Published on May 14th, 2024 | by Chris O'Connor

Steelseries Arctis Nova 5 Wireless Review

Steelseries Arctis Nova 5 Wireless Review Chris O'Connor

Summary: Made with gaming firmly in mind Arctis Nova 5 gives you a range of game presets to refine your audio experience.


Presets Preferred?

Audio technology has come a long way in the last few years, headsets can now provide impressive spatial audio with a clarity unheard of in the early days of gaming. The Arctis Nova 5 Wireless headset by Steelseries takes things a step further and provides a range of audio profiles for a collection of top name games so you can switch between your enhanced audio profiles about as quickly as you switch games.

Some of the key features of the Arctis Nova 5 are:

Up to 50 hours battery life (2.4Ghz) or up to 60 hours battery life (Bluetooth), plus fast charging that can provide between 5 to 6 hours additional use with only about 15 minutes charging.

Quick-Switch High-Speed Low Latency 2.4Ghz gaming mode to Bluetooth with the press of a button.

Multi-platform support via USB-C dongle, with USB-C > USB-A cable and extension cable.

On-ear controls Volume, Power, Pairing, Mode Switch and Mute.

Arctis Nova 5 Companion App with over 100 built-in game EQ presets.

Clearly the big draw card here is the presets and they are certainly easy enough to use. Whether you are selecting via the desktop app or via phone, you simply bring up the list of games and find the one you want to play and the headsets audio will be switched to the relevant settings as tailored by audio-engineers,  esports Pros and game developers. Using the phone app means you can stay in game while you change your audio settings which can be the difference between winning and losing.

If you want to delve into the EQ settings yourself, you can bring them up on the desktop app and move the sliders around to find the right balance for your personal preference. I’m not sure this feature is available in the mobile app… I certainly couldn’t find a way to do it, but perhaps it will be made available in a future update (I did have a preview build).

In terms of the actual sound quality… it’s pretty impressive. There’s a decent bit of bass available and the microphone (which neatly slots away into the headset when not needed) is extremely sensitive (picking up people moving around a few feet away)… of course you can adjust this to reduce any distractions from external elements by changing the mic settings.

Setup and usage is pleasantly easy, simply plug in the dongle (either directly or if you don’t have a USB-C port you can use the included adapter cable… always nice to have cables provided), turn on the headset and you should be good to go (it’s paired out of the box but can be re-paired if need be via simply putting it in pairing mode… funnily enough). It is just as easy to connect to your phone by simply switching to bluetooth and selecting pairing on your phone.

The Ear cups are a good size and the padding is quite comfortable which reduces headphone fatigue/discomfort which is a big thing for me. Basically it’s just nice to have a good set of headphones that are comfortable to wear, easy to set up and produce good sound.

Final Thoughts:

I’ve tried a few headsets now and though I’m no audio technician “I know what I like”… typically that involves hearing the sounds as close to what the creator intended as possible. Arctis Nova 5 gives you an option for “flat” which is essentially no increase or decrease in any of the frequencies… it should indeed be as close to “baseline” as you can have. But for times when you need certain elements boosted (ie dialog in movies) there are presets for that. I appreciate a number of the different listed presets… but I do also like to be able to tweak things myself (as much as an audio engineer may have designed the presets… it will be to their ideal not necessarily what I want). The desktop gives you more flexibility for setting your own EQ preferences… hopefully the mobile app will add that functionality and potentially allow you to make your own labels so you can jump to your own presets. But overall, the Arctis Nova 5 is a solid headset that is comfortable to wear and packs a decent audio punch.

About the Author


Father of four, husband of one and all round oddity. Gaming at home since about 1982 with a Sinclair ZX Spectrum. Moving on to the more traditional PC genre in the years that followed with the classic Jump Joe and Alley Cat. CGA, EGA, VGA and beyond PC's have been central to my gaming but I've also enjoyed consoles and hand helds along the way (who remembers the Atari Lynx?). Would have been actor/film maker, jack of many trades master of none.

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