This will be my in depth pros and cons review for the steelseries Arctis 5 gaming headset. We will go over the glowing pros and existing cons in this headset.
Before we begin I would like to add this note that I went from a 300 dollar headset, being the astro a50, to this headset. I honestly feel like I upgraded, and you will see why in this pros and cons review.
Comfort - THIS is the single most glowing positive in this headset. The Astro a50 headset I previously owned actually left a dent on my head where the headband was. This was because 1) The headband was thin, 2) The headband was not plush, and 3) the headband was not evenly distributing weight on my head. I mean this seriously when I say this is the single most comfortable headset I have worn, ONLY because of the headband. The patented air circulating earcups are wonderful, but the headband on this headset is something to praise. It will distribute the weight of the headset perfectly on your head and actually give you a desire to wear the headset, rather than the desire to take it off.
Sound - It was tough for this 100 dollar headset to compare to my previous 300 dollar headset. I will admit it is not as loud as the Astro a50 would get, but the Astro a50 would reach a volume point where you'd have to be deaf to need that kind of volume. I was very impressed with the sound quality of this headset especially when coming from a 300 dollar headset. The bass is not as booming, but enough for the everyday gamer or music head. The speakers are actually ingeniously designed with a bulge to face toward your ears when wearing the headset, this is something steelseries doesn't mention but I appreciate this detail.
Setup - Not much to say here, this headset is very easy to set up with a simple USB port to plug to the chat volume mixer, which then has a cable that plugs into your headset. (Yes the cable is removable from the headset which is perfect for travel).
Software - Although the headset is plug and play, you will be missing out on a lot when you opt to not get the steelseries engine software. This software is one of the best I've seen across the gaming market, (And I use razer software for my other peripherals). In this software you can control the lightning in many ways, like breathe speed, colors, patterns, and more. You can control how much background noise the mic will eliminate, and there is even an Equalizer in the software for those who would like to fine tune their sound. In this software you will find a special add on labeled 'Gamesense' Where the lighting on your headset will react to certain things in the game you are playing. (For example, you can set the lighting to display your health in CS:GO). Of course, this is just a fun thing steelseries has added and served no real efficient use, unless you have a mirror pointed at you at all times I guess.
Chat Volume mixer - Again, I did own the Astro a50 headset before this one and I must say having a physical volume wheel instead of pressing buttons on the earcups is a huge difference. The mixer works great and is easy to use, it is especially handy when there are explosives going off in your game and your friend is trying to tell you something important.
The microphone - This headsets microphone greatly exceeded my expectations. I don't like to talk about microphones too much because the sound card on your computer will be the more deciding factor on your voice quality.
Overall design - This is just my opinion here, but i love the fact that steelseries kept this headset simple, sleek, and very elegant. The headset itself contains a smooth rubber feel to the touch, and the lighting on this headset is not too much and not too little. Props to the design team on this headset, they did a great job.
Mic mute light - This is the biggest con I could find personally, although it may only effect a certain group of people, specifically those who wear glasses. The mic shines a very bright red light when muted that can get extremely distracting unless you detract it back into its earcup. With glasses on, the glare is almost unbearable from this bright red light. I do wish this light was dim-able or disable-able.
Retractable mic - I am one that prefers flip up mics mostly because of its ease of use and they usually come with a great mute when flipped up feature. The mic on this headset does not go back into its earcup easy, and will push the left earcup off your ear if you try to place it back inside without backward support. So you do need 2 hands to detract the microphone, which wouldn't be so bad for me if it wasn't for that mic mute light I mentioned earlier.
Rubber cable - This is more whining than anything else, but I was surprised to see steelseries not opt for a braided cable for this headset. I can only assume they wanted to keep the headset at its 100 dollar price point. You will get rubber cables on this headset.
I absolutely love this headset, and the cons mentioned in this review can be easily overlooked. I would definitely reccomend this product to anyone, it is very comfortable, sounds great, and has a very reasonable price tag. Pick this headset up, I don't think you will regret it. If you want, you can just impress your friends with the cool lighting effects. I am very pleased with my purchase and will be upgrading to the Arctis 7 wireless when it is released at Best buy. (At the time of this review, the Arctis 7 was not yet released on Best buy). I hope this review helped you in your decision on purchasing this headset, thank you and have a good one!