SteelSeries Arctis 7X Wireless review - key specs
Compatibility: Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PC, Switch, Android
Drivers: 40 mm
Frequency Response: 20 Hz - 20 kHz
Battery life: 24 hours
Mic: Bi-directional ClearCast
Weight: 352 g (12.4 oz)
Connectivity: USB Type-C
Price: $150 (£160)
SteelSeries has been the name in gaming headsets over the last couple of years, with the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless not only topping T3's best gaming headsets buying guide, but also winning the best gaming headset award at the T3 Awards 2020.
It's not just been the Arctis Pro Wireless, though, that has been tearing up the market, but the entire SteelSeries range of headsets, which managed to deliver great options for gamers at every price bracket. The one thing that range didn't do, though, was deliver a headset that was purpose-built for use with the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S console.
And while certain existing headsets in the SteelSeries range do work with Microsoft's next-gen systems, ever since the console was released it was a clear gap in SteelSeries' armoury that needed filling – and that's where the SteelSeries Arctis 7X Wireless comes in.
The SteelSeries Arctis 7X Wireless has been designed purposely for use with the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S, and that is something that is evident in its audio, design and features.
Here in T3's SteelSeries Arctis 7X Wireless review we take a look at this headset up close to see if it is the ideal gaming headset upgrade for Xbox gamers. Before we get stuck in, though, it's worth watching the headset's official video trailer, as it details a lot of its key features.
SteelSeries Arctis 7X Wireless review: Design and setup
The SteelSeries Arctis 7X Wireless come embedded in a plastic container along with its USB Type-C dongle and cables. You get a cable for the dongle itself, as well as a power cable and USB-C to USB-A adapter. There's also a setup and instruction guide included.
In terms of the headset's design anyone who is familiar with SteelSeries headsets as of late will immediately be at home, as it shares the same overall aesthetic and build quality. You get a steel headband again with that Marmite elastic strap fitting, as well as either a white or black plastic chassis (the two colors available).
If you were to ask me if these are the comfiest gaming headset on the market today I would say no, but they are comfortable when you've adjusted the headband and do disappear gradually in terms of feel to the cranium during use.
The earcups feature a volume wheel, game/chat balance dial, power button, mic mute button, 3.5mm audio port, micro-USB charging port, proprietary SteelSeries port and retractable mic, which is one of those that you pull out and push in. All the basics are ticked off really, although I've never been a fan of pull-out mic designs and the micro-USB charging seems a little dated now.
Indeed, I think the micro-USB charging shows how the 7X is very much a small evolution of the Arctis 7, rather than a full-blown redesign. It's not a problem, as the SteelSeries provide you with a micro-USB charging cable, but when most products are now charging of USB Type-C it's annoying that you can't just plug the 7X in to the same cable, and instead need to use micro-USB instead.
Setup could not be easier. The included USB Type-C dongle simply plugs into a Type-C to Type-A cable and then that cable plugs into the Xbox console. From that point, the console automatically detects the dongle and automatically assigns the headset to the system. The user then simply presses the power button on the headset and it's time to game.
Equally, if you want to use the headset on Android mobile or Nintendo Switch, then you simply plug in the USB Type-C dongle to the phone or console directly, without the need of the USB conversion cable.
SteelSeries Arctis 7X Wireless review: Hardware and performance
The SteelSeries Arctis 7X Wireless comes with the same 40mm speaker drivers that were used on the Arctis 7, but that's no bad thing in my opinion as they remain quality. There's strong audio reproduction across the soundscape, and mid-range and treble is specifically fine and clean – even if these aren't the most bass-tastic gaming cans on the market.
I tested the 7X with a variety of Xbox Series S games, including Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Rory Mcllroy PGA Tour, Halo: The Master Chief Collection, Forza Horizon 4 and a variety of indie games, too.
SteelSeries cans have nailed it too as of late in terms of audio positional accuracy, and once more the 7X continue this feat. This is to expected as the 7X is very similar to the Arctis 7, but just designed specifically with the next-gen Xbox consoles in mind.
In terms of mic there's no doubting that SteelSeries delivers, even if the design is not really to my taste. The mic is Discord-certified ClearCast unit with bidirectional design and noise cancellation, which wrapped together leads to excellent comms clarity. According to SteelSeries this style is inspired by aircraft carrier deck crews, but for me I prefer either a removable or flip-down design.
In terms of battery life, the SteelSeries Arctis 7X Wireless delivers up to 24 hours on a single charge, and from my real-world testing that felt accurate. I think you'll end up charging these headphones, depending on usage, about once a week. Although if you're a professional gamer or YouTube streamer then I think you'll get a couple of days usage before needing to recharge.
We're massive audiophiles here at T3, and we have to admit that compared to the best wireless headphones on the market today, the 7X can't compete in music playback, so while you can use them as general pair of headphones out and about, we can't outright recommend them for that.
SteelSeries has obviously set these up and tuned them for game usage, and at that they deliver great results, and across platforms, too. But we'd say you should buy them first and foremost for gaming and streaming over anything else.
SteelSeries Arctis 7X Wireless review: Verdict
The SteelSeries Arctis 7X Wireless don't change the formula over the Arctis 7 much at all, but considering how long that headset remained in our best gaming headsets guide, that is certainly no bad thing.
The package the Arctis 7X Wireless deliver is very competitive and while they aren't the absolute best in any given area, they delivery quality performance across the board. The gaming cans are comfortable, the sound quality is great, the battery life is strong and the microphone is a winner, too.
These headphones aren't exactly cheap, retailing at the lower end of the high-range gaming headset price bracket, and there are strong rivals that deliver similar packages, such as the LucidSound LS50X, but a few subjective niggles aside I can't not recommend them to any Xbox gamer, and especially for those gaming on Xbox Series X or Xbox Series S.
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