Kevin Webb is a gaming reporter based from the New York City Insider Inc. office. He graduated from Morehouse College in 2013 and worked as an Assistant Editor with Darien Times and as a member of the Shoryuken content team prior to joining Business Insider in 2018. Kevin has also been a competitive Street Fighter player since 2007 and will still take on all challengers. Learn more about how our team of experts tests and reviews products at Insider here. Learn more about how we test tech and electronics.