The Arctis 7 was one of the best wireless gaming headsets of 2018. SteelSeries worked for almost 3 years to fine-tune that already great headset even further. The few issues that persisted got eradicated and the result is an almost perfect gaming headset: The SteelSeries Arctis 7P/7X. The 7P is their corresponding model for the release of the PlayStation 5, while the 7X is the corresponding design for the new Xbox Series X.
The SteelSeries Arctis 7P/7X prioritizes on the most important things. It offers an absolutely comfortable fit, a long-lasting battery, solid audio quality, great wireless connectivity and also no further confusing gimmickry.
The headset is available for about $ 150.00 to $ 180.00 right now and is definitely worth checking out.
Design: What’s the difference between the Arctis 7P and 7X?
From the outside, there are very few noticeable differences between the Arctis 7 and the Arctis 7P/7X. The newer model does have a plastic body that offers a decent range of motion, uses an aluminum framing and a suspension band. Just as expected from its predecessor, the 7P/7X is an exceptionally comfortable gaming headset. The earpads are made of SteelSeries’ Airweave fabric, which gives a lot of comforts while at the same time stopping heat to build up. You’ll love the Airweave fabric, especially when you’re a gamer with glasses.
Most gaming headsets use expandable arms to achieve a good fit for different head sizes. The Arctis 7P/7X however, relies on an elastic band. When you put the headset on, the elastic band will immediately adjust accordingly to your head shape. This makes the headset incredibly easy to use as finding your individual fit becomes effortless. For fine-tuning, the band can be tightened or loosened with a velcro strap.
The 7P and the 7X are designed for their corresponding new generation consoles. You can find blue highlights on the 7P to match the PS5 and green highlights on the 7X to match the Xbox Series X. Besides that, there is practically no difference in the looks of the two models.
While there’s a sidetone/monitor volume dial on the right earcup of the 7P, you can find a game-to-chat balance dial on the same position on the 7X. Basically, all other action happens on the left earcup: A volume dial, a mute button for the microphone, the ports for charging and connecting and a retractable microphone. The buttons also have different shapes to easily distinguish them by haptic only. While other brands cram all the buttons and dials together in a very confusing manner, SteelSeries manages to create a very clear and easy design. This layout makes the overall use of the headset very pleasant.
The Arctis 7P/7X can be connected to your platform with a 2.4 GHz USB RF dongle. What separates the Arctis 7P/7X from its competitors is its connection using a USB-C dongle(there’s also a USB-A adapter included). This means that as a side effect the headset now also supports wireless audio on the Nintendo Switch when connected. The headset additionally offers a detachable 3.5mm audio jack for further versatility.
You can use the SteelSeries Arctis 7P/7X on a PC, but it isn’t really designed to do so. Its main focus are next-generation consoles. Those use a built-in spatial audio system on which the headset relies on. You would be missing the surround sound when you use the headset on a PC for example. This is something to keep in mind, but at the same time, not a big deal, since the stereo sound quality of the headsets delivers a great gaming experience anyway.
The sound of the Arcits 7P/7X also works great with all kinds of game genres. No matter on which device, the headset dealt beautifully with gunfire, dialogue and ambiance sounds. The vocals have been clearly distinguishable from the music in a rich sound palette, as the headset was keeping a good balance between bass and treble at all times. In more action-paced games the gaming headset still managed to keep ambient music from getting lost in the many different sounds.
If you’re going to play video games most of the time, then this headset is almost perfect. However, like on its predecessor, one of its weaknesses occurs on certain frequencies when playing music. The sound tends to be flat, especially at higher volumes. Bass, treble and vocals still sound distinct, but the overall audio quality on music doesn’t live up to other high-tier headsets. Bass notes get boosted at about 100 Hz and there’s a slightly noticeable de-emphasized sound between 2000Hz and 5000Hz. This kind of frequency response is still good for bass-heavy tracks, but subtle string and vocal parts might not sound exactly as they should.
On the SteelSeries Engine, you get to customize EQ profiles, your microphone settings and opt for battery-saving adjustments. You can use the headset straight out of the box if you want to, as their software only gives very slight advantages.
The isolation of the gaming headset is pretty average, but manages to fade out pretty much all daily background noises like a fan for example.
The microphone is responsive and the sound of your voice is very clear. There is a slight drop in the mid and bass range though. Especially people with a deep voice might sound a bit distorted over the microphone.
The reason for having 2 different headset types for the new consoles is not only to have a matching design. The Xbox consoles use a different wireless protocol than usual. On the 7X’s dongle, there’s a small switch that lets you toggle between USB and Xbox connectivity. The 7P’s dongle is slightly smaller since it doesn’t need to hold this switch.
At the end of the day, this means that you can connect the 7X to virtually anything, while you can connect the 7P to everything except Xbox consoles. The minor advantage for the 7P here is having a slightly smaller dongle. The price of both models is the same.
According to SteelSeries, a single charge of battery lasts up to 24 hours, which the headset also passed on our tests. When listening on lower volumes the duration can even be further extended. This is neither bad nor great, it’s pretty much where a headset like this is expected to be.
The SteelSeries Arctis 7P/7X will certainly be one of the most comfortable headsets you have spent your gaming dates with. It has decent battery life and overall good sound quality. On a PC you might miss the surround sound feature when playing games where directional audio is very important like Valorant or CS:GO.
The good thing is, that the 7P/7X can be recommended to any platform, as it’s a really good gaming headset in all cases. There are only some minor tweaks that could be improved on future models.