I may have been late to the party, but it wasn’t until earlier in 2020 when I first laid a SteelSeries headset on my head. I’d obviously used plenty of audio options in my years as a gamer and music listener, from the cheap and nasty old-school SONY Walkman days, through to the cutting of the cable with more modern, highly refined, tech-heavy cans. I’ve also been lucky enough to have used a host of Xbox headsets over the years so would like to think I know what to look for when I’m in the market for a new headset. But SteelSeries sets had always eluded me. That was until SteelSeries dropped the Arctis 1 Wireless for Xbox, taking their original Arctis 1 and ensuring console compatibility. I’ll admit, it wowed me and fast became my headset of choice, not just in the gaming scene, but also for those times when you just want to zone out with tunes blaring.
Now though that Arctis 1 has been thrown to one side, as its bigger, beefier, sexier, better feeling, more accomplished brother has hit the market. Much like my first, second and fiftieth thoughts surrounding the Arctis 1, SteelSeries have knocked it out of the park once more with the stunning Arctis 7X Wireless for Xbox. Yes, there’s a considerable price difference between the two headsets, and this latest offering doesn’t come with anything near the sub-£100 price point of the Arctis 1, but sometimes you just have to open the wallet a little more in order to get access to the best of the best. Woah, did I just say the best of the best? Well, yes, because that’s how good the SteelSeries Arctis 7X is. It’s right up there.
The Arctis 7X is the Xbox-focused version of the SteelSeries’ Arctis 7, with the 7P working the PlayStation angle should you prefer the other side of the format wars. Honestly though, no matter which format you prefer, do yourself a favour and seriously consider gaining access to the SteelSeries 7 series for all your gaming, and audio, needs.
The Arctis 7X comes in an all black design, with just a teasing of Xbox green working its way into the design. In fact, that green fusion only manages to find a way onto the ski goggle-styled suspension headband that takes all the pressure off the top of your head when in use, moving in an abstract design across the adjustable cloth band itself. This means that the 7X is most certainly one of those understated headsets, running a different angle to the hugely mechanical ‘look at me’ design found in the EPOS | SENNHEISER GSP 602 for instance. I’m a fan, and even though I’d possibly like to see a little more of that green make a bigger statement, it certainly works design wise.
The rest of the headset is black, with a super subtle black SteelSeries logo delicately placed on each earcup. Black ear cushions circle the now standard SteelSeries audio drivers that are found within all their headsets, and these are pretty squishy to the touch; soft enough to warrant you easily wearing this headset for a prolonged length of time. These cups swivel nicely too, allowing you to hang the Arctis 7X around your neck should the need arise. Don’t expect these to keep the sound destined for your ears to not creep out to surrounding areas though. A good few times I’ve been asked to ‘turn it down’ whilst in the same room as others. There’s no real noise cancellation either – other than to ‘turn it back up’ again in response.
It doesn’t just look good though: the audio that this headset delivers is just as rounded as anything else I’ve had the pleasure of listening in on. You’d expect that with the SteelSeries name behind it too, and there’s a reason they’ve won more gaming headset awards than any other brand. Simply put, no matter whether you are looking to be tickled by the highs, pounded by the lows, or given the chance to sit back and just take in the mids, the Arctis 7X delivers totally. It gets loud when you want it to, with the signature Arctis sound letting you pick out the most minute of details when gaming. I’ve always been wary of going as far as to say that a headset, a controller, a gaming seat or any other gaming accessory is capable of given you any kind of advantage when in the heat of the gaming battle, but I can say one thing – the Arctis 7X certainly won’t make your gaming worse.
All of this should be pretty standard stuff for any headset that costs upwards of £150. But for me the real star is the comfort that the 7X allows. It’s not the lightest of headsets that I’ve ever used, but it massively belies its 347 grams. I think much of this is due to the suspension headband taking the weight, but even in hand it feels considerably lighter than you would think. Include that headband and take into account those soft feeling ear cushions and you’ve got a headset that could well see you sorted for the 24 hours of battery life that is promised. I can’t ever sit here and approve of 24 hour gaming sessions – unless it’s a one-off charity gig – but if you really must game for days on end, you’ll be well happy with what is provided here.
As the Arctis 7X comes from SteelSeries, it is only right that the audio going out is of just as high a quality. The retractable mic that is found here is an improvement over that of the Arctis 1’s detachable offering – if only as it can’t get lost. It’s highly flexible so there is absolutely no way you wouldn’t be able to find a sweet spot, and friends, family and colleagues have all complimented the sound of the party chat it provides. With a mute switch handily placed on the left earcup – although perhaps not as immediately reachable as a flip-to-mute mic allows – it’s fairly simple to mute that online world from the real world goings-on when time calls. Throw in two dialable volume controls – one to handle the main volume and another for chat/game mixing – and you’ve got all the requirements of a gaming headset. The power button is also pretty easy to track down when you need to as well, doubling up as a track skipper for when listening to music.
In the box alongside the Arctis 7X itself come a variety of cables, and for use on Xbox pretty much all of them are needed. The micro-USB charging cable is a standard addition to any wireless headset, yet it’s hugely disappointing to not see SteelSeries utilising USB-C in this day and age – if only because this would allow the headset to be charged via all manner of modern cable. Further inclusions are the 3.5mm audio cable which attaches to the headset for when you are looking to save battery or use it without the worry of power being drained. But then we also have the female USB-C to USB-A cable, plus the USB-C wireless dongle. It is with these where the magic begins to happen.
The dongle itself is the same as previously seen in the Arctis 1 – a small rectangular slab of plastic with an ‘Xbox-USB’ switch hidden away on the underside. It is with this how SteelSeries work the multiplatform route, especially bringing us Xbox gamers in for the ride. It’s super simple to use too – plug it in to the device of your choosing via USB-C (utilising the USB-C to USB-A cable for Xbox) and your job is a good’un. Straight out of the box the headset is paired with this dongle and I’ve not had a single issue in use. Connection between dongle and headset has been on-point every single time, with pretty much instantaneous connection taking hold as soon as the power button has been depressed. Seeing as the connection with Arctis 1 for Xbox could sometimes be hit or miss, this is a huge improvement and allows for that 2.4Ghz wireless, lossless, ultra-low latency audio to be hammered home time and time again. With the promise of a 24 hour nonstop wireless usage in terms of battery life – something I’ve no issues in supporting – there’s a lot to like about the wireless capabilities of this headset.
In fact, from day one to day 21 as I find myself scribbling down these words – and I’d hazard a guess at every day moving forward – the Arctis 7X for Xbox has been extremely impressive. It’s taken what I already loved in the Arctis 1 and just upped things enough to warrant the increase in price. It’s extremely comfortable to wear, delivers a sound quality to die for and provides super clear chat via the Discord-certified mic. Throw in the versatility found via that USB-C’d wireless dongle and there’s not much more you could ask for from SteelSeries. That love affair that was kicked off with the Arctis 1 Wireless for Xbox has most certainly continued here with the Arctis 7X Wireless for Xbox One and Xbox Series X|S.
Huge thanks go out to SteelSeries for providing us access to the Arctis 7X Wireless for Xbox for review and unboxing purposes. If you wish to pick up this headset for yourself, head on over to SteelSeries direct.
Related: SteelSeries Arctis 7X Wireless Headset for Xbox – UNBOXING and FIRST LOOK