Steelseries arctis 1 vs. 3 : Which is the more affordable Steelseries gaming headset?

Steelseries arctis 1 vs. 3

Steelseries is a reputable brand known for manufacturing high-quality gaming headsets for any gaming device and consoles. The Arctis 1 and 3 promise excellent audio quality at a pocket-friendly price. We conducted an in-depth comparison to find out the better one of the two.

In the gaming industry, Steelseries is a popular brand as they manufacture reliable and durable headsets that cater to various gaming needs. Every headset from Steelseries is better than its predecessor in terms of function and design. The Arctis 1 and 3 are two of its most popular options as they offer decent audio quality at an affordable price. Given that they are from the same brand, they have some similarities and several differences. Without further ado, let us highlight these differences and determine the better gaming headset between the two.

What are the differences between Arctis 1 and 3?

Arctis 1
Arctis 3
0.56 lbs
0.6 lbs
Frequency response range
20Hz- 20kHz
20 Hz- 22 kHz
Detachable, bi-directional, and noise-canceling ClearCast microphone
Retractable, bi-directional, and noise-canceling ClearCast microphone

Steelseries arctis 1 vs. arctis 3- How do they compare?


Available in black, the Steelseries arctis 1 comes with an adjustable steel metal headband and comfortable ear cups filled with a generous amount of memory foam and breathable AirWeave fabric for proper ventilation. It also comes with an easy to detach microphone, a mute mic button, and a volume dial on its left ear cup.

Alternatively, the Steelseries arctis 3 comes with a ski-goggle suspension headband that provides just the right amount of clamp. Additionally, these headphones are available in black and white, adding to the splendor of the kit.

The Arctis 3 has a sleeker design than the arctis 1. 

Build quality

The Arctis 1 features a steel headband with rigid notches, and its ear cups have plenty of padding to ensure maximum comfort when playing games for long hours. With dimensions of 7.5 by 7.3 by 3.4 inches and a mass weight of 0.56 pounds, the headset is compact, durable, and lightweight and is ideal for all head sizes.

Alternatively, the Arctis 3 comes with an exclusive ski goggle suspension headband that perfectly fits any head size without being too tight and evenly distributes its weight to eliminate the pressure points. Additionally, it has athletic-inspired performance fabric AirWeave ear cushions to ensure proper ventilation.

The Arctis 3 has better build quality than the Arctis 1.

Performance/sound quality

With a frequency response range of 20Hz- 20 kHz, the Arctis 1 has 40mm drivers that deliver plenty of balanced and punchy bass, perfect for playing games. When playing Fortnite, I could clearly hear the sound of all bullets being fired. However, I found that it drowned the more delicate sounds when I was listening to music.

On the other hand, the Arctis 3 delivers a more balanced and detailed sound with its S1 speaker drivers, providing an ultra-low distortion for music, games, and movies. It also comes with a 7.1 surround sound for a fully immersive audio experience for various devices, including PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, VR, mobile, and Mac. When playing games, it offers a decent surround sound mode for shooters as it balances the character’s voices and other sounds without the bass overpowering the mids or highs.

The Arctis 3 offers better sound quality/performance than the Arctis 1.

Microphone sound quality

Both the Arctis 1 and 3 come with the proprietary ClearCast microphone that allows your voice to come through with adequate clarity and accuracy. The microphone features a bi-directional design, meaning it has excellent acoustic noise-canceling capabilities, but you will need to get really close to it for optimal performance.

The only significant difference between these two headphones in terms of their microphone is that the Arctis 1 has a detachable mic on its left ear cup that requires plenty of care, while the Arctis 3 mic is retractable that easily bends towards the mouth and found at the corner of the headband.

The Arctis 3 has a better microphone than the Arctis 1.


The Arctis 1 and 3 have a similar weight and use the same plastic body panels and breathable padding in their ear cushions. But the Arctis 3 comes with an easy-to-adjust headband that fits naturally on your head snuggly. However, if you have large ears, the Arctis 1 has more room in its ear cups. Additionally, it has an adjustable steel-reinforced headband that fits all head sizes, although it is slightly snug at first.

The Arctis 3 is more comfortable than the Arctis 1.

Steelseries Arctis 1 vs. Arctis 3- A comparison review

Steelseries Arctis 1 review

SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless Gaming Headset for Playstation – USB-C Wireless – Detachable ClearCast Microphone – For PS5, PS4, PC, Nintendo Switch, Android – Black
  • Optimal PS5 compatibility requires user to change settings on Sony PS5 – disable Sony 3D Audio and then...
  • Take the same gaming-grade wireless on the go using the compact and portable USB-C dongle on your Nintendo...
  • Detachable ClearCast noise canceling microphone with natural sounding clarity, Discord certified

Steelseries Arctis 1 is one of the most popular budget gaming headsets available on the market. With a mass weight of 0.6 pounds and dimensions of 7.5 by 7.3 by 3.4 inches, this gaming periphery is wired and features a closed-back and over-ear design. It comes in matte black and has a removable microphone on its left ear cup, a PC splitter cable, and a permanently-attached cable.

The headband also features an adjustable steel-reinforced headband with ten adjustment clicks on its slider, ensuring a snug and comfortable fit. Its ear cushions contain AirWeave fabric, which is more breathable and still keeps your ears warm even when used for a prolonged period.

When it comes to audio quality, the Arctis 1 delivers a neutral and well-balanced sound profile with a bit of thickness in the upper bass. At moderate volume, the treble is crisp and clean while the mids maintain their warmth, giving the vocals a nice and gentle vibe. These gaming headsets have a frequency response range of 20Hz-20 kHz and 40mm drivers, meaning they deliver rich and powerful bass.


  • Fantastic audio quality with plenty of bass
  • Comfortable
  • Lightweight and durable
  • It comes with a detachable microphone


  • Its bass can overpower the mids and highs

View Price on Amazon

Steelseries Arctis 3 review

SteelSeries Arctis 3 All-Platform Gaming Headset - Black (Discontinued by Manufacturer)
  • Designed for everywhere you game, with remarkable sound, comfort and style on all gaming platforms
  • Microphone sensitivity-48 db. , microphone impedance: 2200 Ohm . Exclusive Clear Cast mic delivers...
  • S1 speaker drivers are engineered to produce a detailed, balanced soundscape with ultra-low distortion, for...

Arctis 3 is a fantastic multifunctional headset. Not only is it compatible with Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, PS4, Mac, PC, VR, and other mobile devices, but it also delivers stellar audio quality and comes with wireless Bluetooth connectivity.

With dimensions of 8.5 by 1.9 by 7.8 inches and a mass weight of 0.6 pounds, this headset comes with an adjustable ski goggle suspension headband that provides a comfortable feel and a good fit. It also features large ear cups made from thick foam padding and containing AirWeave fabric cushioning for added comfort.

Each ear cup has its own set of controls to provide convenient and effective operation. The left ear cup hosts a retractable ClearCast bi-directional mic that boasts of impeccable noise-canceling capabilities, thanks to its high sensitivity rating of -38dB and unique design. There is also a mute mic button on the left ear cup that enables you to effortlessly mute and unmute the microphone.

In terms of audio quality, the Arctis 3 has a frequency response range of 20Hz- 22 kHz and a deep bass range that goes up to 10Db at its Low-Frequency Extension (LFE). As a result, this headset performs remarkably well as it delivers crisp and clean audio with minimal distortion. The mid-range, bass, ad treble sounds come through loud, and none overpowers the other.

Another impressive feature of this headphone is that it houses an in-built rechargeable battery that lasts for a maximum of 42.3 hours and takes approximately 3.8 hours to recharge fully through its micro-USB port.


  • Powerful and detailed sound quality with plenty of rich and vibrant bass
  • It comes with a high-quality bi-directional microphone with noise-canceling capabilities
  • Long battery life and takes a short time to recharge fully
  • Nice-looking design
  • Solid construction
  • Comfortable for prolonged use


  • Discontinued by manufacturer

View Price on Amazon

Final verdict: So, which is better, Steelseries Arctis 1or Arctis 3?

Even though the Steelseries Arctis 1 is more affordable, we cannot overlook that the Arctis 3 provides better audio quality and is more comfortable to wear when playing for extended periods. The latter also comes with a longer battery life, and it is more stylish than the Arctis 1. As a result, we prefer Arctis 3 to Arctis 1.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use the Arctis 3 to answer regular phone calls on my iPhone?

Yes. Simply plug it into your phone using its 3.5mm adapter. 

Does the Arctis 1 come with a sidetone?

Yes. You can access its 4-level sidetone by downloading the Steelseries engine from the brand’s website.

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Chris Miller
Chris Miller has been working as a sound engineer in film production and loves everything tech, preparing information on the various types of speakers, and their functionality features was a project that he had been looking forward to. He understands the need for information in this niche thus the necessity to carry out thorough research and come up with digestible information that will help people make the right choices. Many people lack the relevant knowledge when it comes to getting the right speakers for different applications. Miller has thus compiled current and comprehensive information to help take the guesswork out of speaker selection. Miller is a husband and a father to a little adorable girl, when not researching, Miller runs a music shop.


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