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We've recently released our Test Bench 1.6 update for Headphones! Read the Latency R&D Article to learn more.

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless [7, 7P, 7X] Headphones Review

Tested using Methodology v1.6
Review updated Nov 27, 2023 at 11:28 am
Latest change: Writing modified Feb 28, 2024 at 02:01 pm
SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless [7, 7P, 7X] Picture
7.6
Neutral Sound
6.8
Commute/Travel
7.1
Sports/Fitness
7.2
Office
7.6
Wireless Gaming
7.8
Wired Gaming
7.4
Phone Calls

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless are a lineup of gaming headphones that includes three console-specific variants: the 7, which is designed for PCs, the 7P for PlayStation, and the 7X for Xbox. Each variant has a dongle to ensure low wireless latency with your consoles. They also support Bluetooth, meaning you can stay connected to your smartphone and console simultaneously. However, unlike most other Xbox-specific headphones, you can use the Xbox variant on the PlayStation 4/5 and PC without an issue.

Our Verdict

7.6 Neutral Sound

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7P Wireless and their variants are good for neutral sound, though this isn't their intended usage. They have a bass-rich sound profile due to a dip in the treble range, which veils vocals and lead instruments. You can fine-tune their sound to suit your tastes via their companion app's parametric EQ and presets. However, their passive soundstage isn't very immersive, as they struggle to produce a natural and out-of-head sound experience.

Pros
  • Comfortable and well-built.
  • Parametric EQ and presets available via companion software.
Cons
  • Prone to inconsistencies in bass and treble delivery.
6.8 Commute/Travel

The SteelSeries Nova 7P and the other variants aren't optimized for commute and travel. While these comfortable over-ears support Bluetooth, so you can use them wirelessly with your smartphone, they don't block out any of the low rumbles of bus and plane engines. They also lack a carrying case to help protect them when you're on the go and have a bulky, gamer-centric design. On the upside, they last over 33 hours continuously, which is great for long trips.

Pros
  • Comfortable and well-built.
  • Over 33 hours of continuous battery life.
Cons
  • Not very stable.
  • Poor noise isolation performance.
7.1 Sports/Fitness

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless and their variants aren't the best choice if you want to use them for sports and fitness. They're designed for gaming, meaning they can fall off your head with moderate movement. They also lack an IP rating for water resistance, which is normal for over-ear headphones. On the upside, their wireless design means you don't have to worry about something snagging the headphones and pulling them off of your head. They also have over 33 hours of continuous playback time.

Pros
  • Comfortable and well-built.
Cons
  • Not very stable.
7.2 Office

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless and their variants are decent for office use. They have a comfortable fit suitable for long days at the office and deliver over 33 hours of continuous playback time. They have a retractable microphone, so you can take calls and sound clear to colleagues. Thanks to their Bluetooth and wireless dongle support, you can also pair them with your PC and smartphone simultaneously. Unfortunately, they have trouble blocking background noise like office chit-chat, though they do a better job cutting down the hum of AC units.

Pros
  • Comfortable and well-built.
  • Over 33 hours of continuous battery life.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation performance.
7.6 Wireless Gaming

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7P, as well as their variants, are good for wireless gaming, especially as they come in console-specific variants. Their bass-rich sound profile helps emphasize sound effects like footsteps in gameplay. However, if you prefer a different sound, their companion software offers a parametric EQ and presets to help you fine-tune them. These headphones also have over 33 hours of continuous playback time and are comfortable for long gaming sessions. You can even connect them to your console and smartphone simultaneously, and the Xbox variant has low latency, ensuring your audio and visuals stay in sync while gaming.

Pros
  • Parametric EQ and presets available via companion software.
  • Over 33 hours of continuous battery life.
  • The 7X very have low wireless latency via dongle.
  • Good overall microphone performance.
Cons
  • Prone to inconsistencies in bass and treble delivery.
7.8 Wired Gaming

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7X Wireless and their variants are good for wired gaming. These headphones come with a 1/8" TRRRS to 1/8" TRRS cable, meaning you can plug them into consoles with an AUX port with full audio and mic compatibility. Their retractable boom mic offers a very good overall performance, so your teammates and enemies hear your voice clearly. These over-ears have a comfortable fit, are well-built, and their bass-rich sound profile can help bring out game sound effects, although dialogue and instruments are veiled.

Pros
  • Parametric EQ and presets available via companion software.
  • Good overall microphone performance.
Cons
  • Prone to inconsistencies in bass and treble delivery.
7.4 Phone Calls

The SteelSeries Nova 7 and their variants are decent for phone calls. Their retractable boom mic offers good microphone performance, ensuring that your voice sounds clear, even in moderately noisy environments. However, these comfortable headphones struggle to block background noise, meaning it can be hard to hear your call well.

Pros
  • Good overall microphone performance.
Cons
  • Poor noise isolation performance.
  • 7.6 Neutral Sound
  • 6.8 Commute/Travel
  • 7.1 Sports/Fitness
  • 7.2 Office
  • 7.6 Wireless Gaming
  • 7.8 Wired Gaming
  • 7.4 Phone Calls
  1. Updated Feb 28, 2024: Based on user feedback, we've updated the variants section to indicate that the '7' variant features a ChatMix dial rather than a Sidetone dial as previously indicated.
  2. Updated Nov 27, 2023: We've updated this review to ensure it remains accurate and add some new relevant comparisons.
  3. Updated Nov 03, 2023: We've added a comparison between these headphones and the HyperX Cloud III Wireless in Battery.
  4. Updated Nov 02, 2023: The following test groups have been updated following TB 1.6: Wired Connection, Bluetooth Connection, and Wireless Connection (Dongle). There have also been text changes made throughout the review, including to the usages and product comparisons to match these results.
  5. Updated Nov 02, 2023: We've converted this review to Test Bench 1.6 , which updates how we measure latency. We've updated and renamed the following test groups: Wired Connection, Bluetooth Connection, and Wireless Connection (Dongle). We've also added new codec latency measurements and provided an audio sample of recorded latency.
  6. Updated Jul 26, 2023: We've added a comparison between these headphones and the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro Wireless 2023 in Recording Quality.
  7. Updated Jun 02, 2023: We have received user reports of a noise floor when using mic monitoring. We have updated Recording Quality, but the scoring of this test hasn't changed.
  8. Updated May 18, 2023: We've retested Non-Bluetooth Wireless latency in Non-Bluetooth Wireless, and the scoring of this test has changed. We've also clarified the USB dongle's connector in Base/Dock.
  9. Updated Mar 13, 2023: Due to user feedback, we've retested multi-device pairing using an analog and Bluetooth connection in Bluetooth. However, this hasn't changed the scoring of this test.
  10. Updated Jan 26, 2023: We've expanded this review to reflect the performance of each of the SteelSeries' Arctis Nova 7 lineup's variants: the 7, 7P, and 7X. Although we tested the 7X variant, we expect the other variants to perform similarly.
  11. Updated Jan 19, 2023: Users have reported connectivity issues like stuttering that affects audio quality and you can find more information on this in our Sound Profile test. We have also tested GG software's compatibility with consoles and you can read more about this in App Support.
  12. Updated Dec 16, 2022: We've added a comparison between the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7X Wireless and the Astro A30 Wireless in the Non-Bluetooth Wireless box.
  13. Updated Nov 22, 2022: We have corrected information regarding a comparison with these headphones and the SteelSeries Arctis 9X Wireless in Compared To Other Headphones.
  14. Updated Nov 15, 2022: We have retested these headphones due to user reports of a hissing sound in Noise Isolation. We have also corrected the Firmware version in Test Settings.
  15. Updated Oct 21, 2022: We've added a comparison between these headphones and the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3 in Style.
  16. Updated Sep 29, 2022: Review published.
  17. Updated Sep 26, 2022: Early access published.
  18. Updated Sep 20, 2022: Our testers have started testing this product.
  19. Updated Sep 01, 2022: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  20. Updated Aug 24, 2022: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 come in three console-specific variants:

Model Wireless Compatibility Wired Compatibility Headband Color Control Scheme
7 PC, PS PC, PS, and Xbox Black ChatMix
7P PC, PS PC, PS, and Xbox Blue Sidetone
7X PC, PS, and Xbox PC, PS, and Xbox Green ChatMix

We tested the 7X variant, which come in two color variants: 'Black' and 'White'. We tested the 'Black' Variant but expect other color variants to perform similarly. You can see our unit's label here. All three console-specific variants have slight cosmetic differences, with varying accent colors. The 7X variant offers the most cross-platform compatibility, and both the 7 and 7X feature ChatMix dials. The 7 and 7P offer the same level of compatibility, but the 7P features a Sidetone dial instead. Except for the abovementioned differences, we expect all models to perform similarly. If you encounter another variant of these headphones, please let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review.

Compared To Other Headphones

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 are wireless gaming headphones with a similar frame design as the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless. Like the SteelSeries Arctis 9X Wireless, they support Bluetooth, which is good if you want to stay connected to your console and smartphone simultaneously. However, they come in three console-specific variants, and the Xbox variant is the only one that's fully compatible with both Xbox and PlayStation consoles. That said, all variants have over 33 hours of continuous playback time, low latency, and their companion software offers robust customization features to help you get the most out of your headphones.

Check out our recommendations for the best headsets for Xbox Series X|S, the best Xbox One headsets, and the best wireless gaming headsets.

SteelSeries Arctis 9 Wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless and their variants are better gaming headphones than the SteelSeries Arctis 9 Wireless. While both headphones are comfortable, the Nova 7 and its variants have a longer continuous battery life. They also come with an analog cable if you want to use them wired, and they have full compatibility with PCs and consoles via this connection. The Arctis 9 are better built.

SteelSeries Arctis 7+ Wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless and their variants are better overall gaming headphones than the SteelSeries Arctis 7+ Wireless. While they're both comfortable closed-back headsets with non-detachable boom mics, the Arctis Nova 7 have a more balanced sound profile, better mic performance and feature Bluetooth compatibility. However, the Arctis 7+ have a better build quality and their treble response isn't as recessed as with the Arctis Nova 7. That being said, the sound profiles of both headphones can be customized via their companion app to your liking. 

Logitech G PRO X 2 LIGHTSPEED Wireless

The Logitech G PRO X 2 LIGHTSPEED Wireless are better gaming headphones than the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless and their variants. The Logitech are better built, are more comfortable, and feature a more neutral sound profile that gives you more consistent audio delivery over multiple gaming sessions. They also boast a mammoth battery life of 97 hours, almost triple that of the SteelSeries. However, the SteelSeries have a better mic recording quality and support multi-device pairing, meaning you can pair them with a phone or laptop via Bluetooth while using the dongle to stay connected to your PC or console. 

Razer BlackShark V2 Pro Wireless 2023

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless offer a bit more versatility than the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro Wireless 2023. While both headphones are comfortable, the SteelSeries are better built and be used analog in addition to Bluetooth and non-Bluetooth wireless. They also come in console-specific variants, which is nice if you're an Xbox gamer. However, if you're only looking to wirelessly game on your PC or PlayStation, then the Razer are worth considering. They have a significantly longer continuous battery life, and a better overall performing boom mic.

SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless [PC, PS, Xbox]

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless [PC, PS, Xbox] are better gaming headphones than the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless and their variants. The Arctis Nova Pro have more consistent audio delivery, and their ANC helps block out a fair amount of background noise around you. They also come with a wireless transmitter that offers controls like EQs and channel mixing at your fingertips, and they have longer-lasting total battery life. However, the Arctis Nova 7 are more comfortable.

Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless 2019

The Astro A50 Gen 4 Wireless 2019 are better gaming headphones than the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless and their variants. The Astro headphones are more comfortable, better-built, and have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer. Their passive soundstage is more immersive, and their boom mic offers better overall performance. However, the SteelSeries support Bluetooth, meaning you can stay connected to your console and smartphone simultaneously, and they have longer-lasting continuous battery life.

Astro A30 Wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless and their variants and the Astro A30 Wireless are similarly-performing gaming headphones, but the SteelSeries are the better choice as they're significantly cheaper than the Astro. Both headphones have similar build quality, comfort, audio delivery consistency, and battery life. The SteelSeries have a better boom mic, making your voice sound clear and full-bodied. The 7X variant is also designed with Xbox gaming in mind, and this model can wirelessly connect to both Xbox and PlayStation consoles without a problem. You'll need to purchase the correct console-locked variant of the Astro to use them wirelessly on your preferred console.

HyperX Cloud III Wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless headphones are better for console gaming than the HyperX Cloud III Wireless. The SteelSeries come in three variants for PC, Xbox, and PlayStation. They support Bluetooth and multi-device pairing, and they're the natural choice for Xbox owners, as the HyperX lack Xbox compatibility. While the SteelSeries have a better bass response, their treble response is disappointing compared to the HyperX, and in-game dialogue suffers as a result. The battery life is great, at 33 hours of continuous use, but the HyperX are a better choice if you want to go longer without recharging.

SteelSeries Arctis 9X Wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis 9X Wireless and the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless (and their variants) are similarly performing gaming headphones. The 9X are better-built, have a more out-of-head soundstage performance, and their mic does a better job recording your voice clearly. However, the Nova 7 and their variants have better battery life.

SteelSeries Arctis 7X Wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless and their variants have a slight edge over the SteelSeries Arctis 7X Wireless. While both headphones are equally comfortable and have similar microphone performances, the Nova 7X variant have a longer continuous playback time and support Bluetooth. However, the Arctis 7X are better-built, and their passive soundstage is more immersive.

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless and their variants are more versatile gaming headphones than the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3. While both headphones are comfortable and well-built, you can use the Nova 7 and their variants wired or wirelessly. While their 7X variant is designed with Xbox consoles in mind, this model can also be used wirelessly with PlayStation consoles and PCs. They also support Bluetooth, meaning you can receive audio from your smartphone and console simultaneously. However, if you only want a wired connection, the Nova 3 still offer a similar sound and mic performance, all the while also supporting customizable RGB lighting.

Razer BlackShark V2 HyperSpeed Wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless are slightly better gaming headphones than the Razer BlackShark V2 HyperSpeed Wireless. While both headphones are similarly comfortable, the SteelSeries are better built, have a more neutral default sound profile, which some users may prefer, and support an analog connection. However, the Razer's boom mic offers a better overall performance, and the headphones have a significantly longer continuous playback time.

Corsair HS80 MAX WIRELESS

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless are somewhat better gaming headphones than the Corsair HS80 MAX WIRELESS. The SteelSeries have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, and their companion software offers more robust controls like a parametric EQ and surround sound support. They also support simultaneous Bluetooth and wireless dongle connectivity, which is great if you want to stay continuously connected to two consoles. They even support analog, which is handy to virtually eliminate latency from your setup. However, the Corsair are better built, and their mic has a better recording quality. They also last longer continuously and have customizable RGB lighting.

Turtle Beach Stealth Pro Wireless

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless are more versatile than the Turtle Beach Stealth Pro Wireless. Unlike the Turtle Beach, you can use the SteelSeries wirelessly or via analog. They have a more neutral sound profile, which some users may prefer, their passive soundstage feels more out-of-head and immersive, and their boom mic offers a better overall performance. They also have a longer continuous playback time and lower wireless latency. That said, the Turtle Beach are still worth considering for a few unique features: they have ANC to cut down some background noise around you and have an integrated mic and a boom mic, which is handy if you want to use them in a more casual setting. They're also better built.

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Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Type Over-ear
Enclosure Closed-Back
Wireless Yes
Transducer Dynamic

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 have a very similar look to other headphones in the Nova lineup, like the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless, due to their ski-band headband design. Depending on the variant, the headband color changes, so if you have the PC variant, the headband is black, whereas the Xbox variant is green, and the PS variant is blue. While their frame only comes in black, regardless of the variant, if you want to customize their look, you can buy the Arctis Nova Booster Pack separately. It comes with a set of speaker plates and a nylon ski band in the following colors: 'Cherry Red', 'Lilac', 'Mint', and 'Rose Quartz'. These headphones also have a retractable boom mic to help them look more casual. However, unlike the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 3, they don't have customizable RGB lighting on the ear cups.

7.5
Design
Comfort
Weight 0.72 lbs
Clamping Force
1 lbs

These headphones have a comfortable fit. They're somewhat similar in fit to the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless since they have soft cloth padding. They don't clamp very tightly on your head, and the ear cups have a good range of motion. The elastic headband also has two adjustable settings on each side of the band to help you get the best fit, while the hinges can slide to further expand their fit. However, they're a bit bulky, and the elastic headband has a limited range of extension, which can be an issue if you have a large head.

7.6
Design
Controls
OS Compatibility
Not OS specific
Ease Of Use Good
Feedback Good
Call/Music Control Yes
Volume Control Yes
Microphone Control Mute/Unmute
Channel Mixing
Yes
Noise Cancelling Control No
Talk-Through
No
Additional Controls Bluetooth + Multi function

These headphones have good controls. There are physical buttons on each ear cup, which are easy to use, and each control has feedback. There's a volume wheel on one cup and a secondary wheel on the opposite cup that offers different commands depending on the console variant. If you have the 7X variant, you'll have access to chat mixing. However, if you have the 7 or 7P variant, this feature controls sidetone instead. Both wheels have min and max stops, but only the channel mixing/sidetone wheel has a middle notch.

On the left ear cup:

  • Mic mute
    • Single press: Mutes and unmutes the microphone.

On the right ear cup:

  • Bluetooth button
    • Single press: Plays and pauses audio. Also answers and declines calls.
    • Double press: Skips to the next track.
    • Triple press: Skips to the previous track.

5.9
Design
Portability
L 8.1" (20.6 cm)
W 7.4" (18.9 cm)
H 1.9" (4.9 cm)
Volume 116.42 in³ (1,907.80 cm³)
Transmitter Required No

These gaming headphones aren't designed to be portable. If you're leaving them next to your computer or console when not in use, they don't take up too much room, and the ear cups swivel flat.

0
Design
Case
Type No case
L N/A
W N/A
H N/A
Volume N/A
7.5
Design
Build Quality

These headphones have a good build quality. They have a plasticky build that feels a bit cheaper to the touch than the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless. There's a metal plate to help reinforce the headband and a fabric strap that you can adjust for a better fit. The cloth padding on the ear cups also feels good on the skin.

6.5
Design
Stability

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7X Wireless and their variants have fair stability. They won't move around when you're gaming at your desk or on the couch. If you tend to move your head a lot while gaming, they can fall off your head.

Design
Headshots 1
Design
Headshots 2
Design
Top
Design
In The Box

  • SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7X headphones
  • USB-C wireless transmitter
  • USB-A to USB-C cable
  • USB-A to USB-C adapter cable
  • 1/8" TRRRS to 1/8" TRRS cable
  • Foldable figurine
  • Manuals

Sound
Sound
Sound Profile
Bass Amount
1.47 dB
Treble Amount
-1.91 dB

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7P and variants have a bass-rich sound profile. They deliver a touch of extra thump and rumble, which can help emphasize sound effects like footsteps and explosions. While dialogue and instruments are present, they're veiled and lack detail. If you prefer a different sound, their companion software offers robust sound customizations like a parametric EQ.

Some users have experienced connectivity issues with original SteelSeries Arctis headsets that affect audio quality. This manifests in disconnections, popping sounds, and audio stuttering. However, we couldn't replicate any of these issues with our Arctis Nova headset, even after running the headphones for two hours at a time or after continuously using them from fully charged to the battery completely depleting. While these issues are random, we didn't encounter them with our SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless either. If you have experienced this issue with the Arctis Nova lineup, please let us know in the forums, and we'll update our review.

5.3
Sound
Frequency Response Consistency
Avg. Std. Deviation
1.42 dB

They have disappointing frequency response consistency. They're very prone to inconsistencies in audio delivery, especially in the bass and treble ranges, and changes in fit, positioning, and seal will affect this. You may especially notice a drop in bass if you have thick hair or wear glasses.

Sound
Raw Frequency Response
9.0
Sound
Bass Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.4 dB
Low-Frequency Extension
16.34 Hz
Low-Bass
1.59 dB
Mid-Bass
1.48 dB
High-Bass
0.87 dB

Their bass accuracy is outstanding. The range is slightly overemphasized, adding a touch of extra thump, punch, and warmth that can help bring sound effects like footsteps in your gameplay.

9.0
Sound
Mid Accuracy
Std. Err.
1.3 dB
Low-Mid
-1.58 dB
Mid-Mid
-0.51 dB
High-Mid
-0.64 dB

These headphones have outstanding mid accuracy. The range is flat and neutral, which results in clear, present, and detailed dialogue and lead instruments.

5.5
Sound
Treble Accuracy
Std. Err.
6.41 dB
Low-Treble
-4.69 dB
Mid-Treble
1 dB
High-Treble
-9.89 dB

The SteelSeries Nova 7X and their variants' treble accuracy is sub-par. There's a large dip in the low-treble, which veils dialogue and lead instruments. That means voices like the party chat between Barrett and Aerith in the Final Fantasy VII Rebirth trailer sound weak and lack detail. A peak in the mid-treble makes sibilants like cymbals bright, though.

6.3
Sound
Peaks/Dips
Peaks
2.48 dB
Dips
1.93 dB

These headphones have a mediocre peaks and dips performance. They follow their own sound profile well in the mid and bass ranges, but there are some significant deviations in the treble range. A small peak in the low-bass adds a touch of extra thump to mixes, while a peak in the mid to high-mid pushes dialogue and instruments to the front of your mix. However, a deep dip in the low-treble veils dialogue and lead instruments while a high peak in the mid-treble makes sibilants like hi-hats piercing.

7.6
Sound
Imaging
Weighted Group Delay
0.24
Weighted Phase Mismatch
19.28
Weighted Amplitude Mismatch
0.72
Weighted Frequency Mismatch
2.3

These headphones have good imaging. This manufacturer tends to have decent quality control regarding their drivers. However, imaging can vary from unit to unit as it can indicate quality control and ergonomics. Our unit's left and right drivers are well-matched in group delay, ensuring tight bass and transparent treble reproduction. However, the left and right drivers have a bit of mismatch in phase response. It's minor and difficult to hear with real-life content unless you're listening out for it. They're better matched in amplitude, which helps produce a more balanced stereo image.

5.8
Sound
Passive Soundstage
PRTF Accuracy (Std. Dev.)
2.94 dB
PRTF Size (Avg.)
6.6 dB
PRTF Distance
11.49 dB
Openness
5.3
Acoustic Space Excitation
3.4

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7X and their variants have a sub-par passive soundstage performance, which is normal for closed-back headphones. Their soundstage seems wide but unnatural and closed-off. The headphones also struggle to reproduce an out-of-head audio experience, and audio sounds like it's playing from in front of you rather than from speakers placed around your head.

2.0
Sound
Virtual Soundstage
Head Modeling
No
Speaker Modeling
On/Off
Room Ambience
No
Head Tracking
No
Virtual Surround
Windows Sonic Spatial Audio

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 can access Windows Sonic Spatial Audio when connected to PCs. This feature allows you to adjust the distance of the soundstage. If you're connected to the PS5, you can also access Tempest 3D AudioTech, which you can turn on and off. This feature can add depth and directionality to sound effects like footsteps. You can connect these headphones to Dolby Atmos, but you'll need a license to access their virtual soundstage. That said, Dolby Atmos can help create a 3D audio experience by simulating multiple audio channels.

7.6
Sound
Weighted Harmonic Distortion
WHD @ 90
0.350
WHD @ 100
0.128

Their weighted harmonic distortion performance is good. There's a little distortion in the low to mid-treble, but it's very minor and hard to hear with real-life content. Most frequencies fall within good limits, resulting in fairly clear and pure audio reproduction.

Sound
Test Settings
Firmware
1.10
Power
On
Connection
Wireless (Proprietary)
Codec
PCM, 24-bit, 48kHz
EQ
Default
ANC
No ANC
Tip/Pad
Default
Microphone
Boom

These are the settings used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid when used in these settings.

Isolation
4.6
Isolation
Noise Isolation
Isolation Audio
Overall Attenuation
-13.71 dB
Noise Cancelling No
Bass
1.04 dB
Mid
-9.34 dB
Treble
-33.64 dB

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless have poor noise isolation performance. They're not designed to block background noise, though they can make a dent in high-pitched sounds like the hum of a standing fan. However, don't expect them to block out noise from traffic outside your window or cut down a lot of ambient chatter. Some users have also experienced a hissing or static-like sound when connected to their console. We couldn't replicate this issue, but some users have had limited success correcting this issue by lowering the mic volume level or keeping the Volume Limiter set to 'ON'.

7.0
Isolation
Leakage
Leakage Audio
Overall Leakage @ 1ft
39.59 dB

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 and their variants' leakage performance is satisfactory. Leakage is concentrated mostly in the mid-range and sounds fairly full-bodied. If you're gaming in a moderately noisy environment, you may bother others around you.

Microphone
Microphone
Microphone Style
Integrated
No
In-Line
No
Boom
Yes
Detachable Boom
No
Mic Yes
7.8
Microphone
Recording Quality
Recorded Speech
LFE
20 Hz
FR Std. Dev.
2.89 dB
HFE
6,933.79 Hz
Weighted THD
2.446
Gain
27.76 dB

The microphone's recording quality is good. Your voice sounds clear, full-bodied, and easy to understand. Your voice also sounds clear if you're using the Clearcast AI Noise Cancelling feature. You can hear our recorded speech file with this feature here. If you're looking for gaming headphones with even better recording quality, consider the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro Wireless 2023.

There's white noise present in our recording. This headphones' mic picks up the noise made from our testing rig's mouth speaker. The recording quality score isn't affected by this noise, though. However, some users have reported encountering a noise floor when setting the 'Mic Monitoring' feature to Medium or High. We confirmed this with our unit even when using the Low setting, although it was less noticeable than when using the higher settings. The only way to remove the noise floor is to turn 'Mic Monitoring' off or mute the microphone if enabled.

7.7
Microphone
Noise Handling
SpNR
35.78 dB
Noise Gate
On/Off Toggle
Speech + Pink Noise Handling
7.5
Speech + Pink Noise Audio Sample
Speech + Subway Noise Handling
8.0
Speech + Subway Noise Audio Sample

The mic's noise handling performance is good. The mic performs similarly to the SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition Wireless and can separate your voice from moderate background noise well.

This mic has a ClearCast AI Noise Cancellation feature, which you can access from the companion software. It does a great job of separating your voice from ambient noise, resulting in clear speech. If you want to hear this feature's performance, you can check out our pink noise and subway noise recordings. You can also adjust the level of the noise gate to suit your preferences. You can see a comparison between all the modes here.

Active Features
9.3
Active Features
Battery
Battery Type
Rechargable
Continuous Battery Life
33.3 hrs
Additional Charges
0.0
Total Battery Life
33.3 hrs
Charge Time
1.9 hrs
Power-Saving Feature
Auto-Off Timer
Audio While Charging
Yes
Passive Playback
Yes
Charging Port USB-C

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 have an outstanding battery life performance. The manufacturer advertises them to last 26 hours continuously with Bluetooth and their wireless transmitter in use. We measured over 33 hours, which is less than competitors like the HyperX Cloud III Wireless, but these headphones easily last through long gaming sessions. However, battery life can vary depending on use. Luckily, they're equipped with an auto-off timer to help conserve battery life, and you can even use them passively if you run out of battery life.

8.5
Active Features
App Support
App Name Steelseries GG
iOS No
Android No
macOS Yes
Windows Yes
Equalizer
Parametric + Presets
ANC Control
No
Mic Control Adjustable Level
Room Effects
No
Playback Control
No
Button Mapping No
Surround Support
Yes

These headphones are compatible with SteelSeries GG and Sonar software, which are excellent. There are dedicated controls for gaming, chat, and the microphone, each with their own EQs and presets, as well as volume. You can also access a spatial audio feature. Within the Chat and Microphone tabs, you can access features to help improve the mic's quality, including Clearcast AI Noise Cancellation, Noise Reduction, Noise Gate, and Smart Voice. If you want to transfer your EQ settings to your console (including Xbox and PlayStation), you can only do so via the GG Engine app. Sonar needs to be disabled for this to work, and you can't transfer any changes made in Sonar itself to your console.

Connectivity
9.9
Connectivity
Wired Connection
Analog Audio
Yes
USB Audio
No
Detachable
Yes
Length
4.10 ft (1.25 m)
Connector
1/8" TRRRS
Latency - Analog
0.3 ms
Latency - USB
N/A
Recorded Latency
Recorded Latency Connection Analog

These headphones come with a 1/8" TRRRS to 1/8" TRRS cable, so you can use them wired. They also come with a USB-A to USB-C charging cable and a USB-A to USB-C adapter for the wireless dongle.

7.9
Connectivity
Bluetooth Connection
Bluetooth Version
5.010
Multi-Device Pairing
Bluetooth + Console/Non-BT Wireless
Quick Pair (Android)
No
Quick Pair (iOS)
No
Line Of Sight Range
328.08 ft (100.00 m)
Latency - SBC
235 ms
Latency - aptX
N/A
Latency - aptX Adaptive (High Quality)
N/A
Latency - aptX Adaptive (Low Latency)
N/A
Latency - LDAC
N/A
Recorded Latency
Recorded Latency Codec SBC
AAC Support
No

These headphones have very good Bluetooth connectivity. You can connect them to a Bluetooth device like your smartphone while using your console via non-Bluetooth wireless simultaneously. However, this is the only way to use multi-device pairing, so you can't use the headphones with both an analog and Bluetooth (or the wireless dongle's) connection. All wireless features (whether Bluetooth or non-Bluetooth wireless) will turn off once you use the headphones via analog.

Using Bluetooth, they have high latency on PCs using the SBC codec, meaning that this connection isn't suitable for streaming video as you'll experience lip sync issues. Some apps and devices compensate for latency differently, though.

8.4
Connectivity
Wireless Connection (Dongle)
Line Of Sight Range
110.89 ft (33.80 m)
Latency - Dongle
29 ms
Recorded Latency

These headphones have great non-Bluetooth connectivity. The model we tested is the Xbox variant, and their included wireless dongle is compatible with both PlayStation and Xbox, which is important since some headphones, like the Astro A30 Wireless, are only compatible with one console or the other. The dongle included in the PC and PlayStation variants doesn't have a switch and isn't compatible with Xbox consoles.

These headphones have low latency when using their wireless dongle. That means your audio and visuals will stay in sync while gaming.

Connectivity
PC Compatibility
Analog
Audio + Microphone
Wired USB
No
Non-BT Wireless
Audio + Microphone

All variants of these headphones are fully compatible with PCs via Bluetooth. You can also connect them with full audio and mic compatibility to your PC via analog or wirelessly with the dongle.

Connectivity
PlayStation Compatibility
PS4 Analog
Audio + Microphone
PS4 Wired USB
No
PS4 Non-BT Wireless
Audio + Microphone
PS5 Analog
Audio + Microphone
PS5 Wired USB
No
PS5 Non-BT Wireless
Audio + Microphone

All console-specific variants of these headphones (including the Xbox variant) can connect to your PlayStation consoles via analog and non-Bluetooth wireless. You can receive audio and use their mic. However, if you make any EQ changes using the GG app on PC, they won't transfer onto this console unless you disable the Sonar app.

Connectivity
Xbox Compatibility
Xbox One Analog
Audio + Microphone
Xbox One Wired USB
No
Xbox One Non-BT Wireless
Audio + Microphone
Xbox Series X|S Analog
Audio + Microphone
Xbox Series X|S Wired USB
No
Xbox Series X|S Non-BT Wireless
Audio + Microphone

Only the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7X can wirelessly connect to Xbox consoles with full compatibility, as the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7P and 7 don't support Xbox Wireless. You can also change your headphones' EQ on PC using the GG Engine app, and it will transfer to this console. However, you need to disable Sonar first, and any customization made in Sonar won't be transferrable. All variants of these headphones are also compatible with Xbox consoles by plugging their 1/8" TRRRS to 1/8" TRRS cable into your console's controller.

3.4
Connectivity
Base/Dock
Type
Wireless USB Dongle
USB Input
Yes
Line In
No
Line Out
No
Optical Input
No
RCA Input
No
Dock Charging
No
Power Supply
USB-C

These headphones come with a wireless dongle. It has a USB-C connector and comes with a USB-A adapter. There aren't any inputs to this dongle. Only the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7X variant's dongle has a switch so that you can use the headphones wirelessly via Xbox or USB.