The Arctics Nova is a new line up of headphones from SteelSeries designed for gaming and is engineered for superior audio quality. The Nova 7 is nearly identical to the Nova 3 we reviewed earlier, and comes with the same set of features but is wireless.
The headset comes with 4-points of adjustability in the ComfortMAX System for the perfect fit. The Nova 7 wireless also features a redesigned ClearCast Gen 2 noise-cancelling mic that uses AI algorithms to reduce background sounds for clear communication.
The Nova 7 is compatible with PC, Mac, PlayStation, Switch, and mobile devices via 2.4GHz wireless and Bluetooth. There is no RGB lighting compared to the Nova 3.
|Connectivity:||2.4GHz Quantum 2.0 Gaming Wireless Bluetooth 5.0|
|Drivers:||40mm Neodymium Drivers|
|Frequency Response:||20–22,000 Hz|
|Headphone Sensitivity:||93 dB SPL|
|Battery Life:||38 hours|
|Microphone Type:||ClearCast Gen 2 – Fully Retractable Boom|
|Microphone Frequency Response:||100–10,000 Hz|
|Pick-up Pattern:||Bidirectional Noise-Canceling|
Read the full specifications here.
The Nova 7 Wireless comes in a SteelSeries branded cardboard packaging, in a mix of grey and orange colors. On the front is a photo of the headset along with features and compatibility, while on the sides and back are the detailed specifications of the product. The packaging includes:
- Arctis Nova 7 Wireless Headset
- Compact USB-C Wireless Dongle
- USB-C to USB-A Dongle Extension Cable (5 ft / 1.5m)
- USB-C to USB-A Cable (5 ft / 1.5m)
- 3.5mm to 3.5mm Audio Cable – 5 pole to 4 pole (4 ft / 1.2m)
- 2x Removable Magnetic Ear Plates
- Product Information Guide
Design & Build
The Arctis Nova 7 Wireless features a new ComfortMax headband system. The headband can be easily adjusted to different head sizes and offers a comfortable fit with a durable, lightweight build and 4-points of adjustment with the new system.
The headband is made of lightweight PVD-coated steel, which gives the headset a premium feel. The rest of the headset is made of high-quality matte plastic which blends in well with the overall design and feel. The ear cups are made of padded soft leather-like cushions with memory foam which are very comfortable and offers good noise cancellation.
The entire construction is designed to be very flexible, discreet and lightweight, making it adjustable enough to suit different kinds of head shapes. The headset is very comfortable for long periods of use and there is no risk of sweating due to sufficient air passage.
The upgraded ClearCast Gen 2 microphone is located on the left side of the headset and is fully retractable. The ClearCast Gen 2 mics uses advanced AI algorithms from Sonar Software for clearer communication.
On the left earcup you have the microphone mute button, volume wheel, 3.5mm audio port and the retractable ClearCast microphone.
On the right earcup are power button, Bluetooth button, ChatMix dial and USB-C charging port.
The Arctis Nova 7 Wireless uses 2.4GHz Quantum 2.0 Gaming Wireless via the included dongle or Bluetooth to connect directly to PC, Mac, PlayStation, Switch, and mobile devices. One of the downsides is that the wireless USB-C dongle is too wide in size, it sometimes blocks out other available ports on some laptops, especially Macs.
In addition, it is always possible to turn them into a wired headset by plugging in a 3.5 mm audio cable. Though the headset has a USB-C port, it doesn’t support audio and can be used only for charging.
Performance & Audio Quality
With the included 2.4GHz USB Type-C wireless dongle and the USB-C to Type-A cable, the Arctis Nova 7 Wireless is really versatile when it comes to compatibility across multiple platforms.
The headset also allows multiple audio sources which means if you are connected by wireless to your PC, you can also connect to your mobile device via Bluetooth. Bluetooth can be turned on/off independently using a secondary power button on the earcup and does not need the dongle to connect. When starting a call over Bluetooth the microphone automatically switches over, muting the mic to the other gaming chats like Discord.
In terms of audio quality, The Arctics Nova 7 Wireless outputs the same audio quality as the Nova 3 as they both use the same neodymium 40 mm drivers for audio conversion, which according to SteelSeries, covers a frequency range from 20–22,000 Hz.
The Nova 7 takes full advantage of 360-degree spatial audio on PC through SteelSeries Sonar, as well as PS5’s 3D Tempest audio and Microsoft’s Windows Sonic on PC and Xbox.
The Arctis Nova 7 performed very well in terms of audio quality – music, voices and combat sounds and is insulated well enough for external noise-cancellation. Music and in-game sounds are crisp and immersive. Voices are clear and loud enough and we were able distinguish sounds coming in from different distances with perfect accuracy.
By default, the sound quality and balance are good. However, if you are looking for a headset that has a deep bass or purely for music, the Arctis Nova 7 is not the right fit.
The upgraded ClearCast Gen 2 microphone uses advanced AI algorithms from Sonar Software for clearer communication. It has a frequency response from 100–10,000 Hz and comes with active noise cancellation to filter out ambient noises. Sound quality for comms is very clear, and external noise is well dampened by the boom microphone.
Battery life has improved from last-gen Arctic headsets and SteelSeries says it can last upto 38 hours. In our use, the Nova 7 Wireless lasted approximately a week while using it for 6-7 hours a day on average. The headset also supports fast-charging, bringing 6 hours of use after 15 minutes.
Software – SteelSeries GG
SteelSeries GG is one of the easiest software’s to use in terms of interface and options. It allows adjusting sound options, preset audio profiles and an audio equalizer to create custom profiles. You can also adjust sidetone, mic volume and chat audio.
In the Sonar section of SteelSeries GG, you can adjust game, chat, and microphone volume, and choose from custom sound profiles for each of those. The Sonar suite also includes tuning spatial sound, overall gain, and microphone noise reduction. In addition to configuring settings, SteelSeries GG allows new firmware versions to be installed as soon as they are available.
SteelSeries Arctics Nova 7 Wireless Verdict
The new SteelSeries Arctis Nova 7 is perfect for anyone looking for an affordable and feature-packed wireless gaming headset with the best possible sound experience. The headset features a minimalist design, durable construction, good sound quality, noise-canceling mic, detachable cables, and on-headset volume and mute controls. It also addresses some of the downsides with the previous-gen wireless models.
The sound quality is good and the headset is great for a mix of gaming, movies and music. The audio profiles can be further tweaked via the SteelSeries Engine. In terms of comfort, the ComfortMax design takes a lot of the weight off your head, making the headset feel light. The Airweave memory-foam ear cushions also offer a very comfortable fit even for a long period of use.