SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless Review

Is it a step forward or a step backward for SteelSeries? Read our SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless Review.

SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless Review

Among THE three-strong Nova lineup from SteelSeries, the Nova 7 sits right in the middle. The three different variants include the Nova 7, the PC-optimized version we have on test here, the Nova 7P optimized for PlayStation, and the Nova 7X—yep, you guessed it—optimized for Xbox consoles. Costing just short of $ it’s not exactly at the budget end of the headset market, so is this new addition worth an upgrade or are you better off grabbing an older SteelSeries headset that offers better value for money?

Unboxing the Nova 7, you not only find the headphones but a range of cables and adapters too. There’s a multi-platform USB-C wireless dongle, a 5ft USB-C to USB-A charging cable, a 5ft USB-C (female) to USB-A extension cable, and a 3.5mm auxiliary cable. The headset is also wireless via Bluetooth, offering a healthy amount of connectivity choices.

We aren’t huge fans of the Arctis Nova 7’s design though, especially compared with some of the company’s older models such as the Arctis 9 wireless. There’s nothing wrong with the design, it looks modern and slick in the matte-black finish of our review sample, but it’s not as alluring as previous models.

Unfortunately, it falls short when it comes to build quality. The plastic feels cheap and scratchy and not what you’d expect from a headset costing $ The elasticated suspended headband design has been swapped for a band that clips into place. It’s still comfortable but doesn’t offer as precise adjustment as before. The retractable built-in microphone sits flush with the earcups and the foam padding on the cups is plush. You can also customize your headset with different bands and earcup plate designs from SteelSeries.

On the left, there are controls for the mute function, volume control wheel, retractable mic, and the 3.5mm port. On the right is a volume wheel for game/party chat, the power button, the Bluetooth button, and the USB-C port. As we mentioned earlier, the materials used feel cheap and that’s especially noticeable on the contact points, but overall, the Nova 7 headset feels sturdy and is comfortable too.

What really matters is the performance and, on this headset, gaming audio quality is top-tier—something that we have come to associate with SteelSeries for a while. One thing we should point out is that it’s worth installing the native software, in this case, the SteelSeries GG application. This included a firmware update for the headset, which we installed before testing. In the app, we selected the bass boost EQ and this gave us the best sound. Where the standard preset lacked a little oomph, the bass boost EQ fixed that.

With the software sorted, the Arctis Nova 7 wireless offers a well-rounded and detailed soundscape. Playing games such as Assassins Creed: Origins and other open-world titles, the Nova aids immersion without sounding muddy. Directional accuracy in competitive FPS game modes was also pinpoint, another strong point of SteelSeries headsets. The same goes for the microphone, pickup was strong and, on recordings, our voice sounded bright and clear.

There isn’t much we can say negatively about the sound. If anything, it could offer deeper bass as standard but that can be addressed in the app. Where the headset doesn’t live up to the price tag is in the overall design and build quality. For around the same price, you can pick up either the Arctis 7+ or the Arctis 9+, both of which offer similar audio profiles and much better build quality. – sam lewis

SPECIFICATIONS

Driver type

40mm Neodymium driver

Frequency response

20Hz-22kHz

Impedance

36 ohms

Connectivity

2.4GHz low latency wireless, Bluetooth 5.0, USB C, and 3.5mm auxiliary.

Compatibility

PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, PS5, Nintendo Switch, Mobile

Battery life

38 hours

Design style

Closed back

Verdict

7 Total Score
SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless Review

PROS
  • Clear gaming - focused audio
  • 38-hour battery
  • great connectivity
  • comfortable
CONS
  • A step back in physical quality
  • better-priced alternatives available
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SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless: Price Comparison

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SteelSeries New Arctis Nova 7X Multi-Platform Gaming & Mobile Headset...
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SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless – Multi-Platform Gaming Headset –...
3 used from £135.27 1 new from £189.99
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Last Amazon price update was: July 11, 2024 9:30 am
× Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on Amazon.com (Amazon.in, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de, etc) at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.

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