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

The brand new Arctis 7+ and 7P+ are so related that it solely is smart 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 very best wi-fi gaming headsets. Now, with higher battery life, a useful 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 value level for the earlier Arctis 7 (although you may typically 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 case 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 approach their predecessor wasn’t.

One Headset, Two Names

Each the Arctis 7+ and 7P+ have trendy plastic ear cups, with comfy (if somewhat skinny) foam cushioning and a metal headband with a snug 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 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 fitting ear cup. On the 7+, it controls ChatMix, permitting you to stability how a lot you hear recreation audio versus staff chat. On the 7P+, this dial as a substitute controls sidetone, which is how a lot you hear your individual microphone enter.

{Photograph}: SteelSeries

Sidetone helps you pay attention to how loud you might be, to keep away from shouting. However I am unsure it is worthwhile to have a devoted dial for it. The 7+ nonetheless gives first rate sidetone suggestions; you simply cannot modify how loud it’s in your individual ears. In my view, the ChatMix dial is extra helpful, however it’s subjective sufficient that it’s best to in all probability determine 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 just about similar. Each help 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 intervals 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 straightforward to get by means of. Provided 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 pink LED on the mic signifies when it is muted, even when retracted. In my audio exams, the mic wasn’t particularly clear or prime quality, however it’s serviceable sufficient for staff chat, which is all it actually must do.

Tons of Tweaking

For PC customers, the most important change is SteelSeries’ new Sonar software program. This reveals up as a brand new tab within the SteelSeries GG utility. It means that you can modify enter/playback ranges for recreation audio, staff chat, and your individual microphone individually. You may modify the equalizer settings and save presets for all three audio sources in separate sub-tabs throughout the Sonar app.

The SteelSeries utility creates three totally different digital sound units on the system degree, which is each handy and annoyingly cluttered. Previous to testing these headphones, I had two audio units 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 units was comparatively straightforward. 

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