SteelSeries Arctis 7 Review (Pro Headset)

One of the best there is.

July 9, 2019

I’ve had several gaming headsets over the years and experienced a couple of others that weren’t my own, a majority of which were considered high-end. However, the SteelSeries Arctis 7 Pro beats them all, by a landslide. The sound quality is excellent, the microphone crystal clear, the comfort band innovative, and the design is a tribute to the perfect combination between gamer and audiophile. SteelSeries have made it clear that you don’t need flashy RGB and intricate patterns to create one of the best, if not the best, gaming headsets out there. Granted, the price is high for the average gamer, but so well worth it.

What we played: Overwatch, Borderlands Series, Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, Satisfactory, music

*This item was not provided by SteelSeries. It was purchased by Unleash The Gamer for review purposes only.

DESIGN

I love this headset’s design. In a world where odd shapes, sharp angles, metal patterns, and RGB lighting have become staples of gaming hardware, in comes SteelSeries with a wonderfully uncomplicated design that blends comfort and elegance. In comparison to most high-end gaming headsets, the SteelSeries Arctis 7 Pro looks almost plain. Throw it in a pile with the others and you’d think it was made for relaxing and listening to music on the way home while riding the subway. However, you’d be wrong. It’s purely made for gaming.

The simple matte finishing is soft to touch and sleek. The cups are oval-shaped and perfect for covering your ears without pressing them against your skull. Everything blends in beautifully, with just one light at the end of your microphone that only lights up when the battery is low, or you’ve muted your mic. It’s purely practical. There are customization options, not just the black or white version, but different colored bands, with more intricate patterns and designs. However, I went for the sleek black, as it goes with the rest of my setup.

The Arctis 7 Pro headset stands out through simplicity, and it’s a quality I deeply appreciate about its design. Because, at the end of the day, who needs RGB lighting on a headset? You won’t see it anyway.

COMFORT

SteelSeries Arctis 7 reviewIn my experience, I’ve noticed that one of the struggles of gaming headsets is designing one that perfectly balances comfort versus sound isolation. You need the muffs to cover the user’s ears, add some pressure to keep them in place, and potentially cover them in faux-leather to press down and drown out the noise. It can create some discomfort during long gaming sessions, but it’s worth it as long as you keep yourself immersed in the world or can hear the pin drop in game. The Arctis 7 Pro headset manages to do all that without creating any soreness even after wearing them for hours on end.

SteelSeries Arctis 7 reviewThe muffs are covered with a soft fabric that doesn’t stick to your skin, but just gently brushes against it. The pressure is minimal against your head and the oval shape allows it to cover your ears completely. They’re great even for people who wear glasses and often find themselves clashing with the cups of their headset. It offers excellent sound isolation without leaving you with the need to remove them every couple of hours. The Arctis 7 headset is also incredibly light. You may even forget you have them on. I can’t say the same for others, such as the Razer Kraken Chroma, which feel comfortable at first, but you regret them a couple of hours in. However, the SteelSeries headset weighs very little and are incredibly flexible.

Furthermore, one notable aspect about the Arctis 7 Pro is the headband. Usually, you would place the headset directly on top of your head. It’s basically a piece of plastic or metal, covered in fabric just pressing against your skull. Not this one, though. The SteelSeries Arctis 7 Pro feature an elastic headband that balances flawlessly on top of your head. It’s no longer a fight between your skull and a firm piece of sturdy material. You usually end up losing that one to either discomfort or having your hair caught up in between the creases. You’re limited by the indents the headset offers, and you have to find some semblance of balance between right and left. Instead, the band of the Arctis 7 molds to the shape of your head and it’s incredibly intuitive to use. You can customize it to the last inch on how loose or tight you want it. I’m genuinely questioning why other manufacturers haven’t made this feature more common.

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 Pro is, without a doubt, the most comfortable pair of headset I’ve ever used.

Sturdiness

The Arctis 7 Pro feels very light in your hands, but that doesn’t take away from its sturdiness. It’s made mainly by reinforced plastic, but what I like the most is that it doesn’t feel cheap. Often, when manufacturers use plastic and they attempt to make it as lightweight as possible, the result feels rather cheap and fragile in your hands. I’m happy to say that this is not the case for the SteelSeries Arctis 7. I’ll admit I haven’t tried it, but it likely can handle a few rougher encounters with the desk or the floor if you happen to drop them. However, you won’t feel like they need special treatment just to keep them from falling apart.

The microphone itself is flexible and can be placed in whichever position you prefer. Nothing about the Arctis 7 Pro headset feels fragile. However, the one issue to note is the sensitivity of the volume control wheels on the cups. They are, by far, the only assets that can be problematic. If you fumble about the muffs, whether to hit the mute button or to turn them on/off, you might accidentally mess up your volume settings. The wheels are a tad too sensitive and react instantly when gently nudged.

While it’s not that big of a deal for most people, I have to say it has caused me some annoyances when I found that perfect balance between Discord and Overwatch only to have it messed up by accident. There’s nothing worse than missing out on the notice of an enemy’s ultimate being activated because it was drowned by the sound of your teammates yelling.

Performance

SteelSeries Arctis 7 reviewOne thing you must remember about the Arctis 7 Pro headset is that its primary purpose is gaming. And it delivers in full. The sound is absolutely perfect and the noise cancelling is great. While donning the headset, I can barely hear the world around me and can immerse myself in gameplay. The accuracy can be a lifesaver when your listening for the intricate patterns of the enemy’s footsteps in-game. However, I do know that some people are not completely comfortable without hearing what’s happening around them. So, it could be considered a drawback in that respect. I am not among them, though. I enjoy the sound isolation the SteelSeries headset offers.

The microphone is also top notch. The sound of your voice is crystal clear (as someone who has been on both ends of the SteelSeries Arctis 7 headset, I can attest to its accuracy). In fact, it’s excellently suited to capture just your voice while leaving out anything that might be going on around you. Cause no one wants to hear your dog barking incessantly in the background because a stray cat decided to mock him from a high fence.

If you move the mic away from your mouth, those on the other end will note the difference. Even with those few extra inches of distance, you will be noticeably quieter. This is perhaps a drawback for some but a tribute, in my opinion, to the microphone’s excellent zoning. The noise around you doesn’t interfere with chat. It’s useful when I’m waiting to respawn, and I want to take a drink of water or a bite of my snacks without letting everyone know what I’m munching on.

The downside of its performance is in regard to music. By default, it doesn’t quite have the right settings to provide that quality sound you can find in games. It takes a bit of tinkering with its software to get it just right. Fortunately, you can save them. I don’t usually make different profiles for my keyboard and mouse where it concerned games. I rarely ever use macros and I prefer to keep the DPI the same across the board, as I often play aim-centric games and rely on muscle memory and flicks to get that perfect shot. It’s a personal preference that has worked for me for years. However, with headsets, the story’s a little different. With the SteelSeries Arctis 7 Pro, I prefer to make one special for music.

Features

The most evident feature of the Arctis 7 headset is its ability to be both wired and wireless. I won’t be the first to say that you can genuinely forget you will have to plug them back in at one point. The battery lasts 24 hours and that’s a long, long time of use. While I’ve never been one to promote wireless hardware for gaming, I was genuinely impressed when I got the Arctis 7 how long its battery life lasts and how clear the sound remains even if you’re walking out of the room. From my desk to the kitchen, through walls and doors, my friends can’t tell that I’m AFK to go grab a drink. It recharges very fast and you can still use it with its wire attached while it does.

In addition, the SteelSeries Arctis 7 Pro has a couple of useful controls on the cups. First off, it has the regular power on/off button, the micro USB port to charge it, and the mute button. I have to say, I much prefer finding them up there than on a remote in the middle of the cable. For me, though, the volume wheels are the highlight of its features. It has two of them, one that controls the sound in-game and one in-chat, with synchronization with software such as Discord. It’s particularly useful when you’re playing multiplayer games.

Perhaps in more casual settings (for example, my friends and I are replaying the Borderlands series before the third one comes out) you want to have your chat a bit louder so you can talk and joke around. However, for more competitive games such as Overwatch, I prefer hearing the footsteps of enemies and in-game prompts over random banter that comes up in Discord. And there are also co-op games where you just want to drown out comments on Discord and focus on in-game cinematics without having someone break your immersion in the story.

VERDICT

5/5
Design
5/5
Comfort
4/5
Sturdiness
5/5
Performance
5/5
Features

Where it comes to the SteelSeries Arctis 7 Pro headset, I can only sing its praises. Seriously, I might actually be able to write a song about it. It’s an excellent headset and, without a doubt, the best one I’ve tried on so far. Nothing else even comes close and I doubt it will for the next few years. The sound is amazing, the controls are flexible, and it’s incredibly comfortable. It’s everything you could ask for in a gaming headset and I warmly recommend it to anyone. Is it worth the price, though? Why, yes. Yes, it is.

The Good The Bad
High sound qualityWheels on the cups a little sensitive
Clear microphone outputNot the greatest for music
Incredibly light
Good even for gamers with glasses
Excellent sound isolation
Highly adjustable headband
Easy in-game versus in-chat volume control

STEELSERIES ARCTIS 7

Lossless Wireless Gaming Headset

SPECS

Headphones Form FactorFull size
Sound Output ModeStereo
Frequency Response20 Hz
Sensitivity98 dB
Impedance32 Ohm
Response Bandwidth100 Hz
TypeAudio line-out
Connector TypeMini-phone stereo 3.5 mm
Included AccessoriesWireless transmitter
Color CategoryBlack, white
Tania Preda

Tania Preda

Contributor

I pride myself with an awesome gaming rig and probably spend way too much money on peripherals. I’m still keeping my tastes varied, either heading into competitive Overwatch, doing every single side quest of Red Dead Redemption 2 or Assassin’s Creed: Odyssey, sometimes indulging in a bit city building with Anno 1800 or Frostpunk, enjoying the bloodshed in Mortal Kombat XI, and getting excited about most upcoming open-world, story-driven RPGs.

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