PC & Console Peripherals

SteelSeries Aerox 3 & Aerox 3 Wireless in test: (Almost) light as a feather

Two versions, two prices, one extraordinary surface: That describes the new mice from SteelSeries best. In November 2020, the Danish peripheral manufacturer presented two of its latest creations, Aerox 3 and Aerox 3 Wireless. Particularly striking are the perforated case and ultra-light weight.

Like almost everything that SteelSeries produces, the Aerox 3 is designed for gaming. They are therefore designed for precision and speed, so that the user will emerge as the winner even in the most heated battle. The gaming mice were the first in the world to receive an IP54 rating. Despite numerous holes on the surface, they are resistant to water, among other things.

We have summarized in a detailed review what the two Aerox 3 mice can still do, what distinguishes them from each other (apart from the cable) and whether lightweight mice are always the ultimate in gaming. In other words: We put the mice through their paces!

Technical data Aerox 3

Ergonomics Symmetrical (for right-handers)
Sensor SteelSeries TrueMove Core
Sensor type Optical
CPI 200 – 8,500
IPS 300 (on SteelSeries QcK underlays)
Acceleration 35G
Query rate 1,000 Hz
Hardware acceleration none
Number of keys 6
Material ABS plastic
Switch mechanical switches (for 80 million clicks)
Lighting RGB
Certifications IP54
Weight 57 grams
Dimension (at widest points) 120.55 x 67.03 x 37.98 mm
Length / cable material 1.8 meter / fabric sheathing
Connection USB Type A (from USB Type C)
Compatibility Windows, Linux, Mac, Xbox
Colors Matt black
Price € 39.99 *

Specifications Aerox 3 Wireless

CPI 200 – 18,000
IPS 400 (on SteelSeries QcK underlays)
Weight 66 grams
Connection 2.4 GHz / Bluetooth 5.0
Battery life 2.4 GHz: Up to 80 hours / Bluetooth: Up to 200 hours
Price € 69.99 *

Scope of delivery

As usual, the Aerox 3 mice come in orange and white packaging, which is simple but always elegant. After unboxing, the mouse, a product information manual and, in the case of the wired version, a cloth-covered cable are revealed. This is also included in the wireless version in its function as a data and charging cable, but the package contents are supplemented by a USB dongle for the 2.4 GHz connection to the end device and an extension adapter.

Aerox 3 Wireless (left) & Aerox 3 (right)

All in all, the packaging and contents cut a fine figure at first glance – just as you would expect from SteelSeries.

The holes are noticeable, but not because of the design

After unpacking, the first thing to do is to inspect the case and design. First we notice the holey area that covers most of the surface. The principle of saving on case material in order to have the lightest possible mouse is not new. Now SteelSeries is jumping on the bandwagon and brings a lot of holes and lightness to the market with the two Aerox-3 mice.

The case, which is based on the Rival 3, is designed for right-handed use only, because the Aerox 3 mice still have buttons on the left side. In addition, the shape is suitable for both claw and fingertip grips. All in all, the mice were given six switches: in addition to the two on the side, there are two as main keys left and right, a wheel and a CPI key.

The mice look very high quality and noble due to the matt black ABS material. They also feel good to the touch. If you look under the mice, you can see that most of the base is also provided with diamond-shaped holes. Every possibility to make the Aerox 3 as light as possible was meticulously used. A total of 18 grams were saved. But in terms of instability, we can’t find a fault. Both mice passed our test well.

The 200 holes are also ideal for RGB lighting. This is supplemented by a light strip that extends from the left to the right side at the front.

In our eyes it is a matter of taste to have a mouse with holes. But if you consider the reason for this – and that the holes have nothing to do with a new design – it is a good first approach to produce a light mouse.

All for lightness

Of course, holes are not everything. SteelSeries has also made savings in other areas of the Aerox 3. The circuit board has been made up to 50% thinner, the scroll wheel has also lost weight and the manufacturer was able to omit certain components completely due to the perforated surface.

In addition, the Quantum 2.0 Wireless technology promotes a smaller battery in the Aerox 3 Wireless. The ability to switch between the 2.4 GHz frequency band and Bluetooth 5.0 enables energy efficiency because both types of connection draw power differently.

In general, all corners and ends have been thought of to reduce weight. In our opinion, the Aerox 3 has become a good work of SteelSeries. Especially when you consider the next point.

It remains to be seen whether a light mouse is useful for playing or not. At this point the opinions differ. Both heavy and light mice have their advantages and every user should see for himself what he feels most. If you’re into ultra-light devices, you should definitely read on now – we have a feeling that at least one Gold Award is about to be won.

Despite the holes, the Aerox 3 are protected all around

Many holes in the case naturally result in a lot of potential for destruction by liquids, dust and dirt. To counteract this, SteelSeries has applied a water and dust repellent spray to the board. In addition, all switches have been designed so that nothing can get to the sensitive contact points.

Now the mouse would only be attackable from the bottom side. But the Danes have come up with something in this respect as well: The RGB layer not only serves to keep the colors bright, but also as protection.

The entire interior – from circuit board to switch – is therefore absolutely water and dust proof. As a result, the Aerox 3 is the first gaming mice to be rated IP54 – despite numerous holes.

Meanwhile, SteelSeries has a small “lightning rod” to protect the electrostatics in case of power surges from the PC. The largest possible distances between the circuits and the RGB layer prevent further problems.

For us, the combination of lightness and protection against external influences and electrostatics is absolutely successful.

Same sensor, different CPI numbers

Both Aerox models are equipped with the PMW-3331 sensor from PixArt. Nevertheless, the data differ considerably. While the wired version has a maximum of 8,000 CPI, the Aerox 3 Wireless version has 18,000 CPI. The Aerox 3 300 IPS or, in the case of the wireless mouse, 400 IPS can be moved.

As expected, both mice are therefore suitable for all kinds of games – especially for shooters. Lossless and latency-free gaming is thus guaranteed.

In addition, there is perfect switch technology that prevents double-clicks and is designed for a total of 80 million clicks. While 50 million is the average life expectancy of mice switches in the gaming market, Aerox 3 mice clearly exceed this figure.

With or without cable ?

The question is of a personal nature and therefore everyone must answer it for himself. If you decide to use the Aerox 3 Wireless, it should be mentioned that it works with 2.4 GHz radio and Bluetooth like other mice from SteelSeries before. You can choose with a small slider on the bottom of the mouse.

Despite the small size of the battery, this one manages 200 hours of battery life via Bluetooth and 80 hours via wireless connection. Fast charging was also taken into account: In 15 minutes the battery is charged for 40 hours of gaming fun.

With the wireless model of the Aerox 3, you definitely don’t have to rely on a cable, thanks to two types of connections and a busy battery. And it’s not much heavier either, weighing 66 (Aerox 3 Wireless) to 57 grams (Aerox 3).

And two more extras

Up to this point, both Aerox models make an excellent impression, but they can do more. With the new mice there is a lot in the detail. For example, they have been equipped with PTFE sliding feet to make every mouse movement even more fluid. Because of this and the light weight, you (almost) no longer have the feeling of having something in your hand – at least, that’s how we felt.

And last but not least there is the RGB lighting. This can be controlled by the free software SteelSeries GG or Engine 3. A total of three zones have been installed, which are automatically dimmed after 30 seconds of inactivity to save power and battery. With the Aerox 3 Wirless, the lighting also switches off when the mouse is moved, because then your hand is on it anyway and you cannot see the lighting.


Mice with holes, for the sake of lightness, existed even before the Aerox 3, but SteelSeries has perfected the whole idea in its usual manner. All components where possible have been reduced to a minimum of weight. The circuit board has been made thinner, the case has been given 200 diamond-shaped holes and the mouse wheel has also lost weight. The wireless version also has a smaller battery than other models without a dramatic loss of battery life.

And the icing on the cake is the IP54 certification, which means that the Aerox 3 mice are absolutely water and dust proof.

If you’re looking for light weight peripherals, you should definitely take the new SteelSeries mice on the shortlist. The prices of 70 and 110 Euros are absolutely okay in our eyes.

SteelSeries Aerox 3 (Wireless)

Value for money


Ultralight, fast and optimized in every detail. Thanks to IP54-certified all-round protection, all components are protected against water and dust - despite 200 holes in the case. An absolute recommendation for fans of lightweight mice.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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