If you’re a gamer, you’re most likely very acquainted with this Danish manufacturer known as SteelSeries.
SteelSeries has been quite a driving force in the gaming space for the last few years, and they have been so with apparent reason. And so, it doesn’t come to shock that they also have a long line of gaming headsets that have been introduced from the company.
We were introduced to Arctis 7, their newest creation, but in an ever-growing and saturating gaming audio market, how well does this do?
The Arctis 7 makes an exceptionally fine impression as soon as you place them over your ears. It looks like it was made with utmost class thanks to it’s compact and sleek finish. Though bulky looking, the headphones are surprisingly light and come with what SteelSeries calls a ski-google band that helps in securing the headset well against your head, regardless of the size or shape of it. This is great because mid-game adjustments are comparatively more straightforward. All one must do is pull at two Velcro straps, and the headband will adjust to you, instead of the usually extendable rods that don’t offer flexibility.
You get the Arctis 7 in either black or white and can be worn outside as about any other headset would be without getting any questionable glances. It is slightly bigger than your average audio headphones but is small enough to fit into an individual’s backpack. To make it even more compact, you can rotate the ear cups to make the device lie flat onto itself.
In terms of finish, the Arctis 7 is similarly unimpeachable. The backs of its earcups are covered with lovely, tactile rubber, its headband is metal padded by rubber, there are no cheap plastics to be seen and generally it has the look and feel of a very high-end headset. In terms of finish, the Arctis 7 is similarly unimpeachable.
The backs of its earcups are covered with lovely, tactile rubber, its headband is metal padded by rubber, there are no cheap plastics to be seen and generally it has the look and feel of a very high-end headset.
The right ear holds the headset’s power button as well as a chat volume changer. The regular volume slider is placed on the left ear along with the micro USB port for charging and proprietary port that can connect to a 3.5 mm audio jack for mobile usage. A beautiful feature that the Arctis 7 has it it’s power needs.
While it needs to have the power to work wireless or switch on its surround-sound functionality, you can listen to whatever you would want to with the audio jack, whether or not the device has power.
The left ear also holds the headphones retractable microphone, which extends to about four inches on a flexible wire. Since the cable is adjustable, you can also place the microphone right in front of your mouth for, particularly clear audio.
When playing games, one tends to sit for an extended period which means that the headsets need to be as powerful as ever while being extremely comfortable to wear. The Arctis 7 thankfully, unlike a lot of its competition, allows for a more reliable and comfortable experience by getting rid of the “rods” and choosing a flexible approach to better to sit the headset. The ear cups create a tight seal around one’s ears but make sure not to push down too hard to cause discomfort.
However, this snugness can only be experienced when one is seated and playing games rather than when they are working, running or even walking around their apartment. The headphones tend to bounce or misplace on your head. You can get rid of this bouncy movement by tightening the Velcro straps, but it’s challenging to find a balance between the comfort of the headset or the uncomforting of the tightness.
How’s the audio? Not that you may need it, but the Arctis 7 has a very clear and neutral sound. It has an incredibly strong and crystal-clear mid-range along with a well balanced and quite precise treble to add depth to your music.
However, depth isn’t accentuated through the bass. If you’re looking for a headset that provides an excellent bass rumble to create the hype and excitement that your game may need, this headset fails to provide it. That aside, the headset is a perfect setup if you’re going to be using it for listening to the audio, especially from a hi-fi setup.
The Arctis 7’s built-in microphone is exceptional in its audio pick up. You can be assured in a clear and steady voice pick-up for the best gaming experience and conversation. What makes it better is its bendy nature, allowing you to place it as close to your mouth as possible, this means that it will catch your voice in the noisiest of places too.
The Arctis 7 offers a lot of the same options as it’s previous Arctis Pro, it does the entire thing; however, using the software. This headset uses SteelSeries’ Engine 3 software which is also the software that most other SteelSeries devices use. The software allows you to customize sound settings while giving you numerous possibilities of musical experience. You can toggle back and forth between the stereo and 7.1 sound, create a new audio dynamic range and even manually adjust the headphones’ overall output through different frequencies.
However, it can get tiresome to continually go to an app to fully use your headset to their fullest potential, and it sucks that you need an app to get your desired effect. But the app is made to be quite simple compared to almost all its competitors.
The Arctis 7 provides for quite a range of gaming options, that is if you’re willing to put in the legwork. It includes stereo as well as DTS 7.1 surround sound, as well as a wide range of equalization options. It works even better for setting up game profiles.
Through multiple game tests, we figured out the best uses of the headset. The Arctis 7 can’t give you surround-sound on any of the available consoles so that you can say goodbye to immersive audio with your PlayStation’s and Xbox’s. This means you can be at a disadvantage if you are playing first-person games that need your wholesome attention like Call of Duty. But, if you have no aims of going professional, then we think this minor flaw can be overstepped.
One genre of game, however, allows the Arctis 7 to shine much brighter. Massively Multi-player Online games are extensively immersive. Anyone who plays these will be able to welcome the utmost comfort. Massively Multiplayer Online games are usually performed through PC which is what this headset is constructively created for. That means you get the best of every feature in this headset through these games, from the surround-sound audio to the microphone voice pickup.
The Arctis 7 is a clear winner with its battery performance, given the full range of audio, it promises to offer including the diversity in connecting. It was initially to be around 15 hours, depending on usage. But SteelSeries came out with a new firmware update that, it claims, extended the battery life of this headset to a whopping 24 hours.
Through trial, after the latest update, if the Arctis 7 is pushed to its full capacity with high volume, it can get a solid 16 hours or so. But if used less rigorously, you can get away with almost 20-22 hours of usage through a single battery charge. This is pretty insane when you put into context that this headset is light and comfortable to wear for long hours.
It also means that this headset, as it promises, is perfect for PC and MMO gamers.