SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless Review?

The Nova 7 is everything we hoped it would be and more! An immaculate balance of affordability and performance for gamers.



Niya Andrew • November 16, 2023

 

SteelSeries released its premium Arctis Nova Pro Wireless gaming headsets as their flagship product in the Arctics Nova series. However, they revamped the product and extended the series with much more affordable alternative gaming sets, beginning with the Arctis Nova 7 Wireless.

PROS

  • Clear highs, rich mids, and deep bass
  • ClearCast 2.0 bidirectional boom mic
  • Ear cushions are soft and breathable
  • It lasts up to 38 hours on a single charge
  • The headset uses low-latency audio
  • Compatible with PCs, Macs, PlayStation, Xbox, and Nintendo Switch.

CONS

  • No active noise cancellation (ANC)
  • Non-detachable cable.

An Overview of the Wireless SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7

To begin with, the Arctis Nova 7 Wireless has a similar design to the Arctis Nova Pro. However, it seems quite likely that the brand may have used different materials for the speaker plates and ear cushions to cut costs in the Nova 7.

The Nova 7 Wireless headset is designed for non-audiophiles, but rather gamers looking for something they can wear for hours, or perhaps remote employees looking for comfortable cans for their at-home workstation. Interestingly, they didn’t include the Arctis 9 features in this redesign.

The set, overall, boasts impressive features like simultaneous dual wireless connectivity, with both 2.4GHz wireless and Bluetooth 5.0 options. It also has a remarkable battery life of 38 hours, and you can even charge it quickly using USB-C. They also have custom high-fidelity drivers specifically tuned for gaming, which is way cooler than it sounds.

Specifications

  • Type:
  • Driver Type
  • Impedance
  • Frequency Response
  • Microphone Type
  • Connectivity
  • Weight
  • Cord Length
  • Battery Life
  • Surround sound
  • Software
  • Compatibility
  • Over-ear
  • 40mm custom
  • 36Ω
  • 20 – 20,000 Hz
  • Fully-retractable, bi-directional, noise-canceling
  • 2.4GHz wireless, Bluetooth 5.0, wired (3.5mm aux)
  • 325g
  • 4 feet / 1.2m (3.5mm analog)
  • 38 hours
  • Microsoft Spatial Sound / Tempest 3D audio for PS5
  • SteelSeries GG (Sonar)
  • PC, PS4, PS5, Xbox

How Does It Feel To Use SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7

The Arctis Nova 7 is visually similar to the Arctis Nova Pro, though it lacks the premium quality of the latter. The Nova 7 has a plastic, yet quite sturdy, built structure and earcups with fabric-covered memory foam cushions and an adjustable elastic headband strap (which is a plus for someone who has a small head). The earcups can be rotated to change their angle, and the headband strap can be attached to stationary points inside the headband. At 0.72 ounces (325g), the headset feels noticeably lighter than the 0.75 ounces (339g) of the Nova Pro Wireless.

SteelSeries’ “AirWeave” fabric, a lightweight nylon, neatly encapsulates the Nova 7’s large, over-ear memory foam earcup cushions. AirWeave is more breathable than the leatherette on the Nova Pro and delivers marginally less passive noise cancellation. The Nova 7’s ear cushions are just the right size to surround your ears without pressing on them, and SteelSeries appears to have found the ideal clamping force; you can conveniently wear it for hours with no discomfort.

The magnetic speaker plates in the Nova 7 are coated in a smooth and black matte material. SteelSeries already sells “booster packs” for the Nova Pro and Nova Pro Wireless, which will also suit the Nova 7, that include replacement speaker plates and headband straps in a variety of colors. However, if you find the AirWeave fabric somewhat warm or uncomfortable, you can order its Leather Nova Ear Pads on Amazon.

How Are SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 As Gaming Headsets?

The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 delivered an admirable performance, and we are still in awe. When we tested them on PS5 and Windows PC. Support for PlayStation’s Tempest 3D audio in a wide variety of titles, including Ghost of Tsushima: Director’s Cut, Spider-Man: Miles Morales, Demon’s Souls, and more, allows the upgraded Nova Acoustic System to shine right out of the box on PS5.

You’d find “custom high fidelity drivers tuned for gaming” in the Arctis Nova 7; they have a frequency response of 20 – 20,000 Hz, an impedance of 36, and a sensitivity of 93dBSPL. Similar drivers are used in the Arctis Nova 1 and Nova 3, but other, higher-fidelity drivers are used in the Arctis Nova Pro and Arctis Nova Pro Wireless.

Both the wireless (2.4 GHz) and wired (3.5mm analog, connected to SteelSeries’ GameDAC) audio performance of the Nova 7 were put through their paces. While there was still some mid-range distortion and bass fuzziness, the audio quality was far improved when using a cable connection. On the other hand, you won’t need to spend $180 on a headset with dual wireless for the analog input.

The good news is that the Nova 7 excels at gaming and not music, sounding rather perfect on its factory defaults and offering a bunch of customizable features via the SteelSeries Sonar audio software suite. Sonar offers a gaming-oriented parametric EQ, as well as features like 360-degree spatial audio, which is done very effectively.

Thanks to the Nova 7’s ChatMix, tunable sidetone, and Sonar’s mic EQ, as well as it’s otherwise excellent audio quality, you can hear your peers as clearly as if they’re sitting next to you.

Can We Talk While Playing With SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7?

The audio quality of a gaming headset is crucial, and I’m happy to say that the Arctis Nova 7 Wireless delivers in this regard.

As is customary for gaming headphones, the lows are emphasized more than the mids and highs, but this does not make them feel muddy or underwhelming. But for the most part, the Nova 7 Wireless gave a pleasurable and vibrant listening experience, from Taylor Swift’s “Lover” to Beyoncé’s classic “Flawless.”

For regular sessions of Ghost Warrior Contracts 2, the slightly enlarged earcups’ wider soundscape and great feeling of positioning elevate the entire gaming experience.

How do I set up my wireless SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7?

First, let’s get familiarized with the control buttons on the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7. The right earcup features the power button, a Bluetooth button, and a ChatMix wheel on the PC/Xbox versions (this wheel modifies Sidetone on the PlayStation version). A USB-C charging port is also included. There is a 3.5mm audio jack and a switch to silence the microphone on the left earcup. A 2.4 GHz wireless USB-C dongle, a 5-foot (1.5 m) USB-C to USB-A charging cable, a 5-foot (1.5 m) USB-C to USB-A converter, and a 4-foot (1.2 m) 3.5mm audio cable all come along with the Nova 7 wireless.

However, there are three ways to connect the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 to your smartphone, so you should be able to use it with almost everything. The accompanying 2.4GHz USB-C RF dongle is the primary connection method for gaming, and it can be used with a personal computer, PlayStation 5, or Nintendo Switch to provide wireless, latency-free audio. The headset can connect to mobile devices thanks to Bluetooth 5.0 and the SBC Bluetooth codec, and it can also be used with a Nintendo Switch, however, we don’t suggest this.

Apart from its wireless connectivity, the pair even offers wired connectivity making itself quite compatible with gaming consoles like that of Xbox and PlayStations. Plus, you won’t have to worry so much about its battery running out, just plug it into the system and use it anyway.

Wrapping Up:

The Arctis Nova 7 headset under $200 competes against premium models from companies like Razer and Logitech for gaming headset. And rightly so, as the Arctics Nova 7 clearly has an advantage over more recent models that do offer Bluetooth audio but force you to select between it and your 2.4GHz connection, not both. This is because it has simultaneous Bluetooth connectivity.

Although, we wouldn’t suggest this model to anybody looking for an unadulterated headset specifically designed for competitive gaming. But the Arctis Nova 7 may work effectively for almost any gaming genre if you have the patience to adjust a few settings. The best part is that it can do so comfortably, especially for those who wear hats larger than mine.

Don’t lose hope if SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless did not sound like the dream gaming headphone you were hoping for. Check out our expert list of Best Gaming Headphones 2024 including a wide range of headphones from premium to most affordable options. If you’re a professional streamer or have your own gaming podcast or a studio check out our Best Streaming Headphones 2024, Best Podcasting Headphones 2024, and Best Noise Cancelling Headphones 2024.

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