After a months-long review of the SteelSeries Arctis 7+, the gaming headset stands out thanks to its excellent sound and microphone.
With so many options in the gaming headset market, it can be difficult to find a new set of cans that fits your needs. SteelSeries is a trusted name in headsets, and the Arctis 7+ aims to please hardcore gamers who need great sound and battery life. It delivers on both counts, but there are also some downsides to the headset compared to alternatives. Here’s our hands-on review of the SteelSeries Arctis 7+, a premium gaming headset that comes with a premium price.
If you’re looking for a quick review of the SteelSeries Arctis 7+ gaming headset;
Excellent 7.1 surround sound and a top-tier microphone make the Arctis 7+ a slam dunk for most gamers. SteelSeries stripped back many unnecessary features to produce an esports-level headset that offers 30 hours of use on a full charge. The short feature list and heavy frame may turn away some potential buyers, but overall, the Arctis 7+ is a great option for hardcore gamers looking to upgrade their cans.
SteelSeries advertises the SteelSeries Arctis 7+ as a premium gaming headset just one step below its elite, esports-ready gear.
With a $160 price, the Arctis 7+ is clearly aimed at the premium headset market. However, the 7+ is still below the company’s flagship Arctis Nova 7 on the totem pole. The audio and battery take front and center in the marketing, which shows SteelSeries realizes the strong points of its product.
The Arctis 7+ comes with multiple luxury features like a dongle connection and a noise-canceling microphone. This places it in the company of some very established competition. Similar alternatives to the SteelSeries Arctis 7+ include the Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum and the EPOS Audio H3 Hybrid.
Once set up out of the box, Arctis 7+ users can connect to any of the following entertainment platforms.
The Arctis 7+ gaming headset comes with a complimentary charging cable, USB-C dongle, USB-C to USB-A adapter, 3.5mm cable, and an instruction booklet.
The SteelSeries Arctis 7+ lists plenty of features to match its $160 price tag, but what exactly does all that money get you?
It’s difficult to call the Arctis 7+’s design elegant, but it has a boxy brutalist look that some gamers may enjoy. The cups are lined with dense memory foam that creates a good seal around the ears. Both cans connect with a two-piece headband that features plenty of cushioning. There’s also a notable lack of RGB from the 7+. The only thing that lights up is the power button.
The microphone on the Arctis 7+ is retractable, which makes the headset easier to store. It’s easy to pull out and has an automatic mute function when tucked away. The mic arm is bendy but will slowly turn back to its original shape. SteelSeries advertises “Bidirectional ClearCast audio technology,” which is marketing speak for noise cancellation.
As far as inputs on the headset goes, it has an infinity volume scroll and a mute button. The headset does feature another knob for its audio management system, which works with programs like Discord or Teamspeak. The default wheel manages volume for everything else. Tucked next to the microphone slot is a USB-C charging port, 3.5mm headphone jack, and the manual mute.
The headset also comes with a unique USB-C dongle meant to work with a variety of SteelSeries products. It’s a very wide piece of plastic, possibly meant to form up with the bottom of a cell phone. Downloading the required SteelSeries software and plugging in the dongle immediately establishes a connection, making setup very easy compared to some other wireless headphones.
As for battery life, SteelSeries claims 30 hours of dongle connection with a full charge. SteelSeries also advertises a special emergency charge feature where 15 minutes on the charger can net three hours of gameplay. The lack of any RGB on the Arctis 7+ helps the battery last for reportedly over a full day.
The audio quality and battery life of the SteelSeries Arctis 7+ put other competitive gaming headsets to shame.
SteelSeries makes its name off of headsets, and the Arctis 7+ packs the same audio technology as the rest of the company’s award-winning lineup. It’s apparent when using it and the 7.1 surround sound option on the Arctis 7+ rivals the very best options out there. Footsteps in tactical shooters like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive and Valorant were crisp and clear. It’s also easy to get immersed in cinematic games like Elden Ring and Persona 5. While we weren’t able to preview the upcoming SONAR technology, the already excellent sound is due for another upgrade.
Excellent sound usually means a cheap microphone with headsets, but the Arctis 7+ delivers strong. The retractable microphone sounds very clear in recordings with no major or minor malfunctions. The flexible mic arm makes it easy to adjust, and gamers on the go will appreciate the retractability. The noise canceling on the SteelSeries Arctis 7+ isn’t amazing, but it’s enough to block out a television in the other room.
Lastly, battery life is a major plus for the Arctis 7+. 30 hours appears to be accurate right out of the box, and it still holds close to that over around six months of use. The fast charging feature is also a lifesaver after forgetting to charge the headset overnight. One full charge is all most players need for a full week of gaming.
SteelSeries nailed the core parts of the Arctis 7+, but gamers looking for an X-factor should probably weigh their options.
The biggest problem with the Arctis 7+ is its lack of features, in terms of both form and function. The lack of any kind of button customization may put off some gamers and the mute button seems redundant considering the retractable mic arm. USB-C is also fine, but micro USB fans will require adapters to use the headset with their current cables. There’s also no RGB to speak of, which doesn’t help the product’s plain looks.
Also, this headset is far from the most comfortable option on the market. The memory foam ear cups are nice, but they don’t do much to offset the Arctis 7+’s weight. At 353 grams, this headset ranks as one of the heavier premium gaming headset options. The two-piece headband is also prone to snatching a hair or two on occasion.
Listed below are the specs for the SteelSeries Arctis 7+ and two of its closest competitors in the premium gaming headset market.
|SteelSeries Arctis 7+||Logitech Artemis Spectrum||EPOS Audio H3 Hybrid|
|Dongle wireless||Dongle wireless||Bluetooth wireless|
|353-gram weight||372-gram weight||298-gram weight|
|No lighting||Logo and perimeter RBG||No lighting|
|30-hour battery life||12-hour battery life||37-hour battery life|
|Volume scroll||Volume and five custom buttons||Volume and media controls|
Based on the numbers, the Arctis 7+ presents an even balance between some of the other premium options. It’s lighter than the Artemis Spectrum with more than double the battery. It also beats out the H3 Hybrid on connection stability and features. It also features much better surround sound than Logitech’s offering.
Unfortunately, the Arctis 7+ doesn’t stand up well when it comes to aesthetics or controls. The Artemis beats it on both fronts, making it a good option for gamers who demand customizability. The EPOS H3 Hybrid is $30 cheaper and brings a similar set of features with more comfort.
As expected of a SteelSeries product, the Arctis 7+ passes our audio review with flying colors. Everything going into and out of the headset sounds great, and the simple setup and convenient wireless dongle make it a breeze to use. While heavier and less feature-focused than some of its rivals, the SteelSeries Arctis 7+ definitely delivers on its $160 price tag.
The gamer best-suited to the SteelSeries Arctis 7+ is one that prefers top-notch sound quality to flashy features like RGB. While barebones, the headset is built well and comfortable enough for most gamers to wear all day long. Aspiring esports pros and casual FPS fans alike have something to gain from the crisp 7.1 directional audio and noise-canceling microphone.