Whether you’re a console baby or a PC gamer, your best friend is the right pair of headphones. With a great gaming headset, you can expect clear, balanced sound and comfortable wearing for long periods.

SteelSeries has been a leader in gaming peripherals for a long time now. The SteelSeries Arctis headset range has something for everyone, from the budget-friendly Arctis 1’s to the feature-packed Arctis Pro Wireless.

In your opinion, which SteelSeries Arctis 7 model, SteelSeries Arctis 9X model, or SteelSeries Arctis Pro is the best for improving the gaming experience? Is there a difference between SteelSeries Arctis 7 and SteelSeries Arctis 9X or SteelSeries Arctis Pro?

This review aims to compare the three gaming headsets; let’s find out which gives you the best gaming experience!

SteelSeries Arctis 7 vs 9 vs Pro Comparison Table

SteelSeries Arctis 7SteelSeries Arctis 9SteelSeries Arctis Pro
TypeOver-earOver-earOver-ear
WirelessYesYesYes
EnclosureClosed-BackClosed-BackClosed-Back
MicYesYesYes
Weight0.77lbs0.82lbs0.08lbs
Noise CancelingNoNoNo
TransducerDynamicDynamicDynamic
Bluetooth VersionNo Bluetooth4.14.1
Ease of UseDecentDecentDecent
FeedbackGreatGreatGreat
Call/Music ControlNoYesYes
Microphone ControlMute/UnmuteAdjustable LevelMute/Unmute
Volume ControlyesYesYes
Additional ControlsNoBluetooth Sync + PresetsBluetooth Sync
Channel MixingYesYesYes
Head ModelingNoNoNo
Head TrackingNoNoNo
Virtual SurroundDTS 7.1Windows Sonic Spatial AudioYes
Speaker ModelingOn/OffOn/OffOn/Off
EQDefaultDefaultDefault
CodecPCM, 24-bit, 48kHzPCM, 24-bit, 48kHzPCM, 24-bit, 48kHz
ConnectionWireless (Proprietary)Wireless (Proprietary)Wireless (Proprietary)
Battery TypeRechargeableRechargeableRechargeable
Continuous Battery Life28 hrs25 hrs20 hrs
Charging Portmicro-USBmicro-USBmicro-USB
Audio While ChargingyesYesYes
Charge Time3.3 hrs2.4 hrs1.3 hrs
Power-Saving FeatureAuto-Off TimerNoAuto-Off Timer
Passive PlaybackYesYesYes
App NameSteelSeries EngineSteelSeries EngineSteelSeries Engine
iOSNoNoNo
macOSYesYesYes
AndroidNoNoNo
WindowsYesYesYes
EqualizerGraphic + PresetsGraphic + PresetsGraphic + Presets
Mic ControlAdjustable LevelAdjustable LevelMute/Unmute
ANC ControlNoNoNo 
Surround SupportYesYesYes
Playback ControlNoNoNo
PC/PS4 AnalogAudio + MicrophoneAudio OnlyAudio + Microphone
PC/PS4 Non-BT WirelessAudio + MicrophoneNoAudio + Microphone
PC/PS4 Wired USBNoNoNo
Xbox One AnalogAudio + MicrophoneAudio OnlyAudio + Microphone
Xbox One Non-BT WirelessNoAudio + MicrophoneAudio Only
Xbox One Wired USBNoNoNo
Base/Dock TypeWireless USB DongleWireless USB DongleWireless Dock
Line InYesNoYes
Line OutYesNoYes
USB InputYesYesYes
Optical InputNoNoYes
Dock ChargingNoNoYes
RCA InputNoNoNo
Power SupplyUSBUSBUSB
ColorBlack and WhiteBlackBlack

SteelSeries Arctis 7 vs 9 vs Pro Descriptive Comparison

Now, let’s closely examine each headset to decide which is best for you.

Design

A consumer paying a premium price for headphones is entitled to expect premium sound, aesthetics, and comfort. The design of the Arctis SteelSeries certainly fulfils this expectation. This might be one of its strongest points. Here is a brief comparison of the three.

SteelSeries Arctis 7

This headset has a sleek, sophisticated, streamlined appearance that makes it easy to use. An adjustable headband with velcro straps is an example of this. This is a beneficial feature. You can adjust the fit according to your comfort.

On the right earcup, users will find the power button and chat volume slider, while on the left, they will find the regular volume control along with a Micro USB port for charging and a 3.5mm audio jack. Powering the phones for wireless and surround-sound capabilities is necessary, but you don’t need power for everyday listening via the 3.5mm output.

These headphones have managed to find that sweet spot where the fit is snug but not uncomfortably tight so that you are fully immersed in the audio. While on the go, you may have to experiment with the headband a bit more to find the right fit, so it doesn’t slide off.

The headphones weigh 0.77lbs, which makes long-term use comfortable as well. Black and white are the available colours.

SteelSeries Arctis 9

With the Arctis 9, SteelSeries stays true to its overall classic look of minimalist, streamlined, and no-nonsense design. In addition to having a black chassis, the headband is elastic.

As well as being portable and easy to use, the earcups are plush, soft, and comfortable, ensuring a comfortable experience even with extended use.

This design offers all the benefits discussed earlier for the Arctis 7. A major plus over the Arctis 7 is the separate master volume and chat volume controls. The weight of this item is 0.82lbs. It is only available in black colour.

SteelSeries Arctis Pro

At first glance, nothing is shocking here. The Pro has a monochrome black, understated, minimalist design that aligns with the SteelSeries.

With no geeky flimsiness to worry about, you’ll feel confident wearing them in any environment. When you examine the Pro closely, you’ll see that the aluminium frame does make it a bit more premium.

It has magnetic earcup covers that can be removed and has customizable RGB lighting. Additionally, the mic also includes RGB lighting. Lastly, the Pro is the only one that comes with an L-shaped plug that doesn’t bend accidentally when you place it in your pocket or bag when you’re on the go. As a result, the headphones and the device are less likely to be damaged.

The weight of this product is .08 lbs. This is the lightest of the three. It is only available in black colour.

Controls and Features

From the description of Arctis’ design, you can probably guess that user-friendliness is its utmost priority. Consumers will find many convenient features and tactile controls offered by the company. It makes their products more enjoyable and seamless.

SteelSeries Arctis 7

I was not impressed with the controls of the SteelSeries Arctis 7. Almost identical to the previous model, the left cup features a channel mixing wheel and a power button, whereas the right cup includes a volume wheel and a mic-mute button.

Compared to the Wheels on the SteelSeries Arctis 7 Wireless 2017, these wheels have a slightly raised texture. These headphones have no music/call management buttons, unlike the similarly designed SteelSeries Arctis 9 Wireless. This may limit their versatility for some people.

SteelSeries Arctis 9

There is an excellent control scheme on the SteelSeries Arctis 9. This device has dedicated buttons for power on or off, muting the microphone, and Bluetooth playback functions.

With a single press of the Bluetooth button, you can end and answer incoming calls, pause or play media.

Tap twice to skip the tracks forward and three times to go backward. There are separate controls for volume adjustment and chat mixing on each ear cup, though it’s hard to tell which one is which since both feel the same. Both ear cups include separate wheels for volume adjustment and chat mixing, though it can be hard to distinguish which is which because they feel the same.

SteelSeries Arctis Pro

There are good controls that are easy to use and provide good feedback on the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless. These headphones have the same control dial and microphone mute switch on the left ear cup as the SteelSeries Arctis Pro GameDAC.

The control dial can only be used to adjust the volume when using Bluetooth. With the transmitter, you can adjust the volume by default, but clicking the dial gives you access to more settings, such as channel mixing, EQ presets, and audio sources.

In the right ear cup are both power and Bluetooth sync buttons, which control the music and calls when the phone is connected through Bluetooth.

Furthermore, the power button curves outwards, whereas the Bluetooth button curves inwards, making it easy to distinguish between them.

Sound

There won’t be sufficient features on any headphones to compensate for poor sound. All of these headphones don’t have that issue, thankfully. They all offer high-resolution performance, but there are subtle differences between them. These headphones all have one weakness in common: poor noise isolation. Some consumers may not be satisfied with the lack of noise-cancelling mechanisms (especially those seeking air-travel-friendly gear).

SteelSeries Arctis 7

The Arctis 7 features stereo and DTS 7.1 surround sound. In addition to an array of equalizer presets, you can combine them and customize them (and even save them) to your taste. As a result, the Arctis 7 are excellent headphones for gaming and Zoom meetings.

Nevertheless, you might be disappointed by the performance when listening to music. The multiple options give you a lot of flexibility, but a passionate music lover will immediately recognize that these cans were designed for multimedia use. They cannot compete with high-quality music headphones designed specifically for listening to music. I was impressed by the sound clarity and frequency response, but I found the character of the sound somewhat sterile.

SteelSeries Arctis 9

The sound of the Arctis 9 isn’t much different from that of the Arctis 7. However, this can be both good and bad. This means that while its strengths spill over, so do its weaknesses. Playing games and attending meetings are fun. Listening to music is still not at the top of the list for those seeking an audiophile-grade experience. The frequency range is, however, the broadest among the three. Windows Sonic Spatial Audio surround sound is included with the Arctis 9.

SteelSeries Arctis Pro

Compared to its two siblings, the Arctis Pro performs better. It doesn’t mean the Arctis 7 or 9 has poor audio quality, but the Pro excels where the others do not. An enjoyable listening experience for music enthusiasts. 

The Arctis Pro, along with gaming, multimedia, and communication, satisfies this need. It is almost as if you are in a room with a band when you listen to live recordings.

Enhancements such as vocal texture, snare pops, expensive guitars, synths, and robust bass responses are there to gratify the serious listener. In addition, the Arctis Pro features virtual surround sound.

With its wide range of frequencies and sound pressure levels, the Arctis Pro easily stands out from the crowd. With devices, higher sound pressure levels tend to make the sound louder.

In other words, the Pro gives you a bit more volume and headroom, although it is not necessarily more powerful.

Base Dock

A wireless base dock is included with the SteelSeries Arctis 7, 9, and Pro for connectivity.

SteelSeries Arctis 7

The Arctis 7’s base consists of a wireless USB dongle with a USB input for connecting. As well as being USB-powered, it offers line-in and line-out connections. Unfortunately, you cannot charge your headphones using it.

SteelSeries Arctis 9

The dock for the Arctis 9 comes with similar specifications, although it does not have the line in and out jacks.

SteelSeries Pro

This is where you get an upgrade with the Pro. As well as offering line-in and line-out jacks, the wireless dock can charge your headphones and offers optical inputs. It is also powered by USB.

Compatibility and Connectivity

SteelSeries Arctis 7

In this category, the Arctis 7 is the clear winner with its 28 hours of continuous battery life, followed closely by the Arctis 9, which provides 25 hours. It is compatible with PC and Playstation 4 platforms in terms of audio and microphone. This latter is available both in analog and non-Bluetooth wireless formats. With Xbox, however, you get only regular audio and microphone compatibility.

SteelSeries Arctis 9

PC, Playstation 4, and Xbox platforms are only compatible with audio on the Arctis 9. With the latter, it does support non-Bluetooth wireless audio and microphones, however.

SteelSeries Arctis Pro

With the Pro, you can use your PC and Playstation 4 for audio and microphone functionality (including non-Bluetooth wireless connectivity). You get the standard audio and microphone compatibility on Xbox and the ability to use non-Bluetooth wireless connections for audio.

App Support

With the SteelSeries engine as the app, you have a choice of presets that you can adjust to suit your tastes. You should note that these headphones only work with Mac OS. This means that You cannot use them with Android devices. However, they are compatible with Windows, so PC gamers will not face any problems.

SteelSeries Arctis 7

App support on the SteelSeries Arctis 7 is impressive. SteelSeries Engine offers plenty of valuable features and is a great companion app. A single page contains all the controls, making the software easy to use.

An adjustable auto-off timer and volume control for the microphone is included, along with a graphic EQ with presets and surround support.

You can save your settings from switching between them if you prefer different configurations in different situations. If you want your settings and EQs to work, you need to use the transmitter.

SteelSeries Arctis 9

The SteelSeries Engine companion software is compatible with these headphones. It is easy to use and offers functions such as graphic EQ, mic volume adjustment, audio presets, changing the length of their auto-off timer, and enabling surround sound.

SteelSeries Arctis Pro

The SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless is compatible with the SteelSeries Engine desktop app. This app offers plenty of customization options for gamers. Compared to the SteelSeries Arctis Pro GameDAC, it doesn’t offer as many features but provides graphic equalizer presets, DTS surround sound, live microphone preview, bass boost, and dialogue enhancement. You can see the charge level of both the headset battery and the transmitter battery on the app, and the app indicates when the charging battery is fully charged.

Microphone

The microphone offered by the Arctis series is one of its biggest pros. Its retractable, bendable design has been a popular choice for gamers who find its sleek, aerodynamic design a welcome alternative to the typically geeky counterparts most gaming headphones provide. Each of the headphones comes with the same microphone. Additionally, the microphone offers audio quality that is near studio level. Additionally, the LED that indicates the ‘mute’ status is very convenient.

SteelSeries Arctis 7

There is excellent recording quality with the SteelSeries Arctis 7 microphone. Despite its clarity and fullness, there is a distinct lack of brightness and airiness to your voice. An impressive noise reduction can be found in the boom microphone. It can easily separate your voice despite a lot of background noise, such as gaming tournaments.

SteelSeries Arctis 9

The recording quality of the microphone is excellent. Your voice should sound natural, clear, and free of distortion. This microphone performs well in terms of handling noise. Even if you’re in a noisy environment, people should be able to hear you.

SteelSeries Arctis Pro

It is one of the best microphones we’ve seen and has remarkable noise handling capabilities. During demanding or noisy environments like gaming events, your voice can easily be separated so that you can be heard clearly.

Battery

SteelSeries Arctis 7

SteelSeries Arctis 7 has excellent battery life. Battery life is 28 hours, plus an auto-off timer that can be adjusted in the companion software, so you can immerse yourself in your MMO for hours without worrying about the battery dying. The headphones can be charged and used wirelessly or passively via their included audio cable.

SteelSeries Arctis 9

The battery performance on the SteelSeries Arctis 9 is excellent. Its charging time is longer than its alternatives, such as SteelSeries Arctis 7 2019 Edition, and is more than five and a half hours. With their app companion, you can set the auto-off timer to conserve charge, and they provide continuous playback for over 25 hours.

SteelSeries Arctis Pro

There is an excellent battery system on these headphones. You won’t run out of power during intense games because they only use one battery at a time and have over 15 hours of continuous battery life. In the wireless transmitter, two replaceable batteries can be inserted for charging when not in use.

In addition to displaying your battery charge level, the transmitter can also indicate your headphones’ charge level while you’re deep in gameplay. With their companion software, you can set an auto-off timer, and if you don’t want to stop playing, you can still use these headphones while they charge. Their passive use is also possible with the included audio cable.

You can read our Comparison guides for:

Conclusion

Since the Arctis Pro Wireless supports Bluetooth and has a base that can be used as a wireless transmitter and charging station, it has more connectivity options. Overall, its microphone performs better as well.

If you’re looking for a truly high-end gaming sound experience, are a multi-platform gamer, and need wireless, then the Arctis Pro Wireless is an excellent choice. 

The 9X is a better value if you primarily play on the Xbox One since it supports Xbox One Wireless, unlike the Pro.

Arctic 7’s from Steelseries is an excellent mid-range headset that offers good performance and comfort for less than half the price of SteelSeries’s premium Arctis Pro Wireless headset. One of the top options is the Arctis 7 if you have a limited budget.

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