This headset offers decently high-quality audio and is comfortable enough to wear for longer periods of time. However, it is definitely a bit on the pricey side and scored quite a bit lower overall than some of the top wired models, which also cost quite a bit less.
Updated to the 2019 Edition
We recently procured the newest 2019 edition of the SteelSeries Arctis 7 to compare to the previous edition. Regrettably, we found that there has been a bit of a decline in performance with the newer edition. We found there to be a significant drop in the audio quality — enough that we thought we got a defective model but found the same issue with multiple headsets after we exchanged it a few times — but is slightly more comfortable for those with larger heads. Overall, the Arctis 7 is still our recommendation for those that want a cordless headset, but if you care the most about sound quality, you are probably better off conceding and going with a wired model.
No detachable mic, easy to accidentally change the volume
Not the most comfortable, sound quality could be bette
If you are looking for a wireless headset, then this is a solid choice
The best of the best when it comes to headsets; this model boasts comfort, a great microphone, and stellar audio quality
If you are looking to cut the cord when it comes to your headset, this is your best bet
If you are looking for a great all-around product that won't break the bank, then this is a good choice
This headset has a great mic and offers strong value for more limited budgets
SteelSeries Arctis 7
EPOS GAME ONE
Razer Black Shark V...
Kingston HyperX Clo...
Ease of Use(10%)
SteelSeries Arctis 7
EPOS GAME ONE
Razer Black Shark V...
Kingston HyperX Clo...
Wired or Wireless
Measured cable length
PC charging cable = 5.15 ft
3.5 mm = 4.07 ft
charging cable is 5 ft
11.1 ft PC
4.5 ft console
How to mute the mic
Measured ear cushion size
1-7/8" X 2-1/2"
1-5/16" X 2-5/8 "
1-3/4" X 2-1/2"
2-1/4" X 2-1/2"
1-5/8" X 2-9/16"
Ear cup shape
Ear cup fabric type
Flowknit similar to microfiber mesh
Heat transfer fabric with cooling gel
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Our most important metric of the entire testing procedure at 40%, comfort is an immediate make or break point for deciding if a headset is worthy of an award. While comfort is a highly subjective trait, we had a varied panel of testers try out each headset for a full day, then aggregated their scores. The Arctis 7 was received somewhat favorably, but a handful of our testers weren't totally in love with it, earning it a 6 out of 10 overall.
Only one tester was comfortable wearing this headset for a full 10 hours, with the rest of our testers were split between being fine enduring the Arctis 7 for 7-8 hours or only being able to make it 4-5 hours.
The main cause of this is the elastic band on the headband. This only has a limited range of adjustability that in our experience only fit a small selection of heads comfortably. The headset is held in place relatively securely if it does fit you, but otherwise can be quite wobbly or create undue pressure. The newer edition of this headset makes the headband into more of a "U" shape, making it much more accommodating for those with larger heads. Unfortunately, this seems to be at the expense of those with smaller heads, as our more petite testers that liked the earlier version of this headset can't stand the newer model.
The ear cups have semi-firm padding and are a bit on the smaller side, measuring about 1.875" across and 2.5" tall. These cups are covered in microfiber mesh, so at least there is plenty of ventilation for playing on warm days.
Unfortunately, this headset is also on the heavier side at 12.5 ounces, though it doesn't feel terribly weighty while wearing it.
Following our comfort metric, the sound quality is the next most important, making up 30% of the total score for each product. We tested out each headset with both voice and music, as well as evaluating each one's performance at conveying the position of a sound and in a series of benchmarking tests. The Arctis delivered an overall lackluster showing, meriting a 5 out of 10 for its results.
The 2019 edition suffered a significant decline in voice quality compared to its predecessor, with other players' voices sounding much more muddled and hollower, making them much less realistic sounding. We also noticed that this edition did a poorer job at blocking background noises.
The Arctis 7 does do a great job of conveying the position of sounds, with all of our testers being able to correctly identify the origin of both soft and loud sounds, like another player walking behind them, a helicopter flying by, and gunfire.
Unfortunately, this product didn't do as well when listening to music. It is decently well balanced at higher volumes but becomes more and more unbalanced as the volume drops. The treble is so-so, with a slight emphasis on the mid-range, and the sound overall is just mediocre, sounding less immersive than the top products, with a flatter sound and more muddy sound. However, it does have a solid low range, with a slightly deeper and better-sounding bass than the earlier version.
This product did well in our driver matching benchmarking test, but quite poorly in the bass quality test, with tons of parasitic buzz to the point where the headset would rattle. The first unit of this headset we got was a dud, which we discovered when trying the binaural test, as there was some wiring issue. However, the replacement model we got sounded great, doing a great job of making the position of the sound — someone knocking on a wooden door — evident. We haven't been enamored with the quality control of the Arctis 7 having exchanged it something like four times and finding the performance to be quite inconsistent across the different models.
Next, our microphone metric is worth 20% of the SteelSeries Arctis 7's total score. We based most of the score on the quality of voice transmitted but also took the ability to filter out undesirable background noises into account. This product didn't perform terribly well in this group of tests, earning it a 5 out of 10 for its lackluster efforts.
The microphone on this headset somewhat distorts your voice, with people that were listening to you never quite feeling like they were talking face-to-face with you. The sound is a bit louder and quite a bit more echoey, making it sound like you were talking to them from the stage in an auditorium, rather than casually conversing. It also occasionally had a slight crackle and a small amount of fuzz. However, we did approve of the fact that the mic on this headset doesn't overemphasize "S" or "T" sounds when talking and almost never had feedback, even when we tapped the mic.
This headset isn't the best when it comes to filtering out external noises, being the worst when it comes to picking up noises, so your teammates will definitely know if you are typing with a mechanical keyboard. It would also pick up other background noises, like if you are eating while playing or if you have a fan running, but it actually does alright at filtering out background conversations. As long as the source of the side conversation or the music was over 10' away and it wasn't at an excessive volume, other players couldn't usually hear it over the sounds of the game.
Ease of Use
For the final metric of our testing protocol, we looked at how much frustration any of these headsets caused when you are trying to get them all set up and use them. Worth 10% of the total score, we looked at how you mute the mic, if there are inline controls, how long the cord is or if it is wireless, and if the mic is detachable, as well as a few other things. The Arctis 7 did fairly well, meriting a 6 out of 10 for its performance.
This headset has controls to both mute and adjust the volume right on the side of the ear cups. The newer edition makes these even smaller, minimizing the chances of hitting them accidentally.
The mic turns red when muted and you can mute it fairly quickly if necessary. This headset is wireless, but the USB charging cable is a little on the shorter side at a little over 5', so it makes it quite hard to wear while it is charging. However, the wireless feature is quite nice, as it gives you full mobility while playing. The mic isn't detachable but does slide into the headset for storage when not needed.
You also have the option to enable a mic sidetone, as well as adjust its volume.
The Arctis 7 is a solid headset, but isn't the best value, as there are comparable or better headsets that cost less — you may just have to forgo the wireless models if you are shopping on a tight budget.
While the Arctis 7 wasn't one of the overall top performers, it does score quite well if you are only looking at wireless models.
GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.