SteelSeries is known for setting the bar high when it comes to gamers and their gear. I hadn’t had the chance to check out one of their headsets personally yet, so when the SteelSeries Arctis 9X Wireless Gaming Headset for Xbox came in, I had to jump on it. I had yet to find a wireless headset that I found functional and comfortable when I’m on the Xbox Series X, and I was excited to give this one a try.
The first thing that I will note is that the Series X wireless capabilities are finicky at best. If your router is too close to where you sit, or the Xbox just isn’t in the mood that day, it is very easy to lose the connection. I’ve had similar issues with other wireless headsets in the past, and the same rang true with the Arctis 9X.
Though this issue doesn’t fall on SteelSeries, it is definitely something to look into if you’re buying a wireless headset for Xbox. The SteelSeries support team notes, “The frequency that this technology operates on can experience minor interference that becomes more noticeable while using a wireless headset such as the 9X.”
“…there is no need for cables or a dongle, making it a truly wireless experience”
Because the headset is set up directly through Xbox Wireless connectivity, there is no need for cables or a dongle, making it a truly wireless experience aside from the included USB charging cable. When the Xbox technology works the way, it should, I absolutely prefer the dongle-less route. The ability to grab your headset when you’re on the go, and not have to worry about forgetting or losing a little—but vital—piece of tech makes life so much easier.
If you are properly set up for an Xbox wireless headset, the SteelSeries Arctis 9X will suit your needs well. The comfort alone makes this headset worth the price. With fabric AirWeave ear cushions and the famous SteelSeries strap-like band, the Arctix 9X can be worn for hours with no issue. I never felt the pressure from the band on my head or had any issues with sore ears after a lengthy Fortnite session.
“With fabric AirWeave ear cushions and the famous SteelSeries strap-like band, the Arctix 9X can be worn for hours with no issue.”
The SteelSeries Arctis 9X Wireless headset for Xbox boasts a decent battery life of 20 hours. In practice, I never even came close to killing the battery between charges, even after a day of binge-gaming. This is especially true if you charge your device regularly after each use. This headset will meet your needs as far as the battery goes.
Along with Xbox Wireless connectivity, the Arctis 9X is Bluetooth compatible, and it can connect to more than one device at a time. Unfortunately, this is both a blessing and a curse. The idea here is that you can connect your phone and your Xbox Series X|S or Xbox One to the Arctis 9X and your phone at the same time. You can answer incoming calls with a simple press of a button and hear notifications without having to remove the headset. This all works flawlessly, and it was very simple to get used to.
The issue that comes into play is if you decide to connect the headset to your Xbox AND PC. Though the SteelSeries Arctis 9X is PC compatible, it is not designed to be connected to both platforms at once. Every time you turn on the headset, it boots up the Xbox, and you can hear everything on the console, even if it’s the PC you’re aiming to use.
I had intended to use the headset for the Series X only, but because of my router location and connectivity issues, I decided to switch to a PC, because I really did enjoy the Arctis 9X. This is where the device became a nightmare. Once it was connected to both, I couldn’t listen to one without the other.
At one point, my son was gaming on the PC with me on the Xbox, and no matter how many ways I tried to unpair the headset, I was stuck listening to both platforms. Even after a full reset of my Xbox Series X and following multiple online tutorials to reset the Arctis 9X to default settings, I just couldn’t remove it from the Xbox. If you pick up this device, make sure you have a platform in mind, and stick to it.
With connectivity and pairing issues aside, the SteelSeries Arctis 9X sounds phenomenal. With Windows Sonic Spatial audio, you can hear every footstep in your games. Playing Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands was a lot of fun with this headset since the dialogue is hilarious. The Arctis 9X managed to separate sounds so that I could clearly hear the story going on around me, even when I was knee-deep in battle.
At home, several of us often game online in the same room, all on headsets, with people outside our household. This usually puts gaming headsets to the ultimate test. I’m happy to report that the SteelSeries Arctis 9X managed to not only block out the surrounding noise, but the Arctis ClearCast bidirectional microphone didn’t pick up the other people in the room either. It’s a great device to use if you live in chaos, like I do.
Coming up at $199.99, it is on par with other wireless headsets of similar quality, like the Razer Kaira Pro for Xbox, but a bit more expensive than Microsoft’s Xbox Wireless Headset. The price threw me a bit because I had a rough start with the SteelSeries Arctis 9X due to the Xbox connectivity issues, and pairing problems. However, those issues won’t be present for everyone, and so long as you head into your purchase prepared, you should be happy with your purchase.