SteelSeries, with their Prime range of devices, has managed to deliver the features gamers want, at prices that feel ultra-competitive. This is true with the SteelSeries Prime+ mouse, and it is very true with the SteelSeries Arctis Prime—a no-frills gaming headset that delivers all the features you want at a sub $100 price tag.
Looking at the Arctis Prime, you can see how SteelSeries knew what gamers demand in a headset. Featuring the same ski band suspension system found on the higher end Arctis ranges, the Arctis Prime is extremely comfortable to wear, even over long periods. The materials are the right balance of lightweight while still feeling premium.
“The SteelSeries Arctis Prime looks good, feels good, and doesn’t break the budget.”
While not a heavy headset by any means at only 348 grams, the suspension band system used by SteelSeries manages to be comfortable even over long gaming sessions. Keeping the weight distributed across the headset means you won’t face any major pain while using the Arctis Prime. The suspension band system is what makes SteelSeries—and the Arctis range—one of my top brands to recommend for headphones. The Arctis Prime looks good, feels good, and doesn’t break the budget.
The leatherette-coated ear cups on this set are not the best I have used. They work well at passively blocking sound while in a game or on a call, but I did find these a bit warmer than some other options at the same price point. So, if using this headset, on a hot day, we suggest taking breaks, unless you have some good AC to counter this effect.
“…games and music sound clear, vibrant, and noticeably complex.”
One thing SteelSeries did not skimp on is the audio fidelity. The Arctis Prime feature Steelseries’ own high-fidelity 40 mm drivers that sound fantastic, and with the tuning, games and music sound clear, vibrant, and noticeably complex. While not the best drivers we have seen, at the price, SteelSeries have delivered a staggeringly good audio stage that has to be heard to appreciate.
Looking past the ear cups, you will find a pretty standard range of buttons and ports for a gaming headset. On the side there is a volume wheel, a textured mute button, a micro-USB to plug in the audio cable, and a 3.5 mm “headphone sharing” port should you want to share your audio while gaming. Even though the audio cable uses a micro-USB connection, the Arctis Prime is a 3.5 mm-based headset and should work on any device that supports that. So, from your PS5 to your Xbox Series X or even your PC, this headset should work flawlessly.
As with most of the Arctis series, the Arctis Prime features a retractable microphone that I wish more companies would take note of. It is easy to pull out when you need it, it sounds good, and it makes the Arctis look like standard headphones when not in a game. While the detachable microphone works, I find this design far more refined, especially for headphones under $100.
“The Arctis Prime delivers a crisp clear sound that will bring you into the action without making your ears bleed in the process.”
Jumping into games, the Arctis Prime sounds fantastic. While not the biggest drivers on gaming headsets, the Arctis Prime delivers a crisp clear sound that will bring you into the action without making your ears bleed in the process. Using the Arctis Prime for Warframe on the PS5, you hear every bit of action taking place, from the gunfire to the swords slicing through enemies.
Moving over to Call of Duty: Cold War, the Arctis Prime delivers a great cinematic experience with action and dialog noticeably clear and impactful. While you may not get the bass seen on other headsets, the sound you will get feels well engineered and enough to keep you in the game while you enjoy all the audio detail there is to experience.
SteelSeries with the Prime range are delivering peripherals at a price you can’t beat, and the Arctis Prime is no different. While it may lack some bells and whistles of the more expensive headphones in the range, the company has found a sweet spot that makes these headphones an ideal entry point for eSports or just a gamer looking for no compromise gaming audio. If you want one of the best 3.5 mm headphones you can buy, look no further than the Arctis Prime, you won’t be disappointed.