Over the course of the last three years or so, I’ve used a lot of gaming headsets. Most of those have been good, but a few have been bad – looking at you Trust GXT 310 Radius. But it’s been the SteelSeries name that has always been the most dependable. Perhaps not quite as fancy and flashy as something like the Audeze Maxwell Ultraviolet, it’s fair to say that the SteelSeries Arctis 1 Wireless and Arctis 7X Wireless hit all the right notes. That was then cemented with a couple of Nova Pro options; both wired and wireless versions.
Now we get to the Arctis Nova 7X Wireless headset for Xbox. It’s possibly the best of all the SteelSeries offerings to date. There. Said it.
The SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7X Wireless isn’t the lightest of all the headsets we’ve tested over the years. It’s not the best looking either, nor the most comfortable. Honestly, it fails to reach the heights of an Audeze headset in terms of sheer sound quality either. And it certainly doesn’t come with the most fancy of features. But it is capable of ticking all those boxes, bringing things together in a headset that we’ve been found grabbing for over the last six months or so. And in that time, it’s not failed us. Not once.
Pretty much all-black aside from some under-headband green detailing, if you’re looking for a headset that will scream from the rooftops, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7X Wireless is not it. This is a very understated piece of kit, but it still manages to look ever-so-classy, delicately going about its business with no fuss nor bother.
Running a PVD-coated steel, black, outer frame, comfort in the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7X Wireless is found via a suspension-styled headband, taking the weight off the head when in use. It means that the Nova 7X Wireless is extremely comfortable to use for hours at a time, allowing you to focus on the gaming session at hand, and little else. Not that the weight is high, mind you. By our reckoning the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7X Wireless comes in at 325 grams – far from a heavyweight in mass terms.
That suspension-styled headband is adjustable, with a three-pin push and connect prong system allowing for fitment. Frankly, get this set-up how you wish in the first few minutes, and you’ll never want to touch it again. This is most definitely a headset that you can fling on your head with no need to constantly adjust.
The headband and outer frame blend in nicely to the swivelling ear cups. Oval in nature, these fit over your ears like a good ‘un, encasing you away from the outside world, audio pumping into your lug holes. With 90 degrees of swivel, it’s a cinch to drop this headset around your neck as you look for some break time. It looks good doing so too – we’d have zero hesitation in being seen out in the real world with these on our bonce; not something we can say about many beefy gaming headsets.
The earcups are well padded, running memory foam padding and breathable AirWeave soft material covering the outers, as well as the inner sections where the 40mm drivers are held. And whilst you won’t ever be totally taken away from the outside world, turn up the volume enough and you’ll probably forget where you are. A cool SteelSeries logo adorns the outer sides of both cups too; again, in a very understated way. Furthermore, those logos sit on magnetically-held ear plates, so if you wish to switch them out for something a bit more fancy, you can do so. For us, the black standard options work brilliantly but the mint flavour is pretty tempting.
From there, all the controls you could need from a headset are in place on the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7X Wireless. As a wireless headset, the right cup houses the USB-C charging port, as well as a game/chat balance dial. It also acts as a home to the two (yes two) power buttons – one for wireless connectivity to your console and the other dictating the Bluetooth capabilities.
The left side cup meanwhile plays host to a 3.5mm audio jack (we’ve not found a single use for this in our wireless life), a main volume dial, a mic mute button and retractable mic boom. Everything on the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7X Wireless is well considered, easy to reach when in the heat of a gaming session, simple enough to grasp. Props must go out to SteelSeries for button and dial placement as, again, it’s something that many manufacturers try to mess with; failing.
The sound that comes into the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7X Wireless is outstanding. We’re struggling to put it on a par with the Audeze Maxwell or even the older Audeze Penrose X, but it ain’t too far removed from those. And frankly, that means that you’ll be more than happy with what is on offer with the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7X Wireless. Precise, clear, concise and capable of getting about as loud as you need, we’ve not been left wanting. We could sit here and shout about some SteelSeries buzzwords if required – 360° Spatial Audio, Pro-grade Parametric EQ, X-Ray Hearing, Almighty Audio – but just let it be known that this is a headset that sounds really good across multiple situations.
Sound going out is equally good. In fact, it’s more than good and has meant the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7X Wireless is not just our headset of choice for gaming sessions and chats with others, but it’s the headset we personally use when recording our podcast. The mic is nigh perfect for any such occasion, running some ClearCast AI algorithms that silence external noise, pulling out and heading back into the earcup with ease. The fact that it is highly flexible helps with positioning too.
And yes, as alluded to, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7X Wireless is a headset for all occasions. Obviously for many – and for us – it’ll be the gaming opportunities that it brings which will be the main focus, but connection to our Xbox Series X has been a cinch. A small cable running from the console USB-A port, into a USB-C dongle has ensured connection has been on point at all times. In fact, we’re not sure it’s ever dropped connection in the months we’ve been using this for. And that dongle is switchable too, allowing you to take the headset across platforms, from Xbox to PC to PlayStation to Nintendo Switch.
Similar vibes come to the fore in terms of the Bluetooth action. Capable of running a connection alongside that of the wireless, we’ve mostly used this to stay connected to our phone and Macbook Pro. Again, that connection has not missed a single beat, allowing for music listening, Youtube browsing and more.
Granted, we’ve been careful to keep the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7X Wireless topped up with juice, and perhaps as battery levels lower we may have found connection oddities coming to the fore, but this is a headset capable of delivering some 38 hours of audio delights and so you’ll really need to batter it if you wish to ever get near a low charge. Plugging it into any old spare USB-C cable that is laying around has been our call, with SteelSeries stating that you can get some six hours of play through a mere fifteen minutes of charge. If you’re anything like us, you’ll have suitable cables in abundance and so shouldn’t have an issue power wise.
So yeah, our current headset of choice for pretty much all outings, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7X Wireless is a stunner. Not a stunner in the same way as Audeze run the bling or provide pro-levels of audio, and not a stunner in how RIG go all-out on the lightness front. But a stunner no less. A near master of all, the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7X Wireless is capable of delivering great audio, without hassle, in a flash.
The best SteelSeries headset on the Xbox market? Yeah, we think so.
Huge thanks go out to SteelSeries for providing us with the SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7X Wireless for review. Grab one for yourself from SteelSeries direct. It’ll cost you roughly 200EUR or your local equivalent.