The headsets share the Nova Pro’s generational improvements, such as the completely retractable microphone, improved high-fidelity drivers, and support for Sonar software (for the spatial audio, parametric equalizer, mic noise cancellation and more). Three variations of the Nova 7 Wireless are available: the 7X for the Xbox, the 7P for the PlayStation, and the 7 for the PC. There are three variations of the Nova 1. For wired gaming, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1 are adequate. The warm sound profile of these well-made, comfy headphones adds more boom to audio, helping to emphasise sound effects like footsteps. You may use this jack to connect them to any console because they use a 1/8″ TRRS wire. They have a boom mic that does an excellent job of picking up your voice clearly, even in environments that are moderately noisy. You might need to readjust their fit each time you use them to get a more consistent sound because they have a closed-back design, which results in a less immersive soundstage and is prone to audio delivery inconsistencies.

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1 review: Design

Right out of the box, the Arctis Nova 1’s stunningly streamlined design and beautiful simplicity capture your attention. SteelSeries clearly aimed to design a product that fits in seamlessly with a PC gaming headsets setup and wouldn’t seem out of place sitting atop a PS5 or Xbox. The Arctis Nova 1 doesn’t stand out from the crowd in terms of features like the AirWeave memory foam cushions, the easy-to-use volume controls, or the retractable microphone that can be tucked away in a matter of seconds, but its simple design is undoubtedly one of its biggest advantages. No matter what game you’re playing, the memory foam earcups and lightweight design of the headset make it ideal for extended gaming sessions. The stretchy overhead band, a defining feature of the Arctis range of gaming headsets, has been introduced by SteelSeries in place of the customary leather-padded interior. Although this initially worried us, the headband is surprisingly cosy and, from an aesthetics standpoint, perfectly complements the sleek design of the Arctis Nova 1. Any lightweight wired headset must, of course, have its build quality questioned, especially when it is priced reasonably. Fortunately, the Arctis Nova 1’s smooth plastic structure feels strong and resilient, indicating that SteelSeries designed the headset to withstand any potential mishaps that might occur while you’re playing.


With a weight of just 8.3 ounces, the Nova 1 is the series’ lightest headset (235g). Due to the absence of a battery, RGB, or changeable speaker plates, it also boasts the slimmest earcups. Although the large, flat swaths of plastic may be scratch-prone, it doesn’t feel flimsy or poorly made and neither does it feel like a tank. It seems like it would function normally in a backpack. The Nova 1’s design is uninspired and has a somewhat plain appearance. That’s probably the biggest complaint we have, but there aren’t many attractive, eye-catching cheap gaming headsets, and the Nova 1’s thin earcups do have a svelte appearance. The “AirWeave” earcups from SteelSeries include memory foam cushions and are large enough to envelop your ears without rubbing against them. Our right ear flat was twice pierced since we momentarily forgot that our job entails testing headsets. Two-day-old cartilage piercings are the fastest way to reveal a headset’s discomfort areas. However, we had no trouble wearing the Nova 1, which is indeed so light that we frequently forgot we were wearing it. On-ear controls are still possible with the Nova 1’s slimmer, lighter profile, and they are all found on the left earcup. The same flawlessly integrated, completely retractable built-in microphone found on all Arctis Nova headsets is present here, along with a volume slider, 3.5mm audio port, and a microphone mute button. A 4-foot (1.2m) 3.5mm audio cable and a 5-foot (1.5m) dual-3.5mm extension cable are included with the Nova 1. It’s a wonderful touch that the extension cable is extra lengthy. The extension cable adds a tonne of additional length, plus we still have a regular, 4-foot cable that can be used with other devices because our PC is under our desk, which is too far away for any reasonable-length cable to reach. you can check our article on SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1 review.

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1 review: Software

The Arctis Nova 1 doesn’t need any additional software because it supports out-of-the-box Microsoft Spatial Sound on Xbox and PC and PS5’s 3D Tempest audio. However, it can make use of some of the Sonar features in the SteelSeries GG PC software, like the amazing Parabolic EQ settings that may genuinely elevate your audio experience. Unless you count SteelSeries GG, which includes the company’s gaming-focused Sonar audio suite, the Arctis Nova 1 comes with no companion software and operates flawlessly right out of the box. The Nova 1 is compatible with Sonar in the same way that any other analogue headset plugged into your computer is the software isn’t in any way brand-locked. The “first pro-grade parametric EQ for gamers” is one of the several EQs Sonar offers for gaming, chat, and microphone audio. Additional game audio capabilities that Sonar provides you access to include ChatMix, 360-degree spatial audio, gain adjustment, and smart audio. Sonar has a 10-band microphone EQ with a few presets on the microphone side, as well as several capabilities to help decrease noise, such as AI-powered noise reduction (still in early-access).

Audio performance

“Custom high fidelity drivers tuned for gaming” with a frequency response of 20 – 22,000 Hz, an impedance of 36, and a sensitivity of 93 dBSPL are included in the Arctis Nova 1. Despite having the same drivers as the Nova 1, the Arctis Nova 3 and Nova 7 were all tested separately. Drivers for the Arctis Nova Pro and Arctis Nova Pro Wireless are different and more accurate. Considering the Nova 1’s sub-$100 price tag, music sounds excellent on it. In Kaskade’s “POW POW POW” and Kanye’s “Love Lockdown,” the bass was a bit subdued (maybe too restrained). Britney Spears’ “Toxic” and David Guetta’s “Titanium” both had better, more balanced mids and highs. Although it wasn’t much, there was some distortion in the lower mid-ranges. The intricacies and layers of Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” were difficult for the headset to separate, but we loved listening to Billie Eilish’s “Bad Guy.” also you can check our article on SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1 review. The audio quality on the Arctis Nova 7 Wireless left us unimpressed, and this headset uses the same 40mm custom drivers. However, the Nova 1 is an analogue headset, and although the Nova 7 also sounded better when connected wirelessly, we can’t discount its performance. Additionally, the Nova 1 is priced at a third of what the Nova 7 is. The SteelSeries Sonar audio software suite, which includes features like 360-degree spatial audio and a gaming-focused parametric EQ, sounds substantially better when used with the Nova 1 for gaming. Sonar is not required to play the Nova 1 games, and voice chat still sounds great without it, but if you spend some time tinkering with it, it offers a respectable level of flexibility and customization.

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1 review: Call performance

The retractable microphone on the Arctis Nova 1 does what it says on the tin, providing noise cancellation with the ClearCast Gen 2 hardware, despite not being a particularly noteworthy feature. The bidirectional mic eliminates background noise and is perfect for competitive gamers who prefer to keep communications clear when trying to secure a victory. Similar to the audio, the GG software’s Sonar suite gives you a variety of options for testing and modifying your microphone sound. There are sliders for every parameter, allowing you to fine-tune your audio before joining a Discord call, whether you want more bass, low mids, higher mids, or highs.


The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1 is the brand’s new entry point into their recently overhauled entire headset collection. The superb Arctis Nova 3’s built-in DAC/Amp and RGB lighting are absent from this edition, but it has the same new speakers, mic capsule, and updated industrial design. This is a fantastic option if you’re looking for a great gaming headset that won’t break the bank and you’re happy with the analogue sound source you’re currently using. It is a clever improvement over earlier Arctis models and a deserving heir to their impressive legacy.

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