The SteelSeries Arctis 9X are good wireless gaming headphones. They're Xbox One Wireless compatible, which eliminates the need for a wireless dongle. They can also connect to a PS4 or Xbox One controller with an audio cable, but they don't come with one in-the-box, and you can only receive audio, which is a little limiting. They have a great boom microphone for online multiplayer games, and they're comfortable enough for long gaming sessions. However, like most SteelSeries Arctis headphones, they don’t really isolate against ambient noise, and their audio delivery is prone to inconsistencies across users.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X are decent for mixed usage. Although they're designed for Xbox One gaming, they can also be used more casually as they're Bluetooth-compatible. They have inconsistent bass and treble delivery, so you may not get the same sound each time you use them. They also don't isolate ambient noise like bus engines well, and their bulky design isn’t ideal for working out. They do have long battery life and their boom microphone captures voice clearly, even in loud environments.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X are decent for neutral sound. However, due to their unique ski-band headband design, their bass and treble delivery is inconsistent and dependant on their fit, seal, and positioning. That said, they're compatible with SteelSeries Engine software, so you're able to easily customize their sound to fit your needs.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X are okay for commuting and travel. These gaming headphones can connect via Bluetooth to your phone so you can listen to your audio on-the-go. They have a 28-hour continuous battery life that should last throughout long trips. They're also comfortable enough to wear for long listening sessions. However, people with larger heads may find their fit a little tight. They also don’t isolate well against ambient noise and don't reduce almost any low-bass noise like bus or train engines.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X are satisfactory for sports. They're designed primarily for gaming, so they're a little bulky and heavy to wear while working out. Although they have porous padding, you may still feel a noticeable difference in temperature when working out with them. They have a tight fit and are stable enough to stay on during a light run. You won’t have to worry about having a cable getting in your way either as they have a wireless design.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X are alright to use at the office. They have a comfortable fit thanks to their well-padded ear cups and their long battery life can easily get you through your 9-5 without a problem. However, they struggle to reduce ambient chatter, and some may find their ski-band headband fit a little tight. On the upside, if you want to compensate for the noise around you, you can turn up the volume on your favorite audio without the sound leaking and disturbing your colleagues too much.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X are good for wireless gaming. Their boom microphone is great and their sound profile is customizable thanks to their companion software. They're comfortable for long gaming sessions, and you shouldn’t have any latency issues using them wirelessly with the Xbox One or Xbox Wireless Adapter. However, they won’t be the most versatile option, as they're meant for use with the Xbox One console or with a PC that has Xbox Wireless Technology.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X are very good for wired gaming. Although they don't come with an analog audio cable, if you have one handy, you can use it with them to game while wired. They only have audio compatibility with all consoles, though, even if you use a 1/8" TRRS cable. They also have inconsistent bass and treble delivery, but on the upside, their companion software puts a lot of audio customization features right at your fingertips.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X are good for phone calls. They have a boom microphone that does a great job of capturing your speech clearly, even in loud environments. However, the headphones aren't able to reduce a lot of ambient noise, which can make it more difficult to hear whoever's on the other end.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X are very similar to the SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition Wireless Xbox One variant as they have a green accent color on the headband. The rest of the headphones are all black. They also have unique ski-band headband design and wide ear cups. Their boom microphone is retractable, and their headband frame is one piece of metal, unlike the SteelSeries Arctis 3 2019 Edition Wireless and SteelSeries Arctis 5 2019 Edition's plastic build.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X are comfortable gaming headphones that have the same design as most Arctis headsets. The earcups are well-padded, and there’s room for most ear sizes and shapes. The padding material is also soft and porous, which allows for a bit of airflow. However, some people may find the cups a bit shallow. The headphones can also feel a bit tight, especially on larger heads, as the length of the strap limits the size adjustment options.
The control scheme of the SteelSeries Arctis 9X is good. There's plenty of buttons and wheels that are not only well-suited for gaming but also nice to use with your phone for casual listening sessions. You get access to a mic-mute button, a channel mixing wheel, and a volume wheel. Also, there’s a Bluetooth button that additionally offers limited music and call management, such as play/pause and answering/hanging up when pressed. The power button lets you cycle between EQ presets.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X are passably breathable. Their porous padding on the ear cups slightly helps with airflow, but you may still feel a difference in temperature when wearing them for long periods. While they won’t be suitable for most sports, they should be fine for casual gaming sessions.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X are bulky gaming headphones, and their footprint is about the same as the other Arctis headsets. They're not very portable as they don’t fold into a more compact form. However, their cups swivel to lay flat, which makes it easier to slide them in a bag or to wear comfortably around your neck.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X don’t come with a pouch or case.
These headphones have a great build quality. They have dense cups and a metal headband frame, which is sturdy yet flexible. The retractable microphone is malleable and feels well-made. These headphones should survive a few accidental drops without suffering too much damage. They also feel more solid than the all-plastic SteelSeries Arctis 3 2019 Edition Wireless and the SteelSeries Arctis 5 2019 Edition.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X have a stable and secure fit as they're fairly tight on the head. They should be fine for a light jog, but these gaming headphones aren’t for physical activity. Since they're bulky and heavy, they can sway around with heavy head movement. On the upside, they're wireless, so you won’t have to worry about a cable getting hooked on something, yanking them off your head.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X have a sound profile that depends on how they fit on your head. Their position, seal, and whether you have glasses or thick hair can all affect sound delivery, resulting in inconsistent bass and treble. Once properly fitted to your head, you should be able to get a consistent sound. With a good fit, these headphones have a fairly neutral sound profile that lacks a thumpy low-bass. If you prefer a different sound, their companion software contains a graphic EQ and presets to help you get the best sound to suit your preferences.
The frequency response consistency is disappointing. Their bass delivery can vary - if you have a lot of hair between the headphones and your ear or have glasses that aren't flush to your head, you may experience less bass. Treble delivery is also very inconsistent. However, as the overall frequency response depends on fit, seal, and positioning, you should get a more consistent frequency response once you achieve a good fit.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X have good bass accuracy, but delivery can vary across users. Its underemphasized low-bass doesn't deliver a very thumpy and rumbly sound. However, the rest of the range evens out a bit. The mid-bass still slightly lacks punch, but the high-bass adds a good amount of warmth and boominess to your audio.
Their bass delivery varies noticeably across users and is sensitive to the quality of the fit, seal, and whether you wear glasses. The response here represents the average bass response, and your experience may vary.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X have excellent mid accuracy. For the most part, the range is very flat and neutral, which results in present vocals and lead instruments.
The treble accuracy of the SteelSeries Arctis 9X is impressive, but its delivery can vary across users. It's fairly balanced and even, although a little underemphasized in the low-treble, which can slightly veil vocals and lead instruments. There's also a small peak in the mid-treble that can make some sibilants a bit sharp and piercing, especially on already bright tracks.
However, their treble delivery consistency is sub-par. They're quite sensitive to positioning, and the response here represents the average response, so your experience may vary.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X have very good peaks and dips performance. There's a sustained peak throughout the bass range, which adds a touch of warmth, thump, and punch to your mix. There's also a peak in the mid-treble that overemphasizes sibilants like cymbals and makes them a bit piercing.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X have great imaging. There are some peaks in the bass range, but it's not enough to affect the tightness of the bass significantly, especially as most of the bumps are under their LFE. Also, the L/R drivers of our test unit are well-matched, ensuring the accurate placement and localization of objects such as voices, instruments, and footsteps in the stereo image. However, these results are only valid for our test unit, and yours may perform differently.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X have an okay passive soundstage. There's a lot of pinna activation, but it’s not very accurate. That said, the soundstage is perceived as being relatively large as if it's coming from in front of your head. It's a bit unnatural-sounding, though, and their closed-back design makes them less open-sounding than some open-back headphones like the Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2017.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X have a virtual soundstage feature via Windows Sonic Spatial Audio, but we don't currently test the performance of this feature.
These headphones have decent weighted harmonic distortion performance. Although there's a small peak in the high-treble, it likely won't be audible to most listeners. Overall, all frequencies fall within good limits, which should result in clear and pure audio reproduction.
These are the settings used to test the SteelSeries Arctis 9X, and our results are only valid when using these settings.
These headphones have poor isolation performance. The SteelSeries Arctis 9X don’t passively isolate in the bass range, so they let in bass-range noise like the rumble of plane and bus engines. While they do a slightly better job in the mid-range, they won't be the best choice for blocking ambient speech at work. They're able to reduce a decent amount of treble noise such as the hum of an A/C fan, though.
The leakage performance is good. The significant portion of their leakage is concentrated in the mid-range and sounds fuller than that of in-ears and earbuds, but not as loud and full as open-back headphones. On the upside, the overall level of leakage isn't very loud, and you should be able to listen to your audio at a high volume without disturbing your colleagues too much.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X have a retractable boom microphone.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X's boom microphone has great recording quality. Your voice sounds full-bodied, clear, and detailed. However, the mic is noticeably bright, which could help with cutting through the game audio, but it won't sound neutral.
The boom microphone has excellent noise handling. It can separate speech from ambient noise even in the most demanding environments, like a gaming event.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X's battery performance is great. The battery offers about 28 hours of continuous playback and only takes about two hours to fully charge. You can also still receive audio while they're charging, which is convenient. However, while they can be used passively with a 1/8" audio cable, there isn't one included in the box.
These headphones have great companion software called SteelSeries Engine. To use it, these headphones need to be connected via the USB cable. You won’t be able to use them wired via USB on PC. This easy-to-use software has a 10-band graphic EQ, four editable presets, and microphone level adjustment as well as sidetone control. You can also save different profiles and switch between them. Also, you can disable the Bluetooth auto-startup when the headphones are turned on. While these headphones support Xbox’s native Windows Sonic Spatial Audio, you can’t control it inside the app.
Note: Some users have reported an issue with the headphones' volume decreasing when EQ settings are applied. We did a test and can confirm that when connected via Bluetooth or USB and EQ changes are applied, the volume decreases. We aren't sure what causes this but will update if we get more information. Please comment in the discussions below if you have experienced a similar issue.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X have fair Bluetooth connectivity. They can be used to stream music from your phone when gaming on the Xbox One, which is convenient if you like to use your headphones for more casual use. However, they don't have multi-device or NFC pairing. They also have quite a bit of latency on PC when streaming videos. While their iOS and Android latency are a bit lower, it's worth noting that some apps and devices compensate for lag, so your real-life mileage may vary.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X have decent non-Bluetooth wireless capabilities. With their Xbox Wireless Adapter, they have a slightly higher latency than most wireless gaming headsets, but the delay shouldn't be that noticeable.
Although the SteelSeries Arctis 9X don’t come with a 1/8” audio cable in-the-box, they support audio over their 1/8” jack. However, you won't be able to use the microphone, even if you're using a TRRS connector.
These headphones are audio-only compatible when plugged into a PC or a PS4 controller, and you won't be able to use your microphone. However, they're also compatible with PCs that have Xbox One Wireless Technology. If you don't have this technology on your PC, you have to purchase a USB adapter for them to work.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X are fully compatible with Xbox One Wireless. You can also plug these headphones into your controller with an audio cable, but you only receive audio.
Update 06/19/2019: We've updated the Xbox One compatibility value to reflect support for both mic and audio. It uses the same proprietary wireless connection as the Xbox controllers and the Microsoft wireless adapter. Although the wireless adapter doesn't work with the Xbox One, the headphones work without it, so the score has been adjusted.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X work with the Xbox One thanks to the Xbox Wireless Technology, which is also available on some PCs, meaning a dock isn’t necessarily needed. However, since our testing PC doesn’t have this technology built-in, we purchased an Xbox Wireless Adapter to better represent the headset's performance on the Xbox One. With this adapter, you can fully use the headset on PC, but it won’t be compatible with the PS4, and obviously won’t be needed on the Xbox One.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X are good wireless gaming headphones that set themselves apart by being specifically designed for the Xbox One. They use Xbox Wireless Technology to connect to this console, just like you would with a controller. However, these headphones won’t be as versatile as other models as they're not compatible with PS4 consoles or with PCs that don't have an adapter. They work with PCs that use Xbox Wireless Technology, though. See our recommendations for the best gaming headsets for Xbox One, the best gaming headsets for PS4, and the best wireless gaming headsets.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X Wireless and Astro A50 Gen 3 Wireless 2017 are both good gaming headphones, but for different reasons. The SteelSeries have a better microphone recording quality, and their battery life is also noticeably longer lasting. With the SteelSeries, you can stream music from a Bluetooth source at the same time as playing games. They can also be used passively with a 1/8” audio cable, while the Astro don’t have the appropriate jack. On the other hand, the Astro are more comfortable and have lower wireless latency. They also deliver sound more consistently across users than the SteelSeries.
While the Astro A40 TR Headset + MixAmp Pro 2017 and the SteelSeries Arctis 9X Wireless are similarly performing wired gaming headphones, the SteelSeries are particularly suited for those who game exclusively on the Xbox One. The Astro are slightly more comfortable and have a MixAmp that some may enjoy for making adjustments to their audio. They're more versatile since they can easily be plugged into most consoles and receive both audio and microphone support. The SteelSeries, on the other hand, have a virtual surround feature, leak less sound, and can be used wirelessly. They also have a 28-hour battery life that can also be used passively when you're out of battery.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X Wireless are better overall gaming headphones than the Razer Nari Ultimate Wireless, especially if you game exclusively on the Xbox One. The SteelSeries have better controls, they're more stable, and they leak less. Their boom microphone also performs better and their continuous battery life is much higher than the Razer's 5.3 hours.
The SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless are better-suited for PC and PS4 gaming while the SteelSeries Arctis 9X Wireless are better for gaming on the Xbox One. Although you can EQ both headphones using SteelSeries Engine software, the Pro have a nice dual-battery system that lets you charge one battery while using the other one. Both are Bluetooth-compatible too, but the Pro also have full mic and audio support when used wired on all consoles. However, if you mainly game on Xbox One, the 9X will still offer better value as they support Xbox One Wireless, unlike the Pro.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X Wireless are better performing gaming headphones, but the Plantronics RIG 800LX Wireless are more versatile since they can be used with PS4, Xbox One, and PC. The SteelSeries are designed for the Xbox One only. The Plantronics also have better wireless latency. On the other hand, the SteelSeries have a nice companion app with customization options, they are also Bluetooth compatible, and they don’t require a transmitter to work. Their microphone recording quality is noticeably better, and their overall build feels more solid. If you only play on Xbox One, the SteelSeries are the better option, but if you need a versatile headset, the Plantronics might be a better alternative.
The SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition Wireless and the SteelSeries Arctis 9X are fairly similar headphones, but the 7 may be a better option for most as the 9X are designed specifically for Xbox One. When used wirelessly, the 7 have lower latency and they also support voice chat when used wired. On the other hand, the Arctis 9X are also Bluetooth compatible, meaning you can use them on-the-go with your phone. Other than that, the build of both headsets are pretty much identical and as comfortable.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X Wireless are much better wireless gaming headphones than the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Wireless. While they both can mix audio from a Bluetooth source, the SteelSeries have a better microphone, their battery lasts over twice as long, and they feel much better-built.
The SteelSeries Arctis 9x Wireless and the Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless 2019 are both very good wireless gaming headphones for the Xbox One, but the Astro perform better overall. The Astro are more comfortable as they have a more ergonomic headband design, and they deliver sound much more consistently than the SteelSeries. They also have a better microphone and come with a neat charging dock. However, the SteelSeries connect more conveniently via Xbox Wireless and support Bluetooth so you can mix in audio from your mobile device while gaming. The SteelSeries battery also lasts longer, and they charge much more quickly.