SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless Gaming Headset review: Wireless perfection for your Nintendo Switch and beyond

I spent over 20 hours testing the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless Headset to see how it worked. While evaluating it, I considered comfort, volume, price, sound quality, and convenience. The thing that makes this wireless controller stand out is that it's readily available to use with just about any gaming device you own, whether it be PC, Android phone, or console. Unlike other wireless headsets, this one comes with its own dongle transmitter, so it easily works with the Nintendo Switch right out of the box.

In addition to the wireless transmitter, it comes with a USB-A adapter cable, a 3.5 mm audio cable, and a removable microphone. I tested it on my Nintendo Switch, Nintendo Switch Lite, PS4, Android smartphone, and my PC. It worked beautifully on each of these devices. It's definitely got its flaws, but overall this is a great headset for any gamer, especially if you play on multiple devices. Just note that it only works with a smartphone that features a USB-C port.

The Good

  • Comes with USB-C wireless transmitter
  • Comes with USB-A adapter cable
  • Comes with USB-B charging cable
  • Comes with 3.5 mm audio cable-
  • Comfortable fit
  • Great sound quality
  • Removable microphone
  • Controls on left headphone

The Bad

  • Doesn't come with carrying bag
  • Can't use wirelessly with Xbox One

If you're a Nintendo Switch owner, you probably are well aware that the hybrid console doesn't have built-in Bluetooth, which means that you can't use wireless headphones as easily as you can with other consoles. What I love about the Arctis 1 Wireless Headset is that it comes with everything you need to use the headset wirelessly on the Nintendo Switch, whether you're playing in handheld mode or docked mode.

To play in handheld mode, you simply insert the USB-C transmitter into the bottom of your Switch. If you're wanting to play in docked mode, you connect the USB-A adapter to your Dock and then plug the USB-C transmitter into the other end of the cable. When I tested, the headphones worked right away in both scenarios.

A great gaming headset

SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless Headset: What I like

I really like the sound quality on these headphones. The audio comes through clear and the volume controls have a decent range. I was able to get about 20 hours of battery life out of this headset before it needed a recharge. It's not as long as some other headphones, but it's definitely long enough to last you through a few gaming sessions. It comes with a USB-A to micro USB adapter to easily charge the device when the battery gets low.

I love having a detachable microphone cause, let's face it, most Nintendo Switch games don't have a need for one. However, if I want to jump onto Fortnite, I can easily attach the microphone and talk to my buddies. When communicating with others online, my voice comes through clear and loud without issue. It's definitely not the best microphone in the world, but it shouldn't give you any significant problems.

I wore these headphones for several hours at a time and I never experienced any head fatigue or pressure like I do with some other headsets. They adjust comfortably and have a decent amount of cushion. I also love how easy it is to adjust the volume or mute buttons while I'm wearing them. I can seamlessly make an adjustment without taking time away from my game.

While I spent most of my time testing it on the Nintendo Switch, I also briefly used the headset with my PS4, PC, laptop, and Android Phone. It worked equally well in each scenario. But something to note is that you must plug the USB-C transmitter into each of these devices in order for it to work.

You can do this by sticking the dongle directly into a USB-C port or by plugging the USB-A adapter into your PC or PS4 and then plugging the transmitter into the other side of the cable. It's a little strange rather than simply using a Bluetooth connection directly on these devices, but it makes it so you can use the same wireless headset with all of your gaming platforms. I know that's something Nintendo Switch fans will especially appreciate.

No convenient carry bag

SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless Headset : What I don't like

The first con is a big one - the Arctis 1 Wireless Headset doesn't work wirelessly with the Xbox One. It does work with a wired connection, however, and comes with a 3.5 mm cable for you to plug into your Xbox controller. The lack of wireless functionality with the Xbox One is a big downside if that's one of your main consoles. If you don't have an Xbox One, then this obviously won't be a problem for you.

My other gripe isn't huge, but I think it's valid - this headset doesn't come with a carrying case or bag of any kind. Considering that it comes with the dongle, several cables, and was marketed as being a wireless headset for the Nintendo Switch, I would have expected the SteelSeries to make it easier for gamers to bring everything on the go. After all, it's not always the easiest thing to bring your Nintendo Switch accessories along with you on your regular commute or on a trip.

At least there are Switch traveling bags out there that are large enough to fit your headphones, Switch console, the transmitter adapter, and any necessary cables you might want. Other than those two things, this is a great wireless headset that can work with just about any gamer.

A headset for Switch gamers

SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless Headset Bottom line

The SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless Gaming Headset is a great option for any Nintendo Switch gamer. In addition to providing excellent sound quality, it comes with the necessary cable and dongle transmitter to play your Nintendo Switch both in handheld mode and in docked mode. If you want to use the headset wirelessly on your PC, Android Phone that features a USB-C port, or PS4 you can. Strangely, it only works via wired connection with the Xbox One, but it does work.

It would have been better if the headset came with a carrying case of some kind so you could carry all of the included cables and the dongle along with the headset, but that's not the worst thing in the world. All in all, it's a great choice for any Nintendo Switch gamers who also play games on other devices.

Rebecca Spear
Gaming Editor

Gaming aficionado Rebecca Spear is iMore's dedicated gaming editor with a focus on Nintendo Switch and iOS gaming. You’ll never catch her without her Switch or her iPad Air handy. If you’ve got a question about Pokémon, The Legend of Zelda, or just about any other Nintendo series check out her guides to help you out. Rebecca has written thousands of articles in the last six years including hundreds of extensive gaming guides, previews, and reviews for both Switch and Apple Arcade. She also loves checking out new gaming accessories like iPhone controllers and has her ear to the ground when it comes to covering the next big trend.