If you didn’t already know, SteelSeries, the makers of some of the very best gaming accessories out there, introduced the Arctis Nova series of headsets last year. This took SteelSeries’ headset design language in a new direction with improved looks and comfort. We had a chance to check out the SteelSeries Arctis Nova Pro Wireless and to this date, it’s still my favorite gaming headset. However I know not everyone has $350 to spend on a gaming headset and luckily, SteelSeries has the Arctis Nova 7 Wireless for roughly half the price with very similar features.
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless looks very similar to the top-tier Nova Pro Wireless, but with a few little changes here and there. As stated in my previous review, this new design was created in Denmark in collaboration with Danish Designer Jakob Wagner.
The Arctis Nova 7 Wireless utilizes the updated comfort band design and has earcups that are height adjustable. Once you get it into a position you like, that’s it. The new ComfortMAX System is more precise when it comes to sizing and you’re able to size it exactly to your head, instead of using the one-size-fits-all approach. This means optimal comfort at all times.
Since I mentioned the earcups, these follow the new Nova series design theme and feature a circular plate on both sides. These plates are removable and can be replaced with the optional Nova Booster Packs, which include the speaker plates and headband. SteelSeries was kind enough to send over the Mint-colored Nova Booster Pack which I will say looks pretty slick on the all-black headset. Unlike the Nova Pro Wireless, there’s nothing underneath these speaker plates.
Another difference is the ear pads. On the Nova 7 Wireless, they’re made of airweave fabric, instead of the vegan leather type material on the Pros. This material is breathable and soft, though I prefer the material on the Pros. The placement of the retractable mic is in the same spot however and still looks just as good when hidden.
All the controls are right at your fingertips and are located on both sides of the earcups. Easily adjust the volume of the headset, tweak ChatMix to tune your squad in or out, mute your mic quickly, or answer calls using Bluetooth. You’ll also notice that the USB-C port is in a more easily used spot on the bottom of the headset instead of underneath the speaker plates as they are on the Pro version.
The Arctis Nova 7 Wireless boasts a new Nova Acoustic System, which consists of high-fidelity drivers and a parametric EQ software. The drivers deliver clear and balanced sound across the frequency range, with crisp highs, detailed mids, and deep lows. The soundstage is also wide and immersive, thanks to the 360° spatial audio feature that works with most games and platforms. The parametric EQ software lets you customize your sound profile to your liking, with presets from esports pros and Steelseries experts.
The headset also has some impressive wireless features, such as simultaneous wireless (2.4GHz and Bluetooth), which allows you to mix game and mobile audio. The battery life is also stellar, with up to 38 hours of playback on a single charge. The headset also supports USB-C fast charging, which gives you 6 hours of use after 15 minutes of charging.
The microphone on the headset is also very good, thanks to the AI-powered noise-canceling feature that uses Sonar ClearCast AI algorithms to filter out ambient sounds or teammate noise. The microphone sounds clear and natural, with no distortion or clipping. The headset also has a ChatMix dial on the ear cup that lets you adjust the balance between game and chat audio.
The Arctis Nova 7 Wireless is compatible with PC, Mac, PlayStation, Xbox, Switch, Meta Quest 2, and mobile devices via the USB-C dongle or Bluetooth. The dongle also comes with a USB-A adapter for older devices. The headset works flawlessly with all platforms, with no noticeable latency or interference.
The performance of the headset is also top-notch, with no dropouts or glitches. The headset handles all kinds of games well, from shooters to RPGs to racing games. The sound quality is consistent and immersive across all genres, with accurate positional cues and environmental effects. The microphone also performs well in online communication, with clear voice transmission and noise reduction.
In terms of comfort, the Arctis Nova 7 Wireless is just as comfortable as the Arctis Nova Pros. These are lightweight, the ComforMAX system is top-notch, and the materials used are still really good. I’ve also always enjoyed how Steelseries makes all the buttons and controls easy to reach and use.
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless is a great alternative to the more expensive Arctis Nova Pro. The build quality is similar and while some of the materials are a little bit different, the headset still feels very solid. These provide almost everything you’d want from the higher-end model, including great sound, a fantastic mic, and comfort that will last for hours. It may not be the cheapest option out there, but it’s definitely worth it if you’re looking for a premium wireless gaming experience.
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless is available here on Amazon.