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 overview them collectively. These headsets are an iterative enchancment over the Arctis 7, which earned an honorable point out in our roundup of one of the best 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 consistent with the worth level for the earlier Arctis 7 (although you possibly can typically discover the latter for much less now). If you have already got the final technology of this headset, you most likely 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 most likely be in your radar in a approach their predecessor wasn’t.

One Headset, Two Names

Each the Arctis 7+ and 7P+ have trendy plastic ear cups, with snug (if fairly skinny) foam cushioning and a metal headband with a cushty elastic inside strap. They cost by way of 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 principally 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 suitable ear cup. On the 7+, it controls ChatMix, permitting you to steadiness how a lot you hear sport audio versus staff chat. On the 7P+, this dial as a substitute controls sidetone, which is how a lot you hear your personal microphone enter.

{Photograph}: SteelSeries

Sidetone helps you concentrate on how loud you’re, to keep away from shouting. However I am undecided it is worthwhile to have a devoted dial for it. The 7+ nonetheless gives first rate sidetone suggestions; you simply cannot regulate how loud it’s in your personal ears. In my view, the ChatMix dial is extra helpful, but it surely’s subjective sufficient that you must most likely 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 equivalent. Each assist Sony’s Tempest 3D audio, and each are appropriate with 7.1 digital encompass sound, utilizing SteelSeries’ Sonar software program.

Each variants are surprisingly snug to put on for lengthy intervals of time, which was a bit stunning 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. On condition that the 7+/7P+ boast a 30-hour battery life—up from 24 hours on its predecessor—which is according to 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 crimson LED on the mic signifies when it is muted, even when retracted. In my audio exams, the mic wasn’t particularly clear or top quality, but it surely’s serviceable sufficient for staff chat, which is all it actually must do.

Tons of Tweaking

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

The SteelSeries utility 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. 

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