It’s a great time to be a gamer, especially with all the different platforms we can play on. Not to mention the fact that we can pretty much game anywhere now whether it be at home or on the go. What used to not be great are all the different ways our various gaming platforms’ requirements for gaming headset connectivity. If you bought a PS4 headset, it probably didn’t work with anything else you owned or if you have a PC headset, same would be true for that. Of course if you used a wired headset, you could use that on practically anything, but who wants to be wired these days? SteelSeries has a solution for your multi-platform woes and it’s the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless. The acceptance of USB-C as a standard is what makes this possible.
USB-C Is The Key
What used to make multi-platform headsets difficult was the fact that many platforms had their own connection requirements. Some allowed for Bluetooth, some didn’t. Some used a 3.5mm audio jack, some 2.5mm. Some even had their own connectors that didn’t work on anything else. With the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless, it’s as simple as just plugging in a tiny USB-C dongle to your device and you’re ready to go. No pairing necessary as the Arctis 1 Wireless headsets are already automatically paired to them.
Of course this only works if your device has a USB-C connector or you can use the included adapter that cones in the box. This means that the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless works on the Nintendo Switch, Android phones and tablets with a USB-C connector, laptops with USB-C, and PC and PS4 with the included USB adapter cable that connects to the USB-C dongle. Xbox One owners sadly can only use the Arctis 1 Wireless with the included 3.5mm cable, making them no longer wireless.
What you will find missing from this list is the iPhone. As you know, the iPhone still utilizes Apple’s Lightning connector so this USB-C connector won’t fit. I’m not too sure if it’ll work with the new iPad Pro though as that does have a USB-C connector. I can’t try this out since I don’t have a new iPad Pro.
If you’ve owned SteelSeries headsets before, you probably know about their famous elastic headbands. The SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless doesn’t have this. In fact, this is probably the first headset from them in a long time that hasn’t had an elastic headband of some sort. Basically all that means to you is that the Arctis 1 Wireless is not self adjusting like their other Arctis models and will require manual size adjustments. In essence, they’re just like everyone else headsets now.
That doesn’t mean they’re no longer comfortable, because they are. They’re heavily padded up top where it sits on your head and the ear cups are still made of the same material as their other Arctis headsets. They’re very cushiony and offer both comfort and a good seal around your ears to block out the outside world. The ear cups also swivel for more precise fitment as well as for easier storage since you can swivel them flat to fit in a bag.
Speaking of the ear cups, all the controls are situated on the left side. The only button found on the right side is the power button which sits flush. The left side houses the charging micro-USB charging port, mic port, volume controls, a mic mute switch, and an 3.5mm AUX cable port.
I mention the mic port above because this is also the first Arctis headset that doesn’t feature a retractable mic. I’m not really sure what the reasoning for that decision was as it made it convenient to stow and go. Now you have to remove it if you don’t want the mic sticking out, but there’s also no place to store it now. You have to keep track of where you put it as it’s an easy piece to lose.
The same could also be said about the USB-C dongle. What’s good is that it’s very small and not very intrusive when connected to your devices. I also mentioned above that it works perfectly with devices with cases as well. The bad part is that its size makes it easy to lose if you’re constantly taking it on and off different devices.
Other than that, the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless still has the familiar Arctis styling despite missing a few features here and there. This probably helps keep the pricing down a bit and makes it more of a mainstream product. I don’t mind as long as it works for multiple platforms.
First up was to see if the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless actually worked on a variety of devices. The first series of tests I conducted was with various smartphones I have on hand. I tested is out on a Sony Xperia 1, Palm Phone, HTC U12+, and the LG V50 ThinQ. These are all 2019 devices and they all seem to work just find. What’s great about the dongle is that it works even if you have a case on your phone. I’ve noticed that they have been other dongles I’ve tried using that don’t work unless I take the cases of my phones. Not the case with this. It works because SteelSeries had the foresight to make the connector raised a bit. Good job SteelSeries!
I also tried it with the Nintendo Switch, and it works flawlessly there. This is pretty much one of the few options you have right now for a fully wireless Switch experience for both audio and chat. This bests even the previous Arctis 3 Bluetooth PS4, PC, and laptop also works flawlessly with no abnormal issues to speak about.
If you unplug the dongle and forget to turn off your headset, don’t worry as the Arctis 1 Wireless will turn off on its own after a set amount of time. That’s good so it won’t eat up all your battery by accident.
An area contention here is going to be the mic. While it is removable if you don’t need to use it, it can be very easily misplaced. Higher end Arctis headsets have to where the mic is retractable but not here. Again, this is probably to reduce the costs a bit but it just means another part that could get lost.
Of course what you’re wondering now is how do the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless stack up in the sound department compared to its more costly siblings. Well, for the price, they’re not that bad at all. Unless you’re an audiophile, these are the perfect gaming headsets for both casual and pros alike. They sounded great on every platform I tried them on and on the ones that did have chat, everyone said I came in loud and clear. The Arctis 1 Wireless are a little bit bass heavy but the fine details are still there which still make them terrific for gaming.
So to end this portion, I’d say I had a pretty good experience with the Arctis 1 Wireless. Even though they don’t have the elastic headband anymore, they are still super comfortable and stay that way for long periods of time. They also fit comfortably around your neck when not in use. I like the fact that all the controls are there and it makes it easy to adjust volume without the need to go into your platform settings.
Multi-platform gamers need to give the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless some serious consideration. I don’t think I’ve ever used a gaming headset before that worked on so many different platforms and so easily. The USB-C dongle makes connection a breeze and unlike Bluetooth connections, you don’t have to pair each time you want to connect to something new. Plus connections are quick with very little wait time before you can start hearing audio from the connected device.
The audio from the Arctis 1 Wireless is also pretty good considering they’re not really designed for any one platform. Most people will find the audio pleasant and good enough, though these aren’t the best you can get.
Lastly, the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless are a great value at $100. It might seem much at first if you’re looking for something cheaper, but just remember that these are multi-platform. You’ll save money by not having to buy other headsets for other platforms. While not my favorite SteelSeries gaming headset, these certainly are the most convenient. Being able to use one headset for multiple platforms is a huge space saver and being able to jump from platform to platform with ease is just too cool.