As a rule, it pays to avoid the self-proclaimed innovations of PC gaming peripherals. So of course we were cautious when introducing the wireless headset with goggle headband. It took about five minutes for this caution to dissipate and become pure audiophile love – the purest form of love – as the Arctis 7 revealed its qualities and made us the best wireless gaming headset.
We’ll first look at ergonomics because it’s the Arctis 7 design that makes the most difference between the Arctis 7 visually. The vast majority of gaming headsets, such as studio headphones and audiophile kits, are built around an aluminum frame. To avoid the obvious discomfort of a metal band that drills into the skull, they are padded with memory foam and equipped with soft, muddy materials like faux leather.
The Arctis 7 goes through a completely different road and uses an elastic fabric strap to hang the aluminum frame from your head. It does not sound like it should work. It sounds like the headband could either succumb to the weight of the headset and drop the frame upside down, or the tension required to hold the headset in suspension would affect the circulation in the ears. None of these things happens, we are happy to report.
Instead, you just get a pleasant feeling, apparently in the long run. Because of the breathable materials at the points of contact of the Arctis 7, it never seems to get uncomfortably hot, and headaches do not creep in if you decide you only want to play another round of Fortnite, though you’ll have to get up to work in 25 minutes. Over time (and we speak for almost a year of constant daily use), the headband loosens, and although this somewhat detracts from the comfort, there is never so much that aluminum is in the head. Better yet, the Steelseries online store offers replacement headbands in a variety of colors so you can replace your lanky one if it becomes a problem.
The build quality is generally great. It is not adorned with the types of tribal patterns or RGB light strips that until recently seemed to be mandatory for a gaming headset. Instead, matt-finished, matte plastic ear cups, soft fabric cushions with decent amounts of memory foam, very smart stitching and good placement have implemented controls on the back of each earpiece.
There’s a volume scroll, a microphone mute, the retractable microphone itself, and we especially like a game / chat mix scroll wheel on the headset itself instead of having to deal with labyrinthine menus in Windows, Discord, and the game itself , There is a little creaking when adjusting the angle of the headset, but that is the only flaw in the otherwise exemplary design standard.
It’s also the kind of wireless headsets you’ve forgotten that are actually wireless because the battery life is always long enough to power a mammoth session, and usually a few days on average, before you reconnect and recharge them have to. Steelseries has the maximum load time of 24 hours, which is consistent with our new experience. As with all rechargeable batteries, lifespan will decrease over time, but after almost a year, it will still hang with us and suit us in longer sessions. As far as the radio range is concerned, the transmitter can handle up to 12 meters without dropout, and that’s fine with us. We tend to be no further than 12 meters from the monitor while we play.
This leaves only one piece of the puzzle: the sound quality. As gaming headsets have moved away from this gamer “gamer aesthetics” in recent years, in favor of a look that more accurately reflects audiophile models, this trend tends to bring the low end to absurd levels, causing the explosions to explode At the first sight, a headset also tried to return. The Arctis 7 is a figurehead to this movement, offering a surprisingly flat response that gives clarity and versatility and absolutely no distortion.
These things also get loud, but even at the highest levels, we were brave enough to test them. Things do not get muddy. On the sound side, there’s a weird crease in the extra software needed to toggle the virtual 7.1 surround. Steelseries wants you to install the engine software and register your headset for the privilege, which is a bit of a hassle. Honestly, I would always prefer to play in stereo rather than in virtual surround, so it did not affect my enjoyment.
As far as the sound quality of the microphone is concerned, the microphone does not work and does not crackle when you reposition it. Our online friends sometimes tell us that we get away with the Arctis 7 a little bit quietly. To put the microphone closer to the mouth than we usually think fit is the only solution.
The Arctis range has made waves in the headset market since its launch, and the Arctis 7 is still the best point between price and performance. Streamers need a heavier microphone solution. For all those who value good sound and ergonomics, this is the first wireless model.