SteelSeries has been making gaming headsets for a while, but today it presents its first pair designed to handle high-resolution audio: the Arctis Pro.
Actually, there will be two models of Arctis Pro, one with cable and the other wireless. Only the cable pair is capable of supporting 96 kHz / 24 bit audio, much more than CD quality, which is what SteelSeries is promoting here. The wireless pair can not because the audio needs to be compressed for transmission.
Even then, the Arctis Pro can not support high-fidelity sound by itself. It also requires the new SteelSeries GameDAC (a digital to analog converter) to improve the audio signal. But if you buy both Arctis Pro and GameDAC, SteelSeries promises the ability to get a very impressive sound from PC and PS4 games. Both models are also compatible with virtual surround sound.
How they sound really matters more than they are theoretically capable of
That said, it is not entirely clear if this is all necessary. The specifications go far beyond the realm where most people can hear the difference, and it's not clear that most games even deliver the high-resolution audio that SteelSeries wants people to hear. In short, when it comes to headphones, the driver's specifications are not a direct reflection of how they really sound and will work. Whether they are accurate, fun or easy to listen to in a typical use, it matters much more than they can theoretically reproduce given the perfect audio chain.
Because they are designed to play, both models of Arctis Pro include a removable microphone and LED accents that can be illuminated in different colors. The Arctis Pro cable model will sell for $ 180 on its own (with the GameDAC going for $ 250), and the wireless model will sell for $ 330.
That puts the new SteelSeries headsets well above the comparable model prices of HyperX, which is one of the most popular companies that makes headsets for games at the moment. In fact, HyperX's Cloud Revolver also includes a separate audio driver and is supposed to offer "studio-level sound," but it's available for only $ 150.