The SteelSeries Arctis 7 are a versatile gaming headset, with a good sound and a great 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.
- 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.
The SteelSeries Arctis 7 have a well-built and comfortable wireless design. They have breathable and well-padded ear cups that fit well around most ears. Their headband is comfortable with a unique, snow goggle elastic band that adjusts for different head shapes and sizes. However, the fit may be a bit tighter on some heads as the headband frame doesn't extend and isn't adjustable. They're also somewhat bulky and limited by their USB transmitter if you want to use them wirelessly. On the upside, they have a standard audio jack and a retractable mic, so they're a bit more versatile to use outdoors than some of the other gaming headsets we've reviewed.
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, 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.
The 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.
The control scheme for the Arctis 7 is responsive and easy-to-use. They have two dials, to control the volume and microphone levels, and 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.
The Arctis 7 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.
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.
The Steelseries Arctis 7 is a good sounding pair of closed-back over-ear gaming headsets. They have a very good and deep bass, a very good mid-range, and an excellent treble. However, their frequency response is prone to inconsistencies across users, their bass is slightly boomy, their mid range is a tad muddy, and they don't have a spacious soundstage.
Very good bass range performance. LFE is extended down to 10Hz, which is excellent. Low-bass, which is responsible for thump and rumble is lacking by about 2dB. The 4dB bump between 100Hz and 250Hz will make the sound of these headphones slightly boomy.
Very good mid-range performance. Low-mid is overemphasized by more than 2dB, making mixes sound a bit cluttered and muddy. The rest of the response is very good and within 1dB of our target.
Excellent treble range performance for the SteelSeries Arctis 7. The response is mostly flat and quite consistent, even up to 18KHz. The narrow 5dB dip around 5KHz will have a small but negligible negative effect on detail and articulation of vocals/leads.
Sub-par consistency performance. In the bass range, the Steelseries Arctis 7 deliver bass quite consistently across our human subjects, with the exception of the one wearing glasses. We experienced a 6dB drop in bass at 20Hz. In the treble range, we measured more than 6dB of deviation in response at 2KHz, which is poor.
Very good harmonic distortion performance. The overall amount of harmonic distortion is quite low, regardless of the level and frequency. The only remarkable note is the very small rise in THD at 100Hz at 100dB SPL.
The Steelseries Arctis 7 headphones have breathable pads which make them a bit more comfortable to wear for long gaming sessions. Unfortunately, this also means that they do not block a lot of noise. They create a good seal around your ears that prevent some high-frequency sounds from seeping into your audio but it won't be enough if there's a lot rumbling bass in your environment, like a subwoofer at a competition. On the upside, the good seal stops a decent amount of leakage so at moderate volumes they won't be distracting to those around you.
Sub-par isolation. These gaming headsets don't have active noise cancelling and do not isolate in the bass range. In the mid-range they achieve an isolation of about 7dB, which is sub-par. In the treble range, however, they reduce ambient noise by more than 33dB which is good.
Average leakage performance. The significant portion of leakage sits between 400Hz and 2KHz which is a relatively broad range. However, the overall level of leakage is not very loud.
Very good microphone performance. Speech recorded with the microphone of the SteelSeries Artics 7 will sound full and comprehensible, but slightly bright and lacking airiness. However, in noisy environments they are able to reject ambient noise to a great degree, making them ideal for use in environments such as a metro station.
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.
- 100% SpNR
Excellent noise handling. The microphone of the Arctis 7 achieves a speech-to-noise ratio of 41dB, which is remarkable. This means they can separate speech from noise even in the most demanding environments.
The Steelseries Arctis 7 headphones have a good wireless range, a long-lasting battery life with a lot of power saving features, and low latency for gaming and watching movies. They perform as well as Bluetooth headphones indoors and in direct-line-of-sight but the 20ms latency means there will rarely be any sync issues when using them to game or watch videos wirelessly. Additionally, the SteelSeries Engine offers a lot of customization options in an easy-to-use software that makes the Arctis 7 convenient and highly personalizable.
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.
The SteelSeries engine is a pretty complete app that offers a lot of options for the Arctis 7. It provides a great parametric 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.
- 10% Bluetooth
- 32% Wired
- 10% Base/Dock
- 22% Wireless Range
- 25% Latency
- 79% Multi-Device Pairing
- 20% NFC
- 0% PS4 Compatible
- 0% Xbox One Compatible
- 13% Analog
- 9% USB
- 26% PS4 Compatible
- 26% Xbox One Compatible
- 26% PC Compatible
- 4% Optical Input
- 22% Line In
- 4% Line Out
- 22% USB Input
- 4% RCA Input
- 9% PS4 Compatible
- 9% Xbox One Compatible
- 9% PC Compatible
- 2% Power Supply
- 13% Dock Charging
The Steelseries Arctis 7 have a good wireless range. They reached up to 36ft when the USB transmitter was obstructed by walls and in another room and up to 125ft in direct-line-of-sight. They will rarely drop any audio if you're gaming directly in front of your TV and perform about as well as most typical Bluetooth headphones.
The Arctis 7 have only 20ms of latency which is suitable for gaming and watching movies.
In the box
- SteelSeries Arctis 7 Headphones
- USB transmitter
- USB Charging cable
- Audio cable