Reviewing the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5X Wireless: Unraveling the Top Universal Gaming Headset

Arctis Nova 5X, Gaming Headset, Review, SteelSeries, The Best, Universal, Wireless


In the world of gaming headsets, one common annoyance that gamers face is the lack of compatibility between different consoles. Headphone manufacturers often release virtually identical headsets, with the only difference being whether they are compatible with Xbox or PlayStation. This poses a problem for gamers who own multiple consoles or want the flexibility to use their headset on various devices. However, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5X Wireless headset offers a solution to this issue. With its unique dongle and versatile connectivity options, it is a standout choice for gamers who want a headset that works seamlessly across different platforms.

The Challenge of Wireless Audio Compatibility:

The primary issue that the Arctis Nova 5X Wireless headset addresses is the different wireless audio systems used by console manufacturers. Bluetooth is the default system for wireless audio on most devices, but the latency issue it presents can be noticeable, particularly in online competitive games where split-second timing is critical. To overcome this problem, Microsoft and Sony have developed their proprietary wireless audio systems. However, these systems are not interoperable, making it difficult for headset manufacturers to support both Xbox and PlayStation compatibility without increasing costs significantly.

The Ingenious Solution: The Dongle:

The Arctis Nova 5X Wireless headset tackles this compatibility problem with its innovative dongle. While the headset is primarily designed for the Xbox Series X/S, the USB-C 2.4 GHz dongle features a small switch that allows users to swap between Xbox compatibility and compatibility with other devices. This means that the headset can be seamlessly used with a PlayStation 5, Nintendo Switch, PC, or even a smartphone simply by plugging in the dongle. This versatility sets the Arctis Nova 5X Wireless apart from other gaming headsets, where Xbox compatibility is typically the exception rather than the norm.

Bluetooth Connectivity and Multi-Tasking:

Another notable feature of the Arctis Nova 5X Wireless is its separate Bluetooth connection. This allows users to pair the headset with their smartphones or other devices for tasks like answering calls, listening to music, or enjoying podcasts. While the Arctis Nova 7X Wireless headset, a previous top recommendation for Xbox gaming, also features Bluetooth and 2.4 GHz audio playback simultaneously, the Arctis Nova 5X Wireless only permits listening to either Bluetooth or 2.4 GHz audio at a given time. However, the headset conveniently incorporates a button on the right ear cup to easily switch between the two audio sources. In my personal experience, the transition was seamless, making it incredibly useful for managing different tasks.

Enhanced Battery Life:

The Arctis Nova 7X Wireless headset had previously been a strong contender, but the battery life of the Arctis Nova 5X Wireless surpasses it significantly. SteelSeries claims that the headset offers approximately 60 hours of battery life on a single charge, whereas the Arctis Nova 7X Wireless lasts for less than 40 hours. While the use of Bluetooth mode can reduce the battery life, my testing revealed that I was able to achieve close to 40 hours of battery life with mixed use, which is still longer than what most gaming headsets on the market offer.

Additionally, the Arctis Nova 5X Wireless supports quick charging via USB-C, allowing for impressive mileage from just a 15-minute charging session. SteelSeries claims that a mere 15-minute charge provides six hours of gameplay, which I found to be accurate based on my own usage. The headset’s quick-charging capability is a significant advantage for gamers who need a quick power boost before their gaming sessions, avoiding lengthy downtime while waiting for the headset to charge fully.

The SteelSeries GG Mobile Companion App:

An exciting addition to the Arctis Nova 5X Wireless headset is its support for the SteelSeries GG mobile companion app. This app allows users to customize their game’s audio settings, providing a personalized experience. Compared to the SteelSeries GG app for PC, the mobile companion app offers a simpler and more enjoyable user interface, making it easier to tweak audio settings to your liking. While SteelSeries has not explicitly stated that the app will be supported for other headsets, it is my hope that they will extend this compatibility to their other headsets in the future.


The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 5X Wireless headset addresses a long-standing frustration for gamers seeking a versatile gaming headset that works seamlessly across different platforms. Its unique dongle solves the problem of compatibility between Xbox and PlayStation, making it an excellent choice for gamers who own multiple consoles or desire flexibility in their gaming accessories. The headset’s Bluetooth connectivity and multi-tasking capabilities further enhance its versatility by allowing users to switch between audio sources effortlessly. Additionally, the impressive battery life and quick-charging capability of the Arctis Nova 5X Wireless ensure that gamers can enjoy extended gaming sessions without interruptions. Furthermore, the support for the SteelSeries GG mobile companion app adds a layer of customization and personalization to the headset’s audio settings. Overall, the Arctis Nova 5X Wireless is a standout gaming headset that combines innovative features with exceptional performance to enhance the gaming experience for enthusiasts across various platforms.

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