The Sound of Victory: SteelSeries Arctis 7+ Headset Review (First-Hand Tested!)

Is SteelSeries high-end? If you’re pondering the high-end status of SteelSeries and the appeal of their popular Arctis 7+, you’re in the right spot. SteelSeries indeed ranks among the high-end brands, celebrated for their award-winning headphone designs, exceptional audio, and robust build quality.

The Arctis 7+, a gaming headset for competitive play in their headphone lineup, has gained recognition for its impressive audio customization offering and low wireless latency. So, if you’re debating whether the Arctis 7+ suits your needs, this firsthand review delves deep, examining its audio quality, mic performance, and wireless capabilities.

We’ll also reveal what left an impression and what fell short. Additionally, we’ll compare its features with other popular SteelSeries models as well as microphones, making your decision-making process easier. So, without any more delay, let’s begin!

SteelSeries Arctis 7+: A Snapshot

What We Liked About Arctis 7+

  • Impressive sound customization features through Sonar software.
  • Long-lasting battery life, even during intense gaming sessions.
  • Excellent audio quality and clarity for both games and music.
  • Adjustable in-game audio and chat levels.
  • Effective passive noise cancellation.
  • Seamless wireless connectivity with minimal latency.
  • Comfortable fit during extended use.
  • Effective ClearCast microphone for voice chat.
  • Compatibility with various gaming platforms.
  • 7.1 Surround Sound for an immersive gaming experience.

What We Didn’t Like About Arctis 7+

  • Slight white noise issue when the volume is cranked up.
  • The retractable mic could be better.
  • SteelSeries needs to work on the portability of the headset. Maybe make it foldable.
  • There’s no Bluetooth connectivity.
  • The hinges and joints are a tad weak.
9
  • Headphones fit type:Over-Ear.Microphone Frequency Response 100-6500 Hz.Specific uses for product : Gaming
  • Updated 2021 version of the Award Winning Arctis 7 - PC Gamer Best Wireless Gaming Headset.Updated dongle with USB-C for 2.4Ghz lossless wireless audio, ultra-low latency gaming and super stable 40ft per 12m range means you’ll never miss a beat. (USB-A adapter incl.)
  • Enhanced 30-hour battery with USB-C charging outlasts even your longest gaming sessions
  • 7.1 virtual surround sound (PC), 3D Audio (PS5) lets you immerse yourself in 360-degrees of precision audio for the competitive advantage
  • Arctis 7 plus (2021) upgrades the 7 with all new features like USB-C and 30 Hour battery life but with the same awesome audio - Part of the award winning Arctis 7 family “PC Gamer Best Wireless Gaming Headset – Arctis 7”

What’s the Difference between Arctis 7 and 7+?

Both the Arctis 7 and Arctis 7+ offer fantastic gaming experiences with their Chatmix features, noise-canceling mic, and great sound quality. However, there are key differences between both headsets. The Arctis 7+ shines in a few areas, such as:

  • Battery Life – It offers an impressive battery life of 30 hours compared to the 24 hours of Arctis 7.
  • Device Compatibility – It is a gaming headset for PC and console and comes with convenient USB-C charging and a wireless USB-C dongle, which isn’t present in Arctis 7. You can also use the dongle for gaming on Android devices.
  • Customization – It also supports Sonar, an audio software by SteelSeries other than their regular GG software. The Sonar tool lets you fine-tune your audio with presets and a parametric EQ and control the mic and chat levels.
  • Controls – The Arctis 7+ keeps it neat with volume and mic controls on the left ear cup and a power button and channel mixer on the right. Meanwhile, the Arctis 7’s controls are kind of so-so, sticking to the old pattern with a channel mixer and power button on the left and volume and mic controls on the right.
  • Non-Bluetooth Wireless Speed – The Arctis 7+ has a lower non-Bluetooth latency of 36 ms compared to the Arctis 7’s 171 ms. That means when you’re gaming on the Arctis 7+, your audio and visuals are less likely to get out of sync.

So, when considering which version of SteelSeries Arctis is best, think about your priorities.

Do you want longer battery life, enhanced sound customization, lower non-Bluetooth wireless latency, and broader device compatibility? Then Arctis 7+ is your best bet.

SteelSeries Arctis 7+: Key Features

The Arctis 7+ boasts an array of impressive features for gamers seeking top-notch audio and versatility, such as the following:

1. Wireless Connectivity

It comes with a wireless USB-C dongle, making it easy to switch between systems with low-latency 2.4 GHz wireless connectivity. It’s like having a one-stop connection for all your gadgets, saving you cash and tidying up your gaming setup. And you can charge your headset while playing, so no more worrying about running out of battery mid-game.

2. Surround Sound

It supports Sonar software for 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound, which can pick up far-off sounds with crystal clarity. You can also hear the audio from all angles to pinpoint the object’s position and sound before you see it. This helps provide an immersive and realistic gaming experience.

3. ClearCast Microphone

The Arctis 7+ headset includes a Discord Certified Arctis ClearCast microphone for crystal-clear voice quality and noise cancellation. Instead of grabbing sound from everywhere, it zeroes in on your voice, cutting out background noise like computer fans and controller clicks.

This feature makes sure your voice can be heard clearly by your teammates during gaming sessions. Besides, the retractable mic allows you to adjust its angle.

4. Gaming Platform Compatibility

It is designed to work with various gaming platforms like PC, PS5, PS4, Nintendo Switch, USB-C iPads, and Android.

5. Customizable Sound

You can customize the audio to your liking using the Parametric EQ feature of the SteelSeries Engine app. Plus, the ChatMix wheel allows you to adjust in-game audio and chat levels. When you fine-tune sound, you can hear every little detail, like gunshots, footsteps, and explosions, which help you react faster.

6. Battery Life

It is a gaming headset with long battery life of 30 hours with USB-C charging. You can also charge the headset for a quick 15 minutes, providing 3 hours of playtime.

7. Price

It is priced around $139.99, offering great value for its features.

Moving on, let’s talk about the design and build quality of the SteelSeries Arctis 7+.

SteelSeries Arctis 7+: Design and Build Quality

1. Headband and Ear Cup Design

The Arctis 7+ has a comfortable suspension frame, a ski-goggle-style elastic headband, an adjustable Velcro patch, and a retractable mic. Moreover, the headset features soft, padded, flexible, and breathable ear cups.

2. Materials Used

The Arctis 7+ is built mainly from plastic, featuring airweave fabric ear padding and an elastic strap for the headband.

3. Durability and Longevity

The Arctis 7+ has a bulky build, a sturdy steel frame, and soft, breathable, and flexible ear pads. Therefore, it can take an impact or two and is quite tough to break even with rough handling.

SteelSeries Arctis 7+: Our Sound, Mic, and Fit Checks

We created a quiet, controlled testing space to evaluate Arctis 7+’s sound, mic performance, and comfort. Our aim was to assess its performance during gaming, vocal reproduction, and music playback. Here’s what we tested:

  • We played fast-paced games like CS:GO and Modern Warfare 2 to evaluate the audio quality and the headset’s ability to effectively reproduce in-game sounds.
  • We tested the headset with diverse music, assessing its ability to accurately reproduce different frequencies and emphasize vocal and instrumental clarity.
  • We identified significant peaks and dips in frequency response using audio analysis software.
  • We recorded voice samples in real-world environments, evaluating clarity and noise cancellation.
  • We monitored wireless connectivity for non-Bluetooth latency and audio-visual synchronization.
  • We explored Sonar software’s audio customization options, assessing their impact on audio quality.
  • We assessed the comfort and fit of the Arctis 7+ during testing, ensuring a comfortable experience during extended use.
  • We evaluated its battery life, ensuring it could perform consistently over extended periods of use.

Next, we sorted all our test results into categories like wireless and mic performance, audio quality, and more. Now, let’s see how the Arctis 7+ fared in our tests.

Audio Quality

In our audio quality tests with gaming and music, the Arctis 7+ provided balanced highs, midrange, and bass with a decent sound EQ while playing CS:GO on PC. The gunshots were punchy, and the footsteps sound had clarity. However, there was a bit of a boom in the high-bass and dips in the mid-mid and low-treble.

The treble accuracy was great, but the cymbals sounded sharp. Whereas the bass is decent, with an overall boost that adds a nice thump without going overboard. But, sometimes, this extra oomph can make things sound a bit muddy.

But when it comes to sound distortion, they do a pretty good job, with only slight hiccups in the lower to mid-treble that you’ll hardly notice while gaming. As for the mids, they’re mostly on point, but there’s a bit of spill from the bass into the lower mids, which can make the lyrics a tad less clear.

For music, we picked Sia’s tunes for its mix of mid, low, and high tones. We fine-tuned each track using the equalizer to optimize the bass and treble. One downside we noticed with the Arctis 7+ during music testing was the white noise when we cranked up the volume. To tame that, we had to dial it down slightly.

Microphone Performance

We put the Arctis 7+ to the test with Zoom calls, vocal audio, and gaming sessions. During our Modern Warfare 2 gameplay and Zoom meetings, our teammates heard our voice crystal clear, and there were no annoying keyboard clacks to disturb them. 

But just to be clear, the Arctis 7+ Wireless doesn’t have active noise cancellation. Though in testing, the mic delivered a solid job ensuring clear conversations. It blocked some noise, like our PC fan and ambient chatter, offering moderate passive noise reduction. 

The mic also gave the vocals a nice touch of sparkle and brightness. With Sonar, these headphones give you a theater-like sound that really amps up your gaming immersion. But, when you crank up the volume, these headphones aren’t the best at keeping noise from leaking out.

Though, our test recordings came out clean and easy to hear, with no annoying popping or excessive sibilance. What’s more, extending and adjusting the mic’s angle feels easy. However, retracting it can be a bit awkward due to the flexible wire, which doesn’t always snap back into position smoothly.

Comfort and Fit

We tested the comfort and fit of the elastic band with the adjustable Velcro patch. Since they’re wireless, you don’t have to worry about the headset getting yanked off by accident. The Arctis 7+ ensured a comfy and snug fit that didn’t squeeze too hard during our extended 4-hour gaming session. 

The padding feels nice and soft, and the ear cups have decent flexibility. But they don’t fold up for compact storage, which can be inconvenient when moving. It’s also worth noting that the ear cups don’t do a great job blocking out noise. Also, the hinges and joints are a tad weak. 

Moreover, the headset’s bulky design may not accommodate larger heads due to limited adjustment options and not meant for intense movements. So, don’t get too excited during fast-paced games, and the headset will stay put just fine.

Wireless Performance

In our wireless tests with the Arctis 7+, we tested the wireless latency and range of Arctis 7+ on multiple devices. For PlayStation, you can use either the mini B 8-pin cable plugged into the controller or go wireless with the USB-C dongle. But for Xbox, it’s a bit of a letdown. 

The Arctis 7+ only works with Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S consoles and doesn’t support non-Bluetooth wireless connection. However, the headset has a USB dongle that ensures low latency, keeping your gaming audio and visuals in sync for a lag-free experience. 

It uses the Arctis 2.4G wireless connection, providing lossless and super-low latency wireless audio with an impressive range of up to 40 ft without interference. We tried the headset while sitting across the living room while gaming on both PC, Android, and PS consoles. 

There was zero lag, and at 65 ft with no obstacles, we measured around 36ms of latency, which is pretty good. However, when we moved about 25 feet away from the router with some thick walls in the way, the headset began to experience noticeable lag.

User Interface and Controls

Next, we tested the user interface and controls of Arctis 7+. The right earcup of the Arctis 7+ Wireless has a power button that does more than just turn things on and off. You can do various things like play/pause audio, answer/end calls, and skip through music tracks with different button presses. 

The right earcup also houses a ChatMix dial, allowing you to easily adjust the balance between game audio and voice chat without diving into menus. There was a slight sticking issue with the dial, but a quick unplug and re-plug of the dongle sorted it out. 

The standout for us was the 7.1 virtual surround sound and audio customization provided by the Sonar tab in the SteelSeries GG companion software. We were able to fine-tune settings like “smiley,” “focus,” “treble & bass boost,” “smart volume,” “general gain,” and “voice clarity” for an immersive game experience. 

Interestingly, different presets cater to specific game genres and music. Smiley improved our CS:GO gameplay. While voice clarity popped the lyrics in music scores, the bass boost enhanced the audio experience. We could also adjust the mic volume and preview its sound.

Additionally, the chat tab offered extensive control with a customizable noise reduction, 10-band EQ, noise gate, impact noise reduction, and volume stabilizer. Interestingly, the mic tab mirrored the chat tab settings and delivered an identical performance.

FAQs – SteelSeries Arctis 7+

Is Arctis 7 or Arctis 9 Better?

Choosing between the SteelSeries Arctis 7 and Arctis 9 depends on your preferences. However, the Arctis 7 outperforms the Arctis 9 in wireless gaming, offering an added ⅛” TRRS cable for passive audio playback and mic use.

It provides better noise isolation, delivers consistent frequency response, enhanced bass, stereo imaging, and mid-accuracy, resulting in clean sound. 

On the flip side, the Arctis 9 adds Bluetooth for dual console and smartphone connectivity, along with slightly lower non-Bluetooth wireless latency and reduced audio leakage. However, it lacks a wired option and falls short in battery life compared to the Arctis 7.

Is Arctis 7+ or Arctis Pro Better?

The Arctis Pro Wireless has a more neutral default sound profile, boasts better frequency response, bass, and mid accuracy, and even throws in Bluetooth support. Its boom mic also outperforms the Arctis 7+. 

However, the Arctis 7+ takes the lead in treble accuracy, noise isolation, audio leakage control, and battery life. Plus, it provides more customization features as it is compatible with Sonar, offering a parametric EQ.

Is Arctis 7 Still Good in 2023?

Yes, the Arctis 7 remains a solid option in 2023. It delivers high-quality audio, comfy wear, and a retractable mic. But newer versions like the Arctis 7+ have upped the game with features like extended battery life and USB-C charging.

Does Arctis 7+ Have 7.1 Surround Sound?

Yes, the Arctis 7+ does support 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound, which you can activate using the Sonar software within the SteelSeries GG platform. It provides an enhanced and immersive audio experience for gamers.

Does Arctis 7+ Have White Noise?

Yes, the Arctis 7+ has a touch of white noise, but it’s common with wireless headsets and might not bug everyone. You’ll mainly pick it up at higher volume levels.

Is Arctis 7+ Better than Arctis 7?

Yes, the Arctis 7+ brings some significant improvements over the Arctis 7. It features USB-C charging, 30+ hours of battery life, and a versatile multi-platform wireless dongle. 

The Arctis 7+ also offers enhanced audio customization via Sonar and significantly lower non-Bluetooth latency at 36 ms, making it a better choice than Arctis 7.

9
  • Headphones fit type:Over-Ear.Microphone Frequency Response 100-6500 Hz.Specific uses for product : Gaming
  • Updated 2021 version of the Award Winning Arctis 7 - PC Gamer Best Wireless Gaming Headset.Updated dongle with USB-C for 2.4Ghz lossless wireless audio, ultra-low latency gaming and super stable 40ft per 12m range means you’ll never miss a beat. (USB-A adapter incl.)
  • Enhanced 30-hour battery with USB-C charging outlasts even your longest gaming sessions
  • 7.1 virtual surround sound (PC), 3D Audio (PS5) lets you immerse yourself in 360-degrees of precision audio for the competitive advantage
  • Arctis 7 plus (2021) upgrades the 7 with all new features like USB-C and 30 Hour battery life but with the same awesome audio - Part of the award winning Arctis 7 family “PC Gamer Best Wireless Gaming Headset – Arctis 7”

SteelSeries Arctis 7+ vs. Other Gaming Headsets

Pitting the SteelSeries Arctis 7+ against other popular gaming headsets is essential to explore its distinctive features and performance. 

This will help you understand what makes it stand out and whether you need to explore other headsets. Here, we have compared the key features of Arctis 7+ with Arctis 9, Nova 7, 7P+, and Sony Pulse 3D:

SteelSeries Arctis 7+ vs. 9

FeaturesArctis 7+Arctis 9
ConnectivityMini B 8-Pin wired, 2.4GHz wireless, USB-CPartially wired, 2.4 GHz dual-wireless, Bluetooth, micro-USB
Non-BT Latency36 ms26 ms
Virtual Sound7.1 Surround SoundDTS 7.1
EqualizerParametric + PresetsGraphic + Presets
Control SchemeChatmixChatmix
Software SupportSteelSeries GG, SonarSteelSeries Engine, Sonar
Battery Life30 hours20 hours
Price$139.99$199.99

SteelSeries Arctis 7+ vs. Nova 7

FeaturesArctis 7+Arctis Nova 7
ConnectivityMini B 8-Pin wired, 2.4GHz wireless, USB-C⅛” TRRRS wired, 2.4GHz wireless, Bluetooth, USB-C
Non-BT Latency36 ms45 ms
Virtual Sound7.1 Surround Sound, Tempest 3D Audio360° Spatial Audio, Tempest 3D Audio
EqualizerParametric + PresetsParametric + Presets
Control SchemeChatmixSidetone
Software SupportSteelSeries GG, SonarSteelSeries GG, Sonar
Battery Life30 hours38 hours
Price$139.99$179.99

SteelSeries Arctis 7+ vs. 7P+

FeaturesArctis 7+Arctis 7P+
ConnectivityMini B 8-Pin wired, 2.4GHz wireless, USB-CMini B 8-Pin wired, 2.4GHz wireless, USB-C
Non-BT Latency36 ms24 ms
Virtual Sound7.1 Surround Sound, Tempest 3D AudioTempest 3D Audio only on PS5
EqualizerParametric + PresetsGraphic + Presets
Control SchemeChatmixSidetone
Software SupportSteelSeries GG, SonarSteelSeries GG, Sonar
Battery Life30 hours30 hours
Price$139.99$149.99

SteelSeries Arctis 7+ vs. Sony Pulse 3D

FeaturesArctis 7+Sony Pulse 3D
ConnectivityMini B 8-Pin wired, 2.4GHz wireless, USB-C⅛” TRRRS wired, wireless, USB-C
Non-BT Latency36 ms36 ms
Virtual Sound7.1 Surround Sound, Tempest 3D AudioTempest 3D Audio only on PS5
EqualizerParametric + PresetsGraphic + Presets only on PS5
Control SchemeChatmixDedicated controls
Software SupportSteelSeries GG, SonarPS5 Interface
Battery Life30 hours12 hours
Price$139.99$99.99

Conclusion

After putting the SteelSeries Arctis 7+ through its paces, it’s safe to say this headset is a winner for gaming, music, vocals, and Zoom calls. The sound quality, noise cancellation, low latency, rich audio options, multi-platform support, and comfort make it a top choice. 

9
  • Headphones fit type:Over-Ear.Microphone Frequency Response 100-6500 Hz.Specific uses for product : Gaming
  • Updated 2021 version of the Award Winning Arctis 7 - PC Gamer Best Wireless Gaming Headset.Updated dongle with USB-C for 2.4Ghz lossless wireless audio, ultra-low latency gaming and super stable 40ft per 12m range means you’ll never miss a beat. (USB-A adapter incl.)
  • Enhanced 30-hour battery with USB-C charging outlasts even your longest gaming sessions
  • 7.1 virtual surround sound (PC), 3D Audio (PS5) lets you immerse yourself in 360-degrees of precision audio for the competitive advantage
  • Arctis 7 plus (2021) upgrades the 7 with all new features like USB-C and 30 Hour battery life but with the same awesome audio - Part of the award winning Arctis 7 family “PC Gamer Best Wireless Gaming Headset – Arctis 7”

While there are a few minor hiccups, the overall experience is a thumbs-up. Therefore, you can choose Arctis 7+ without any doubts to get an immersive sound experience!

Tracy has been working for RealGear since the first day it went online. She reads every e-sports related newspaper and website. She is a huge Twitch.tv fan and a gamer with a soft spot for Lineage 2, WoW, and Guild Wars 1 and 2. She says she does not suffer from PvP insanity, she enjoys every minute of it. Tracy defines herself as a person who’d spend two hours customizing a character rather than indulging in an activity that would not be as nearly rewarding as playing games and testing hardware.

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