SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC full review

The SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC is the premium offering from the highly regarded gaming peripheral maker, offering official Hi-Res Audio certification alongside a dedicated DAC and a high-end build. It’s one of the most expensive gaming headsets on the market in 2019, so does the Arctis Pro + GameDAC offer enough to tempt gamers?

We’ve spent a lot of time gaming with the SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC, and here’s our review.

SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC pricing and availability

At £249.99in the UK and $249.99 in the US, you’d be hard pressed to call the SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC a bargain, but you get what you pay for with outstanding build quality and incredible audio - as we explain in our review. You can pick the headset up for slightly cheaper at Amazon and Currys PC World in the UK, and Amazon in the US.  

The high price point pits the Arctis Pro against titans in the headset world including the Turtle Beach Elite Pro 2, and while both are unique in their own ways, the Arctis Pro has enough on offer to tempt gamers. 

SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC review

<SteelSeries has long been knocking it out of the park with gaming peripherals, and the Arctis Pro + GameDAC is no exception to this trend.

This headset is the first full gaming audio system to receive the Hi-Res Audio certification, so as you would expect, the audio quality is second to none. The system allows you to experience WAV, FLAC and DSD files without any compromise on quality, while being able to stream from Hi-Res sources like Tidal. The GameDAC also has native 96kHz and 24-bit support as well, making It future ready for hi-res gaming audio developments.

The DAC allows you to access audio options in an instant, with volume control easily accessible from the wheel. Holding down on the wheel will bring up additional options, where you can change the audio levels to your preference and or select from a number of profiles. Having audio options so readily available like this is a great addition, as you can change them on the fly without having to go into your PC settings.

The option to mix your game audio in with chat is extremely useful too. Being able to turn your game audio down and your chat audio up at the same time to hear that one quiet teammate, is a great addition.

Along with this, the DAC can also act as a streaming mixer if you’re streaming directly from your PS4. The simple UI allows you to adjust the sound level of your game, chat, auxiliary noise and microphone individually to get that perfect balance at a twist of the dial.

The setup also features DTS Headphone: X v2.0 surround sound, giving outstanding positional audio in games, allowing you to easily pinpoint the exact direction sounds are coming from. You’ll be able to hear people sneaking up on you in CS:GO and PUBG alike.

The build quality of the headset is, as you would expect, outstanding. The athletics-inspired Airweave fabric ear cushions are extremely comfortable for extended periods of play, and help to keep your ears cool while still providing great noise cancelling.

If we did have one objection, it’s that these aren’t ideal for anyone with a larger head. While the strap that rests across the top of your head can be adjusted, the ear cups can’t – which makes them fairly inflexible with regards to adjustment.

Regardless, this is an outstanding headset. While certainly on the expensive side, audiophiles and serious gamers will appreciate the level of quality on display here.

Verdict

You really can’t go wrong with SteelSeries products and the Arctis Pro + GameDAC is a perfect example of this - exceptional build quality and design meet harmoniously with exceptional, highly-customisable sound quality and diversity.

The GameDAC allows you to create your own audio profiles with ease and switch them on the fly, so you can manually boost the highs to hear those footsteps over the gunfire or drag the lows up for that thumping, concussive, immersive sound.

The price-point will certainly be a barrier for some but if you’re looking for a premium audio experience and a headset you can wear for extended periods of time without discomfort, you really can’t do much better.