Steel Series Arctis 7 gaming headphones review

A few months back I decided that I wanted to get a decent pair of wireless headphones for my gaming PC.  I wanted wireless, and an optional microphone, as I have a really good microphone for podcasting and streaming.  Having a logitech G502 a Logitech G13 and a logitech G7100+, and being of the mind that all of these devices are awesome.  I decided to pick up the Logitech G933 Artemis Spectrum.  The day arrived, my headphones were here.  I plugged in the dongle and slapped these bad boys on my head.  I was very disappointed.

First off lets talk about the sound.  it was great.  Really nice speakers are in these cans.  and I think that logitech did a great job putting that together.  I already had the logitech gaming software on my computer for the G13 and others.  So it automatically detected the headphones and I could configure them.  No problems there, although I didn’t like the fact that the headset had I think 5 buttons on the back of the left can.  That’s the end of the good for these though.  These things were very uncomfortable.  I felt like my head was in a vice.  My wife often jokes that I have a giant head, but these must have been made for a child.  I just couldn’t wear them.  They were too tight, too heavy, and the cans on the sides were comically large.  My wife took one look at me wearing them and laughed for a solid 20 seconds.  Looking at myself I would have laughed for longer had the headphones not cut of circulation to my head.  On top of that, the headphones also kept cutting out.  As if I were too far away, sound would stop, I would have to restart the headphones.  Luckily for me. Amazon (who I love) has an awesome return policy.  I simply said why I was returning them and shipped them back. 

The day that I shipped them back I started looking for another pair.  It just so happens that Steel Series had announced their Arctis 7 line of wireless gaming headphones.  The mic could be slid away back into the left can.  I knew some people that had Arcits series headsets, and they all said that they liked them.  They weighed half as much as the logitech ones and the cans looked a lot smaller.  This seemed perfect.  I ordered them and the waiting began. 

They finally arrived after almost two months, and as soon as I put them on, I knew I had made the right decision.  These things are comfortable.  They have a ski-band on the top that is very stretchy, when you pull the headphones on, the skiband streches just enough so they headphones sit perfectly.  No adjustments needed.  I installed the software and fired up a game.  The sound was just as good as the Logitech ones.  But these were comfortable.  The first day using them I didn’t like that I couldn’t hear myself talking very well when I was streaming.  I was used to streaming with a pair of apple headphones plugged into my computer for audio.  So I could hear myself just fine.  After looking through the software though, I found a side talk option.  This takes the audio from my microphone and pumps it into my headphones.  (this audio does not come through on stream). This means I can hear what’s going on around me even with the headphones on.  A big plus for me since my wife/son often come in when I’m on the computer to talk to me about one thing or another.  No more pulling a earbud out, or moving the can off my head. 

The headset has DTS surround but I never really liked surround sound.  I never can appreciate it, and it always seems to sound like I’m listening to something in an echo chamber.  I ended up turning that feature off.  The transmitter even has a line out jack on it, so when I turn off my headphones the audio automatically starts going out the speakers.  Prior to this (and with the logitech set) I had to right click my speaker icon, open playback devices and change my default audio device to what I wanted to listen to, this is a huge improvement and definitely a feature I’m happy with.

In addition to the volume slider on the left can, the right can has a mixer.  The device acts as two sound devices, one for Discord/Teamspeak and one for game sounds.  So on the fly you can change how things sound.  I think this is a fantastic feature as I raid in Guild Wars 2,  Sometimes I might miss what someone says because of music or game sounds, and being able to quickly change it without going through multiple settings is really great.

TLDR. If you’re in the market for a pair of really good wireless headphones for your computer, I highly recommend them.