Steelseries Arctis 7+/7P+ Review: Dongles and Software Rule

The brand new Arctis 7+ and 7P+ are so related that it solely is sensible to evaluate them collectively. These headsets are an iterative enchancment over the Arctis 7, which earned an honorable point out in our roundup of the most effective wi-fi gaming headsets. Now, with higher battery life, a helpful USB-C dongle, and the brand new Sonar software program, the 7+/7P+ may simply deserve an improve in our recs.

Each the Arctis 7+ and 7P+ retail for $170, which is roughly according to the worth level for the earlier Arctis 7 (although you may usually discover the latter for much less now). If you have already got the final era of this headset, you in all probability will not really feel the necessity to improve. However in the event you’re available in the market for a brand new pair of gaming headphones, these will in all probability be in your radar in a means their predecessor wasn’t.

One Headset, Two Names

Each the Arctis 7+ and 7P+ have trendy plastic ear cups, with comfy (if quite skinny) foam cushioning and a metal headband with a cushty elastic inside strap. They cost through USB-C, which is a welcome change from micro-USB charging on their predecessor. The amount dial is on the left ear cup, they usually pair wirelessly utilizing a compact USB-C dongle. The 7P+ is aimed largely at PlayStation customers, however each headphones pair with PC, PS4/PS5, in addition to the Nintendo Swap and most Android telephones.

The first distinction between the 2 is the dial on the fitting ear cup. On the 7+, it controls ChatMix, permitting you to stability how a lot you hear sport audio versus crew chat. On the 7P+, this dial as an alternative controls sidetone, which is how a lot you hear your individual microphone enter.

{Photograph}: SteelSeries

Sidetone helps you pay attention to how loud you’re, to keep away from shouting. However I am unsure it is worthwhile to have a devoted dial for it. The 7+ nonetheless gives respectable sidetone suggestions; you simply cannot alter how loud it’s in your individual ears. In my view, the ChatMix dial is extra helpful, nevertheless it’s subjective sufficient that it’s best to in all probability resolve for your self.

The opposite minor distinction is that the 7P+ is available in each black and white choices, whereas the 7+ solely is available in black. That is about it. From a {hardware} perspective, the headsets are in any other case nearly similar. Each assist Sony’s Tempest 3D audio, and each are suitable with 7.1 digital encompass sound, utilizing SteelSeries’ Sonar software program.

Each variants are surprisingly comfy to put on for lengthy durations of time, which was somewhat shocking to me given how skinny the ear cup padding felt. The elastic strap alongside the highest helped distribute the load a bit and made lengthy periods simple to get by way of. On condition that the 7+/7P+ boast a 30-hour battery life—up from 24 hours on its predecessor—which is in line with what I skilled, the long-term consolation was welcome.

The retractable microphone on every headset is trendy and tucks away neatly. A bodily mute button can silence the mic, and a purple LED on the mic signifies when it is muted, even when retracted. In my audio assessments, the mic wasn’t particularly clear or top quality, nevertheless it’s serviceable sufficient for crew chat, which is all it actually must do.

Tons of Tweaking

For PC customers, the largest change is SteelSeries’ new Sonar software program. This reveals up as a brand new tab within the SteelSeries GG software. It lets you alter enter/playback ranges for sport audio, crew chat, and your individual microphone individually. You possibly can alter the equalizer settings and save presets for all three audio sources in separate sub-tabs inside the Sonar app.

The SteelSeries software creates three totally different digital sound gadgets on the system degree, which is each handy and annoyingly cluttered. Previous to testing these headphones, I had two audio gadgets on my Home windows 11 machine: my fundamental desktop audio system and the Logitech Professional X that I exploit as my every day driver. Switching between these two gadgets was comparatively simple.