SteelSeries has knocked it out of the park with their new Arctis 7 wireless gaming headset. The Arctis 7 features lag-free wireless communication with DTS 7.1 surround sound and a 40 ft range, SteelSeries ClearCast microphone, premium audio drivers, and 15 hour battery life. This multi-platform, lightweight, and super-comfortable headset can be yours for $149.99.
The SteelSeries Arctis 7 comes with a USB dongle to transmit the wireless signal from the PC or console to the headset itself. The Arctis 7 also comes with a 3.5mm cable that allows it to work with consoles and mobile phones. It also comes with a USB to microUSB cable for charging as well as connecting the headset to the PC one in a while for firmware updates. The Arctis 7 works in conjunction with SteelSeries Engine software, which allows you to save settings profiles with EQ settings, microphone settings, and more.
Each Arctis headset includes SteelSeries’ top-tier S1 speaker drivers. Apparently, these are the same drivers that are included in their $300 flagship headsets. The S1 drivers do provide excellent, realistic sound with no distortion. These are 40mm drivers with a frequency response between 20-20,000 Hz and an impedance of 32 Ohm. SteelSeries partnered with DTS Headphone:X to use a new algorithm exclusively designed for Arctis. The surround sound provided by DTS Headphone:X is truly amazing, allowing you to pinpoint an enemy location, hear footsteps, or sound effects that you never noticed before.
For in-game communication, SteelSeries built-in a retractable ClearCast microphone, which SteelSeries claims to be the best in gaming. The ClearCast mic features a bidirectional microphone, allowing it to filter out noise from your environment to clearly broadcast your voice and your voice only. The microphone has a built-in LED light, letting you know whether the microphone is muted or not. I love the fact that the microphone is retractable, so that if you’re not using it, you can push it back inside the ear cup and it won’t be get in your line of sight. The mute button for the microphone and the volume dial for the sound is located on the left ear cup and are easy to locate and use while playing.
Another neat feature that SteelSeries packed into the Arctis 7 is the ChatMix Dial. It allows you to balance and adjust the volume between your game and separate chat audio. So let’s say you’re playing some League of Legends and you’re also chatting with friends on the Discord app, you can balance the volume equally between both League of Legends and Discord, or adjust the volume to favor the chat app so you can better hear your friends. It’s a nice feature for those who like to multi-task. The ChatMix dial is located on the right ear cup, adjacent to the power button.
The Arctis 7 features a new innovation in headset comfort, the Ski Goggle suspension band. It’s an elastic band that wraps around the top of your head and can be adjusted using Velcro to change the amount of elasticity. This allows for superior comfort no matter whether you’ve got an egg-sized head or a melon-sized head. SteelSeries also introduced AirWeave fabric into their ear cushions, which is a breathable, moisture-wicking fabric that’s coated with a special thermoplastic material that also provides noise isolation. This fabric is wrapped around comfy memory foam to provide supreme comfort over long periods of play, especially considering the lightweight nature of the headset itself.
The Arctis can also be customized with a number of cool ski google band designs available for purchase from SteelSeries’ website. There are additional accessories available for the Arctis line as well, including a carrying bag, leather ear cushions, and velour ear cushions.
In my testing, the Arctis 7 performed admirably in sound quality, speech broadcasting, and build quality. I was lucky enough to have a 2 hour, uninterrupted gaming session playing my favorite game, Rocket League, and was impressed at how comfortable the Arctis 7 headset was. Other than the fact that I could tell my ears were covered by what felt like a cloud, I could barely feel the headset sitting atop my noggin. I play PC games while sitting on my living room couch and having a wireless headset is a huge advance in my gaming lifestyle, being cordless is a nice touch, not having to worry about the wire getting in the way.
The sound quality was so good with the Arctis 7, that while playing, I was able to hear sound effects that I never noticed before when the sound was playing through my home’s surround sound system. The fact that the microphone was retractable was helpful, as I could retract it back into the headset and out of the way when I wasn’t using it. My only complaint regarding the microphone was that when playing in a dark room, the bright red LED light that signifies that the microphone is muted, was a bit distracting. This would not be an issue in a fully lit room, however.
If you’re a gamer, or know a gamer, who is looking for one of the best, most versatile gaming headsets on the market, you need to check out the SteelSeries Arctis 7. The fact that it can be used with PC, Mac, Xbox One, PS4, mobile phones, and tablets, and it can be used wirelessly or wired seals the Arctis 7 as a best buy in the gaming headset market.
You can purchase your SteelSeries Arctis 7 in either black or white from SteelSeries’ website.
Source: The SteelSeries Arctis 7 was a manufacturer provided review sample.
What I Like: Excellent audio quality; Very good voice broadcasting; Adaptable, can be used wireless or wired; Retractable microphone; Out of this world comfort
What Needs Improvement: LED mute indicator can be distracting in a dark room