SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless: One minute review
If you’ve taken a look at the Steelseries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless, you’ll know this is more than just the Arctis 7 with a fresh coat of paint. It may retain the overall design of its predecessor, but the earcups and headband have been slimmed down for a sleeker, more ergonomic package. No wonder it’s 14% lighter.
There are also many changes beyond its aesthetics. It can be connected to multiple sources simultaneously. It has fast charging capabilities. And it has the kind of sonic customization thanks to the Sonar software suite that will let you customize the sound beyond what you could have done with the arctic 7. Of course, it still retains some of the DNA from the previous model, good and bad, including that slightly weak bass. there’s enough to like that you might consider upgrading even if you own its predecessor.
Although it does not reach the same hearing heights as the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wirelessthe Arctis Nova 7 Wireless remains a stellar entry into the oversaturated world of gaming headset even if it costs a little more than it should.
SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless: price and availability
- How much is it? $179 (£174, around AU$310)
- Where is it available? Available now
- Where can you get it? Available in the US, UK and Australia
SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless: SPECIFICATIONS
Interface: 2.4GHz wireless, Bluetooth, 3.5mm
Compatible: Windows, Mac, PS4/5, Meta Quest 2, mobile devices
microphone: Two-way noise cancellation
surround sound: Microsoft Spatial Sound / Tempest 3D audio for PS5
Weight: 11.45oz (325g)
Entering the market in late August 2022, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 is far from the cheapest SteelSeries Nova gaming headset. That honor goes to the much simpler Arctis 1, which costs $59 (£59, around AU$69). And, while it’s not the most expensive either, it will set you back a decent amount at $179 (£174, around AU$310).
Paired with the 7P and 7X, the console-oriented versions of the same headset, it performs solidly across the board. And you can certainly find worse headphones for the price. But, considering the competition and what it offers, a price closer to $150/£150 would be more appropriate.
Of course, the most expensive Nova headset, the Nova Pro Wireless, costs $349 (£329, AU$649). However, it comes with such a wow factor that we’d gladly pay that much for it.
SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless: Design
- Lots of customization available
- The clamping force is too light
- Compatible with most devices
Although the Steelseries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless is more than just an upgrade, you can still see the general outline of previous Steelseries headsets in its design. The ear cups are oval where they meet the ear pads and the headset still comes with replaceable customizable ski goggle headbands and ear cup plates. It also uses similar materials, namely durable plastic for the earcups and metal for the headband, PVD-coated steel in the case of the Nova 7. But that’s where most of the similarities end.
Unlike the Arctis 7, the ear cups are slimmer, except for the raised circular parts that house the replaceable ear cup plates. These plates, which are small and circular, act more as an accent rather than covering the entire outer surface like the ones on Arctis 7 do.
Meanwhile, the steel headband is thinner, just like the headband inserts on ski goggles. They just need to be clipped into place on the inside, ditching that iconic Velcro wrap-around design.
Both the earmuffs and headbands of the ski goggles are fully replaceable with a number of different colors available from the Steelseries, although you’ll need to purchase them separately, allowing you to customize the Nova 7 Wireless much more than you can. with most headphones.
All the controls you could want are also at your fingertips. The right side houses the power and Bluetooth buttons, as well as the chat mix and USB-C port, while the left side houses the mic mute, volume dial, and 3.5mm audio jack. the left. The retractable microphone is also on the left earcup and sits completely flush when stowed away.
Ergonomically, there is enough swivel and height adjustment to fit almost any head shape. You can even rotate the ear cups to lay flat if you want to store them in a backpack. However, when using the Arctis Nova 7, we found that it has a glaring problem. There is not enough clamping force to keep it in place during intense moments. When we move our head quickly, it slips a bit. While it doesn’t fly off, we would have preferred a slightly tighter fit. After all, you can loosen the clamping force on a headset but you can’t tighten it.
It’s still surprisingly comfortable to wear despite that issue. The headband of the ski goggles prevents the steel band from putting pressure on your head, while the Airweave memory foam cushions are luxurious and prevent you from feeling fatigue even after wearing them for long periods of time. Of course, having tested the Nova Pro Wireless too, we prefer the Pro’s soft leatherette cover to the thicker fabric covering the ear cushions here. Considering the price, a softer fabric would have given it a better value.
Considering all the connectivity of the Nova 7 Wireless, it’s no surprise that you can basically hook it up to just about any system. The USB-C dongle allows you to use the headset with a PC, Playstation or Switch while still being able to use Bluetooth. Capacity for Mac, tablets and phones. Of course, you can also connect it to any analog device thanks to the 3.5mm connection.
One of the benefits of having that wide range of connectivity is the ability to connect to multiple devices at once. And Steelseries has made that a feature here. Its multi-device and cross-platform support allows you to connect to a wireless source and a Bluetooth source simultaneously, so you can take that important call in the middle of a battle without reaching for your phone.
Since you have that simultaneous connectivity, Steelseries has decided to include separate buttons for power and Bluetooth. If you are connected to a Bluetooth source and use the power button to turn off, the headset will still receive that Bluetooth signal. You have to press that Bluetooth button to turn it off.
If you’re hoping to use this for anything else, it also comes with a 3.5mm wired connection. In essence, you can connect the Nova 7 Wireless to just about anything. However, if you want wireless connectivity to an Xbox, you should get the Nova 7x instead.
SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless: Performance
- Very good, if a bit too neutral, sound quality
- Plenty of battery life, including fast charging
- microphone with good sound
There are headphones and earphones that sound more fun with boosted treble and bass, and then there are others with a more neutral sound. The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 sits firmly in the latter field. Mids are perfect, while bass is present enough for you to feel it, albeit a bit quieter than we prefer. Meanwhile, the high-end is detailed if slightly veiled.
We can hear everything clearly and as intended. It doesn’t compare to the cleaner, punchier sound of the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless. But it does provide fairly accurate audio that is immersive once our ears adjust to the more neutral sound.
Along with audio quality, microphone quality is a crucial consideration with headphones. The boom mic sounds loud, clear, and very present with just a little compression on the voice. Essentially, it sounds great. It picks up background noise, but not at a volume that is distracting or affects the way others hear your voice. And there is some AI noise cancellation available through the software.
When tested, we can also use the microphone without retracting it from the earpiece. Of course, the microphone quality suffered a bit. Our voice is still clear, but it’s not as loud, it’s a bit more compressed, and it sounds like it’s further away. It also picks up a lot more background noise.
Battery life is also an important factor. Fortunately, it’s pretty stellar here. While you won’t be able to hot swap batteries like on the Pro Wireless, the Steelseries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless gives you 38 hours of battery life. That’s about five days of gaming if you put in eight hours a day. It also offers fast charging through its USB-C. With just 15 minutes of charging, you can get an additional six hours of use.
We’re also impressed with some of the software-related features that come with Arctis, in particular the new Sonar Audio Software Suite. It is a complement to the SteelSeries GG Engine and gives you much more control. You can adjust microphone volume, game volume, chat volume, chat mix, and much more. You can also turn on ClearCast AI noise cancellation here.
Most importantly, it gives you access to a parametric equalizer. This means you can not only adjust the boost or cut of individual EQ bands, but also change the frequencies you’re adjusting and add more bands to play. This is much deeper and more customizable than the usual five-band EQ that most headphones give you access to. Just keep in mind that these customizations are only available when you’re connected to a PC and using the app.
Should I buy SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless?
Buy it if…
Don’t buy it if…
SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless: Report Card
|Worth||While the Nova 7 Wireless is a very solid headset and better than much of the competition, we think it should be a bit cheaper.||3.5/5|
|design||It is a versatile and stylish headset. It is also lighter than its predecessor.||Four. Five|
|performance||It sounds good with a good quality microphone, excellent battery life, and excellent software customization.||Four. Five|
|Total||While it’s a bit pricey, it’s a great all-around headset that will impress most.||Four. Five|
- First checking September 2022
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