We've currently tested 12 SteelSeries headphones. This brand is known for its gamer-oriented design that focus on low latency, sound reproduction, and microphone performance.
The best SteelSeries headset for gaming that we've tested is the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless. These well-built, comfortable headphones are designed for gaming, and they offer impressive performance. Out-of-the-box, they have a neutral sound profile that's suitable for listening to lots of audio content. However, if you prefer a different sound, you're also able to customize them using the graphic EQ and presets available in the SteelSeries Engine software. Their boom microphone has a great recording quality, and your voice sounds clear and full-bodied to your teammates, even if you're gaming in a lively environment. They also last for over fifteen hours off of a single charge, which should be more than enough for multiple gaming sessions without a recharge. Just keep in mind that they don't have native mic support with Xbox One over a wireless connection, so you'll have to use a Bluetooth connection with a phone or other device that has the Xbox app to chat with teammates.
Unfortunately, they don't have a very consistent audio delivery, so they may sound a bit different depending on their fit, seal, and positioning on your head. Also, they have disappointing noise isolation, so you may be distracted by background noises if you're gaming in a noisy environment. Their boom microphone isn't detachable, either, so you can transition them into a more casual look. That said, these headphones still rank among the best gaming headsets and the best wireless gaming headsets that we've tested.
If you're an Xbox One gamer, you know the difficulties of finding headphones compatible with the console. Enter the SteelSeries Arctis 9X Wireless, the best SteelSeries headset for the Xbox One that we've tested. Connecting via Microsoft's Xbox Wireless connection, they easily connect to your Xbox One, and they have low enough lag to make wireless gaming relatively smooth. If you're looking for a little more versatility, you can also pair them with your phone or computer via Bluetooth. The microphone is great, and it records voices clearly, so you should have no problems being understood by your teammates and opponents alike.
While their classic SteelSeries ski-band headband and soft padding are designed for comfort, depending on fit, seal, and positioning, they can sound different depending on who's wearing them. They're also not the best choice for those with larger heads and don't isolate noise well. However, if your preferred console is the Xbox One, these headphones are a great choice for wireless gaming.
The best budget SteelSeries headset that we've tested is the SteelSeries Arctis 1. These decently comfortable over-ears have a wired connection, so you won't have to worry about latency or running out of battery during long gaming sessions. Their warm and boomy sound profile can help add an extra punch to action-packed scenes in your favorite games. Their detachable boom microphone has an excellent recording quality, so it's easy to communicate with your teammates, even if you're gaming in a lively and noisy setting. You can even detach their boom microphone for a more casual look, which is nice.
Unfortunately, like most options in this price range, they don't have the best build quality, so they feel a bit plasticky and fragile. Their bass and treble delivery varies across users depending on their fit, seal, and positioning. They also don't isolate against a lot of background noises, but this should only be an issue if you're gaming in a lively home environment. Ultimately, they're a solid choice for gamers looking for a simple, straightforward headset on a budget.
The SteelSeries are good gaming headphones. Most of their headphones have balanced audio reproduction and solid microphones, making them suitable for gaming with others. Generally well-built, SteelSeries only makes over-ear headphones, and many of their designs have their unique ski-band headband for comfort. However, it may not be the best fit for everyone, especially those with large heads.
Jan 29, 2021: No changes made to product picks after verifying their availability and suitability.
SteelSeries offers headphones catered to gamers. Their unique design and good battery life make them great for long gaming sessions. Most of their headphones have impressive sound reproduction, too. However, you might not get a consistent sound each time you wear them, and users with larger heads might not find the unique ski-band headband comfortable or fitting.