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Arctis Nova Pro Wireless 2 wishlist: All the features I want to see

High price, high reward.
By

Published onJuly 3, 2024

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless laid flat on a grey surface next to a wooden board.

The first iteration Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is one of the most highly-regarded gaming headsets on the market. Its superior comfort, excellent sound reproduction, and innovative battery design make light of long gaming sessions. It is also remarkably discreet, owning a pleasing aesthetic and comfortable build that makes it compelling for commuters and frequent Zoom callers. However, its lack of cross-compatibility between Xbox and PlayStation consoles falls short of its rivals. It also owns a comparatively high price tag that will be prohibitive for many potential buyers. Given it has been over two years since the Nova Pro Wireless came to fruition, it is little wonder fans are hoping for a more affordable product in the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless 2.

Unfortunately, there has been no official announcement from SteelSeries about its next-gen upgrade. With stiff competition from cheaper headset manufacturers, the company must update its fan-favorite product category soon. Here is everything I want to see included in the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless 2 when it launches.

A cheaper price tag

A closeup of the controls on the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless.
The controls on the side of the ear cup are easy to distinguish from each other, and each matches the high build quality of the headset.

The gaming headset market has never been so vibrant. From the budget Turtle Beach Recon 70 ($39 at Amazon) to the premium Audeze Mobius ($279 at Amazon,) gamers from all different backgrounds have more choices now than ever. However, contrary to historical norms, manufacturers of more affordable headsets are bundling flagship features into their products. While it is reasonable to expect premium features to cost premium prices, many gamers will find solace in some of the best cheap gaming headsets.

At $350, the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is one of the more expensive gaming headsets that money can buy. Consequently, many potential buyers may look at cheaper alternatives. This is a shame, given the Nova Pro Wireless is one of the best gaming headsets on the market. Nevertheless, price-savvy buyers who don’t care about wireless connectivity can save nearly $100 by purchasing the near-identical SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro ($196.99 at Amazon.) Likewise, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless ($152.99 at Amazon) owns the same frame as the Nova Pro Wireless and costs $170 less. The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless 2 could scoop up the lion’s share by launching with a cheaper price tag.

Console cross-compatibility

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless being worn by a person.
Thanks to its comfort, retractable microphone, and dozens of game-related features, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is an excellent option for a gaming headset.

Many gamers feel loyal to their console’s platform. Between the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, Nintendo Switch, and PC, fans have a long list of compatible headsets to choose between. For example, the Logitech G733 Lightspeed ($124.99 at Amazon) is one of the best gaming headsets for PC, PlayStation 5, and Nintendo Switch. Similarly, the SteelSeries Arctis 9X works seamlessly with the Xbox Series X/S, delivering excellent audio and simple wireless integration. However, many gaming headsets offer versatile connectivity options for the PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and more.

The Audeze Maxwell ($299 at Amazon) is one of the best headsets around for playing across different gaming platforms. In addition to superior comfort, it owns a multiplatform-friendly feature set and a design that works on PC, PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, and Xbox Series X/S. Sure, pesky hardware licensing and software often get in the way of truly seamless cross-compatible wireless options. For example, purchasing the PlayStation version of the Audeze Maxwell will lock some Xbox-related features out, and vice-versa. However, SteelSeries ships two entirely different versions of the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless for the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S. The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless 2 would serve a broader list of users if it owned a friendlier cross-compatible feature set.

A more reliable wireless connection

A closeup of the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless' earcup.
The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless features a base station and 2.4GHz wireless low-latency connectivity.

Latency and poor audio quality are never-ending bugbears for gamers. Not only can audio-visual lag frustrate the user experience, but it can also affect your performance in fast-paced games. Likewise, low-bitrate wireless connections cause significant data loss, ruining the immersion of otherwise captivating fictional soundscapes. Thankfully, most wireless gaming headsets ship with USB-A or USB-C dongles to transmit audio data via 2.4 GHz WiFi. This significantly reduces latency compared to standard A2DP Bluetooth connectivity. However, those seeking the most seamless audio transfers should consider wired gaming headsets.

The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless supports Bluetooth 5.0 over the SBC codec when using it away from the base station. With this, you get a 12-meter range and support for PC, Mac, smartphones, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and the Nintendo Switch. The headset also features a dual-wireless system that can use 2.4GHz and Bluetooth 5.0 to stream audio from your console and smartphone simultaneously. Unfortunately, the audio signal intermittently drops in quality when sitting 1.5 meters from the base station. This is a snag, given the Nova Pro Wireless prides itself on its plethora of I/O ports, connectivity options, and sound quality. Mercifully, the headset can be wired via the 3.5mm connector on the left ear cup for low-latency, lossless audio. Nevertheless, the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless 2 will need a more robust wireless connection to attract potential buyers.

Improved Sonar Audio EQ feature

A screenshot of the SteelSeries Arctis GG app Sonar page.
Most EQ presets for shooters have one thing in common, they drain all the bass to ensure footsteps are easier to hear.

Equalization is a handy feature for tuning music to your preferences. It also helps gamers tailor their sound to different gaming situations by boosting and cutting specific frequencies. For example, this can enhance in-game footsteps by cutting the bass or make explosions sound more bassy by cutting the high-end. Many gaming headsets, like the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro (2023), can cycle through EQ presets from the cans themself. Others do not own a native EQ feature and instead require a third-party EQ app for tweaking sound.

The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless ships with the complementary SteelSeries GG (Windows/macOS) software to control flagship features. In addition to software updates, SteelSeries GG provides access to its Sonar suit to adjust the headset’s audio settings. Here, you can navigate between audio devices for game, chat, and microphone audio. You can also use the SteelSeries GG software to select EQ presets or create your own from scratch. Unfortunately, it overrides the built-in EQ feature of the wireless base station. Consequently, you lose custom control over the EQ directly through the base station, meaning you must change it from the Sonar Audio suite instead. This seems like a misstep and something the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless 2 should fix out of the box.

A more distinguishable touch-capacitive back button

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless next to their wireless base station.
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless’s standout feature is the base station it connects to, allowing for on-the-fly battery swapping.

The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless base station is one of the standout features that controls, connects, and charges the headset. It also supports more I/O ports than regular USB-A or USB-C dongles that ship with most gaming headsets. This provides a broader list of connectivity options and compatibility with various gaming platforms. The base station is also handy for on-the-fly battery swapping, with a dedicated charging slot for the headset’s hot-swappable battery. The onboard black and white OLED display and wheel control all the relevant software features of the headset like your game/chat mix and a 10-band EQ.

As inconsequential as it may seem, the base station’s touch-capacitive back button is inconspicuous. For example, the multi-function wheel to the right of the interface is large, protruding, and grey-colored. By comparison, the back button is small, flat, and unicolored with the black box. Upon first use, it is not immediately obvious what the back button is or what it does. The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless 2 could improve this with a simple redesign of the updated base station.

What would you like to see SteelSeries bring to the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless 2?

36 votes

Will there be an Arctis Nova Pro Wireless 2?

The inner earcups of the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireles.
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless sports a variety of connectivity options, although it’s disappointing that buyers have to choose between PlayStation or Xbox support when buying it.

SteelSeries has been a pioneer of gaming accessories for over two decades. In addition to producing computer mice, keyboards, speakers, and microphones, the company is well-versed in delivering excellent headsets. Its Arctis Nova category is the most reputable, with a broad arsenal of affordable and premium models. However, the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is undoubtedly SteelSeries’ most accomplished gaming headset. While seamless Xbox X/S and Playstation 5 compatibility is missing, the Nova Pro Wireless comes packaged with a tranche of pleasing high-end features.

There has been no official announcement from SteelSeries about its Arctis Nova Pro Wireless 2 gaming headset. However, given the success of the company’s current model, I fully expect it to bring an updated headset to fruition soon.

  • Arctis Nova Pro Wireless — May 24, 2022

It has been over two years since the original Arctis Nova Pro Wireless came to market. Notably, SteelSeries favors releasing its headsets in the spring and summer. For example, the Arctis Nova Pro launched on the same day as its wireless counterpart. However, the Arctis Nova 7 Wireless debuted nearly three months later on August 23, 2022. This hit shelves alongside the more affordable SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1 on the same day. Given that May is already behind us, a summer 2024 release is possible. Unfortunately, fans will have to wait for an official statement from SteelSeries for firm details.

Should you wait for the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless 2?

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless being laid flat on a grey surface.
Although it may be on the pricey side, this headset delivers on everything from features to build quality.

Few gaming headsets earn as high a recommendation as the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless. The headset is available from most major retailers including Amazon and Best Buy and delivers excellent sound quality, long battery life, and superior comfort. For most gamers, the Nova Pro Wireless is as close to perfect as you can get. However, those with smaller budgets will likely find it too far out of reach. Before sacrificing such large amounts of money, it is worth questioning whether the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is worth the price tag.

The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless ($349.99 at Amazon) is one of the most discreet gaming headsets on the market. It also comes packed with handy features including good isolation and noise canceling for suppressing the hum of a computer fan. Audio quality is also pleasing, and the slight emphasis in the bass range around 100Hz can enhance some in-game sound effects. The headset ships with two hot-swappable batteries that each profit over 22 hours of music playback time. The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless can remain on for eight seconds without a battery inserted. This allows enough time to switch out the active battery for the other stored in the base station’s charging bay. The base station provides a 10-band EQ, game/chat mix balance, and volume control, while the headset owns a microphone mute button, a volume slider, and a power button that doubles up for activating noise canceling.

The EPOS H3PRO Hybrid ($203 at Amazon) shares a similar array of gadgetry as the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless. However, the EPOS H3PRO Hybrid has a more platform-agnostic feature set that is friendlier to those running the Xbox Series X/S. The headset also owns a loud, clear-sounding detachable microphone that is excellent for in-game chat and taking Zoom calls. The EPOS Gaming Suite companion app provides vital firmware updates for the headset and dongle. It also lets you switch between stereo and virtual 7.1 surround sound and set up the Bluetooth button to toggle EQ presets or surround sound. The app provides an integrated nine-band equalizer module and sliders for adjusting gain, sidetone, noise gating, and noise cancellation. With ANC activated, the EPOS H3PRO Hybrid profits over 19 hours of continuous music playback time. It also features pleasing sound quality that closely follows SoundGuys’ target curve.

SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless
SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless
SoundGuys Editor's Choice
SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless
Full, clear audio • Good microphone • Strong noise cancelation
MSRP: $349.99
Not only a fantastic gaming headset, but also a great all-purpose pair of headphones.
SteelSeries has delivered a headset that works not only for gamers, but for anyone that needs a multipurpose headset on the go, for meetings, and for casual listening. Available for PC/PlayStation, or Xbox.

Those looking for an affordable and reliable gaming headset should consider the Razer Barracuda X (2022) ($99 at Amazon). This headset builds on the success of the Razer Barracuda X from 2021 to deliver Bluetooth connectivity, longer battery life, and superior microphone quality. It also features multi-platform connections including USB-C, USB-A, 3.5mm, or Bluetooth. This works for gaming on PC, PlayStation 5, Xbox Series S/X, Nintendo Switch, and more. The Razer Barracuda X (2022) also lasts nearly 60 hours when subjected to a constant output of music peaking at 75dB(SPL). The Razer Audio app (iOS/Android) is handy for mobile gaming. The app provides four EQ presets, a gaming mode for lower latency over Bluetooth, and a custom 10-band EQ. However, there is not much in the way of fancy gadgetry here, including noise canceling or surround sound.

Finally, the SteelSeries Arctis 7+ Wireless ($149 at Amazon) brings superior comfort and an updated suite of features compared to its predecessor. The cans own a microphone mute button, volume dial, game/chat mix controller, USB-C charging port, proprietary 4-pole plug, and a 3.5mm headphone jack. However, more premium features rely heavily on downloading the SteelSeries GG app. This controls the headphone EQ, power-saving functionality, mic volume, and more. SteelSeries Sonar also allows for more specific frequency adjustments and brings game- and genre-specific EQ profiles. It also delivers virtual surround sound, a sidetone slider, sliders for noise reduction, noise gating, impact noise reduction, and volume stabilization. The cans profit an impressive 71 hours on a single charge when subjected to a consistent output of 75dB(SPL). However, like the Razer Barracuda X (2022), there is no ANC here.

Arctis Nova Pro Wireless 2 FAQs

SteelSeries makes a plethora of gaming headsets. For example, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is one of its most accomplished headsets. Likewise, the SteelSeries Arctis 7+ is an excellent multi-platform, mid-tier gaming headset. The company’s Arctic Nova line of headsets is worth consideration if you have the extra cash.

Yes. The Arctis Nova Pro Wireless is compatible with the PlayStation 5’s Tempest audio engine for 360-degree sound. It also works with Microsoft’s Spatial Sound feature.

No, the Arctis Nova Pro does not have noise canceling.

The Arctis Nova Pro launched on May 24, 2022, alongside its Arctis Nova Pro Wireless counterpart.

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