SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Review

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Review
SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Review

SteelSeries is here to freshen up its mid-range offering with the Arctis Nova 5 lineup. Consisting of the 5, 5X, and 5P, depending on your system preferences, this mid-ranger packs in must-have features without demanding too high a cost. And, with a promising new companion app that allows additional audio customization, SteelSeries is going the extra mile to impress. On paper, it’s a winner, but how has it fared during my testing? Here is my SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 review.

Get connected

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Review
SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Review

Compatible across all modern gaming devices – though, users who want to take advantage of Xbox Wireless will want to choose the 5X – the Arctis Nova 5 is ideal for those with multiple systems. I tested the 5P variant across PC and PS5 and experienced no issues.

What’s more, the 5 range boasts Bluetooth connectivity, meaning users can switch to a phone when needing to take calls, listen to music, or enjoy movies.

A winning formula

One of the first things I noticed about the 5P over other headsets is the microphone quality. SteelSeries’ “ClearCast” works well to isolate the user’s voice and the end result is much improved over previous iterations. It’s a marked improvement that I was pleasantly surprised by.

Battery life is another impressive spec, with the 5 range boasting up to 60 hours of life. Once it needs charging, the headset accepts USB-C fast charging, which is ideal if you need a quick boost before an imminent gaming session.

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Review
SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Review

SteelSeries is no stranger to creating comfortable headsets and it’s good to see that the mid-range Arctis Nova 5 features memory foam earcups that are both comfy and cool. I managed a 3-hour Call of Duty gaming session without experiencing any discomfort.

Though most of my testing was conducted using the stock sound profile, I did try the companion app to tweak settings. For those who want to enhance certain frequencies, the app allows fine-tuning that should satisfy. However, for the majority who frankly won’t bother to download the app, I’m happy to say that the out-of-the-box audio satisfies across the board when it comes to lows, mids, and highs. Nothing is overpowering when left stock, which is good to hear.

The downsides

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Review
SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Review

When it comes to a mid-range product like the Arctis Nova 5, there has to be some cost-saving cuts. A clear omission here is active noise cancellation. ANC is a feature that SteelSeries’ flagship products boast, but the 5 does not. While it is nice to have, I certainly don’t think it’s as necessary for a headset used at home in relatively quiet environments.

It’s a little nitpicky, but I’m also not fond of the 5’s button placement. I’ve accidentally pushed them multiple times during gaming sessions, causing some frustration. However, muscle memory should eventually solve that issue.

Final Verdict

At $129.99, SteelSeries pitches the Arctis Nova 5 as a well-priced contender in the mid-range category. While there is some heavy competition out there, SteelSeries stacks the odds in its favor with an impressive range of features that, while not pushing the envelope in any major way, deliver a polished listening experience that will satisfy both casual users and those looking to take things further by fine-tuning settings.

Positives and Negatives

  • Wide compatibility

  • Improved microphone quality

  • Impressive battery life

  • Great comforty

  • Solid audio that can be customized

  • No ANC, which could be a deal-breaker for some


Disclosure: Review sample provided by SteelSeries.

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