Published on September 3rd, 2017 | by Greg0
SteelSeries Arctis 7: A Gaming Headset For Everyone
The school year is about to begin- or has just started for some- and that means the time has come to return to the classrooms and the books and to put down the controllers… Or not. Because the summer is often a gaming drought, with many of the hit titles being released closer to the holidays. The XCOM expansion just came out, the new Total Warhammer game is not far, and Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is gaining steam fast. It might just be time to find some friends and start up a LAN party in the dorm (or stay up late with new pals at home). Either way, you’ll want a headset, and today we’re looking at one of the most flexible, reasonably-priced options out there.
The SteelSeries Arctis 7 is part of the family of triplets, which includes the less expensive Arctis 3 and Arctis 5 models. But the top-of-the-line is still affordable, and boasts true multi-platform compatibility for everything from PC and Mac (and mobile of course) to PS4 and even Xbox One support as well. The company’s S1 4omm drivers in each ear pop out plenty of volume, and even offer three-dimensional DTS:X 7.1 surround sound. Wireless means not worrying about tangled cords, and the company brags about “lag-free wireless audio”, claiming that continuous frequency-hopping technology helps prevent issues. A retractable pop-out boom microphone stays out of the way when you need it gone, but is nicely flexible so you can find the sweet spot- and it uses a proprietary bidirectional design to help eliminate background noise.
We loved the adjustable band- it uses velcro straps so you can really fine tune it, and it felt a little bouncy. The trade-off, perhaps, is in the appearance- they look a little odd at a glance, with a wider band than many competitors. They call it a ‘ski goggle’ band, and it’s a key addition. But they aren’t bulky or heavy, despite the aesthetics or connection to winter sports, and the cups can flip/tilt to lie flat for easy storage and travel. 15 hours of battery life is enough for even the longest gaming sessions, and they charge up fast over USB. Detachable cables allow the various connections necessary, and the onboard controls are decent. Ear cups were a bit more of a mixed bag; some folks reported they couldn’t get them comfortable as they were too firm (leather versions are available at an extra charge).
Available in black or white editions, the Arctis 7 continue the SteelSeries tradition of solid gaming gear- like our long-time favorite headsets, the Siberia Elite Prism and even some solid keyboards. For those who want more configurable lights, or that offers a more lot more audio adjustments, other gaming audio solutions may be more to your taste- but they tend to cost quite a bit more. Surround sound here is only decent; for movies it was quite good but for first-person shooters, we couldn’t quite get the positioning perfect in most titles (though we learned to adjust pretty quickly) and for consoles you will lose the capability. Still, bulletproof wireless and a great pricetag mean this is our pick to beat for this class of gaming headsets- the Arctis 7 can be purchased now, online and in stores, for around $149.99.