Steelseries Arctis 7 Headset Review

After our review of the Arctis 3s, we were able to give the big brother a try. Here is our review of the Arctic 7s. 

The 7s pack nearly all of the features found in the Arctis 3 and Arctis 5 but also has its own upgrades and improvements. Steelseries makes top-of-the-line gaming gear and their headsets are no different. 

HOW DO THEY LOOK AND FIT?:
Style is the key feature of the Arctis line. With a retractable microphone, the Arctis 7, as well as its siblings, are meant to be worn in almost all situations, including while listening to music wit the included 3.5mm cord. Without a boxy design the Arctis 7s are designed to be sleek and modern and includes a very lightweight steel alloy frame.

The best feature in terms of the look and fit is the ski goggle headband that provides a tight and flexible fit no matter how big or small your noggin. You can also customize the band to add a little color to the Arctis 7 because the headsets just come in black and white. 
 
Ok, so the first and comfort as a whole is the best feature. You can wear the 7s for LONG periods of time (6+ hours) without any discomfort because of the headband mentioned above but also because the pillow-esque and tight fitting ear cushions that are made of a soft “AirWeave” material, which SteelSeries says is inspired by athletic clothing and designed to stay cool and dry for how ever long you wear them. 

We can report that design feature is in fact just as promised. It also provides great passive noise canceling abilities because of the great over the ear cups.

Like most gaming headsets the ear cups have the control buttons. On the right side there is the power button and chat volume slider. On the left is the game/music volume control, mute, the charging microUSB port and a proprietary port that connects to a 3.5mm jack. The flexible microphone also retracts out of the left side.
 
WHAT'S IN THE BOX?:
Arctis 7Wireless Transmitter
Mobile/Console Cable
Micro-USB Charging Cable

HOW DOES IT WORK/SOUND?:
Connecting is a breeze. Instead of using Bluetooth connectivity, the Arctis 7 uses a USB dongle to bridge the headset and the device, in our case a PS4. Just plug in the dongle and turn on the headset and you are connected. You can also use the included 3.5mm cable to go straight into the gaming controller. The wireless is crystal clear, and worked from up to about 30 feet in our tests. We were able to go upstairs and stay connected to the conversation from the top floor.

Like other Steelseries products you have the ability to customize the Arctis 7s using the SteelSeries Engine 3 software. You can tinker with sound and equalizer settings which will allow you to create sound profiles for games and gives you the chance to be able quickly hop into settings with the press of a button. You can make the surround sound... well sound incredible after tweaking.

The 7s support both stereo and DTS 7.1 surround sound which means action and FPS games will really shine. We still use Rainbow Six: Siege as a test game because of the need to hear multi-directional sound and we can report that the other team didn't stand a chance. From footsteps to shots, we could always tell where they were coming from.
 
The sound quality of the microphone is pretty good. It works fine online, but still have some popping "p" and "s" issues which is normal for gaming headsets. But on the positive, background noise was reduced greatly because of the bi-directional mic design.

Steelseries reports 15 hours of battery life and that for us so far sounds about right. Its an easy and quick charge, just throw it on the charger when you charge your controller.

FINAL THOUGHTS:
At $150, the 7s provide the best features and comfort in the Arctis line. Great style and sound meets optimum fit and with a good microphone, the 7s provide an incredible value and should be in your arsenal if you are looking for a great headset for under $200.
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