Must be this tall to ride: SteelSeries Aerox 9 Wireless mouse review

Large hands required.

Photo by Colton Deck / Dot Esports

SteelSeries has been dialing in its lightweight Aerox collection since 2020 with an updated version of the Aerox 3 arriving earlier this year. Now, the company is expanding the Aerox family with three new models: Aerox 5, Aerox 5 Wireless, and Aerox 9 Wireless.

While the Aerox 5 and Aerox 5 Wireless feel well within SteelSeries’ wheelhouse, the Aerox 9 Wireless is a departure from the company’s usual multi-genre or FPS mouse. The Aerox 9 Wireless provides flexible utility that gracefully stays within the bounds of SteelSeries’ Aerox design language. But there’s one glaring issue that may lower this mouse’s value and rob it of an easy recommendation.

Nuts and bolts

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The Aerox 9 Wireless is an 89-gram, 18-button mouse that aims to serve MMO and MOBA players with its wealth of programmability. There are 12 side buttons, a left and right click, a scroll wheel, a left and right tilt click, and a DPI adjustment button that is also programmable. In terms of flexibility, the Aerox 9 Wireless provides plenty from the outset.

Looking at the sensor, SteelSeries uses its proprietary TrueMove Air sensor. The company’s in-house solution is capable of 18,000 CPI. In terms of tracking speed, users are looking at 400 IPS, which is fairly standard across esports-ready mice like the Logitech G Pro X Superlight.

SteelSeries uses a USB-C port for charging and a USB-C dongle for the Aerox 9 Wireless’ Quantum 2.0 Wireless Bluetooth and 2.4GHz connections. There’s also an extender in the box for those who don’t have a free USB-C port on their PC, this can also help out if your tower is too far away or obstructed from your mousepad. As usual, stick to the 2.4GHz connection for gaming and use the Bluetooth for productivity and saving battery, which SteelSeries clocks at 180 hours.

Photo by Colton Deck / Dot Esports

Holding the experience up are two decent-sized mouse feet and one ring in the center around the mouse’s sensor. Like most quality gaming mice, SteelSeries uses 100 percent virgin PTFE in its mouse feet, ensuring a smooth glide out of the box.

Input is handled by Golden Micro IP54 switches. These switches can are rated for 80 million clicks, which isn’t quite on par with the company’s own OM Prestige switches or other optical options out there. Still, for a mechanical switch with an IP54 rating, 80 million will serve any user just fine.

Similarly, the mouse uses SteelSeries AquaBarrier technology. AquaBarrier gives the mouse an IP54 rating that provides some protection against water, dust, dirt, and other debris. A rating of IP54 does not mean water-tight or dust-tight, however. For instance, don’t go submerging your mouse in the sink to prove a point.

Priced accordingly

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Everything on the Aerox 9 Wireless feels modern and fully featured. Aside from the wealth of buttons, having an answer to a paracord cable, a USB-C-focused connection, Bluetooth and 2.4GHz, PTFE mouse feet, and an IP54 rating go a long way in making this mouse feel premium.

SteelSeries Aerox 9 Wireless ticks all of the boxes in terms of what you’d expect to see in a modern high-performance gaming mouse, which is good because it sure doesn’t come cheap at $149. Granted, the price tag of $149 is on par with Logitech G’s far less feature-packed Pro X Superlight mouse.

There are far cheaper options for MOBA and MMO mice out there from Razer and Corsair but the Aerox 9 Wireless has something, the others don’t: an 89-gram design. The Naga Pro Wireless comes in close at 117 grams, but that can make a difference to players who really enjoy dialing in their setups.

SteelSeries does enough with the Aerox 9 Wireless for the price to feel like it makes sense. But this could easily change once another company swoops in with its own answer to a lightweight MMO/MOBA mouse. For now, it’s a high price to pay, but there’s really nothing else like it.

Many clicks, one major snag

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Having a grip of buttons to make gaming easier is an inherent win, and while the Aerox 9 Wireless does superbly presents its layout, the spacing itself can prove troublesome. The company does a fantastic job of contouring the buttons to accommodate a natural feeling grip, but that comfort is interrupted when reaching for some of those aforementioned buttons.

The front three buttons in the side button cluster may essentially be useless for some users with medium hands unless using an aggressive palm grip. Gaming and reaching for the one, two, or three side buttons is uncomfortable and feels like a bit of a design flaw that might rob the mouse of some value for some users. Sure, you could justify the hiccup by pointing to the nine other ones within reach but then what are we paying for here? It’s difficult to widely recommend this mouse to those with small to medium hands unless they truly do not mind not having access to three buttons they’ve paid to use.

A similar issue limits the Aerox 5 Wireless’ appeal since the front most side button requires a bit of effort or adjustment to reach. The Aerox design might just be a bit too large for some users. This family of mice feels like it would benefit from a Prime lineup approach, with a mini option for users with small to medium hands.

Aside from the reach issue, clicks here feel smooth across the board. The side buttons are sturdy and don’t produce any creak when pressed. Likewise, the scroll wheel’s tilt click function is snappy and reliable, if not a little bit delicate. The main right and left click feel light and crispy, which comes down to personal preference.

Grip

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Gripping the Aerox 9 Wireless with a palm or claw grip is comfortable for those with medium to large hands. The contour of the side buttons helps the user feel locked into their grip, especially when using a palm grip. Fingertip grip would defeat the purpose of the Aerox 9 Wireless, so if that’s you, this isn’t the mouse for you.

As mentioned above, users with small to medium hands might have trouble reaching the front three side buttons. You could get away with using a more diagonal grip, but it’s ill-advised to build your grip preference around a mouse. There’s no point in harping on it again since it won’t affect every user, but be sure to take a good measure of your dominant hand.

For reference, our reviewer’s right hand measures 7.7 inches (195mm) in length and 4.1 inches (104mm) in width, placing their hand within the medium to large range.

Should you buy the Aerox 9 Wireless?

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If you’re in the market for a new MMO/MOBA mouse with a lightweight design, there is quite literally no other mouse that can fill that void other than the Aerox 9 Wireless. While not all of the side buttons can be used, there is plenty of utility to go around on this 18-button monster. Whether potentially losing out on those front three buttons detracts from the product’s value is up to each individual.

Aside from that gripe, the Aerox 9 Wireless is the whole package, with PTFE mouse feet, a capable sensor, IP54 rating, and sound build quality. SteelSeries provides MMO and MOBA players with a modern-feeling design that is more than ready to keep up but at a cost when compared to other MMO/MOBA gaming mice.

Pros

  • Strong honeycomb shell with minimal creak
  • PTFE mouse feet
  • Solid build quality
  • Crispy switches
  • IP54-rated AquaBarrier
  • Bluetooth and 2.4GHz
  • Lightweight MMO/MOBA option
  • Tilt-click

Cons

  • Front three side buttons may be difficult to reach for some
  • High price

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