Steelseries is known for great headsets. To have a great headset you need great audio. With that great audio, Steelseries went on a mission to create speakers made for gamers. The byproduct of that mission is the Steelseries Arena 9. A 5-speaker 5.1 full surround sound experience with a 6.5″ subwoofer over one USB connection. These are the speakers for any gamer who wants to upgrade their setup into something special.
Even if you don’t play video games these speakers are worth a look. These are sleek premium sounding speakers. Out of the box, the speakers included are two front, two rear, center, and a subwoofer. You also get an OLED control pod and cables for power. The two front speakers are powered by 2-way drivers a 0.75″ tweeter and 3″ woofer. These on their own paired with the 6.5″ down-firing subwoofer are enough for almost anyone. Steelseries even knew this. If you don’t care about surround sound you can purchase the Arena 7. There is also a more budget-friendly Arena 3 with no subwoofer. Knowing that there are cheaper options is the price tag of $549.99 worth it? Absolutely.
Movies are all about immersion they want you to get so immersed in the story that you forget you’re watching a movie. Surround sound is key to making that sensation happen. The same can be said for video games. I would say the sound is even more important in video games than in movies because of competitive play. Not everyone wants to chat with friends when they play a match of games like Call of Duty. Most people don’t use speakers because they lose the ability to hear footsteps around them. Now you can. Just adding the center speakers makes a big difference in clarity. There are crisp highs and the subwoofer brings explosions to life. I even had to turn down the bass.
Every time I hear the rear speakers I can’t help but smile. When you hear true surround sound with no headset on it will put a smile on your face. There is a cable that connects the two rear speakers as well as a power cable. So there is some minor cable management. The wireless interaction works great I never had it drop out. They also have the option to screw into the wall for a clean look. The sound is great when all six work together. You can tune the sound specifically for your needs.
I spoke about Steelseries’ top-tier software, Sonar, in my review of the Nova Pro Wireless headset. It applies to Arena 9 as well. you can customize every aspect of the sound profile you want with the 10-band Parametric EQ filter. If you know what you are doing then you can make custom filters or you can use the slew of premade filters. There are also options for AI noise cancellation to make it so your voice doesn’t come through the speakers. They have a headset made specifically for Arena to allow the Software’s AI noise-canceling capabilities and Echo Cancellation for clear comms. Within the Steelseries GG software suite, you can also edit the reactive Prismsync RGB. Yes, these speakers have RGB, why wouldn’t they? There are only RGB elements on the front two speakers but they look great. A very nice addition in my opinion.
Steelseries products are excellent. Nova Pro Wireless headset set the new standard. Because they are from the same brand I thought there would be a better way for the dongles to speak to each other. I was hoping someway the wireless base station could connect to Arena 9. If you have a wired headset it will work just how I envisioned. I think this is a great opportunity for Steelseries in the future. All this to say there is something else that bothers me more.
Playstation users get the short end of the stick. There is no true 5.1 surround sound for PS5. I do find this frustrating. You can use the Sonar software to switch on a synthetic 5.1 surround sound. It does a decent job but there is a noticeable difference between playing PC games and playing Playstation games. Weigh your options if you are planning on playing Playstation 5 exclusively.
549.99 is steep for anyone. For certain people, I know this is exactly what they have been looking for. The Steelseries Arena 9 speakers are for any gamer who wants to take their sound game to the next level. Steelseries found a lane a lot of gamers will appreciate, including myself. Movies and TV shows came to life for me, now video games can too. As Steelseries says “never leave your room again. Go to audio heaven, dream with your eyes open, and find your Arena.”
Note: Our reviews are always 100% independent but Gearadical receives a small affiliate amount if you purchase the product on Amazon.