Battle among Arctis 3 vs Arctis 5 vs Arctis 7 vs Arctis Bluetooth vs Arctis Pro

It’s highly unlikely that you are a gaming enthusiast and haven’t heard of Arctis headphones. From high-res audio, a powerful mic to lossless streaming- they offer it all. On top of it, have you looked at them? These headphones look straight out of some sci-fi movies.

To be honest, there aren’t many heaven and hell differences between Steelseries headphones. Yet each of them varies in some aspects. To make sure you are getting the right value for money, it’s really important to go through the info of each.

So here we go:

But hey! Reading this 5 products info to understand differences can take a lot of time. That’s why to save your time and energy, I have spent countless hours foraging the key differences, in order to form a comparison. Hope this helps you find the right model for your crazy gaming needs.

Arctis 3 vs Arctis 5- Battle Royale

Sound and Gaming Experience

Arctis 3 is a complete gaming headset, beating Arctis 5 and 7 by a great margin in terms of popularity. The primary reason for that seems to be the affordable price tag. Feature-wise, there aren’t tons of bells and whistles.

It uses both analog and Bluetooth 4.1 to cater to your basic gaming needs. It’s comfortable, has a fairly decent sound, a powerful mic, and best of all, I could switch between game immersion and music settings in a jiffy.

However, it lacks a USB connector, unlike Arctis 5. In order to experience the true 7.1 surround sound, you need this feature. Let me explain why:

USB audio devices can process audio much better than the regular 3.5 mm jack by minimizing audio interference from other nearby devices. 7.1 is basically an 8-channel surround audio system and a 3.5 mm analog hole has only 4 channels. So even though Arctis 3 advertises that their S1 speakers produce 7.1 surround sound, it’s not entirely true.

I know a thing or two about game engine audio processing and my knowledge tells me that it’s just not possible to achieve 7.1 with a 3.5 mm jack. However, this doesn’t mean Arctis 3 isn’t worth its salt. It sounds just as good as any other high-quality gaming headset.

I played Half Life 1 and Overwatch on both PS4 and PC.I played Half-Life 1 and Overwatch on both PS4 and PC. The wired audio on both devices had enough juice to create an immersive gaming environment.

Then I connected my Huwaei P20 Pro via Bluetooth to play PUBG. I noticed a noticeable drop in the bass and mids, they both sounded a bit flat. This is maybe because of the poor audio compression.

Sound and Gaming Experience of Arctis 3 vs Arctis 5

I played Half Life 1 and Overwatch on both PS4 and PC. The wired audio on both devices had enough juice to create an immersive gaming environment. Then I connected my Huwaei P20 Pro via Bluetooth to play PUBG. I noticed a noticeable drop in the bass and mids, they both sounded a bit flat. This is maybe because of the poor audio compression.

My takeaway is that if you have a solid gaming PC or PS4 and you are not hyperventilating for 7.1 audio, you will do fantastic with Arctis 3.

Arctis 5 has both a 3.5 mm jack adapter, and a USB adapter. I downloaded the DTS Headphone X Surround Sound software on my PC, chose the DTS 7.1 surround sound preset, and played Overwatch. Boy! I have to say the surrounding sound took the gaming experience to the next level.

The detailing of sound, smooth sub-bass, and clean upper midrange are incredible. The credit for this also goes to the angular drivers that help with directional noises. Then I switched to the default sound mode for GTA-V. I could hear the dialogues clearly and the overall experience was thoroughly enjoyable.

You can also turn on the RGB light on the headset in the USB mode. Not sure why it would matter in a gaming headset anyway but it’s good to have it, anyway.

You can also turn on the RGB light on the headset in USB mode. Not sure why it would matter in a gaming headset anyway but it’s good to have it, anyway.

Some common features of both of these headphones worth noting include

  • Over-ear and closed-back headphones.
  • Offers active noise-cancellation effectively.
  • Both include a convenient microphone and a dynamic transducer.
  • Consists of chat controls for gaming with voice clarity.
  • Easy to use with a control panel placed on them.
  • Ear cushions are adjustable to keep the ears cool and dry. 
  • Lightweight, durable with a plastic build, and very comfortable for long-wear. 
  • Compatible with various gaming devices including PC, Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch, and also smartphones.

Other Considerations: Design & Comfort, Mic & Music

Design and Comfort: Both Arctis 3 and 5 look nearly the same. Both have ample padding on the earcups and don’t cause fatigue after prolonged gameplay. Both can be easily adjusted to fit large heads as well.

SteelSeries Arctic 3 HeadphoneSteelSeries Arctic 5 Headphone
Weighs 0.65 pounds with a clamping force of 1lbWeighs 0.69 pounds with a clamping force of 1.1lb.
Includes music controls.Doesn’t have any controls for music.
Greater cooling effect.Lower cooling effect.
Fabric airwave ear cushions with a ski goggle a headband.Padded ear cushions that are air weaved with an adjustable steel headband.

Mic: Again, pretty much the same. However, Arctis 5 offers a significant feature called ChatMix. If you use Skype during gameplay, you can alternatively mute the chat, mute the in-game audio or balance the sound of both. However, I could hear a slight digital noise on both when the noise cancelation was off. 

Music: Arctis 3 offers a gorgeous stereo sound while listening to music. You can also tinker with the EQ settings on the SteelSeries Engine 3 Software. Arctis 5 also delivers a balanced, natural sound complemented by the powerful bass. However, adjusting the EQ settings of a USB headset like Arctis 5 is much easier.

SteelSeries Arctis 3 HeadphoneSteelSeries Arctis 5 Headphone
Bass is -3.49 dB and treble at 0.9 dB with more accuracy.Bass is 0.97 dB and treble at -2.62 dB with lesser accuracy.
Frequency and consistency range at 1.88 dB.Frequency and consistency range at 1.44 dB.
This one peaks at 1.66 dB and dips at 1.04 dB.This one peaks at 1.5 dB and dips at 1.13 dB.
Frequency range from 20 to 22000 Hz.Frequency ranges from 20 to 22000 Hz.
Not good reduction of noise distortion.Effective reduction of noise distortion.

Other important features of both headphones:

SteelSeries Arctis 3 HeadphoneSteelSeries Arctis 5 Headphone
Wireless headphone with a 3.5 cable included for wired connection.Wired with RGB illumination.
Rechargeable battery that charges fast and lasts long. No battery. 
No apps.Contains apps for some operating systems.
No mic control.Adjustable mic control.
Offers a strong and fast Bluetooth connection.No Bluetooth options.

However, my main concern is that these features will work only on PC. If you are more of a PS4 or  Xbox 1

Final Thoughts:

Unless you are crazy about 7.1 surround sound and the ChatMix feature, the Arctis 3 offers pretty much the same gaming experience and performance as the Arctis 5. The choice is entirely up to your preference. 

Arctis 3 vs 5 vs 7

Now, the choice gets more difficult. Neither Arctis 3 nor 5 have wireless features unlike Arctis 7. But Arctis 7 combines both a 3.5 mm jack and USB connector. You can also take advantage of its wireless functionality while listening to music or playing games on your phone. You can use the SteelSeries Engine software to enjoy DTS 7.1 surround sound and other presets. 

However, my main concern is that these features will work only on PC. If you are more of a PS4 or  Xbox 1 user like me, I don’t see the point of spending so much on Arctis 7. I can get the same performance, functionality, and comfort from Arctis 5 as well. And if you like to keep things simple, Arctis 3 won’t disappoint either.

Arctis 3 vs Arctis 5 vs Arctis 7 vs Arctis Bluetooth vs Arctis Pro

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If you are an online multiplayer or single-player game addict, I feel you will benefit more from Arctis Bluetooth than any other headset in this series. I played PUBG on my phone and the Witcher 3 on my PS4. 

I absolutely adore the fact that I could find my enemies just by hearing their dim voices. I also loved the fact that you can connect to your phone via a 3.5 mm jack while gaming a PC via Bluetooth. 

When I receive the call on the phone, the mic automatically mutes and I am greatly thankful for this. For a complete, high-functional, easy-to-configure headphone, I’d choose Arctis Bluetooth over Arctis 3, 5, and 7 any day. 

The Arctis Pro features DTS Headphone X: 2.0 to deliver hi-res audio. It simply increases the depth of the sound field for 3D audio effects. Now the thing is, after the 2019 update, Arctis 5 and 7 have also been upgraded to DTS Headphone X: 2.0. 

Even the older version owner can upgrade to V2.0 via the SteelSeries software. If you are excited about using GameDAC wired on your console for better sound, sorry to disappoint you. The wired version will only sound louder, not “better”. Arctis Pro helps hearing noises from the enemy base and their footsteps. Magnificent. But so do Arctis 5, 7, and Bluetooth. Even Arctis 3 forms an incredible game audio environment for its price. 

However, when it comes to aesthetics, comfort, and versatility, Arctis Pro completely justifies the “pro” tag. Once you turn on Bass Boost EQ, Holy Guacamole! For a true audiophile, the sound clarity, bass, sharp treble, and crystal clear midrange will make for an unmatchable audio experience, a quality none of the other SteelSeries headsets can beat.

Design 

SteelSeries Arctis 3SteelSeries Arctis 5SteelSeries Arctis 7SteelSeries ProSteelSeries Arctis Bluetooth
Weighs 0.65 pounds Weighs 0.69 poundsWeighs 12.5 ouncesWeighs 1.15 poundsWeighs 11.2 ounces
Includes music controlsDon’t have any controls for musicNo music controlsNo music controlsAllows music streaming
Greater cooling effectLower cooling effectLess cooling effectMore cooling effectMore cooling effect
Fabric airwave ear cushions with a ski goggle a headbandPadded ear cushions that are air weaved with an adjustable steel headbandFabric airweave ear cushions and aluminum headband Athletes-inspired fabric airweave cushions and ski google headband Athletes-inspired fabric airweave cushions and ski google headband
Over earOver earOn earOver earOver ear

Sound Quality

SteelSeries Arctis 3SteelSeries Arctis 5SteelSeries Arctis 7SteelSeries ProSteelSeries Bluetooth
Bass is -3.49 dB and treble at 0.9 dB with more accuracyBass is 0.97 dB and treble at -2.62 dB with lesser accuracyBass is forward at -0.9 dB, and the treble is quite accurate at -1.29 dBBass at -0.63 dBAnd the treble amount at -1.33 dBGood bass and treble control
Frequency and consistency range at 1.88 dBFrequency and consistency range at 1.44 dBFrequency and consistency stand at 1.07 dBFrequency and consistency response is at 1.18 dBClear frequency and consistency response
This one peaks at 1.66 dB and dips at 1.04 dBThis one peaks at 1.5 dB and dips at 1.13 dBThis one peaks at 1.82 dB and dips at 1.04 dBThis one peaks at 1.43 dB and dips at 1.09 dBSatisfactory level of peak and dip
Frequency range from 20 to 22000 HzFrequency ranges from 20 to 22000 HzFrequency ranges from 20 to 20000 HzFrequency ranges from 10 to 14000 HzFrequency ranges from 20 to 20000 Hz
Not good reduction of noise distortionEffective reduction of noise distortionUltra-low noise distortionLesser reduction of noise distortionUltra-low noise distortion

Other Features 

SteelSeries Arctis 3SteelSeries Arctis 5SteelSeries Arctis 7SteelSeries ProSteelSeries Bluetooth 
Wireless headphone with a 3.5mm cable included for wired connectionWired with RGB illuminationWireless headphone with a 3.5mm cable for wired connectionWired connection with RGB illuminationWireless headphone with a 3.5mm cable for wired connection
Rechargeable battery that charges fast and lasts longNo batteryBattery life of 24 hours recharged using a micro USB cableNo battery Fast charging battery
No appsContain apps for some operating systemsNo appsIntuitive OLED menuSwitch chats mobile app and series engine software
No mic controlAdjustable mic controlChat mix micChatMix dialClear cast mic
Offers a strong and fast Bluetooth connectionNo Bluetooth optionsNo BluetoothNo BluetoothStrong Bluetooth connection

If you are still not sure which headset to pick, let me help you out in my next and the last segment.

Also Read: Mpow EG1 vs Mpow EG2 vs Mpow EG3 vs Mpow EG4 vs Mpow EG5.

Best SteelSeries Headset Based on Different User Preferences:

Arctis 3: If you are on a budget yet want a comfortable and functional headset with a stunning stereo sound, it’s worth the investment.

Frequency Response

Sound Quality 

Arctis 5: Since it has a USB connector, you can easily finetune the audio settings, enjoy 7.1 surround sound and ChatMix for a wholesome experience.

Frequency Response

Sound Quality 

Arctis 7: A wireless headphone tailor-made for hardcore gamers. It also uses GameDAC which creates a 3D audio effect.

Frequency Response

Sound Quality 

Arctis Bluetooth: An excellent choice if you prefer consoles like Nintendo, PS4, or Xbox over PC most of the time. 

Frequency Response

Arctis Pro: The ultimate headset for true audiophiles.

Also Read: Best Headset For Call Center

Wrap up

So that was it. I tried my best to explain how each headset will cater to a particular game setup/audio preference. Regarding the other factors like aesthetics, comfort, and overall functionality, all the SteelSeries headphones are more or less the same. So the decision really comes down to how crazy your game setups are, what devices you use and how Hi-Fi you want the sound to be.

Last update on 2022-12-09 at 05:31 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Vitaly Fedorov

Vitaly Fedorov is a seasoned audio technician and writer. After spending ten years in a studio team, I have decided to spread my knowledge to people in this domain. On this site, I work for headphone fixing or repair issues, that you’re thinking about fixing. Click on any article on my site and read the complete answer about that issue. I am excited to read your feedback.

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