SteelSeries released a new series of gaming headsets called the Arctis Pro. They come in three versions--two wired and one wireless. All feature a number of digital innovations, such as built-in mixing and DTS Headphone: X v2.0.
Before we elaborate on each, it should be noted that all versions of the Arctis Pro share some similarities and features. For example, they all share the same basic headset design and drivers. On that first point, the Arctis Pro headsets all bear the familiar SteelSeries design on the headband, which uses a floating headband and ear cup mounts that can swivel in two dimensions. The Arctis Pro uses some more premium materials, including steel, aluminum, and woven fabric, but sticks to SteelSeries’ classic fabric ear cups.
SteelSeries continues to use 40mm drivers, but on the Arctis Pro they’re bolstered by DTS Headphone: X v2.0. This is a digital audio enhancement, similar to Dolby Headphone, that attempts to emulate surround sound with dual-channel audio. All headsets also have the same noise-cancelling, retractable boom mic built in.
USB + RGB
So how do they differ from one another? Starting with the most basic of the three, the “USB + RGB” version is a classic PC headset. Externally, it features an RGB-lit ring around the ear cups that ties into SteelSeries’ Prism lighting ecosystem. Audio input is analog, but the headset features an in-line, USB-controlled volume mixing device called the ChatMix dial. This knob allows you to balance the volume mix of your chat and game audio streams.
GameDAC + RGB
The more advanced wired version of the Arctis Pro is called “GameDAC + RGB.” It replaces the ChatMix dial with a full outboard sound card that SteelSeries calls the GameDAC. This is the only version certified for Hi-Res Audio because it can play back 24-bit 96kHz audio. Beyond acting as a DAC and amplifier for the headset, the GameDAC also has a screen and multi-purpose dial that allows you to control the ChatMix feature, a 10-band equalizer, and what SteelSeries calls the “Stream Mix” feature. The GameDAC makes this version of the Arctis Pro compatible with digital input from the Playstation 4. The Stream Mix feature allows Playstation 4 streamers to control the volume of their game, chat, aux, and mic inputs.
Wireless + Bluetooth
The last and most advanced version of the Arctis Pro is the “Wireless + Bluetooth” version. Thanks to pure digital inputs, it is also compatible with the Playstation 4. Feature-wise, it’s similar to the “GameDAC + RGB” version, but it replaces the GameDAC with a wireless base station, which also doubles as the battery charger. It also lacks the RGB lighting. The transmission method can be either a 2.4GHz wireless protocol or Bluetooth. The former allows for lossless transmission of audio to the headset at up to 40 feet, whereas the latter allows for pairing with other audio sources, such as a phone. The base station also has most of the features of the GameDAC, such as ChatMix and an equalizer, but lacks Stream Mix.
|Arctis Pro USB + RGB||Arctis Pro GameDAC + RGB||Arctis Pro Wireless + Bluetooth|
|Speaker Drivers||40mm dynamic||40mm dynamic||40mm dynamic|
|Speaker Frequency||10 ~ 40,000Hz||10 ~ 40,000Hz||10 ~ 40,000Hz|
|Mic Frequency||100 ~ 10,000Hz||100 ~ 10,000Hz||100 ~ 10,000Hz|
|Connectors||USB 2.0||USB 2.0, optical, auxiliary input||USB 2.0, optical, auxiliary input|
|Sound Card||Yes (ChatMix Dial)||Yes (GameDAC)||Yes (wireless base station)|
|Accessories||--||--||Two batteries for headset included|