We all know that SteelSeries has been a big name in the gaming space for quite some time now. Also, they have made this name by delivering premium quality products and other computer peripherals that have earned customer satisfaction. Launched back in 2019, this wireless gaming headphone is among the most sold gaming headsets that I know about. Also, since all of us cannot afford the latest bleeding-edge tech on all fronts, we look for a good delivering budget gaming peripheral to complement our gaming setup. Pertaining to this, here is the Steelseries Arctis 7 Review in 2021. We will tell you all about this great budget wireless gaming headset.
Products of SteelSeries, despite being a couple of years old never lack the quality part. SteelSeries Arctis 7 headset is one of the best examples to compliment this quote.
When we talk of gaming peripherals, the gaming headset is one of the most crowded market spaces that I know of. Why is it so crowded? Because perfecting the sound is very important and not all can do it in a given budget. And who other than Steelseries can do this. Hence you have the SteelSeries Arctis 7 in the gaming market. Though this gaming headphone is a part of a very long line of gaming headset from SteelSeries, it brings with it a Long-life battery, discord certified mic and it is wireless.
The best part about this company is that they not only make good products but keep updating them regularly to keep the peripheral alive even in the daily advancing market. In this article, we will also talk about the SteelSeries Arctis 7P review.
Things to look for in Arctis 7:
- Comfort & Fit
- Sound Quality (Gaming purpose)
- Battery life (Wireless)
- Noise Cancellation
So, to be very concise and straightforward to not waste your time you must know who this headset is made for. There is no point in wasting time reading about something that does not concern you currently. Also, I won’t do justice to the review if I can not specify the audience this headset is made for.
This headset is made specifically for “The gamers who want a wireless solution in the budget for their audio needs in-game.” If you are looking for a headset to listen to music this one is not specifically made to deliver that. However, it can be a good buy but it won’t serve the purpose if you are not certain of what you want to buy it for. Also, gaming is a very competitive and exclusive field and hence you need peripherals that are dedicated to it.
First Impression | Steelseries Arctis 7 Unboxing (In Words)
The outer packaging looks normal like most of the SteelSeries Products unless it’s a premium one. Once you unbox the Arctis 7, you will find a dongle and wires along with the main headset. So, the SteelSeries Arctis 7 box contains a USB dongle (for wireless connectivity to your PC, PlayStation, Nintendo Switch dock, Xbox, etc) and a 3.5 mm cable cord for connecting it in through wire to the multimedia devices. You must be thinking that this is too complicated but it is not. Once you read what we say and how you will have good connectivity you might just change your mind.
From the first look at the headset, all I can say is that the SteelSeries Arctis 7 is a comfy, durable, and sturdy headset that a gamer needs for hassle-free gaming. This headset from SteelSeries has nice connectivity. It connects to your system using a 2.4GHz wireless RF USB dongle and does not prefer Bluetooth. This powerful dongle is certainly a reason that despite all this one shows no latency issues or any versatility problem. Try pairing it to anything and trust me you won’t find any latency issues.
Pros & Cons
If you look at the headset placed on the table you will find that it looks quite similar to the SteelSeries Arctis Pro, which is a beast headset but is quite expensive. You will find the Arctis 7 sitting on slightly offset hinges. The panels of the headset have a slightly matte finish. Also, the padding that this headset feature makes it a comfortable one.
The height adjustment in the Arctis 7 can be done through very stable velcro straps. The best part about this type of adjustment is that it remains fixed at its place and the durability is remarkable. Once I was done adjusting the height of the headphone, I was worry-free about the adjustment part as I knew that it would stay settled at its place for quite long. The strap that this headset features is very comfortable to use and uses elastic. The elastic applies the exact amount of power that is needed to keep the headset at its place on my head.
Since the headset is a wireless one, a tighter grip would have been better. I felt that it was a bit lost while I was walking with it on my head. However, the headset is made for use while being seated, since it is a gaming headset. It is not necessary that you have to be very close to the console that your dongle is linked to, but even the slightest of sudden movement can jostle things a bit.
So, my first impression of this headset was more than satisfactory. However, there is always room for improvement. In the given price range of 170-180 USD, this is a perfect buy. The Steelseries Arctis 7 amazon price is set at 150 USD and you are getting so much more for that price.
Comfortable Padding is gentle on the ears
The headset includes headphone pads that offer good quality hair weave fabric. This fabric is like it sits leather and velvet in rigidity. Just like the earpads of the Arctis 7 Pro, these also are large and fit quite perfectly. Moreover, they don’t get too hot like the leather ones out there. However, they are not the best and for this price, this is what you get. If you are expecting better padding like the ones that have velour with glasses, you will have to lose up your pocket a bit.
The headset has control on the bottom of each side. On the left side bottom, you can locate a mic mute button, a 3.5 mm jack, a volume dial, micro USB, and four-pin ports. While the right side bottom contains the Power button along with an audio switch dial. This dial helps you to switch between the chat audio channel and the in-game audio channel that the headset supports. These modes are represented as Arctis chat and Arctis Game, respectively when you access them on the computer.
Additionally, on the left side of the headset, you can find a retractable microphone too. This microphone has a flexible wire attached to it and can extend out to about 4 inches.
The look and feel of this headset are not that appealing pertaining to the fact that this one is a gaming headphone. It does not match with the gaming aesthetics and hence might not interest you too as the market is so vast this can be a big deal for many gamers. After all, a headset must complement the gaming setup. However, the Arctis 7 lacks LED strips or neon lights and features only the basic lighting which glows only when the mic is muted. Also, as mentioned earlier that these headsets are not made for walking, so there is no point in talking about its out-of-home performance. They are certainly not a travel headset.
Software | Steelseries Arctis 7 review
So if we do a SteelSeries Arctis 7 vs Pro comparison, you will find that many of these are common between both the headsets. However, these similarities are more or less based on the software usage of both Arctis 7 and Arctis Pro. The SteelSeries Engine 3 is the software that most of the SteelSeries devices use including the SteelSeries Arctis 7.
Engine 3 is software that allows you to customize the sound settings of the headset in a number of ways. So depending on your gaming needs you have the option to toggle between the stereo and 7.1 channel sound, this is a very useful feature as all games don’t support higher sound modules like the 7.1 channel sound. With the aforementioned software from SteelSeries, you can also get to manually adjust the output of the headphones at different frequencies. You can even set the audio dynamic range using the same software.
- Comes with SteelSeries Engine 3
- Toggle between stereo and 7.1 channel
- Manually adjust output at different frequencies
To be very straightforward, in a world of moving things, having the software installed on my pc to set up parameters for a wireless device is outdated stuff. Even if they gave an app for IOS and Android it would have been much better. At least you could have changed settings whenever needed. Also, this statement by me is very generic. I am not a supporter of handling a device’s controls away from the device. If you give me a keyboard I will prefer the ones that have all the systems on Board, the same goes with other peripherals for me.
However, the good thing is that almost all of the manufacturers give you software-based stuff and SteelSeries is pretty sorted in terms of software. If you check out other brands’ software for such gaming peripherals you will get too confused.
So, since I got to do the basic stuff and switch between different things using a pretty neatly developed software. For me, it was good stuff to explore through and you should explore the extents of Arctis 7 here too.
The Surround Sound Effect vis-a-vis Gaming on Arctis 7
The Arctis 7 utilizes the DTS Headphone:X 2.0 technology to provide the 7.1 surround sound feature for gaming. The tech used to provide this feature in Arctis 7 is the same as the one that the Arctis 7 Pro utilizes. The best thing about it is that it provides a realistic 3D audio environment to the gamers in fast-paced competitive games like Overwatch and Fortnite. The usage of this feature in the FPS and battle royale games is very crucial for dedicated gamers. The sound is so clear that you can understand the location just by the sound. The diversified sound helps you to ever identify between the type of gun being used or the vehicle nearby.
However, in non-shooter games the difference between the stereo and 7.1 surround sound mode is minimal and there is nothing much to make out of it. I checked it on the new game like Assassin’s Creed Odyssey and Draugen, though the difference was minute, I will prefer having the 7.1 on for the clarity of the voice.
Battery Life | Steelseries Arctis 7 Review
This is a parameter that depends on the usage. However, according to the company when they launched the SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019, the claim was that the battery will last around 15 hours of regular usage in a single charge. Later with a firmware update, the claim was increased to 24 hours in a single charge. Now, that is quite some notable increase in battery life, where people expect that the life of the battery to decrease over time. However when we tested (at an increased volume, average volume usage is below our battery testing volume), the headset lasted for around 17 hours in a single change and constant use. However, you will certainly get more than this, as you are most likely to use the headphone on a lower volume than this.
- Both Wireless and wired connectivity options
- Powerful wireless connectivity with dedicated dongle
- Does not features Bluetooth
- Wide range of compatibility with various device
The Arctis 7 from Steelseries offers both wired and wireless connectivity options to the users. The 2.4 GHz USB Dongle provides high-quality wireless connectivity. The dongle is compatible with Computers, laptops, PS4, XBOX one, docked Nintendo Switch. Also, the wireless connectivity on this headset provides a remarkable quality of sound at very low latency.
You also have the option to connect the headset to the PC, Laptop, Xbox One, and undocked Nintendo switch, using the 3.5 mm cable cord that comes packet with the arctic 7. However, there are some limitations related to the wired connectivity as you cannot switch between multiple audio channels. You also lose various software features.
Talking about the range of wireless connectivity. The makers of the Arctis 7, Steelseries claim it to be around 40 feet. I have tried exploring the extents of my apartment and never faced any connectivity issues or any depletion in the quality of the sound with increasing distance from the main device. This is a general issue with other wireless headsets.
So, for me the connectivity is seamless and you will certainly not have to worry about the connectivity on this headset. However, that dongle can limit your connectivity, you forgot to carry it with you. So, if you are going for a LAN party with your TKL keyboard and this headset do not forget to take the Dongle with you. You can take the 3.5 mm cord along too but wireless headphones while gaming is a better option.
The Sound Output | SteelSeries Arctis 7 Review
A headset is all about the dynamic output of sound and how finely you can pick out each component of the sound. In the case of Arctis 7, the audio output is commendable. This headset offers good audio output with better clarity across different frequencies. Also, the bass boost is a common feature of most gaming headsets, but in the case of the arctic 7, the boosted bass is balanced and doesn’t feel off the beat. Also, you will notice a little de-emphasis in the mid-tone at a frequency around 1500 Hz.
- Precise sound
- Amazing detail
- Good for gaming
So, while playing a game this means that a grenade explosion will be more prominent over the sound of footsteps or the in-game environmental sounds. This gives you in-game leverage as gunfire will allow you to understand the location of the enemy, and this means that you can either take a fight if you are prepared or maybe play more sneakily to take advantage of his location.
However, I won’t recommend listening to music on a gaming headset. But what if you are among those gamers who prefer music in the background while gaming. So I had to test the music capabilities of the Arctis 7 too. The headset is not the perfect one for music but it is not that bad either. In fact, it is better for music than some of the dedicated music headsets. As we told you earlier that the headset is bass boosted, the sound of some soft instruments fades in the comparatively loud bass. So if you prefer EDM or heavy bass music this headset is a good pick for you. However, if you prefer country and pop music, this one can be a bit disappointing for you.
Isolation / Noise Cancellation
This SteelSeries headset performs well on this parameter when compared to others. However, you cannot compare this one with the ones that come with the ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) feature. Though these headsets cannot match the ANC-capable ones, still you won’t be troubled by the general noises around you. However, if the sound is very loud, even the ANC won’t work.
Now, this is something that you call a blunder from Steelseries. After using the integrated mic on the Arctis 7, I felt like I should have been on mute. The integrated mic of the headset has a very mediocre quality from the perspective of a gaming headset that costs you around 180 USD.
To my surprise, this mic has a mention of Discord certified mic on the package itself. Additionally, when the Arctis is connected and you are using the discord, a special icon pops up near the input and output option inside the discord window. This means that there are chances that some software does some voice processing. However, for me, this did not have any impact on the way the integrated mic behaved. It is like a non-certified mic on cheap headsets.
Conclusion, Final words, Should you buy it or not?
It is certainly a good buy for gaming purposes. If you give me 200 USD and ask me to get a wireless gaming headset, I will prefer this one above anything else. This headset offers almost worth of everything. It has good sound, is comfortable to wear, and has decent features. So if you are someone who loves gaming and does not care about the aesthetics and RGB cliche then this headset is certainly made for you. Also, the headset is compatible with almost all multi-media consoles.
Moreover, there are not many big differences and only some fine-tuning is the Arctis 7P. Also, The Arctis 7P is available in the same price range as the Arctis 7. But the availability of 7P in black is a mystery.
To be very true, unless you spend an additional 100 USD you are not going to get anything as good as this one. There will be something about those products that will bring you back to this one. If you find a good deal there, you can get this one for as low as 150 USD. There are not many headsets in this range that sound so good and yet offer so much more.
While concluding on this one all I would like to say is that even in 2021, The Arctis 7 is one of the best budget wireless gaming headphones that you can get your hands on and feel good about it. The sound quality is pro levels and the clarity of sound is very nice. However, you don’t get everything in a headset under 200 USD. Thus you will have to compromise on certain aspects.