After the new edition of the Aerox 3 already scored in our test, the Danish manufacturer sends another nager to the start. The design is similarly airy, but offers a total of nine buttons – including a rocker switch on the side. Our SteelSeries Aerox 5 Wireless review explains how the gaming mouse performs.
|Ergonomics||Symmetrical (for right-handed users)|
|Sensor||SteelSeries TrueMove Air|
|CPI||100 – 18,000|
|Sampling rate||1,000 Hz|
|Number of keys||9|
|Switch||Golden Micros mechanical switches (for 80 million clicks)|
|Lighting||RGB; 3 zones|
|Dimension (at widest points)||128.8 mm x 68.2 mm x 42.1 mm|
|Length / material of the cable||2.0 meters / fabric jacket|
|Connection||USB Type-A to USB Type-C; 2.4 GHz wireless; Bluetooth 5.0|
|Battery Life||80 hrs (2.4 GHz); 180 hrs (Bluetooth)|
|Compatibility||Windows, Linux, Mac, Xbox, PlayStation, iOS/Android|
|Price||€ 99.99 *|
SteelSeries Aerox 5 Wireless review: the box contents
In the compact box of the SteelSeries Aerox 5 Wireless you will of course find everything you need for use. Besides the mouse itself, the manufacturer includes a two-meter USB-A to USB-C charging cable, a USB-C extension adapter, and the USB-C wireless dongle in the box. A quick-start guide rounds off the scope of delivery.
Design and finish
- Ergonomic design for right-handers
- Optical hole design
- Comparatively large and heavy
From a purely visual standpoint, the SteelSeries Aerox 5 Wireless takes its cues from the Aerox 3’s hole-in-the-wall design, which is a clear design language that extends across the entire mouse line from the Denmark-based manufacturer. In this case, too, the diamond-shaped pattern of openings extends over almost the entire top of the rodent and even takes up about half of the two primary buttons.
The case is made of roughened ABS plastic, which naturally also contributes to the low weight. The Aerox 5 Wireless weighs 74 grams. A pleasant weight, neither too low nor too high.
Overall, the gaming mouse has a length of 128.8 mm, is 62.8 mm wide at the front and 68.2 mm wide at the back, as well as 26.7 mm (front) and 42.1 mm (back) high. This makes it significantly heavier and larger than a Razer Viper V2 Pro (our review), for example.
Slightly offset, you’ll find the two primary buttons on the top, which are interrupted in the middle by the abstract ribbed scroll wheel, as well as the DPI switch. In terms of ergonomics, however, the mouse is clearly aimed at right-handers, which can be seen in the slight curvature on the left side.
This is where the biggest differences are compared to the Aerox 3, which is not only much smaller and lighter, but also only has two more buttons on the left. The Aerox 5 Wireless has four additional buttons. Or rather five, because the top one is a rocker switch that you can trigger both up and down.
Directly below that sit two additional buttons, also with a glossy black finish. In front of that, a slightly larger, silver-trimmed button takes its place. You’ll find another new feature on the bottom of the mouse, as above the sensor sits the mode selector switch, which lets you switch between Bluetooth and wireless connectivity.
Processing of the SteelSeries Aerox 5 Wireless
- Very high quality build quality
- IP54 certification to protect against water and dust
- Comprehensively customizable RGB lighting
The build quality of the SteelSeries Aerox 5 Wireless ranks at a very good level. Despite a holey design, the mouse feels very high-quality and sturdy and does not give way even under great force.
The case is precisely manufactured and does not show any gaps or inconsistencies. An IP54 certification is also offered, thanks to which the mouse should theoretically also withstand liquids. I find the feel very pleasant due to the rough surface, and I particularly like the precise and quietly triggered buttons. The scroll wheel also has a comparatively sluggish, but precise click.
In addition, there is a 3-zone RGB illumination, which we already know from the Aerox 3. Of course, thanks to the open case, this is particularly effective and extends over the lower area, a light strip that runs around the rear frame of the mouse, and almost over the entire mouse base.
You can even apply effects to all three zones separately within the companion software. In addition, the brightness can be adjusted here, while you can also create your own color gradients or patterns. So there are almost no limits to your creativity.
Sensor and field test of the Aerox 5 Wireless
- Excellent sensor with 18,000 CPI, 400 IPS and 40G
- Very pleasant clicky mechanical buttons
Compared to the Aerox 3, the SteelSeries Aerox 5 Wireless has also significantly improved the sensor. Here, the specially developed TrueMove Air is used, which was again developed together with manufacturer PixArt, based on their PAW series.
It has a maximum resolution of 18,000 CPI and is thus more than twice as fast as the core counterpart of the 3 model. The maximum speed of 400 IPS, as well as the acceleration of 40G also reach significantly higher values, which you’ll also notice in practice. The nager is still not on par with high-end mice, but the realized values are more than sufficient for an estimated 95% of users in practice.
The PTFE glide feet fly over mouse pads, desks, or other surfaces with almost no resistance, while in testing I once again found that SteelSeries’ mechanical “clicky” primary keys are simply my favorite across manufacturers.
- 9 freely programmable keys
- Ergonomics for smaller hands only conditionally suitable
Due to the design, the Aerox 5 Wireless is especially suitable for the Palm or Claw grip. Especially with the latter, the side buttons can be operated very well. These are assigned by default with the F1-F3 keys, as well as two additional functions. Of course, you can configure them freely within the software – just like all nine keys.
The position and pressure point of all keys are also pleasing and can be reached without problems – at least with large hands – even in heated battles. They trigger very precisely, but not too smoothly, which makes it almost impossible to press them accidentally.
I personally find the rocker switch in particular interesting in various gaming genres. For example, in a MOBA like League of Legends, you can trigger one ability by moving up and another by pressing down. I could see something similar happening in shooters or battle royale titles.
However, especially the front, silver button, is placed a bit too far forward and therefore only reachable with a slight grip. Especially if you have smaller hands, you might want to try the mouse first. The CPI setting is also in increments of 100 and thus not quite as precise as some other gaming mice.
Wireless operation and battery life
- Connection via Bluetooth and 2.4 GHz wireless possible
- Up to 180 hrs battery life (BT); up to 80 hrs (wireless)
Wirelessly, the Aerox 5 Wireless can be used both via 2.4 GHz radio and Bluetooth 5.0. As always, the wireless mode is preferable, at least for demanding gamers, as it results in a noticeably low, almost non-existent latency (input lag).
The Bluetooth mode naturally allows pairing with many other devices, such as tablets or even smartphones. When you switch to BT mode, the bottom of the mouse starts blinking blue in pairing mode and is immediately recognized by corresponding receivers. This works flawlessly in practice.
As for battery life, the manufacturer promises up to 80 hours of runtime in wireless mode and even a whopping 180 hours when used via Bluetooth. Both are really very good values, which we can largely confirm in practice.
Unfortunately, the mouse does not offer a battery indicator, which is only displayed as a percentage in the accompanying software. Thus, it is quite difficult to estimate when the Aerox 5 Wireless will run out of breath.
Software connection: SteelSeries GG / Engine
Of course, the manufacturer’s all-purpose weapon, namely SteelSeries GG including its engine, is once again used as the accompanying software for the SteelSeries Aerox 5 Wireless, which is nicely clear and structured.
The range of functions leaves nothing to be desired. You can freely reassign all keys and even provide them with macros. Of course, there is also the option to freely adjust the five predefined CPI resolutions, which only cover a fraction of what the sensor is capable of with a maximum of 3,200 CPI by default.
Professionals also get many more options at their fingertips, allowing you to adjust angle snapping – the straightening of mouse lines – acceleration and deceleration, as well as the sampling rate (polling rate).
You can also specify when the mouse should automatically switch to sleep mode when not in use or turn down the illumination. All in all, maybe not the most comprehensive companion software, but I personally don’t miss any features.
SteelSeries Aerox 5 Wireless review: conclusion
The new SteelSeries Aerox 5 Wireless, like its little brother in the form of the Aerox 3, delivers a convincing performance. At least, if you can get comfortable with the airy, holey design, you’ll get a versatile, customizable, and high-quality gaming mouse with handy side buttons here.
I particularly liked the sensor and the excellent pressure points of all buttons in the SteelSeries Aerox 5 Wireless review. However, users with rather small hands might have problems, because the front side button is probably difficult or even impossible to reach without reaching around.
Technically, the tablet delivers across the board and scores with wireless and Bluetooth connectivity, as well as a convincing battery life. RGB enthusiasts will also have to accept that most of the extensively customizable illumination disappears under the hand or the entire mouse.
In return, the price-performance ratio simply fits here, especially since the price has already dropped significantly compared to the RRP. Some manufacturers pay a lot more for a similarly high range of functions.