The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless are a lineup of headphones that includes three console-specific variants: the 7, which are designed for PCs, the 7P for PlayStation, and the 7X for Xbox. Each come with 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, you can use the Xbox variant on the PlayStation 4/5 and PC without an issue, which is unlike most other Xbox-specific headphones.
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.
The SteelSeries Nova 7P and their 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 on the go.
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, though this 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.
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. They can also be paired with your PC and smartphone simultaneously, thanks to their Bluetooth and wireless dongle support. Unfortunately, they have trouble blocking background noise like office chit-chat, though they do a better job cutting down the hum of AC units.
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 enough 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.
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 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 a bit veiled.
The SteelSeries Nova 7 and their variants are decent for phone calls. They have a retractable boom mic that 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.
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||Sidetone|
|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 one color variant: 'Black', and you can see our unit's label here. The 7X variant offers the most cross-platform compatibility and have chatmix. That said, the 7 and 7P offer the same level of compatibility, and the only difference between the 7 and 7P is cosmetic. As a result, except for the aforementioned differences listed above, we expect all models to perform similarly. If you come across another variant of these headphones, please let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 lineup are wireless gaming headphones with a similar frame design as the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless for Xbox. 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.
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 longer-lasting 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.
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless for 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 have a very similar look to other headphones in the Nova lineup, like the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless for Xbox, 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.
These headphones have a comfortable fit. They're somewhat similar in fit to the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless for Xbox 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 problematic if you have a large head.
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:
On the right ear cup:
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 for Xbox. 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.
These headphones 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 for Xbox unit either. If you have experienced this issue with the Arctis Nova lineup, please let us know in the discussions, and we'll update our review.
The SteelSeries Nova 7X and their variants' treble accuracy is sub-par. There's a large dip in the low-treble, which really veils dialogue and lead instruments. That means that 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.
These headphones have a mediocre peaks and dips performance. 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.
These headphones have good imaging. This manufacturer tends to have decent quality control when it comes to their drivers. However, imaging can vary from unit to unit as it can be an indicator of 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 very minor and is difficult to hear with real-life content. They're better matched in amplitude, which helps produce a more balanced stereo image.
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7X and their variants have a sub-par passive soundstage performance. Their soundstage seems wide but unnatural and closed-off. The headphones also struggle to reproduce an out-of-head audio experience.
These headphones 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 help 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.
Their weighted harmonic distortion performance is good. There's a little bit of distortion present 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.
These are the settings used to test these headphones. Our results are only valid when used in these settings.
Their noise isolation performance is poor. 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'.
The microphone's recording quality is good. Your voice sounds clear, full-bodied, and easy to understand. If you're using the Clearcast AI Noise Cancelling feature, your voice also sounds clear. You can hear our recorded speech file with this feature here.
There's white noise present in our recording. It's the noise made from our testing rig's mouth speaker, which is picked up by this headphones' mic. The recording quality score isn't affected by this noise, though.
The mic's noise handling performance is good. The mic performs similarly to the SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition Wireless, and it 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.
The battery performance is outstanding. The manufacturer advertises them to last 26 hours continuously with Bluetooth and their wireless transmitter in use. We measured over 33 hours, which easily lasts 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.
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.
These headphones have excellent 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 non-Bluetooth wireless) 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, meaning they won't be suitable for streaming video. However, their latency is a lot lower on Android, and you won't notice lip-sync issues. Although the iOS latency is negative, it's noticeable that the video comes before the voice. Different apps and devices compensate for latency differently, though.
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 or the other. The dongle included in the PC and PlayStation variants doesn't have a switch and aren't compatible with Xbox consoles.
Our original 17 ms of latency seemed to be the outlier and we retested the latency of the dongle. By performing ten passes instead of five and averaging the results, we were unable to achieve close to the original results. Latency depends on your setup though. That said, the Xbox variant's dongle still falls within good levels, ensuring that your audio and visuals stay in sync while gaming. However, we haven't tested the 7 or 7P's latency and don't know how they perform in this regard.
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.
All variants of this console have full compatibility 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.
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.
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. That said, you can 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.
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.