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SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless 2017 Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.3.1
Updated Mar 08, 2018 at 03:20 pm
SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless 2017 Picture
Test Methodology v1.3.1
Mixed Usage
Neutral Sound
Wireless Gaming
Wired Gaming
Phone Call
These headphones were replaced by the SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition Wireless
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Noise Cancelling No
Mic Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 are a great gaming headset, with a versatile design, a good sound, and an excellent mic. They also have a long-lasting battery life, and a standard audio jack so that you can use them passively like casual headphones. Unfortunately, they're a bit bulky, and the headband frame is not adjustable so they may be a little tight for some listeners. They also won't be ideal to use in loud environments because they don't block a lot of noise.

Our Verdict

6.9 Mixed Usage

The Steelseries Arctis 7 are great gaming headphones with a few features that make them versatile enough for everyday use. They won't be the best for commuting or sports due to their low isolation and somewhat bulky design. However, their low latency and balanced sound is good for watching movies, gaming, and critical listening.

7.6 Neutral Sound

Good for neutral listening. They have a decently balanced audio reproduction with a pronounced bass range that doesn't overpower instruments and vocals. However, there is a dip in the high frequencies that results in a slight loss of clarity, especially for some lead instruments. Their frequency response also varies a bit from user to user and may lose a significant amount of bass if your glasses break the seal that the ear cups create around your ears.

See our Neutral Sound recommendations
6.4 Commute/Travel

Decent for commuting. They have to be within the range of the USB transmitter if you want to use them wirelessly and they don't block a lot of noise. On the upside, they provide a regular aux cable, and you can use them passively unlike some of the other gaming headsets we've tested. The mic is also retractable, so if you don't mind the bulky design, they're a decent option for commuting.

See our Commute/Travel recommendations
6.5 Sports/Fitness

Above-average for sports. They're bulky but have breathable padding on their ear cups. You can also use them wired with mobile devices and they're decently stable thanks to their tight yet comfortable fit. However, they won't be the most practical for physical activities.

See our Sports/Fitness recommendations
6.7 Office

Decent for office use. They have good customization options with the SteelSeries engine, and they're comfortable enough to wear for long hours. You can use them passively or while they're charging and they also do not leak as much as other gaming headsets. Unfortunately, they also do not block a lot of noise so you will hear the ambient chatter of a lively office.

See our Office recommendations
8.0 Wireless Gaming

The Steelseries Arctis 7 are great gaming headphones. They have very low latency which is essential for gaming, a good sound, and an excellent mic that filters a lot of noise. They have a useful and efficient software for Windows and MacOS that gives them a good amount of customization options. They won't be the most isolating headphones to use in loud environments but they perform well in all the important categories that matter for gaming.

See our Wireless Gaming recommendations
8.2 Wired Gaming
  • 6.9 Mixed Usage
  • 7.6 Neutral Sound
  • 6.4 Commute/Travel
  • 6.5 Sports/Fitness
  • 6.7 Office
  • 8.0 Wireless Gaming
  • 8.2 Wired Gaming
  • 7.6 Phone Call
  • Versatile and durable design.
  • Low latency for gaming and home theater.
  • Good active features and app support.
  • Good audio and microphone reproduction.
  • Subpar noise isolation.
  • Slightly bulky.
  • Can be a bit tight for some listeners.
  • Bass and treble delivery varies significantly across users. Sensitive to glasses.
  1. Update 11/21/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.1.
  2. Update 11/6/2019: Converted to Test Bench 1.3.
  3. Update 9/5/2019: We've updated the Base/Dock box and Connectivity section of the review to show this headset isn't wirelessly compatible with the Xbox One.
  4. Update 2/16/2018: Converted to Test Bench 1.2.


Test Results


The SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless Gaming Headset have a simple but polished design that looks good enough for gaming and casual use. They have a wide metal frame, with an elastic strap reminiscent of ski goggles, which helps adjust the fit of the headband. The mic conveniently retracts into the left ear cup, and the overall build quality of these headphones feels premium and durable. They are not the flashiest gaming headsets and they're a bit bulkier than headphones like the HyperX Cloud Flight, but the understated look will work for most, especially if you want to use them outdoors. Also, you can always purchase a more colorful headband strap directly on their website if you want your headphones to stand out a bit more.

Weight 0.9 lbs
Clamping Force
1.3 lbs

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 are comfortable gaming headphones that may feel slightly tight on some heads. The ear cups are large, spacious and coated with a breathable and soft padding material that feels nice on the skin. The headband is just a thin strip of elastic fabric threaded through the metal frame which adjusts to different head sizes. Unfortunately, the length of this fabric is limited and the metal frame doesn't expand further than its original shape so they may feel a little tight for some listeners. If you feel like the cups are a bit shallow, the newer Arctis 7 2019 Edition have thicker pads, which should suit more ear sizes.

OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Decent
Feedback Great
Call/Music Control No
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control Adjustable
Channel Mixing
Noise Cancelling Control N/A
Additional Buttons No

The control scheme is responsive and easy-to-use. They have two dials to control the volume and microphone levels. They also have a dedicated button to completely disable the mic. It's not the most versatile of control schemes since it doesn't give you call/music, or a multi-function button that could work with mobile devices but that's not very common for gaming headphones.

Avg.Temp.Difference 5.3 C

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 have a somewhat breathable design, but their over-ear, closed-back earcups will make you sweat if used while working out. They're not the most suitable headphones for sports or exercising. However, they should be fine for more casual gaming and listening sessions.

L 7.6 "
W 7 "
H 2.9 "
Volume 154 Cu. Inches
Transmitter Required No

Like the Logitech G Pro, these are not the most portable headphones. They have large ear cups, a rigid headband and do not fold into a more compact format to save space. Also, they have to be within the range of their USB transmitter, if you plan on using them wirelessly, so their portability is even more limited.

Type No case
Volume N/A

The SteelSeries 7 do not come with a case or pouch.

Build Quality

The build quality of the SteelSeries Arctis 7 is excellent. They're built with comfortable and sturdy materials that feel very durable. The ear cups are dense and well-made, the headband is a thin but wide metal frame that's decently flexible, and the overall build feels sturdy enough to handle multiple drops without getting damaged. Even the mic feels well made. It's malleable and conveniently retracts into the left ear cup. This makes the Arctis 7 one of the best built gaming headphones that we've tested so far.


The SteelSeries Arctis 7 have a tight yet comfortable fit that prevents them from moving much once on your head. They're also wireless, so they won't get yanked off your ears because the audio cable got hooked on something. They're still quite bulky so they won't be ideal for more strenuous exercises, but thanks to their tight and decently stable fit, you can jog with them if you want to.

Headshots 1
Headshots 2
In The Box

  • SteelSeries Arctis 7 Headphones
  • USB transmitter
  • USB Charging cable
  • Audio cable 
  • Manuals

Sound Profile
Bass Amount
-1.14 db
Treble Amount
-1.99 db
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
1.27 dB

The frequency response consistency of the SteelSeries Arctis 7 is sub-par. Their bass delivery is quite consistent across our human subjects, with the exception of the one who wears glasses. The maximum deviation at 20Hz is about 9dB. So if you have a lot of hair between the headphones and your ear, or have glasses that are not flush to your temple, then you may experience a noticeable drop in bass. In the treble range, we measured more than 6dB of deviation in response at 2KHz, which is not good and noticeable.

Raw Frequency Response
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.42 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
10 Hz
-1.9 dB
1.69 dB
3.6 dB

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 have a very good bass performance. LFE (low-frequency extension) is at 10Hz, indicating a deep bass. Low-bass, responsible for the thump and rumble common to EDM, Hip-hop and film scores, is lacking by about 2dB, which is not much. The 4dB bump between 100Hz and 250Hz, however, will make the sound of these headphones slightly boomy. Also, their bass delivery varies noticeably across users, and is sensitive to the quality of fit, seal, and whether you wear glasses. The response here represents the average bass response and your experience may vary.

Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.03 dB
2.44 dB
-0.91 dB
-0.75 dB

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 have a very good mid-range performance. The 2.4dB overemphasis in low-mid is actually the continuation of the high-bass bump. It makes mixes sound a bit cluttered and muddy, and vocals a bit thick-sounding. But the rest of the response is very good and within 1dB of our target.

Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
2.23 dB
-0.57 dB
-1.01 dB
-1.41 dB

The treble is excellent. The response is mostly flat and quite consistent, even up to 18KHz. The narrow 5dB dip around 5KHz will have a small and negligible negative effect on detail and articulation of vocals and lead instruments. Also, their treble delivery varies noticeably across users. The response here represents the average response and your experience may vary.

1.41 db
1.16 db
Weighted Group Delay
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
Weighted Phase Mismatch

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 have great imaging. Their weighted group delay is 0.32, which is very good. The GD graph, however, shows that its group delay crosses over into the audibility threshold at around 50Hz, but it is not enough to affect the tightness of the bass significantly. Additionally, the L/R drivers of our test unit were very well-matched, ensuring accurate placement and localization of objects (voice, instruments, footsteps...) in the stereo image.

PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
4.26 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
8.97 dB
PRTF Distance
16.64 dB
Acoustic Space Excitation

The soundstage is mediocre. Although the SteelSeries 7 show a lot of pinna activation, which suggests a relatively large soundstage. The shape of its PRTF doesn't follow our reference's very accurately. This could mean that, the soundstage, although large, may be perceived to be a bit unnatural and inside-the-head. Also, since they have a closed-back enclosure, their soundstage may not feel as open as that of open-back headphones.

Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
WHD @ 100
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-13.3 dB
0.61 dB
-7.37 dB
-33.64 dB

The isolation performance is sub-par. This gaming headset don't have active noise cancelling and do not isolate in the bass range, meaning they will let in the rumble of airplane and bus engines. In the mid-range, important for blocking out speech, they achieve an isolation of about 7dB, which is inadequate. In the treble range, however, they reduce ambient noise by more than 33dB, which is good for reducing sharp sounds such as S and Ts.

Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
39.21 dB

The leakage performance is average. The significant portion of their leakage sits between 400Hz and 2KHz which is a relatively broad range and mostly concentrated in the mid-range. This means that their leakage will sound fuller than that of in-ears and earbuds, but not as loud and full as open-back headphones'. Also, since the overall level of the leakage is not very loud, it shouldn't be a concern unless you play loud music in a quiet place like a library.

Microphone Style
Detachable Boom

The performance of the microphone is very good. Speech recorded or transmitted with this mic in a quiet environment will sound full and easily comprehensible, but slightly bright and lacking in airiness. In noisy environments, the SteelSeries Arctis 7 are able to reject ambient noise to a great degree, making them ideal for use in very loud places like a gaming competition.

Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
84.76 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
3.89 dB
6736.4 Hz
Weighted THD
23.6 dB

Good recording quality. LFE is extended down to 85dB, which is very good. This means voice recorded with the Arctis 7 will sound full. However, HFE is limited to 6.7KHz, resulting in a recorded speech that sounds relatively detailed and easily comprehensible, but lacking in airiness and brilliance. Also, the bump from 2KHz to 6KHz makes the sound of this microphone noticeably bright. For a slightly better sounding microphone, check out the Corsair Virtuoso RGB Wireless.

Noise Handling
Speech + Pink Noise
Speech + Subway Noise
40.56 dB

The microphone of the SteelSeries Arctis 7 has excellent noise handling. It achieves a speech-to-noise ratio of 41dB, which is remarkable, and indicating they can separate speech from noise even in the most demanding environments, like a gaming competition.

Active Features
Active Features
Battery Type
Continuous Battery Life
24 hrs
Additional Charges
Total Battery Life
24 hrs
Charge Time
3.5 hrs
Power Saving Feature
Audio While Charging
Passive Playback
Charging Port micro-USB

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 have a long battery life and good power saving options. They lasted about 24 hours on a single charge and took about 3.5 hours to charge fully. They also automatically switch off after being idle for more than 10 minutes and you can use them while they're charging so you will rarely run out of battery if you're at home and close to a power source. Furthermore, they can be used completely passively with the audio jack if ever the battery dies, which is great if you also plan on using the Arctis 7 as casual headphones.

Active Features
App Support
App Name SteelSeries Engine
Android N/A
macOS Yes
Windows Yes
Graphic + Presets
ANC Control
Mic Control Level
Room effects
Playback Control
Button Mapping No
Surround Sound DTS 7.1

The SteelSeries engine is a pretty complete app that offers a lot of options for the Arctis 7. It provides a great graphic equalizer with presets and a compressor, DTS surround sound, live preview as well as volume control for the mic. You can save your configuration under the config tab so you can quickly switch between your different settings. It lacks some of the fancier auto-calibration features that some headsets have within their app support, but it's efficient, easy-to-use, and all the controls are under a single page, so you don't have to navigate between multiple tabs. If you prefer having RGB lighting and special features, take a look at the bass haptic feedback of the Razer Nari Ultimate.

Bluetooth Version
Multi-Device Pairing
NFC Pairing
Line of Sight Range
Default Latency
aptX Latency
aptX(LL) Latency

These headphones do not have Bluetooth connectivity. If you want a gaming headset that also supports Bluetooth, check out the Arctis 3 2019 Edition, the Arctis Pro Wireless or the LucidSound LS31.

They have only about 28ms of latency which is great for gaming and watching movies.

Non-Bluetooth Wireless
Non-BT Line of Sight Range
125 ft
Non-BT Latency
28 ms
Analog Audio
USB Audio
Detachable Yes
Length 4.2 ft
Connection 1/8" TRS
Wired Latency
0 ms

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 have a proprietary audio cable that isn't OS specific and is compatible with most consoles. If you prefer wired headphones when gaming then check out the Arctis Pro GameDAC. They have a lot more control options thanks to the DAC although they are also a bit pricier than the Arctis 7 which might not be as worth it for more console gamers.

PC / PS4 Compatibility
PC / PS4 Analog
Audio + Microphone
PC / PS4 Wired USB
PC / PS4 Non-BT Wireless
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Wired USB
Xbox One Wireless
Wireless USB Dongle
USB Input
Line In
Line Out
Optical Input
RCA Input
Dock Charging
Power Supply

Update 09/05/2019: We had incorrectly listed the Arctis 7 as being wirelessly compatible with the Xbox One with their wireless USB dongle. They can only be used with the Xbox One plugged into the controller, so we've updated the review to reflect this.

The base/dock is a small wireless USB dongle with a line in and line out. It's compatible with the PS4 and PC but only not the Xbox One. It also doesn't have dock charging, which would have a been a great addition.

Compared to other headphones

Comparison picture

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 are one of highest rated gaming headsets that we've tested so far. They come with a great dongle that has a bit more inputs than typical gaming headsets and you can use them wired with mobile devices. They have a great metal build quality that feels durable, a good well-balanced sound and a comfortable design. Unfortunately, since the headband isn't adjustable they might be a bit tight on some heads. Also, there is no dock charging. See our recommendations for the best gaming headsets for PC and the best closed-back headphones.

SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless are a bit better than the SteelSeries Arctis 7 for gaming headphones. The Arctis Pro Wireless have more connectivity options since they support Bluetooth and have a base that acts not only as a wireless transmitter but also as a charging station. They also have better sound and mic quality. The Arctis 7 are more breathable, though, and are significantly cheaper. If you don’t need Bluetooth and don’t care for the swappable battery design, the Arctis 7 may be a better choice, considering the huge price difference.

HyperX Cloud Flight

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 is a better gaming headset than the HyperX Cloud Flight. Both headsets are wireless and have great sound quality, but the SteelSeries feels more high-end and better-built. It also has a great customization software that the HyperX lacks. On the other side, the HyperX has a better microphone that has amazing noise handling and will easily separate speech from background noise. Also, some may prefer having a USB dongle without a wire for easier cable management.

Astro A50 Gen 3 Wireless 2017

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 are slightly better gaming headphones than the Astro A50 Gen 3 Wireless 2017. While they aren’t as comfortable as the Astros and their dock doesn’t support charging, the SteelSeries can be used wired and are more versatile. The recording quality of the microphone is also noticeably better. On the other hand, the Astros have a better default sound profile, but you always need their dock to use them, which is restrictive. The SteelSeries are also cheaper and will have a better value for most.

Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless 2017 is a better gaming headset than the Turtle Beach Stealth 700 Wireless. It's more comfortable, noticeably better-built, and it has a more neutral and well-balanced sound profile. The microphone quality and the battery life are also considerably better on the Arctis 7. On the other hand, the Stealth 700 has a noise cancelling feature and are Bluetooth compatible, which the Arctis 7 aren't.

HyperX Cloud 2/Cloud II

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 are a better gaming headset than the HyperX Cloud II. You get the freedom of wireless technology on top of better audio reproduction, and a great customization software. However, you’ll have to manage battery life, which not everyone prefers. The Cloud II is a wired headset, so you won’t have to worry about this. They also have a slightly better isolation performance and are one of the better-built and most comfortable gaming headsets we’ve reviewed so far.

HyperX Cloud Alpha

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 are a better gaming headset than the HyperX Cloud Alpha. This wireless headset offers more customization options thanks to the SteelSeries Engine software, and they have a slightly more neutral frequency response. Their microphone also has better recording quality and noise handling performance for online gaming. On the other hand, if you don’t care much for customization and want a great headset right out of the box, the Cloud Alpha is more comfortable and feels better-built than the Arctis 7. You can also detach the microphone and use them outdoors, as they have a more casual look.

Logitech G933 Wireless Gaming Headset

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 are better wireless headphones than the Logitech G933. Their build quality is better, they leak less sound, and their battery is much better. The Arctis 7 also sound much better than the G933 and have a superior microphone. That said, the Logitech G933 have three mappable buttons on the cups that can be programmed in the Logitech Gaming Software to trigger specific commands, which is a great feature. If you prefer gaming headphones that have better performance out-of-the-box, get the SteelSeries Arctis 7, but if you prefer to spend time deeply customizing your headset to perfection, consider the Logitech G933.

Corsair HS70 Wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 is a better gaming headset than the Corsair HS70 Wireless. The Arctis 7 is one of the best gaming headsets we’ve reviewed so far, thanks to its great design, features, and sound quality. They also have a very good microphone, and their 24-hour battery life will last you for a while. You can also use them wired, which you can’t do with the HS70. They outperform the HS70 in pretty much every category but are a bit more expensive. If you have the budget for it, get the Arctis 7 since they offer great value.

Turtle Beach Stealth 600 Wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 are a much better gaming headset than the Turtle Beach Stealth 600. The SteelSeries have a lot more connection options which make them a bit more suitable for gaming and outdoors use. They also have more customizable and better-balanced sound quality, a better boom mic and a more premium build quality that's a lot more durable than that of the Turtle Beach. On the other hand, they can be slightly more comfortable for some users compared to the Arctis 7. They're also a bit lighter and less cumbersome, but overall the Steelseries outperform the Turtle Beach in almost every category and would be the better gaming headset.

SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition Wireless

The newer SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition is slightly different in style from the SteelSeries Arctis 7 and seems to have more padding on the ear cups. This makes them deeper and more suited for bigger ears. However, the overall performance of the two models is fairly similar and might not be worth the upgrade if you didn’t have any issue with the fit of the 2017 model. The 2019 Edition has a better wireless range, and you can now set your desired auto-off timer in the SteelSeries Engine software.

SteelSeries Arctis Pro GameDAC

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 and the SteelSeries Arctis Pro GameDAC are pretty much the same headset, but the Arctis 7 is wireless while the Pro GameDAC isn’t. They perform similarly in most of our tests, so you might have to choose between wireless freedom of the Arctis 7, or easy access to controls and customization options on the GameDAC. Both are great gaming headsets, but some may not want to worry about battery life for that usage.

Logitech G930 Wireless Gaming Headset

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 are a better gaming headset than the Logitech G930. The G930 are slightly more customizable thanks to the Logitech Gaming Software and programmable buttons on the ear cups. On the other hand, the SteelSeries have a much better build quality with better breathable pads and a more ergonomic layout for their buttons. They also have a better default sound quality and more connection options, so they're a bit more suitable for home theater. They have a casual design you can use outdoors with the provided audio cable, unlike the G930.

Razer Nari Ultimate Wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 is a much better gaming headset than the Razer Nari Ultimate. The Arctis 7 have a better control scheme and a much more stable fit. They also sound much better and have a significantly better microphone. Their battery lasts longer, too. The Razer Nari does have more wireless range and haptic feedback, but the Arctis 7 is an overall better headset.

Corsair Void PRO RGB Wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 are a better gaming headset than the Corsair Void RGB. They are better-built headphones and their microphone has better recording quality for online games. You can also use the SteelSeries wired with all platforms, which you can’t do with the Void RGB. The audio quality is noticeably better on the SteelSeries and they are also compatible with a great app that offers an EQ and multiple controls, including surround sound. On the other hand, the Corsair performs more consistently across different users and they have RGB lighting, which the SteelSeries don't have.

Logitech G Pro Gaming Headset

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless 2017 are better gaming headphones than the Logitech G Pro Gaming Headset. They are wireless, offer channel mixing, and they are noticeably better-built than the G Pro. The Arctis also have a more accurate and well-balanced sound profile, which can be customized inside their app. On the other hand, if you prefer a wired headset and don’t want to manage a battery-life, the G Pro are a better option.

LucidSound LS31 Wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 is a better gaming headset than the LucidSound LS31. The Arctis 7 beats the LS31 in pretty much every category, other than wireless range, but only by a few feet when the source is obstructed by walls, which should rarely happen when gaming. The Arctis 7 is one of the best gaming headsets we’ve reviewed so far and is about the same price as the LS31.

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SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless 2017 Price

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