Arctis 3 Console Edition Wired Gaming Headset [Review] (steelseries)

Arctis 3 (steelseries) Wired Console Edition Gaming Headset

MSRP: $69.99
Price Paid: $39.99*
Devices Tested On: Xbox Series S, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 4, MacBook Pro, PC

*Reviewed for value at $39.99 pricepoint! I would not recommend these at anything above $40-$50 range at this point though. I recently reviewed the Arctis 1 headset (5/10 score) which cost $49.99 and was not pleased with the results. This headset is better in most categories.  I like to Score reviews 0-100 or 0-10 with 70/100 and 7/10 being barely average. 

I Disagree With Every Statement Here & These Were Made at MSRP

Overall Score 7/10 ( Barely Average)

The Good

🔥Overall Sound quality is good!
🔥Mid-Range Sounds Are Good 
🔥Sound Clarity Is Good

The Bad

👎Microphone is Below Average!
👎Uncomfortable while wearing eyeglasses!
👎Overall Design & Comfort Is Not Good!
👎MSRP of $69.99 is way too high! 
👎Sound could have been calibrated better. This headset underperformed the specs!

The Arctis 3 Console Edition Headset  (entry level headset) much like the Arctis 1 seems to be highly overrated by mainstream Reviewers but it is considerably better than the A1. At the end of the day,  if you can pick these up at $40, it wasn't a bad buy. This headset would be a 6/10 tops at MSRP. These are fine for general game playing but if you are big into streaming, you'll want to find something a little nicer. These are good enough to make it into my rotation as a backup headset or one I use occasionally.  For $40, I'm happy with the buy. 

Design & Comfort *D

The design isn't the best,  but it is a massive improvement over what I saw with the Arctis 1 headset. The velcro strap "headband" style of adjusting the fit works pretty well and these are big enough for a wide range size of heads. A lot like the A1, I feel there's more room at the top than needed and it's too narrow around the ears. 

 No matter how you adjust them,  if you wear eyeglasses, they will push against the sides of the frames which is the main negative with these. The foam used with the earcups feels like average quality this time and is a step up. This headset is pretty stable and offers enough side to side movement to remain fairly comfortable for extended game sessions. This headset is less bulky and feels more premium that the previous steelseries Headset I tested out. 

Microphone *D

The boom microphone is a slight step backwards from the Arctis 1 unfortunately. They opted for a retractable mic which is convenient for storage but they used very flimsy material, so it's difficult to position well and it flops out of position easily. It does transmit clear even with background noise but not quite as clear as the A1. 

Overall Build Quality *C

There's a lot of cheap plastic here still but it feels more substantial and more refined than the Arctis 1 did. The plastic is smooth and doesn't have jagged or sharp edges this time. All in all, the build quality is above average. This headset should last for a long while. While the quality and build design are better. There wasn't a lot of thought that went into the design which is what keeps these in an average rating category. 

Overall Sound *B-

Overall Sound is a considerable improvement this time around due to clarity and better sound balance. They are still a bit on the quiet side even with the volume up high but are a little better than the A1. Unlike the A1, these aren't too bad for listening to music as well, especially if you use a headphone amp. They do sound a LOT better on computer than they do listening to music from Portable devices. To get a full range of sound on the go,  a cheap headphone amp is almost necessary. This headset is almost (but not) good enough for noisy environments and on the go gaming. 

Bass *C 

Bass delivery is "ok" with headset. I found the mid range Bass to not be as well defined as it was with the Arctis 1, but the Highs and Lows are a little better. You would not get big Bass out of these, but it's fairly well balanced for gaming and is decent for music. Unlike with the Arctis 1, the highs are more clear with this one. All in all, it's fine for gaming. 

Treble *C

Treble with this headset is clear but average. Again,  it's fine for gaming and below average for music. Unlike the A1, it's a little more balanced this time around. 

Mid-Range Sound *B

Mid-range sound is actually above average which is a big improvement over the A1. The lower range of mid sound is again slightly overemphasized but not enough to make a big difference. 

Sound Clarity *B

Sound clarity is good. It could have been great if the headset was a little louder. Just like the A1, this is a fairly quiet headset even at high volume. The clarity is great for in game communication and will work well for most gamers. 

Soundstage Quality *C

Passive Soundstage with this headset is average which is a big improvement over past steelseries headsets I've tried. It's definitely very wide a lot like the A1 but has some depth to it. 

Sound Isolation *C

Sound isolation is pretty average with this headset like most areas. Due to better cushions this time around and better stability, the headphones don't shift on the head a lot which definitely helps. This should be fine for use indoors out quiet areas outdoors. 

Noise Separation *C

Noise Separation Is a step backwards with the pretty bad microphone that doesn't separate noise well. It's still serviceable and about what I'd expect from a $40 ranged headset. 

Sound Leak *C

Sound Leak is decent on these although it's still hard to test since these are not loud at all. Cranked up to max volume, you can't hear them far away unless you have a headphone amp hooked up and then it's pretty noticeable. 

Other Functions/Uses 

This is a very basic headset that could be used for music and watching movies too but not at a very good quality. For most people, this headset will be fine in a pinch. There's no USB connection or firmware options, so fine tuning the sound will depend on the device you are using. 

Look *C

These are semi-stylish and look less bulky and more modern than the A1 headset. They do look cheap especially up close so they tend to look best from a far off view. 

Which Console Do They Sound Best On? 

There's not a huge difference,  but I found this headset to sound better with the PlayStation 4 and Nintendo Switch. The Xbox One S want quite as good but that seems to be the case which most headsets. 

How To Make Them Sound Better

Without USB, firmware options or updates,  you are very limited to what you can do with these. A headphone amp will drastically boost performance when you don't need a mic. 

In The End 

There's really not a lot I can say about these as it's a pretty average headset. Don't let the glowing reviews fool you.. you are not getting a high end headset out of these but if you can find them for around $40 like I did,  it's a decent buy. 

Manufacturer Specs 

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