Photos and Features
The overall look of the Arctis 7’s is similar to the Arctis 5’s I previously took look at. They have the same oval earcup shape with a flat outside of the ear cups. They have a suspension style headband that uses elastic. But when you look a little closer there are some details that are different. The headband uses aluminum and a completely different elastic band design and there isn’t a lighting ring around the earcups on the 7’s. Then, of course, there these aren’t wired at all being the biggest difference.
So like I said the earcups have an oval shape to them. They mount to the headband with a plastic mount that attaches not at the top, but at around 60 degrees clockwise from the top. The mounting location still allows flexibility. Being wireless, the Arctis 7’s have a little more going on than the 5’s did. The right earcup has a power button and a wheel. This wheel, like the wheel on the USB adapter for the Arctis 5’s controls the mix between in game audio and your coms. On the other side, there is another wheel, this time for volume. Then there is a 2.5mm jack to share your music and a small proprietary cable connection that works with the included 2.5mm adapter cable if you want to go wired. Then there is a micro USB connection as well to charge the batteries. The left earcup also has a small button just past the volume controls to mute the microphone.
On the inside of the earcups, the padding is thick and covered in a microfiber finish. The earpads are replaceable and SteelSeries sells a few different types, I’m personally planning on trying out the Velour ear cushions if I continue to use the Arctis 7’s but you can also get leather if that is your preference or if you get the factory pads dirty you can get a replacement set as well. They call the material Airweave. Inside the earcups, you get 40mm drivers with Neodymium magnets. They have a sensitivity rating of 98db, an impedance of 32 Ohms, and have a frequency range of 20-20000 Hz. This is a touch lower than the Arctis 5’s that did 22000 Hz on the high end but still not too bad, especially for wireless.
So the headband design is completely different. The Arctis 5 had a plastic support and the elastic band itself was just under the headband where the 7 uses a different design. It has an aluminum band for support and the elastic band goes under for the area that touches your head but then wraps all the way over the top as well. You can see the design around on the top and on your headband and it attaches via Velcro on the side. I’m a big fan of suspension headbands because I don’t feel like they put as much pressure on your head and the elastic worked well with the Arctis 5. I imagine the life of the headband isn’t as long because it is elastic so it is a good thing SteelSeries makes replacements, being able to change up the look is just a bonus.
The microphone has the traditional SteelSeries retraction so you can keep it stored in your headset when not in use. With the Arctis line, the microphone was an area that they focused on a lot, that is why it is much larger than past SteelSeries headsets. The frequency range is 100Hz to 6500Hz for the Arctis 7 and I have to say that is a big drop even from the Arctis 5 that peaked at 10000Hz. But compared to the Sennheiser’s or even the wireless Logitech G533’s it is even worse. I’m curious how it will compare in testing.
Here are a few photos with the Arctis 5 and Arctis 7’s next to each other. I have the cord off the 5’s but as you can see the design is very similar other than the headband.
So being wireless doesn’t do anything if you don’t have anything to send out a signal right? Well for the Arctis 7 SteelSeries went with this small oval design. It is at the end of a long cord so you can get it up on your desk if you want. The SteelSeries logo is up on top along with a status light. Then on the back, where the USB cord comes in it also has two 2.5mm jacks. On top of being a wireless adapter, it is also the USB sound card so these two plugs let you hook up a wired headphone or to input audio. Both are labeled but because they are on the back of the device they aren’t easy to get to and are easy to forget they exist. Personally, I would have liked to see a way to charge the headset right from this, but with the Micro-USB connection, I can just use a phone charging cable that is already on my desk.
Here are the three replacement straps that they sent along with our headset. These do not come with the headset normally but are available on the SteelSeries website. They are also working on more designs, if the vote was any indication there are a couple of really cool designs on the way. That said the three they sent over all look good. My main complaint would be that only the middle strap actually has the design on both sides. The other two are white on the backside. Considering you see the back on the top of the headband it is a weird choice. I would also love to see more solid colors be available. I would be really happy with just an orange strap, just like a lot of people might just want to match their favorite color or match the color theme of their build/desk.