25 - 02 - 2018
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SteelSeries Arctis 3 7.1 Surround Gaming Headset Review

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steelseries arctis 3a

   Just like many others i too first discovered just how useful a good headset (or pair of headphones) can be while on the road (mainly while using public transportation) when i got my first SONY cassette player back in the early 90's. It goes without saying really that when I’m alone at home or at the office i rarely use a headset to listen to music, watch a movie or play a game since i don't really like having zero extra weight on my head, however when I’m not alone again it's pretty much a must. Now the good news especially compared to many years back is that today consumers have a vast selection of quality headsets in the sub USD100 available to them some of which reflect an excellent price/performance ratio. SteelSeries is no stranger among gamers and for the past 16 days we've been using the new Arctis 3 7.1 Surround Gaming Headset to see if it has what it takes to be one of the best in that price segment.

   SteelSeries has fueled the gaming industry by creating innovative new products, designed specifically for eSports and passionate gamers everywhere. Here at SteelSeries, we are obsessed with “firsts”. Dating back to 2001, our company was formed to meet the surface needs of hardcore gamers by introducing the first glass mousepad, the Icemat. Since that original innovation, we created the first mechanical gaming keyboard, the first suspended headband for gaming headsets, the first World of Warcraft mouse and endless other innovations. SteelSeries is dedicated to building products that push professional gaming further than anyone dreamed. Those innovations make gaming more competitive and more fun for gamers everywhere.

   Once again just like with the majority of gaming headsets currently in the market the Arctis 3 makes use of two (stereo) 40mm neodymium drivers that feature a frequency response of 20Hz-22KHz with 98dB sensitivity and 32Ohm impedance. According to SteelSeries the entire Arctis line of headsets uses the same S1 drivers they use with the flagship Arctis 7 model so there's a good chance there won't be much audio deviation between models (some model specific audio enhancements are quite possible however). Although the Arctis 3 features 3.5mm connectivity instead of the usual USB we usually see in order to "produce" 7.1 virtual surround sound SteelSeries implemented multichannel support at the software level through their Engine 3 software (always according to SteelSeries the audio driver receives multichannel audio and applies an algorithm to best represent 7.1 discrete sources of sound). The Arctis 3 also comes ready with a suspension headband (for optimal comfort and easy adjustment), ear cushions made by patented airweave fabric and a retractable noise-cancelling bi-directional microphone (SteelSeries calls it ClearCast) that features a frequency response of 100HZ-10KHz, -48dB sensitivity and 2200Ohm impedance.