SteelSeries preps Arctis 7X, 7P wireless gaming headsets for Xbox/PC and PS4/5

Lori Grunin/CNET Following last month’s Arctis 9 launch, SteelSeries is adding a couple of new flavors to its 2020 wireless headset lineup, the Xbox and PC-compatible Arctis 7X, and the PS4 and PS5-compatible 7P. Actually, the 7X is compatible with all platforms — Xbox (through Series X and S), PC, […]

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Lori Grunin/CNET

Following last month’s Arctis 9 launch, SteelSeries is adding a couple of new flavors to its 2020 wireless headset lineup, the Xbox and PC-compatible Arctis 7X, and the PS4 and PS5-compatible 7P. Actually, the 7X is compatible with all platforms — Xbox (through Series X and S), PC, Nintendo Switch and PlayStation (through PS5) — while the 7P won’t work on an Xbox. 

It all comes down to the size of your dongle. The 2.4GHz USB-C wireless dongle for the Xbox is bigger than the PlayStation’s, and it has a switch to pop between PC and Xbox modes. It’s the same dongle that’s used by the budget Arctis 1, which launched about a year ago. Both headsets are the same as the PC-only Arctis 7, except for the USB-C connection and slightly enhanced battery life — up to 24 hours rather than 20. 

All three are available today for $150.

There is another difference between the 7X and 7P: the function of the dial on the right earcup. On the 7X you use it to change game/chat balance, and on the 7P it lets you adjust sidetone (hearing yourself talk).

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Color coordinated for your console of choice.


Lori Grunin/CNET

But if you’re wondering whether the 7P supports PS5 surround sound, the answer so far is no. SteelSeries says it’s because the PS5 lacks an optical audio port, which is how it circumvented the problem on the PS4. As of right now, Sony is not licensing USB surround to third-party manufacturers, but that could change. 

I find the 7X I tried a lot more comfortable than the Arctis 9, probably because it doesn’t have the more durable but head-squishing steel in the headband, which makes it lighter and better with glasses as well. It lacks the dual-wireless (2.4GHz and Bluetooth) capability of that model as well. It has a really good range though, at least in my apartment, and I didn’t lose signal anywhere. And since all the Arctis models have the same microphone and audio characteristics, it sounds and records as good as the more expensive 9. 

Unfortunately, it also has the same retractable mic as the Arctis 9, which takes some finesse to retract, and is difficult to do single-handed (though it pulls out quickly and smoothly).

It’s not quite as comfortable or cool looking as the Razer BlackShark V2 Pro I tested recently and the earcups choke me when it’s around my neck, but this is still an excellent wireless headset at a very reasonable price.

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