SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 Wireless Review

December 31, 2022

We’ve taken a look at both ends of SteelSeries Arctis Nova spectrum, from the more affordable Nova 1 to the ultra high-end Nova Pro , but SteelSeries have filled out the range in between with several steps, including the Arctis Nova 7 Wireless headset. Sitting at around about AU $150 cheaper than the Wired version of the Nova Pro, and about AU $300 cheaper than the Wireless version, the Arctis Nova 7 Wireless still offers high fidelity drivers and a comfortable design, with extremely flexible connection options that make it stand out as a serious option for people with multiple devices.

The Arctis Nova 7 Wireless primarily operates through its USB-C dongle, which is compatible with PC, PlayStation, Switch, Meta Quest 2 and mobile devices. It also has Bluetooth, for compatibility with anything that supports it, and when all else fails, it also has a standard 3.5mm jack for standard headphone connections. The only things to keep in mind are that you’ll need to get a Nova 7X rather than the standard 7 if you plan on using these on an Xbox, as that version has the specific Xbox-decoding gubbins to allow it to work, and that it doesn’t support audio over a standard wired USB connection, only using it for charging and updating firmware.

The versatility in the number of connection options is impressive, and probably the standout feature of the headset, particularly when you take into account the fact it can connect to several devices simultaneously. For instance, you can be using the headset on your PC wirelessly, while simultaneously able to take calls via the Bluetooth connection with your mobile. How much you’d use the simultaneous wireless feature depends on your lifestyle, but the connectivity options still make this an attractive headset to get for people with multiple consoles and devices.

The earcups use airweave memory foam, the same as the lower end models in the range, and not the faux-leather from the higher-end Pro models. That’s not so much of an issue, as the airweave is still very comfortable, and the Artcis Nova 7 Wireless is quite comfortable to wear over extended periods of time, as I found wearing it for a few days in the office as my main pair of headphones. The headset’s grip on your head isn’t too tight, but the cups still rest comfortably over your ears, and don’t have too much sound leakage either. On the left earcup is a mic mute  button and volume dial, and on the right earcup are the power and Bluetooth controls, as well as the Chatmix dial. It’s important to note that this Chatmix function, while useful, is only compatible on PC and using SteelSeries’ Sonar software. Everything is relatively easy to find, even if the controls feel a little bit further back on the earcups than I’d like for easy access, but really the only serious complaint I have about the comfort of the Nova 7 is that it’s just not quite as comfy as the Nova Pros, which are still by far the comfiest gaming headset I’ve tried.

The Arctis Nova 7 uses the ‘Nova Acoustic System’ of high fidelity speaker drivers, which SteelSeries confirm on their website are the same as the ones found in the Nova 1 and Nova 3 headsets. Like the Nova 1’s we reviewed these have good performance across general use, particularly if your work involves a lot of multi-media, with accurate sound that’s perhaps a little too bass-forward on default settings, but is perfectly usable for browsing and work. For gaming, that extra bass obviously helps, especially in shooters I tested like Returnal and Deathloop. However, general music and effects in slower paced games like Pokemon Violet were still crisp, especially in some of the peppier battles when the choir gets involved. However, the headset’s performance does remarkably improve when using the PlayStation’s 3D software audio, especially with Returnal, while on PC you’ll want to make sure you have SteelSeries’ Sonar software activated. This essentially does the same thing on PC, not quite offering surround sound, but near-enough simulating it with ‘Spatial Audio’. This combined with the game-specific profiles Sonar offers, along with the fine-tuning controls over frequency response, mean that gaming with the Arctis Nova 7 on PC essentially makes Sonar a necessity, especially as Chatmix is locked to it as well.

The microphone is also something that improves when combined with the Sonar software. On its own, it quite neatly retracts into the left earcup to sit flush with its surroundings, and provides decent voice quality (as long as its full extended and pointed the right way towards your mouth). The microphone is a ‘ClearCast Gen 2’ mic which apparently cuts down background noise by 25dB, although it does a much better job when paired with Sonar. With Sonar you’re able to fine tune the microphone using the equalizer, or just leave it on presets that seem to work fine like ‘Broadcast Low Pitch’, but you’re also able to use an Early Access feature with ‘ClearCast AI Noise Cancellation’ which really helps a lot more with cutting out unwanted background noise (like nearby case fans, etc). As I generally say with headset reviews, it’s no substitute for a proper separate mic, particularly if you’re streaming, but the PC software solution with Sonar does produce a better end result for chat and gaming.

SteelSeries claim a battery life of 38 hours with the Arctis Nova 7 Wireless, and through my use over the last couple of weeks, I’ve found that to be about accurate, lasting just over a full work week of constant usage. It also supports fast-charging over USB-C, giving you 6 hours of battery life after a 15-minute charge, which is obviously handy if you run out of juice mid-session and need to get back into things relatively quickly.

Overall, the Arctis Nova Pro 7 Wireless sits about where you’d expect it to in the SteelSeries range, offering maybe somewhat better but comparable audio to its cheaper companions, but with some of the premium features of the next step up. The big selling point here is the connectivity, and the ease at which the USB-C dongle and Bluetooth work with devices, especially seemingly lag-free when using the dongle. It’s great to have a good quality headset that will connect with anything you bring it to wirelessly (except Xbox with the aforementioned caveat), with a big enough battery life to give you the confidence it’ll be good to go. Fast charging via USB-C helps too. However, the Nova Pros, while pricey, do offer the next level of sound quality and comfort that for my money are worth looking into, especially if you’re happy with the wired Pro version. Otherwise, the Nova Pro 7 Wireless works as a great all-rounder that excels in flexible connectivity, made better with use of the Sonar software.


-Excellent battery life
-Comfortable design
-Sonar on PC allows for great fine-tuning and mic-quality improvement, as well as Chatmix
-Great flexibility in connection options


-The Nova Pro is comfier
-Has the same drivers as the Nova 1 and 3, which don't compare as favourably to the Pro drivers

Overall Score: