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SteelSeries Arctis 7 vs Pro (2020): Is SteelSeries’ More Premium Headset Worth Buying?

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 and Arctis Pro are among the most popular gaming headsets around. A comfy fit, high-quality audio and microphone, 7.1 surround sound—these are just a few of the reasons for their reputation. Between the two, the price difference isn’t that much. The question then is, what sets them apart from each other? According to SteelSeries, components of the Arctis Pro were taken up a notch compared to the rest. We made this comparison to find out exactly what that means and to help you make an informed buying decision.

SteelSeries Arctis 7 vs Pro Comparison Chart

ModelSteelSeries Arctis 7SteelSeries Arctis Pro
SteelSeries Arctis 7 - Lossless Wireless Gaming Headset with DTS Headphone:X v2.0 Surround - For PC...SteelSeries Arctis Pro High Fidelity Gaming Headset - Hi-Res Speaker Drivers - DTS Headphone:X v2.0...
PriceCheck Price on AmazonCheck Price on Amazon
Frequency Response20 Hz – 20 kHz10 Hz – 40 kHz
Drivers40 mm Neodymium40 mm Neodymium
Positional AudioDTS Headphone:X v2.0DTS Headphone:X v2.0
MicrophoneRetractable, Noise Canceling, ClearCast BidirectionalRetractable, Noise Canceling, ClearCast Bidirectional
ConnectionUSB, 4-Pole 3.5 mm Analog, Lossless 2.4 GHzWired: USB, 4-Pole 3.5 mm Adapter

GameDAC: USB, Optical, 3.5 mm Adapter

Wireless: USB, Optical, 3.5 mm Adapter, Lossless 2.4 GHz, Bluetooth 4.1

Battery Life24+ HoursWireless: 20 Hours
Wireless Range40 ft.Wireless: 40 ft.
ControlsChatMix Dial, Microphone Mute Toggle, Volume Control, Power ButtonWired: USB ChatMix Dial, Microphone Mute Toggle, Volume Control

GameDAC: USB DAC and Amplifier, Microphone Mute Toggle, Volume Control

Wireless: Transmitter Base Station, Microphone Mute Toggle, Volume Control, Bluetooth Button, Power Button

CushionAirWeaveAirWeave
SoftwareSteelSeries Engine 3SteelSeries Engine 3
RGB LightsNoYes (Wired and GameDAC)
Weight0.8 lbsWired and GameDAC: 0.9 lbs

Wireless: 0.8 lbs

CompatibilityPC, Mac, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, MobileWired: PC, Mac, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Xbox One, Mobile

GameDAC and Wireless: PC, PlayStation 4 (Original, Pro, and Slim)

Year of Release20182018
ColorsBlack, WhiteWired: Black

GameDAC and Wireless: Black and White

Design and Comfort

Design is pretty consistent across the SteelSeries Arctis line, and the Arctis 7 and Arctis Pro are no exception.

SteelSeries Arctis 7 vs Pro Design and Comfort
The materials on the SteelSeries Arctis Pro (in photo) are supposedly “more luxurious.”

Both the SteelSeries Arctis 7 and Arctis Pro are fitted with the series’ iconic ski goggle suspension headband and AirWeave ear cushions. That means comfort won’t be an issue here. On the ear cups, you’ll find the microphone mute button and volume wheel. Other controls such as ChatMix and the like are on their peripherals (more on that in a bit).

Out of the box, you can tell right away that their build quality is solid. The two are equipped with steel outer headbands, though the SteelSeries Arctis Pro has a more elegant gunmetal finish. Their microphones are also retractable. This is a huge plus if you want to keep them out of the way when you’re only listening to music.

One advantage the SteelSeries Arctis Pro has over the Arctis 7 is it supports RGB illumination. It comes in handy when you’re up for a mini light show. Not to mention you can jazz up its looks in a snap.

Sound Quality

Both headsets can deliver an excellent audio experience.

SteelSeries Arctis 7 vs Pro Sound Quality
The SteelSeries Arctis 7 (left) has a decent frequency response range, but the Arctis Pro (right) has a wider one.

As expected from SteelSeries, sound is first-rate on both models, thanks to their 40 mm neodymium drivers and wide frequency response. Speaking of which, the range on the Arctis 7 goes from 20 Hz to 20 kHz, which is par for the course. Meanwhile, the Arctis Pro has a frequency response of 10 Hz to 40 kHz. That equates to better low response and clearer highs, though the difference will probably be noticeable only to audiophiles.

Another thing that differentiates the two is microphone quality. The SteelSeries Arctis 7 is average, to say the least. On the other hand, the Arctis Pro leans more toward a studio-quality level.

Both headsets feature 7.1 surround sound with DTS Headphone:X v2.0 technology. When it comes to gaming, you can get a competitive edge because of how accurate it is. In other words, you get positional audio cues that give away your opponents’ location and things like that.

The two are also compatible with SteelSeries Engine 3. You can tweak the equalizer settings and make other adjustments there, such as game configurations and macros.

Battery and Other Features

The SteelSeries Arctis 7 and Arctis Pro have ChatMix controls to balance in-game and chat audio.

SteelSeries Arctis 7 vs Pro Battery and Other Features
The SteelSeries Arctis Pro (in photo) comes with a USB ChatMix dial.

The two headsets have the standard features you’d expect from gaming headsets. As mentioned earlier, they have onboard controls that consist of a volume control wheel and microphone mute button.

Both feature ChatMix controls so you can separately tweak how loud you want the in-game and chat audio to be. The SteelSeries Arctis 7 has its ChatMix wheel on its right ear cup for easy access, while the Arctis Pro has a USB ChatMix dial.

The battery life on the SteelSeries Arctis 7 is rated to last more than 24 hours. Meanwhile, the Arctis Pro has a wireless variant that can go up to 20 hours on a single charge.

SteelSeries Arctis Pro Variants

Besides the standard wired, the SteelSeries Arctis Pro is available in two more models.

SteelSeries Arctis 7 vs Pro SteelSeries Arctis Pro Variants
The SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC (left) is packaged with a DAC and amplifier, while the Arctis Pro Wireless (right) comes with a transmitter base station.

While the SteelSeries Arctis 7 only has one model, the Arctis Pro has three: the standard wired, Arctis Pro + GameDAC, and Arctis Pro Wireless. They’re virtually identical in build and sound quality, and the differences are in their peripherals and connectivity.

First off, the SteelSeries Arctis Pro + GameDAC has a DAC and amplifier. That add-on allows it to play hi-res formats and “future-proofs” it for hi-res gaming audio. You can access other settings such as volume, ChatMix, and equalizer via the DAC too.

As for the SteelSeries Arctis Pro Wireless, it’s included with a wireless transmitter base station. Similar to the Arctis Pro + GameDAC’s DAC, you can tinker with the settings through its peripheral. It’s also more flexible than the Arctis 7 when it comes to wireless connectivity since it has both lossless 2.4 GHz and Bluetooth support.

Verdict

The clearer microphone and wider frequency range of the SteelSeries Arctis Pro are useful not only in gaming but also in listening to music.

You can’t really go wrong with any SteelSeries headset, but between the two, we’ll have to go with the Arctis Pro. The standard wired version doesn’t cost that much more than the Arctis 7. Sure, the Arctis 7 is wireless, but the Arctis Pro provides a wider frequency response range and better microphone quality. For some, the RGB lights are also a selling point.

When it comes to the SteelSeries Arctis Pro’s other variants, it’s a different story. The prices start to go way up with the Arctis Pro + GameDAC and Arctis Pro Wireless. On top of that, the former’s DAC and amplifier may be a bit of an overkill for the average consumer. In the case of the latter, the price difference might be too much for most people. However, if money’s no object, either one can provide an audio experience that the Arctis 7 can’t really match.

Last update on 2020-08-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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Vincent Lanaria
Vincent Lanaria

Senior Editor, researcher and writer passionate about running, cooking, and how technology mixes with the two.