Gaming without a decent headset is like eating bread without butter. A good headset will allow you to enjoy the gaming experience to the fullest, and give you a competitive edge by enabling clear communication with your teammates. In this article, we will discuss two quality gaming headsets from SteelSeries, which are Arctis 7 vs Arctis 5.
Continue reading below to find out further about:
– The design, build quality, and appearance of each headset
– The available connection options on each headset
– Whether Arctis 7 and Arctis 5 are comfortable or not
– Other additional features of each model
– The sound quality of Arctis 7 vs Arctis 5
– Which SteelSeries Arctis headset that is more recommended
Design and Appearance
Design-wise, SteelSeries Arctis 7 and SteelSeries Arctis 5 are pretty similar. They both look sleek, elegant, and sophisticated. Unlike most gaming headsets in the market, SteelSeries Arctis 7 and SteelSeries Arctis 5 are quite streamlined, without unnecessary bulkiness. Still, there are a few notable differences that set these two models apart. See also: SteelSeries Arctis 7 vs Logitech G933.
SteelSeries Arctis 7 probably will suit you better if you want a gaming headset that isn’t shiny and looks quite mature. It has a black finish over the entire frame, and it doesn’t have any backlighting. This is something that you can wear for work as well as gaming without pulling much attention. As a note, it is mainly designed to be a wireless headset.
A nice innovation is found on the headband. Instead of using a rigid piece to sit on the top of your head, SteelSeries Arctis 7 uses a flexible ski goggle suspension band that will fit perfectly without causing hard pressure. Don’t worry, though; there is still a solid frame to keep the ear cups snug in place, so the headset won’t be flimsy.
SteelSeries Arctis 5, on the other hand, will attract you the most if you prefer a sporty gaming headset with RGB backlight. The frame is also mostly black, but there is backlight on the back of each earcup which you can customize to your liking. It looks cool, yet without losing the elegance of the streamlined design. This is a wired headset.
Just like its sibling, SteelSeries Arctis 5 is also equipped with a flexible ski goggle suspension band to provide the perfect comfortable fit, with a floating solid frame to keep the earcups snug. Fumbling with rods is inconvenient, so the headset comes with two velcro straps instead to allow you to adjust the fit.
Of course, the main difference between Arctis 7 vs Arctis 5 is the connectivity. When choosing between these two models, you want to consider whether you really want a wireless headset or you are fine with a wired one.
SteelSeries Arctis 7 is a wireless gaming headset which runs on the 2.4GHz frequency. According to the specifications, this headset features a lossless wireless adapter which enables it to deliver lag-free audio. Some people are worried that wireless headsets may have some latency and lag, but this headset has virtually zero lag. The wireless range is said to be 12m (40ft), but actually you can’t stray too far away if you want to maintain the flawless, lag-free performance.
In addition, SteelSeries Arctis 7 can also be used with an audio cable. It has a 3.5mm audio input jack, and the cable is included in the box. So, you can use the headset on Nintendo Switch as well as mobile devices. There is a Micro USB port, but this only works for charging.
SteelSeries Arctis 5, on the other hand, is a wired gaming headset. It is connected via a USB cable. The included cable is pretty long, as it measures 3m (10ft). The cable has a rubber coating which feels durable.
Alternatively, you can also use a 3.5mm audio cable to connect SteelSeries Arctis 5 to Nintendo Switch or a mobile device. The headset comes with an adapter which will allow you to utilize this type of connection while still enjoying some advanced features like the ChatMix function.
As mentioned above, both headsets have flexible ski goggle suspension bands which can fit really well on any person’s head. In addition, both SteelSeries Arctis 7 and SteelSeries Arctis 5 come with the exclusive AirWeave ear cushions, made from performance fabrics that can keep the ears dry and cool throughout an extended gaming session. Thanks to these advanced ear cushions, both SteelSeries Arctis 7 and SteelSeries Arctis 5 can remain very comfortable to wear for several hours.
Nevertheless, while the designs of Arctis 7 vs Arctis 5 have plenty of similarities, they still feel a bit different in terms of comfort. This is mostly because of the weight.
SteelSeries Arctis 7 is heavier, and as the effect, it is not as comfy as the Arctis 5 when worn continuously for more than an hour. The extra weight mostly comes from the built-in battery, and it will add slightly more pressure to your head. Indeed, there is the added convenience of having no cable, though the wireless range is actually not much.
SteelSeries Arctis 5 is lighter and generally more comfortable than the Arctis 7. You can wear the headset continuously for a longer time without getting your head hot and sore. Since it is a wired headset, there will be an audio cable that may get in your way, but this is just a minor inconvenience.
Each of these headsets is equipped with the ClearCast microphone. According to the company, the bidirectional design of the microphone enables superior studio-quality voice clarity and noise cancellation. You can extend the mic when you need to talk, and shrink it into the headset when not in use. However, Arctis 7 vs Arctis 5 have different mic quality.
SteelSeries Arctis 7 definitely has a better mic. The sensitivity level is higher. As the effect, it can pick up your voice with better clarity and volume. Communication is very clear and smooth. When SteelSeries Arctis 7 was first released, there was a problem with the mic having very low volume, but this problem was caused by the software and not the mic itself, and the software has been fixed.
SteelSeries Arctis 5 has a mic with a lower sensitivity. Some users have complained that the mic volume is too low, and sometimes the mic doesn’t pick up their words if they are not speaking loud enough. There are some adjustments that you can do on your computer to improve the mic performance, but this is not really possible when gaming on a console.
SteelSeries Arctis 7 and SteelSeries Arctis 5 are very similar in terms of sound quality. Both headsets generally sound great. They can deliver accurate and detailed sound across the frequency range. This is not surprising because these headsets actually come with the same 40mm neodymium drivers. Both headsets have a frequency response range of 20 – 20,000 Hz and 32 Ohm impedance.
Some people say that these headsets sound thin and not really powerful. But this is not true. Most probably, this is because the bass performance of SteelSeries Arctis 7 and SteelSeries Arctis 5 is tight and controlled, and some people are used to boomy speakers with muddy bass. Well, if you really want heavy and boomy bass, these headsets won’t give what you are looking for. But if you want accurate and detailed sound, these are great choices.
Both headsets have decently wide soundstage that enables you to hear the different lows, mids, and highs clearly. SteelSeries Arctis 7 and SteelSeries Arctis 5 support DTS 7.1 Surround Sound on Windows PC and stereo on other platforms. In the surround mode, you can hear footsteps very clearly and get the general idea about where it is coming from – very useful in FPS games. However, you can still hear dialogues and other environmental sound effects with great immersion.
By the way, SteelSeries Arctis 7 has a battery life of about 24 hours when running in the wireless mode. This should be enough for a few days before you need to recharge. On the other hand, SteelSeries Arctis 5 does not have any battery to worry about since it is wired.
You can set multiple setting profiles on the SteelSeries Engine 3 software. Various equalization options are available to suit different games and purposes. For example, when playing competitive FPS games, you want a surround profile that enables you to hear the enemies’ footsteps as well as your teammates, whereas in a single-player RPG a more balanced profile is fine. The process to set-up different profiles is quite simple.
For SteelSeries Arctis 5, you can also use the software to customize the backlight. There are various unique effects, and you can have different configurations for the left and right earcups.
Last but not least, each of these headsets comes with the ChatMix dial. This dial will allow you to adjust the balance between game volume and voice chat volume quickly. This is very handy. When you can’t hear your teammates’ voices because the game volume is too loud, you don’t need to fumble with the audio settings. Simply slide the ChatMix dial so that you can hear them more clearly.
Arctis 7 vs Arctis 5
Between the two, SteelSeries Arctis 7 is generally more recommended. It is versatile, as it can be used wired or wireless as needed. In addition, it comes with a better mic that has better sensitivity. The sound quality is excellent.