When it comes to cheap gaming headsets for console, it’s hard to do much better than the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1X. Despite its naming convention and Xbox Series X branding, this multi-platform model can also work on PS5 and Nintendo Switch as the microphone comes through the 3.5mm jack.
There’s no doubt in my mind that the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1X deserves to be considered one of the best Xbox Series X headsets, but it also makes a strong case for the PS5 and Nintendo Switch as well. With its strong audio drivers, lightweight feel, and decent sounding microphone at a very competitive price point.
This is the budget gaming headset to consider if you primarily play console over the standard SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1 which is aimed at PC gamers with a dedicated 3.5mm jack for the microphone to use.
Price and Availability
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1X is widely available in the US, UK and Australia from online storefronts such as Amazon and local big-box retailers for $57.82 / £59.99 / AU$139 respectively. It’s often available a little cheaper than this as discounts are quite common. While the cheapest in the Nova lineup, it’s around $10 / £10 / AU$20 more than the Arctis 1 from mid-2019.
Design and Features
In terms of the design of the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1X, there’s nothing that separates it from the standard Nova 1 model barring the black color scheme and the green branding on the ski band strap. There’s no included 3.5mm jack splitter here either as everything goes through the headphone jack either on your Xbox Wireless Controller or DualSense Wireless Controller.
That means that you’re getting the same 40mm neodymium drivers as found in some of the best gaming headsets made by SteelSeries, and the retractable microphone as is featured in every Nova model. Donned in black, it’s an attractive unit and includes plush earcups and a head strap that’s easily adjustable. It comes in at 236g/0.52lbs and makes for a headset that can be worn for hours on end without getting uncomfortable.
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1X works incredibly well when plugged into a console. For full transparency, I mostly used this gaming headset with my PS5 and Nintendo Switch, and my gaming laptop, and found the experience on both systems to be above average for the price point.
When I was playing through some of the best PS5 games and the best Nintendo Switch games respectively. A particular standout was Hotline Miami which I played across both systems to monitor how the 40mm drivers feel through both machines. The pulsing soundtrack came through incredibly well, with the melee weapons and firearms handling with satisfying crunch.
Those games which take advantage of the PS5’s 3D Audio sung particularly highly through the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1X, including Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order. Through the headset, I was able to hear Cal Kestis’ lightsaber as it pierced through the bodies of man and beast alike through the storming rain. Background ambience was also picked up, and while not quite as impressive as my SteelSeries Arctis 7P+, the overall experience is definitely comparable quality wise.
The microphone on the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1X sounds great when being run through a controller. It was especially good when paired up with my PS5, and had a strong clarity which cut through the noise of hectic gameplay. Considering it’s all coming through a 3.5mm jack, it’s impressive, and I liked being able to kick back in a gaming chair or lay in bed knowing the headset was always close to the controller. While I made a case that the more general Nova 1 model should have been USB, this console specific variant running into a gamepad with full functionality excels here.
Regardless of which platform I used the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1X on, listening to music was enjoyable. This was most apparent when binging the back catalog of Scar Symmetry’s technical melodic death metal, and with tamer tracks from cloud rappers like Whiterosemoxie’s Flavors and Yung Fazo’s Wish You Well just to name a few. It’s no rival for some of the best headphones on the market, but there’s little I can fault given the budget nature of the product.
Should I buy the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1X?
Buy it if…
You want a good and affordable headset
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 1X comes in at under the $60 / £60 / $140 price range making it one of the cheaper quality models from an established brand.
You play on a console
Whether you’re an Xbox Series X, PS5, or Nintendo Switch gamer, all bases have been covered by this wired budget performer.
Don't buy it if...
You mostly play on PC
You’re probably going to be better served by a dedicated USB gaming headset such as the SteelSeries Arctis 3.