SteelSeries launches the new Arctis Nova 5 headset and a superb companion app

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5X gaming headset on a headset stand in front of a white brick background next to its box
(Image credit: Future/Rob Dwiar)

The new SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 headset is the latest addition to the brand’s Nova line of gaming headsets - but this launch comes with a twist.

Arriving alongside the headset is the new Nova 5 Companion App. It allows players to browse and pick from more than 100 game audio presets designed and optimized by experts, pros, and game developers. 

This will allow you to go from a profile designed to pick up on distant footsteps in online first-person shooter (FPS) games like Apex Legends, to something more finely tuned to the details of an open world like The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt - all with a few taps on your phone.

Aside from compatibility with the app, the headset itself offers a range of high-end features. There’s QuickSwitch wireless functionality to change between Bluetooth 5.3 and 2.4Ghz connections simply and quickly; and a claimed battery life of around 60 hours.

Throw in the trademark high-quality drivers and microphone, and some extremely versatile wireless connectivity - the dongle enables the Nova 5 to be available on nearly all platforms depending on the variant you get - and it’s looking like a great option for a PC headset, PS5 headset, Xbox Series X headset, and Nintendo Switch headset.

Someone using the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 Companion App on a black surface next to the headset

(Image credit: Future)

While a new mid-range wireless entry into the line isn’t much of a surprise, SteelSeries has outlined the philosophy behind the product. In designing the Nova 5 SteelSeries engineers and designers were targeting three goals: “create better audio for the games people play on Xbox and PlayStation; develop a wireless gaming headset that’s both premium and accessible; and allow gamers to play longer and harder.”

Ehtisham Rabbani, SteelSeries CEO, said of the launch: “The introduction of the Arctis Nova 5 and Companion App, with over 100 audio presets, is literally ‘game-changing’ and provides users with an epic audio advantage for console gaming.”

Whether or not it’s truly game-changing will depend on players and their own preferences and experiences in games, but having that amount of presets within arms reach, optimized by experts for games is certainly an attraction.

Targeting the niche of “affordable luxury” with the Nova 5, the package on offer is available now for $129.99.

The SteelSeries Arctis 5X gaming headset on a wooden surface with the box in the background

(Image credit: Future/Rob Dwiar)

Going hands on


♬ Storytelling - Adriel

I have been testing the Xbox variant - the Nova 5X - of this latest wireless gaming headset and have been very impressed with it so far. 

The headset itself is a cracker. It’s got brilliant audio out of the box and the robust and slick design that the brand is known for. It rests super comfy on your head, the controls are intuitive, and the versatile connectivity means I’ve been able to take it onto every platform for play (and for work) too. On its own, it’s a superb bit of kit.

However, the experience really does come alive when you team the headset with the app and flick through the dozens of presets. There’s almost too much choice - but in a good way. Even if you can’t find the one for your specific game, there’s going to be one that's similar enough to try out.

The Arctis Nova 5 and Companion App (available on iOS and Android) is out now, and you can read more about the headset in my full SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5 review coming soon.

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Rob Dwiar
Managing Editor, TechRadar Gaming

Rob is the Managing Editor of TechRadar Gaming, a video games journalist, critic, editor, and writer, and has years of experience gained from multiple publications. Prior to being TechRadar Gaming's Managing Editor, he was TRG's Deputy Editor, and a longstanding member of GamesRadar+, being the Commissioning Editor for Hardware there for years, while also squeezing in a short stint as Gaming Editor at WePC just before joining TechRadar Gaming. He is also a freelance writer on tech, gaming hardware, video games, gardens, and landscapes and is crowdfunding a book on video game landscapes that you can back and pre-order now too.