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

The 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 best wireless 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.

Both the Arctis 7+ and 7P+ retail for $170, which is roughly in keeping with the value level for the earlier Arctis 7 (although you’ll be able to usually discover the latter for much less now). If you have already got the final technology of this headset, you in all probability will not really feel the necessity to improve. But 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 manner their predecessor wasn’t.

One Headset, Two Names

Both the Arctis 7+ and 7P+ have trendy plastic ear cups, with snug (if slightly 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 quantity dial is on the left ear cup, and they 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 Switch and most Android telephones.

The main distinction between the 2 is the dial on the appropriate 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 might be, to keep away from shouting. But I’m unsure it is worthwhile to have a devoted dial for it. The 7+ nonetheless presents respectable sidetone suggestions; you simply cannot alter how loud it’s in your individual ears. In my opinion, the ChatMix dial is extra helpful, but it surely’s subjective sufficient that you need to in all probability resolve for your self.

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

Both variants are surprisingly snug to put on for lengthy durations 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 classes straightforward to get by way of. Given that the 7+/7P+ boast a 30-hour battery life—up from 24 hours on its predecessor—which is in keeping 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 assessments, the mic wasn’t particularly clear or prime quality, but it surely’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 permits you to alter enter/playback ranges for sport audio, crew chat, and your individual microphone individually. You 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 completely different digital sound gadgets on the system degree, which is each handy and annoyingly cluttered. Prior to testing these headphones, I had two audio gadgets on my Windows 11 machine: my fundamental desktop audio system and the Logitech Pro X that I take advantage of as my every day driver. Switching between these two gadgets was comparatively straightforward. 

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