Design and Workmanship
Little has changed in terms of design. However, small detailed changes were made and are noticeable in a direct comparison. So the headband doesn’t seem so fancy anymore and is much more reserved. SteelSeries doesn’t want to create an eye-catching headset, but at least an optically quite ordinary model. The brand name is therefore now darker. Otherwise, the colour scheme remains the same – dark, elegant and inconspicuous.
The “Arctis 3 Bluetooth” also differs from other gaming headsets in its slim design. It’s not fat or clunky, it’s reserved in every way. The headset already has this feature before the 2019 edition. SteelSeries thus proves that it knows its own strengths and can consistently maintain them. RGB lighting is not present, underlining the simple style.
All in all, the design is simple and contemporary. We don’t find any points of criticism here. The headset does not appear too small or too large when attached. It fits optically well and is by no means disturbing. In contrast to other gaming headsets, it doesn’t immediately attract everyone’s attention, which at least at first glance actually makes it seem suitable for everyday use.
Controls can be found on both the right and left ear cups. While on the left side you will find a volume wheel and a mute button for the microphone as well as all connections (PC, jack, USB), on the right earpiece there is only the button for the Bluetooth connection.
The headset also seems to be very well processed. The body of the headset is mostly made of hard plastic and looks robust, which is of course an advantage. The head-strap is movable, the ear-mussels work well padded. They have several buttons on them that can be used to operate the headset. We are unable to identify any workmanship related weaknesses.
The head strap is held in ski goggle style. It appears to be relatively large, which makes it appear difficult on closer inspection. However, this impression is deceptive – it is surprisingly light, as is the entire headphone, and nestles quite gently to the wearer’s head. The head strap is hardly felt while wearing.
Also the auricles are light and do not press. Unlike other gaming headsets, you don’t have to reckon with a longer settling-in period. Although the auricles are felt, they never attract negative attention. Another difference is noticeable in the ear cushions: they are now more padded, as some customers complained that their ears could touch the inside of the first version of the Arctis 3. Since this has not bothered us in the past, we cannot give an assessment of this.
In addition, the ears under the mussels remain surprisingly cool and dry. The overheating, which has almost become the norm, and the unpleasant sweating during prolonged wearing phases are therefore not to be expected here. SteelSeries uses an AirWave performance fabric which, according to the company, is based on sports materials for athletes. In fact, we have to admit that the wearing comfort is improved by this special fabric. Even longer game sessions are possible without sweaty, completely overheated ears. Also the fabric stays pleasantly dry.