PC & Console Peripherals

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Wireless Review: Mid-Range Masterpiece

When it comes to gaming headsets, there is no way around the Danish manufacturer Steelseries. With the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless (our test), they still have the best wireless headset in their portfolio, while the affordable Arctis Nova 3 is hard to beat in the range below the 100 euro mark. Between the three and the seven, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Wireless is another model that offers a strong overall package at a price of around 140 euros and scores with excellent sound. Find out more in our SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Wireless review.

Technical data

The product Arctis Nova 5 Wireless
Design Over-ear
Driver 40 mm (Neodymium)
Frequency range (headphones) 20-22,000 Hz
Sensitivity (headphones) 93 dB SPL
Impedance 36 Ohm
Connectivity Wireless (USB dongle / Bluetooth); Wired (USB-C)
Microphone type ClearCast Gen 2.X , bidirectional, with AI noise reduction
Frequency range (microphone) 100-10,000 Hz @ 32kHz/16bit
Range (wireless) Approx. 10 meters
Battery life Up to 60 hours (Bluetooth);
Up to 50 hours (2.4 GHz)
Charging time 1.5 hours (15 minutes for 6 hours of playtime)
Weight 264 g
Compatibility PC, Mac, PS4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, smartphone/tablet
Special functions 100 game audio presets, app control, dual connection, 360° spatial audio
Price € 138.98 *

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Wireless Review: design and comfort

  • simple, clear design
  • convincing workmanship; but somewhat wobbly
  • outstanding wearing comfort, even for hours on end

SteelSeries does not dare to experiment with its new gaming headset and delivers a design that we are already familiar with from other devices in the range. Accordingly, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Wireless also relies on a housing made of ABS plastic, which nevertheless feels very high-quality. However, the device is a little wobbly in the headband area, which is mainly due to the flexible design.

The outer sides of the ear cups, which bear the manufacturer’s logo, are slightly offset and the microphone can be fully recessed into the matt black housing. The ear cups can be fully screwed inwards, while the headband is infinitely adjustable.

The ski goggle headband is also back, which can be adjusted to your own head in three stages. In combination with the generous, 20 mm thick (and replaceable) ear pads, this alone promises a high level of comfort.

In fact, the Arctis Nova 5 scores with outstanding wearing comfort. On the one hand, the manufacturer has set the weight at a very low 264 grams for a wireless gaming headset and distributes it very well.

On the other hand, it is the soft materials in combination with the 62 mm x 51 mm ear pads that allow the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Wireless to rest comfortably on your head for hours on end. In fact, the headset feels so light that at some point you won’t even feel it on your head.

Excellent and unique operation

  • easily accessible controls
  • Microphone with mute LED
  • excellent wireless range

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Wireless is largely operated directly on the headset and is clearly understandable. On the left-hand side, you will find a volume dial with a mute button above it, which indicates in red when the microphone is muted.

On the right, on the other hand, you will find the power button and the mode selection button, which can be used to switch between 2.4 GHz wireless and Bluetooth operation. A USB-C port on the right is used to charge the battery.

All controls are easy to reach on the back of the ear cups, even when gaming, and provide pleasant feedback. The microphone also has an LED indicator that shows in red when it is muted.

The wireless range of the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Wireless is also really impressive. When connected via Bluetooth, I can move around my entire home without any problems and without sound dropouts or disconnections. Even going to the fridge or the toilet via 2.4 GHz is no problem.

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Wireless also has a significantly longer battery life. Up to 60 hours via Bluetooth and 50 hours via 2.4 GHz wireless are now possible. Almost twice as much as the Arctis Nova 7.

Arctis Nova 5 app

  • practical companion app
  • 100 very different audio presets

However, the new companion app, which is available to download free of charge on iOS and Android, makes operation truly innovative. The “Arctis Nova 5” app not only allows you to adjust some parameters such as microphone volume, side tone or the brightness of the LED lighting, but also offers the option of adjusting the equalizer and thus customizing the sound.

And not just for Bluetooth mode, but also in 2.4 GHz mode with an individual sound profile. According to the manufacturer, there are over 100 different audio presets to choose from.

These focus primarily on many games – including Alan Wake 2, CoD Warzone, EA Sports FC 24 or the F1 series around the current F1 24 offshoot (our test) – but also two presets for movies and series, as well as four settings for listening to music.

And yes, these really do differ greatly from each other in terms of sound. While the shooter presets focus on the treble in particular in order to make important audio cues more audible, the LoL settings tend to emphasize mids and bass.

As the Arctis Nova 5 can be connected to a smartphone and games console or PC at the same time, the acoustics of both connected devices can be conveniently adjusted on the cell phone via the app. Extremely practical, especially on consoles, as the sound can be adjusted in no time at all.

The powerful SteelSeries Sonar suite is of course available on the PC, which allows extensive adjustment of the equalizer and fine-tuning of the sound in a way that no other manufacturer can currently offer.

Playback and recording quality

  • excellent, quite neutral sound image
  • good localization; 360° spatial audio
  • Treble a little too sharp at maximum volume

Without wanting to sound like a fanboy, I’m a big fan of the sound mixing that SteelSeries applies to its gaming headsets. The Danes often achieve a very neutral sound, which can be adjusted in detail to your own preferences in the companion app.

This also applies to the new SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Wireless. No wonder, as the mid-range model uses the same 40 mm drivers with an impedance of 36 ohms and a frequency response of 20 Hz to 22,000 Hz.

Even in the standard preset, the gaming headset scores with a detailed but somewhat narrow sound image that pleases with rich but not overpowering bass, excellent mids and clear highs.

Although the treble lacks a certain airiness, the headset scores with a convincing spatiality that excellently reproduces important audio details such as the footsteps of opponents in competitive shooters.

However, you need to be a little careful when adjusting the volume. At high levels (above 85 percent of the maximum), the Nova 5 tends to exaggerate the treble in particular.

This can quickly become unpleasant, but can be contained very well by adjusting the headset and general volume separately. The wireless gaming headset does a really good job across all games.

Especially in combination with the 360° Spatial Audio, the sound stage is significantly wider, which is a clear advantage for shooters or titles with a more sophisticated sound.

It should also be mentioned that the Arctis Nova 5 is also very suitable for listening to music. Despite the lack of active noise suppression, the wide ear pads offer very good passive attenuation, while the sound in conjunction with the various EQ presets copes very well with almost all genres.

In the gaming headset segment, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Wireless is hard to beat for less than 150 euros, but high-quality headphones for the same price offer better results for listening to music. Nevertheless, it is absolutely remarkable how versatile the headset is.

Microphone quality of the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Wireless

  • very good microphone
  • good AI noise reduction

SteelSeries has completely redesigned the headset’s microphone. The new model is called ClearCast 2.X and offers a frequency response of 100 Hz to 10,000 Hz at 32 kHz and 16 bit.SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Wireless Mikrofon

In fact, the microphone scores with an outstanding quality that is in no way inferior to that of wired gaming headsets – which otherwise have the edge due to the microphone connection.

Your own voice is transmitted loudly, clearly understandable and rich in detail, meaning that the quality is also suitable for voice-over recordings. Of course, the sound can also be adjusted on the PC in a total of 13 presets, while the equalizer allows detailed fine-tuning.

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The AI-supported noise suppression also does a good job and can be adjusted in terms of intensity, just like a noise gate or compressor.

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Wireless Review: Conclusion

The new SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Wireless seamlessly joins the manufacturer’s excellent gaming headsets and scores with a powerful feature set, very good sound, modern equipment and a really good battery life. However, the excellent wearing comfort deserves special praise, which is second to none.

What’s more, the new model has even more to offer in direct comparison with the Arctis Nova 7, which is positioned above it in terms of price. Both in terms of battery life and microphone quality.

Only the somewhat exaggerated treble at maximum volume is annoying, although a better result can be achieved in just a few simple steps. In combination with the unique Sonar software and the very practical smartphone app for console gamers, this results in an absolutely convincing overall package that makes the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Wireless perhaps the best wireless gaming headset currently under the 150 euro mark.

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Wireless Test: Gold Award

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Wireless

Workmanship
Comfort
Sound Quality
Mikrophone Quality
Features
Value For Money

93/100

Outstanding sound, excellent wearing comfort, a very good microphone and an extremely practical companion app make the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Wireless a first-class wireless gaming headset at an unbeatable price.

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When it comes to gaming headsets, there is no way around the Danish manufacturer Steelseries. With the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless (our test), they still have the best wireless headset in their portfolio, while the affordable Arctis Nova 3 is hard to beat in the range below the 100 euro mark. Between the three and the seven, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Wireless is another model that offers a strong overall package at a price of around 140 euros and scores with excellent sound. Find out more in our SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Wireless review. Technical data The product Arctis … (Weiterlesen...)

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