June 22nd, 2020

SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless with maOS and iPadOS

Almost a year back my SteelSeries Wireless H headphones finally died after many years of stellar use. I tried to simply use my PowerBeats Pro for all my macOS, iPadOS, and iOS needs throughout the day, but they simply weren't cutting it. Yes the mic is decent, and they change between devices fairly easily, but I'd have random disconnections with my Mac Mini, and after 6 - 8 hours in my years they weren't all that comfortable. So I started looking for new headphones to use at my desk during the work day.

I had a few things I wanted with new headphones for my desk. First, I wanted something that would connect to at least two devices so that I didn't have to change cables around to change between macOS an iPadOS as my primary working device. I had moved my older SteelSeries between computers for a year and while it work, I was getting tired of it.

Second, but not really second, I wanted something comfortable for all days use. That means it needed to sit on my head comfortable. It needed to be over ear and big enough that it didn't touch my ears in any way I could feel. All day headphones also need to be light enough that they maintain comfort for the day.

I also wanted wireless headphones, because I like to pace around and cables are a pain in the ass.

Finally, the microphone needed to be decent. I know I can get excellent audio for calls out of some fancy podcasting mic but I prize the pacing too much during client calls to make that the microphone I was going to use all the time.

After searching the only option seemed to be the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless. They come with a USB interface for my Mac and Bluetooth I can use to pair to my iPad. They have some styling updates compared to my older SteelSeries headphones, but they still maintain all the benefits like having two batteries so you can quickly swap and keep going with your conversations or listening.

One of the annoyances with the Wireless H I had was the batter compartment. It was a "simple" twist on/off plate that had a battery under it, but the truth is I almost always struggled just a bit to get the plate back on. The Arctis Pro Wireless has moved to a set of magnets that affix the right side cover to the headphones. It's extremely easy to get my finger on the small depression at the bottom of the ear cup and pull the plate off. Then the plate simply aligns itself with the magnets again when I bring it up to the ear cup.

Unlike other headphones, the Arctis Pro doesn't have a extendable ear cups to fit various head sizes. Instead there is an elastic band that wraps around the headband and you can adjust it slightly to increase or decrease the tension of the elastic to change the head fit. While I've found this comfortable so far, I am concerned that in five or six years the band will loose its elasticity and the metal band will start sitting on top of my head.

On the noise cancelling front, they have nothing active but the ear cups do fit well enough that they provide some passive noise cancelling. I've found it good enough that I don't hear most stuff outside my office door, even with three kids under 10 making noise. If you're trying to work from home with kids running around in the house, they're certainly going to cut out a bunch of that noise so you can stay focused on the task at hand.

On the microphone front, the SteelSeries Arctis Wireless, has a decent one. It retracts into the headphones so that it's not in the way when you're not using it. If you use the onboard mute switch then you'll also see the microphone on the headphone light up red when you're muted. My previous pair had the same thing and I always like that so I can know that I'm not transferring extra nose to a call. My only complaint about the microphone is that it's missing some base which makes the sound a bit flat. It's not terrible, but you can clearly hear that my Rode Video Micro is better. I use this when I'm doing any screencasting because it's so much better.

On the battery life front, I've found the headphones to be fine. I get a few days out of each charge which means I only change the battery once or twice a week. I can easily see the status of the battery on the control box that sits on my desk. That means I can tell when it's lower and change the battery out before a call so that I'm not caught changing the battery part way through a call like a chump.

Should You Purchase the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless Headset?

If you're looking for a good headset that can connect to two devices then the Arctis Pro Wireless is the only option I could find that fit the bill. Like my previous SteelSeries headphones, these are fairly light and comfortable. They get decent battery life and the mic is good enough for most uses. They sound good and offer enough passive noise cancelling for most office environments. If you wear out the ear cups or the batteries die, you can purchase replacements which means the headphones can be a staple of your desk for years to come.

I recommend them.

Purchase SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless from Amazon