Review: SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7X Wireless Gaming Headset | Review

Lots of connections with a lack of dynamism

Written by Sascha Meijer up

SteelSeries is hard at work building the new Nova line. There is now a new version of almost every model on the market, so the Arctis 7 could not be left behind. Here, too, the core values ​​are retained, but the necessary innovations are introduced in the design.

Price: €199.99

Connection: 2.4Ghz dongle with USB-C or USB-A, minijack cable

Compatibility: Fully compatible with Xbox and Windows PCs, limited compatibility with any platform that has a minijack input

RGB Features: No

Battery life: 30 hours

In the case of the Arctis Nova 7X Wireless, that means lots of connectivity options and a focus on Xbox users. However, this wireless headset with a battery life of thirty hours is not cheap: you have to pay no less than 200 euros to get it. So the question is: is it worth the money?

In any case, the build quality is excellent. The entire headset is made of hard plastic and the headband is reinforced with metal. As with the other Nova models, the ear cups can tilt and rotate. Arctis Nova 7X Wireless also has the new adjustment system, where the ear cups can be adjusted in height, and you can also adjust the height of the elastic headband. The combination of hinges, tilt and height adjustment ensures that the headset fits the shape of your head.

The ear cushions also contribute to the headset’s good wearing comfort. They are not only quite roomy, but also covered with a breathable fabric. The inner lining is finished with a smooth synthetic fabric so you can keep them clean there.

As mentioned, the Arctis Nova 7X Wireless is mainly a wireless headset for Xbox users. Thanks to the USB-C dongle, which of course also comes with an adapter for USB-A, it can be connected to your Xbox. It doesn’t stop there, because you can also connect this headset to another device via Bluetooth at the same time. In addition, you will find a Bluetooth button on the back of the right ear cup, just above the on and off button. Furthermore, the right earcup is equipped with a USB-C input for charging the headset and a volume wheel that controls the balance between game and chat volume.

On the left earcup, you’ll find the microphone mute button, a volume wheel for total volume, and a minijack input that allows the wired Nova 7X Wireless to be used on almost any platform you can imagine. The left ear cup is also characterized by the new, completely hidden, retractable microphone.

At the end of this microphone you will find a small LED light that indicates when the microphone is muted, but you actually hear it almost immediately. If you do not change anything in the software, microphone monitoring is turned on by default. As with all SteelSeries headsets, there is no windscreen and fortunately it is not necessary in practice, because it is not so bad with exaggerated s and t sounds. However, the microphone simply doesn’t sound very good: You can easily be understood by your fellow players, but the sound is quite compressed and thin.

While the Arctis Nova 7X Wireless is of course primarily aimed at Xbox users, it is also fully compatible with the highly acclaimed GG Engine hub. You can set a number of things in this hub, but the equalizer is particularly useful. This is full of profiles that optimize the headset for specific games. A nice addition, but a bit less interesting for the console gamer.

Steel Series Arctic Nova 7X

Fortunately, you don’t necessarily need an equalizer to make this headset sound good. When listening to music, you immediately notice that it sounds quite balanced. There is mainly a lot of definition in the mid and top heights and this ensures that you can perceive a lot of detail. But there are times when the highs are a little too exaggerated. Certainly in modern hip-hop, hi-hats and other percussion elements are sometimes unnaturally shrill.

It is also striking that dynamic range is lacking here and there. Although the Arctis Nova 7X Wireless takes you into the music in a comfortable way, it sometimes falls short in impactful moments. On the other hand, it doesn’t fall into the same trap as many headsets: compensate with an excessive amount of (sub)layers. At least it ensures that even if it sometimes lacks dynamism, at least things aren’t pushed away.

In the game, the localization and precision in the mid-range are particularly positive. This headset really excels in shooters. Speed, action and chaotic moments are very well translated by this headset. This allows a decision to be made within milliseconds. Because the bass is not so exaggerated, the sound of the headset does not get tired so quickly. So you can really easily play for a few hours with this headset on your head.

Steel Series Arctic Nova 7X

The downside to all that precision and definition in the mids is that the mids get a little less attention. You can especially hear that if you like playing open world games. Games where the environment and story are a little more at the fore translate well to this headset, but it sometimes lacks a bit of a truly immersive feel. It’s a shame then that there doesn’t seem to be as much dynamic range, as the cinematic quality of some cutscenes is slightly lost as a result.

However, this does not mean that it is a bad headset, on the contrary. It’s just a headset with a clear preference for one genre, namely shooters. There are also a lot of good points to mention: the build quality, the comfort, all the connectivity options and the excellent software for Windows users. It’s a shame the headset falls short in dynamic range and lower frequencies, but the Arctis Nova 7X Wireless is a good option for Xbox gamers at its price.

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