Ben's interest in video games started as a result of his intense need to be better than his sister at something. It didn't work but it started a lifelong passion in gaming, which then evolved when he built his first PC. He completely botched it but it was fun and he hasn't stopped since. He's currently fighting an embittered battle to get even slightly competitive at Apex Legends. He has a particular interest in peripherals and loves messing around with his setup.
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It would appear that SteelSeries stands in good stead for audio products too, after all, their Arctis Nova Pro gaming headset is currently the best gaming headset we’ve tested. Not to mention their long line of gaming keyboards, mice, and of course, the mousepads with which they had their beginnings.
So, this meant that we had a lot of faith in the SteelSeries Arena 7 gaming speakers, so let’s take a look at what they bring to the relatively uncluttered gaming speakers market.
SteelSeries Arena 7 specs
SteelSeries Arena 7 gaming speakers
2x 0.75″ tweeters, 2x 3″ woofer, 1x 6.5″ downward-firing subwoofer
USB, Bluetooth 4.2, 3.5mm, optical
- Attractive design
- Easy setup
- Great build quality
- Audiophiles might find the sound lacking
SteelSeries Arena 7 box contents
- Right Speaker
- Left Speaker
- USB-C to USB-A Cable
- Associated warranty info and user manual
Unboxing & setup
The SteelSeries Arena 7 speakers come in a pretty big box, covered in the grey and orange livery we’ve become familiar with from SteelSeries keyboards and mice in the past.
Opening the box you are treated to a sea of cardboard dividers, boxes, and soft wrapping foam stuff. The utilitarian and maybe even underwhelming unboxing experience belies super safe packaging and very little chance of damage during transit, so we were pleased with it.
The setup was easy enough. The benefit of having a load of differently-shaped plugs and sockets is that you can’t really put anything where it shouldn’t go. If only life was so easy…
Anyway, after connecting the speakers to the sub, and the sub to the PC, everything shout come straight to life, though as usual with gaming headsets, keyboards, mice, and pretty much anything that connects to a PC, you won’t be getting the best experience without the accompanying software.
In this case, it’s SteelSeries Sonar, which allows you to adjust EQ settings, lighting, and supported app integration too. Additionally, it doesn’t eat a tonne of CPU power or RAM, so we fully recommend it.
Its almost all plastic with the SteelSeriers Arena 7 speakers. However, the plastics here feel super premium, and more importantly, look great too. There is a slight texture to everything, but it’s not trying to be fake metal or anything, just solid plastic.
Additionally, the volume knob on one the base of the right-hand-side speaker feels satisfyingly tactile too. and a quick double tap disables the RGB lighting, which is useful for those trying to preserve the atmosphere of a story-driven game like the recently released Calllisto Protocol.
All of the points on the speakers and sub that actually contact surfaces are furnished with dense rubber anti-vibration pads, preventing feedback by inadvertently turning your desk into a speaker diaphragm. They also help keep the speakers planted wherever you placed them.
The cables that come with the SteelSeries Arena 7 speakers are all good enough. That’s about it, really, as they aren’t posh braided affairs or anything, just nice enough, standard sheathing cables. It’s hard to view this as a bad thing as they function well enough and aren’t on display either. It also makes sense given the $300 price point, which is almost half that of the Razer Nommo Pro speakers that we mentioned earlier,
Given that there isn’t really a truly optimal shape for speakers, companies are, broadly speaking, free to design them however they like. hence the akimbo space guns of the Razer Nommo speakers.
SteelSeries has opted to go in the other direction, with the world’s most nondescript cuboid for the subwoofer, and some pretty elegant oval egg-shaped satellites.
Despite the underdesigned shape of the sub, there is still some consistent design language, as the port on the front is also ovular, with the IO on the back housed in an identically-shaped inset.
This means that the sub and satellites still go well together, despite their overall shapes being so disparate. This might sound a bit pretentious, but there’s a word count to hit, guys. Leave it out.
There is also a fair amount of RGB lighting here, otherwise, you might confuse them for normal computer speakers. Despite the cliche, SteelSeries has been clever here, completely committing lighting from the sub, as it should be placed under the desk anyway. Meaning that it would have been wasted.
The lighting is instead located on the upper back section of the satellites. Positioning the RGB on the back of the speakers means that you only get indirect lighting, which produces far less intrusive illumination, which is a good thing as these speakers will be at or very close to eye level.
Being less-intrusive overall is a good idea for gaming speakers too because they are really only suitable for single-player games or general content consumption, where immersion is the name of the game. This is because, despite technological advancements in gaming headsets, sounds coming from speakers still can’t be entirely removed by even the best noise-canceling mics, meaning that comms with teammates become nigh-on impossible.
So, gaming speakers are best used with single-player games, but we can only recommend this if the speakers actually sound good, which takes us straight onto the topic of
As the SteelSeries Arena 7 speakers include a subwoofer there is going to be a noticeable increase in listening pleasure over headphones or speakers without a sub.
This is because the satellites are now free from trying to balance low frequencies with mids, and of course, the tweeters found above each satellite can concentrate on the top end.
If anything, this will at least result in less muddied sound, and allow you to crank the volume without losing fidelity. This is particularly important if you’re a fan of annoying the significant other, roommate, or if you’re really dastardly with the decibels, the neighbors.
Getting back on topic, the sound quality out of the box is fantastic, but as with any audio product, adjusting the EQ settings allows the hardware in question to truly shine. So, as ever, you’ll want to spend some time messing about with the software to get the right mix for you.
SteelSeries Arena 7 gaming speakers review: Final verdict
The SteelSeries Arena 7 gaming speakers perfectly occupy the mid-high end for gaming speakers. They have great build quality, audio fidelity, and are designed in such a way that they’ll never look out of place.
The setup is easy, and the software is relatively lightweight for a change, so messing with the settings won’t tank your system as much as you’d expect.
After all this, we have no choice but to recommend the SteelSeries Arena 7 gaming speakers as they are priced well, perform better, and look the best.