Our best wireless gaming headset list includes SteelSeries Arctis 7+ and Arctis 9, and both headsets offer excellent features. It will depend on your budget and specific needs, which will work better for you, but there are some differences between them. The headsets differ mainly in price, aesthetics, audio options, microphone quality, frequency response range, and style. Even though they may seem subtle enough, they make quite a difference when you add them.

Mian Differences between SteelSeries Arctis 7+ and Arctis 9

There are three significant differences between the Arctis 7+ and Arctis 9:

  1. The connectivity options
  2. The controls
  3. The headphone audio quality
  • A USB-C dongle is included with the Arctis 7+ for use with wired or wireless connections, but the Arctis 9 has dual wireless functionality as well. Using the USB-A dongle and Bluetooth simultaneously, the 9 is capable of wireless operation. In exchange, the Arctis 7+ has a battery life of 30 hours, while the Arctis 9 has a battery life of 20 hours.
  • The Arctis 9’s controls are slightly different, with a Bluetooth pairing button that also functions as a media control button for your phone.
  • Although the driver specifications of the Arctis 7+ and the Arctis 9 are the same, the 7+ has better headphone audio quality.

The Comparison Table of SteelSeries Arctis 7+ vs. Arctis 9

ModelSteelSeries Arctis 7+SteelSeries Arctis 9
Weight 0.79 lbs0.83 lbs
Length8.3″7.7″
Width8.0″6.9″
Height2.0″3.3″
Call/Music ControlYesYes
Ease Of Use  GoodGood
Channel Mixing YesYes
OS Compatibility Not OS specificNot OS specific
Microphone ControlMute/UnmuteMute/Unmute
Volume ControlYesYes
Noise Cancelling Control  NoNo
Additional ControlsNoBluetooth Sync
Transmitter RequiredNoNo
Head Tracking NoNo
Speaker Modeling On/OffOn/Off
Virtual Surround YesDTS 7.1
Head Modeling NoNo
Microphone StyleBoomBoom
Audio While Charging YesYes
Battery Type RechargableRechargable
Charge Time3.6 hrs5.6 hrs
Continuous Battery Life 60.7 hrs20.3 hrs
Total Battery Life 60.7 hrs20.3 hrs
Charging PortUSB-Cmicro-USB
Power-Saving Feature Auto-Off TimerAuto-Off Timer
Passive Playback YesNo
App Support Steelseries GGSteelSeries Engine
Bluetooth Version No Bluetooth4.1
NFC Pairing NoNo
Multi-Device Pairing NoBluetooth + Console/Non-BT Wireless
Wire IncludedYesYes
Base/Dock TypeWireless USB DongleWireless USB Dongle
Feedback  GreatGreat
ColorBlack, WhiteBlack, White

SteelSeries Arctis 7+ and Arctis 9 Descriptive Comparison

Design

SteelSeries Arctis 7+

The SteelSeries Arctis 7+ headphones have the same look as other headphones from this manufacturer, such as the SteelSeries Arctis 7P+ Wireless. They mostly come in black color with a retractable boom mic and ski band headband design. These headphones are available in Black and White colors.

SteelSeries Arctis 9

The design of the SteelSeries Arctis 9 headphones is very similar to other headphones from this brand. These headphones feature a retractable boom mic, ski band headband, and cloth-lined ear cup, which the SteelSeries is known for.

Comfort

SteelSeries Arctis 7+

YOu can find a comfortable fit in the SteelSeries Arctis 7+. Their ski-band headband design distributes their weight evenly on your head, as with other SteelSeries headphones. There is a good range of motion in the ear cups, and the padding also feels soft. The design is bulky, and the headband can’t be adjusted to fit larger heads due to its limited adjustment range.

SteelSeries Arctis 9

It is comfortable to wear SteelSeries Arctis 9 headphones. They are somewhat heavy, but their elastic headband evenly distributes their weight. Adjustability is pretty good on the earcups, and the padding is soft and cloth-lined. SteelSeries headphones tend to feel tight for people with larger heads, and their elastic headband can’t be expanded very far like other SteelSeries models.

Sound

SteelSeries Arctis 7+

SteelSeries Arctis 7+ has a boomy sound profile when using the ‘Default’ EQ preset, which results in the flattest response. Lead instruments and dialogue are bright and sparkling. When gaming, this can enhance sound effects like footsteps. 

For a different sound, their companion software offers parametric EQ and graphic EQs and presets to make adjustments to your liking. Due to their design, they tend to deliver bass and treble inconsistently, so it’s essential to find a good fit before using them.

Fit, seal, and positioning on your head can affect how well the headphones deliver audio. The consistency of frequency response is disappointing with these headphones. If you wear glasses or your hair is thick, you may also notice a loss of bass, which can rupture the seal in the ear cups.

SteelSeries Arctis 9

A somewhat unbalanced sound profile is present with SteelSeries Arctis 9. They have a flat and neutral mid-range but an uneven treble response, which leads to a lack of clarity and detail. A few sound effects and bass-heavy music genres might not have the thump and rumble because these headphones miss a bit of low bass. A graphic equalizer and presets in their companion app allow you to fine-tune their sound to your taste.

The SteelSeries Arctis 9 is inconsistent in its frequency response. Fit, sealing, and positioning affect their audio quality, so if you have long hair or wear glasses, you may have difficulty achieving a consistent listening experience.

Bass Accuracy

SteelSeries Arctis 7+

The response is overemphasized throughout the range, but the low bass is relatively neutral, so your mixes have enough thump and rumble. First-person shooter games benefit from punch and boom, emphasizing steps more effectively. However, this overemphasis sounds muddy. Bass delivery is affected by fit, seal, and positioning.

SteelSeries Arctis 9

Bass accuracy is okay on the SteelSeries Arctis 9. However, since the quality of their audio delivery depends heavily on their fit and position, your experience will vary. Low-bass ranges are underemphasized to different degrees in the left and right drivers, resulting in a lack of thumps and rumbles. However, some tracks suffer from an overemphasized high-bass response, making the music sound murky.

Mid Accuracy

SteelSeries Arctis 7+

The mid-accuracy of these headphones is excellent. In the low mids, there is an overemphasis on the bass, which clutters and muddies the dialogue. However, the rest of the range is a bit flat, so the vocals and instruments have a clear sound.

SteelSeries Arctis 9

These headphones deliver great mid-accuracy. They sound a little distant due to a slight dip in the high-mid range. There is indeed some mismatch between the two drivers, but the range itself is primarily flat, resulting in robust and present dialogue, lead instruments, and vocals.

Treble Accuracy

SteelSeries Arctis 7+

There is excellent treble accuracy in the SteelSeries Arctis 7+. Fit, seal, and positioning affect treble delivery. Lead instruments and vocals sound clean and detailed. In cinematic cut scenes, sibilants like cymbals are bright and slightly piercing.

SteelSeries Arctis 9

Treble accuracy on the Arctis 9 is disappointing. As a result of the L/R driver mismatch in this range, vocals and lead instruments may sound alternately dull and lispy. You may have a different experience in the real world since the fit and positioning of the headphones heavily influence their audio reproduction.

Controls

SteelSeries Arctis 7+

Good controls come with the SteelSeries Arctis 7+. The left ear cup of this headphone has a volume wheel and a mute microphone button. The right ear cup comes with a power button and a channel mixing wheel.

Nevertheless, the power button controls audio playback based on how many times you press it so that you can use the headphones casually. Unfortunately, there are no differentiating features between channel mixing and volume wheels.

The volume wheel also lacks a middle notch. However, both wheels have min and max stops. Additionally, muting and unmuting the microphone generates feedback, and when the mic is muted, a red light appears.

Audio is played and paused with a single press of the power button. It ends and answers calls as well.

Pressing the power button moves the track from one to the next. Click the power button three times to return to the previous track.

SteelSeries Arctis 9

SteelSeries Arctis 9 are equipped with a great control scheme. There is a power on/off button, a microphone mute button, and buttons for Bluetooth playback. With a single tap of the Bluetooth button, you can answer or end incoming calls and pause or play media.

A double or triple tap moves tracks forward or backward, respectively. Additionally, the ear cups have separate wheels for volume adjustment and chat mixing, though it can be difficult to distinguish between them because they feel the same.

Microphone

SteelSeries Arctis 7+

A retractable boom microphone comes with these headphones. Boom mics on the SteelSeries Arctis 7+ deliver good recording quality. Voices sound clear, resonant, and natural.

The boom mic handles noise well. It can isolate your voice from moderate background noise. With traffic outside and an open window, you shouldn’t have a problem being heard clearly while playing.

SteelSeries Arctis 9

The recording quality of the SteelSeries Arctis 9 microphone is excellent. Voices recorded with this microphone should sound clear, natural, and relatively distortion-free. The noise handling capability of the microphone is impressive. Despite being in a noisy environment, people should be able to understand you.

Portability

SteelSeries Arctis 7+

SteelSeries Arctis 7+ is not very portable. The ear cups can be swiveled to lay flat, but you cannot fold them into a more compact shape. They take up space in their default position, making carrying them around difficult.

You’ll also need to carry a USB dongle if you want to use them wirelessly since they do not support Bluetooth.

SteelSeries Arctis 9

There isn’t much portability with these headphones. You can swivel the ear cups of the headphones so they can fold flat, but the headband does not fold inwards to minimize their footprint.

Since they’re Bluetooth-compatible, you won’t have to carry your USB transmitters around. Furthermore, the boom mic is retractable, so it won’t get snagged on anything in your bag.

Noise Isolation and Leakage

SteelSeries Arctis 7+

SteelSeries Arctis 7+ performs poorly in terms of noise isolation. The SteelSeries Arctis 7+, like most gaming headphones, do not block out commuter noise such as the low rumble of plain engines and buses. These headphones have good leakage performance. A lot of leakages occur in the midrange, which sounds full-bodied. Others around you can hear you gaming loudly, even if the surrounding environment is moderately noisy.

SteelSeries Arctis 9

Noise isolation is poor with these headphones. They filter out almost no mid-range background noise and do a poor job of removing low-frequency noise so that you may hear sounds such as bus engines rumbling or people talking nearby quite easily. Fortunately, these are pretty effective at blocking out high-pitched sounds, like the hum of a nearby air conditioner.

Build Quality and Stability

SteelSeries Arctis 7+

Good build quality is found on the SteelSeries Arctis 7+. They’re primarily plastic with fabric padding and elastic headbands. The boom mic can also be retracted. They can survive a few accidental drops without suffering too much damage. In comparison, they have weak hinges and yokes.

A decent amount of stability is provided by SteelSeries Arctis 7 Plus. With intense head movements, they can fall off your head and are not designed for sports. You shouldn’t worry about them falling off your head if you’re playing from your couch or desk. Wireless headphones also reduce the chances of something snagging them and pulling them off your head.

SteelSeries Arctis 9

The build quality of these headphones is impressive. Most of these are made of high-grade and dense plastic. There is also cloth-lined padding on the ear cups and an elasticized headband. They seem to withstand just a few minor impacts without significant problems, though their yokes and hinges are a little delicate. 

SteelSeries Arctis 9 have a good level of stability. The headband keeps them in place and has a relatively tight fit during low-intensity head movements, but they will fall off if you use them for intense workouts. Because of their wireless design, there is no risk of audio cables getting tangled up and pulling them away from the head.

 Battery

SteelSeries Arctis 7+

In terms of battery performance, the SteelSeries Arctis 7+ are top-notch. SteelSeries advertises it will last 30 hours continuously, like the Arctis 7P+ Wireless. However, even after repeating the test, they lasted over 60 hours. Battery life can, however, vary depending on how the headphones are used.

There is an auto-off timer on the headphones, which allows you to conserve battery life when not in use. You can also use them passively via the included audio cable or while they are charging.

SteelSeries Arctis 9

The SteelSeries Arctis 9 has excellent battery performance. They provide continuous playback for up to 20 hours, and the auto-off feature can be adjusted in their companion app to conserve battery life. Their recharge time is over five and a half hours, longer than alternatives.

App Support

SteelSeries Arctis 7+

GG software from SteelSeries is outstanding. You can customize the headphones’ sound with the graphic EQ and presets in this app. You can adjust the following settings: Bass Boost, Smart Volume, Treble Boost, General Gain, and Voice Clarity.

Their 7.1 Virtual Surround Sound feature is available to you. With the chat tab, you can adjust 10-band EQ, noise reduction, noise gate, volume stabilization, and impact noise reduction. The microphone and the chat tabs have similar settings, but we didn’t notice any differences in performance.

SteelSeries Arctis 9

SteelSeries Arctis 9 headphones are compatible with SteelSeries Engine companion software is compatible with these headphones. The software is user-friendly and offers functions such as a graphic EQ, audio presets, microphone volume adjustment, changing the length of the auto-off timer, and enabling surround sound.

Connectivity

SteelSeries Arctis 7+

The Arctis 7+ is used with an undocked Switch. The Arctis 7+’s 2.4 GHz low latency transmission can be accomplished using either the included 3.5 mm cable or the USB Type-C dongle. Wireless connectivity works on PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, PC, and Android. With the USB-C transmitter, you can use the power button on the 7+ to answer calls and change tracks when connected to an Android phone. The adapter cable included in the box is needed to use the 7+ with a USB-A port.

SteelSeries Arctis 9

The 9’s dongle is quite a bit larger than the sleeker transmitter on the 7+. You can use it wirelessly with the included dongle transmitter or wired with a 3.5 mm cable. A 3.5 mm cable is not included in the box, so you will need to buy one separately. Because Arctis 7+’s connecter is so wide, it often occupies multiple USB slots – it plugs into one and blocks a second next to it. It works with both PS4 and PC.

Arctis 9 features Bluetooth functionality. The Bluetooth dongle allows you to answer calls or listen to music on your phone while playing games on PS5 or PC with lower latency. Bluetooth even works while another device is actively transmitting audio to the headset.

What is In the Box?

SteelSeries Arctis 7+

  • SteelSeries Arctis 7+ headset
  • USB-C dongle
  • USB Mini B 8-pin to analog cable
  • USB-A to USB-C cable (male to a female)
  • USB-C charging cable
  • User Guide

SteelSeries Arctis 9

  • SteelSeries Arctis 9 Wireless headphones
  • USB-A to a micro-USB charging cable
  • USB transmitter dongle
  • User Guide

You can read our comparison guides for:

Verdict

SteelSeries Arctis 7+ Wireless or SteelSeries Arctis 9 Wireless may be a better fit, depending on your preferences. The Arctis 7+ headphones have many customization options since they are compatible with Sonar software, which has more features than SteelSeries GG companion software. Besides EQ and presets, it offers adjustable microphone and chat control levels.

The headsets can also create an immersive audio experience with PlayStation 5’s Tempest 3D AudioTech. Nevertheless, the Arctis 9 supports Bluetooth, which is beneficial if you want to connect your console and smartphone simultaneously. Their non-Bluetooth wireless latency is somewhat lower, and their microphone performance is better.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Arctis 9 or 7+ better?

SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition Wireless offers slightly better wireless gaming performance than SteelSeries Arctis 9 Wireless. A TRRS 1/8″ cable is included with the 7 2019 Edition, allowing passive audio playback and microphone use.

Is the Arctis 9 worth it?

There is no doubt that the SteelSeries Arctis 9 Wireless is a great gaming headset. I love how comfortable it is, how great it sounds, and how it works on many different platforms. Having Bluetooth connectivity ensures compatibility with more devices, and having AAC codec support is an excellent benefit for Apple devices.

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