SteelSeries has dropped a very impressive (and very expensive) redesigned flagship Arctis Nova Pro Wireless Headset Earlier this year, and now, it’s bringing that redesign to the rest of its lineup, starting with the Arctis Nova 7 Wireless.
The Arctis Nova 7 Wireless looks like SteelSeries has run out of machined steel and leatherette at the Arctis Nova Pro factory. The design of the Nova 7 and Nova Pro are virtually identical. The Nova 7 simply replaces the speaker plates and ear cushions with cheaper materials. The Nova 7 Wireless is a brand new top-of-the-line non-audiophile headset (Arctis 9 not included in the redesign) with simultaneous dual wireless connectivity (2.4GHz wireless and Bluetooth 5.0), 38 hours battery is equipped with With USB-C fast charging and a “custom hi-fi driver tuned for gaming,”
In fact, all three new headsets (Nova 1, Nova 3, and Nova 7 Wireless) have the same custom drivers (Nova Pro has different drivers). Also, since the Nova 7 Wireless doesn’t have a wired version, I’ll just call it the Nova 7 from now on.
Arctis Nova 7 is priced at $180 and comes in three versions for PC, PlayStation, and Xbox. The versions are very similar, with some minor tweaks for the platform. I tested the PC version.
Arctis Nova 7 Design and Comfort
The Arctis Nova 7 looks like the Arctis Nova Pro. best gaming headsetHowever, it is less luxurious. The Nova 7 has a rigid steel headband with an adjustable elastic headband strap and plastic earcups with fabric-covered memory foam cushions. The headband straps attach to fixed points within the headband, and the swiveling ear cups are also height-adjustable. The headset is very light at 0.72 pounds (325g), slightly lighter than the Nova Pro Wireless’ 0.75 pounds (339g).
The Nova 7 has spacious over-ear memory foam earcup cushions covered in SteelSeries’ AirWeave fabric, a lightweight nylon. AirWeave is more breathable than the Nova Pro’s leatherette and offers slightly less passive noise cancellation, but very little. The Nova 7’s ear cushions are big enough to completely surround your ears without squeezing them in, and SteelSeries seems to have found the perfect clamping force. You can use this headset for hours without any discomfort.
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The right earcup houses the power button, Bluetooth button, and ChatMix wheel on the PC/Xbox version (this wheel adjusts Sidetone on the PlayStation version). There is also a USB-C port for charging. The left earcup houses his mic mute switch, volume wheel, and his 3.5 mm audio jack for wired use. Nova 7 ships with a 2.4 GHz wireless USB-C dongle, a 5ft (1.5m) USB-C to USB-A charging cable, and a 5ft (1.5m) USB-C to USB. -Converter, and 4 feet (1.2m) of 3.5mm audio cable.
The Nova 7 has magnetic speaker plates with a soft-touch matte black finish. The speaker plates, headband straps and ear cushions are replaceable. SteelSeries already sells “booster packs” with different colored speaker plates and headband straps for the Nova Pro and Nova Pro Wireless. 7. (If you don’t like the Nova 7’s default AirWeave, you can also buy replacement ear cushions in leatherette.)
|Driver type||40mm custom|
|Type of microphone||Fully retractable, two-way, noise-cancelling|
|connectivity||2.4GHz wireless, Bluetooth 5.0, wired (3.5mm aux)|
|weight||0.72lb / 325g|
|cord length||4 feet / 1.2m (3.5mm analog)|
|battery life||38 hours|
|software||SteelSeries GG (Sonar)|
Arctis Nova 7 audio performance
The Arctis Nova 7 features a “custom hi-fi driver tuned for gaming” (whatever that means) with a frequency response of 20-20,000 Hz, impedance of 36Ω and sensitivity of 93dBSPL . The new Arctis Nova 1 and Nova 3 drivers are the same. The Arctis Nova Pro and Arctis Nova Pro Wireless have different higher fidelity drivers.
The music on Nova 7 is nice. The bass is present, but it’s a little lacking, and Kanye West’s “Love Lockdown” and Cascade’s “POW POW POW” had too much bass suppression and a muddy sound. In contrast, the mids and highs are a little too high. David Guetta’s “Titanium” had a lot of low-mid distortion, while Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” usually had crisp layers mixed with detail.
We tested the Nova 7’s audio over both wireless (2.4 GHz) and wired (3.5 mm analog, connected to SteelSeries’ own GameDAC) connections. Audio quality is much better than the wired connection (although there was still some mid-range distortion and low-frequency blur). But you’re not buying a $180 headset with simultaneous dual wireless for analog connections.
The good news: Games sound far better than music on the Nova 7 — pretty good with the headset’s default out-of-the-box settings, and SteelSeries’ Sonar audio software suite has plenty to play with. , with game-oriented parametric EQ and features like 360-degree spatial audio, implemented pretty well. In fact, the Nova 7 performed best on calls and voice chat. Thanks in part to features like ChatMix, adjustable sidetone, Sonar’s mic EQ, and in general, everyone I spoke with the headset sounded great.
Arctis Nova 7 microphone
Arctis Nova 7 features a two-way ClearCast Gen 2 noise-cancelling microphone with a wireless frequency response of 100-6,500 Hz and a sensitivity of -38dBV/Pa. It works well as a headset mic and picks up your voice easily thanks to the flexible arm that you can adjust its position. Featuring a bi-directional polar pattern rather than cardioid, it doesn’t do a great job of noise canceling/noise isolation without the help of SteelSeries’ Sonar audio software.
SteelSeries’ new Arctis Nova headsets all feature the same mic design and are fully retractable, blending seamlessly into the earcups when stowed. The mic picks up sound even when retracted. To mute the Nova 7, you’ll need to use the physical mute button on the left earcup. The mic has a bright red LED that lights up when muted (this can be adjusted or turned off in software).
Arctis Nova 7 software
The Arctis Nova 7 works fine out of the box with no software, but there are some settings that can only be accessed with SteelSeries GG, SteelSeries’ one-stop peripheral companion software suite. SteelSeries GG is also where you can access Sonar audio software. This greatly improves audio quality when played over time.
The Nova 7’s main settings menu is located in the Engine section of the SteelSeries GG. Here you can adjust hardware settings such as standby time, mic mute LED brightness, and whether the headset turns on Bluetooth. You can also tweak audio settings such as microphone volume and sidetone, and create different profiles (this is a standard feature of the engine. RGB).
You can also turn on SteelSeries’ Sonar audio software with separate EQs and microphones for games and chat channels. Sonar also includes features such as virtual surround sound, ChatMix, and several noise reduction/noise isolation/noise cancellation features for your microphone.
Arctis Nova 7 battery life
The Arctis Nova 7’s battery life is 38 hours with just a 2.4 GHz wireless connection (26 hours with simultaneous Bluetooth). It’s not particularly uncommon these days (especially with recent flagship models), but playing time well over a day is pretty good. The Razer Barracuda Pro and Turtle Beach Stealth 700 MAX both boast over 40 hours of battery life. Sony’s new Inzone 7 and 9 Claim 40 and 32 hours respectively. Nova 7 can charge fast via USB-C. 15 minutes of charging gives you 6 hours of boost.
The Arctis Nova 7 Wireless looks and feels a lot like the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless, but it doesn’t sound like the Arctis Nova Pro Wireless. It may seem like an unfair comparison, but headsets don’t need super hi-fi drivers for great audio quality, and while the Nova 7 isn’t a bad-sounding headset, SteelSeries is better than his Hi-Fi. I expected more now that I know what Fi audio can do.
In general, I’m a big fan of the Arctis Nova line’s redesign — the Nova 7 is lightweight, super comfortable, and its retractable mic, sleek profile, and 38-hour battery life make it a great multipurpose headset. (And at $180, it’s still cheaper than other do-it-yourself headsets. Razer Barracuda Pro Wireless). The Arctis Nova 7 sounds better with a wired connection and is a pretty good headset if you’re not tied to a wireless connection, but if you’re tied to a wireless connection, find better options in the following list. I can best wireless gaming headset.