SteelSeries Arena 7 Speakers review – Enter the sound orb

The SteelSeries Arena 7 Speakers offer brilliant audio clarity for a fair price.
steelseries arena 7 speakers review

SteelSeries has a very funny tagline: “the most winning brand in esports.” I think it was the wording that got me – “the most winning brand.” It was emblazoned on the SteelSeries Arena 7 speakers in very proud text. During setup, I was rolling the phrase around in my head. The most winning brand. After a week of using the Arena 7 speakers, I finally understand.

Out of the box, the SteelSeries Arena 7 speakers proved to be very hefty, but sleek in design and setup. This 2.1 audio system contains three elements: two speakers with integrated woofers and tweeters, and a larger subwoofer designed for strong bass.

All three elements are hooked up via cables and USB-A to a sound source (PC, PlayStation, Xbox, or otherwise) and you can also connect with Bluetooth. In either mode, the Arena 7 features easy, fuss-free connectivity with zero noticeable latency or lag.

In fact, the only real trouble I had with the sound system was a challenge of my own making – fitting the speaker and subwoofer system on my desk. Each individual speaker is relatively small, at around 10 x 20 x 13 cm and won’t take up a lot of real estate, but the subwoofer is large and heavy – 30 x 24 x 24 cm.

In most setups, you’ll be able to comfortably fit the subwoofer below a desk, and still get the benefit of its booming bass. Unfortunately, I love stuff, and my under-desk space is occupied by part of my board game collection.

arena 7 speakers steelseries review
Please ask me about my hand-made The Mummy (2017) Monster High doll. (Image: GamesHub)

Again – this is self inflicted and not a fault of the system itself, but it’s worth noting that you’ll need significant desk or under-desk space to fit the subwoofer and speakers into your setup. After some doll shifting and rearranging my screen, I was able to slot in the speaker system next to my laptop and monitor, with one of my speakers in full view and the other just peeking out from behind my main display.

With that out of the way, and some simple cable management, I was able to enter what I lovingly began referring to as the “sound orb.”

The orb of sound

Positioning the SteelSeries Arena 7 speakers on either side of your setup, so you’re sitting directly in the centre of their sound blasts, is ideal. With this arrangement, you may conjure your very own sound orb – an intangible space where you can immerse yourself in a spherical blob of noise where sounds are convincingly directional.

The Arena 7 does a solid job of creating a 3D-like soundscape as you play through games, which comes most in handy for titles like Fortnite and Call of Duty, where sounds coming from distinct directions can paint a clearer picture of your chosen battlefield, beyond what can be seen on screen.

While using the speakers in ideal configuration, you get a layered orb of sound where every bit of gunfire – or even grass crunching under feet – is well enunciated, and delivered from a clear, understandable direction. Each speaker has a wide sound delivery, and while a 5.1 channel speaker system may lend more immersion, the Arena 7 does a great job of forging the sound orb with just two speakers.

steelseries arena 7 speaker
Image: GamesHub

Mostly, I used these features to boost my time with The Sims 4: Crystal Creations. It was surprisingly useful in this particular game, as it meant I could keep track of my kittens. Yes, the kittens are what sold me on the Arena 7.

In my current Sims 4 household, I’m playing on a large lot with multiple family groups (thank you For Rent), which means there’s a lot of folks roaming my virtual hallways at all times, and that my recently-adopted kittens are hard to spot on screen. But with the Arena 7’s directional capabilities, I could hear tiny mews coming from all parts of the house, allowing me to quickly and easy grab my kittens when they got lost. While the sudden mews did occasionally startle me, as they tended to come from the back of the sound orb, it proved very useful.

Audio is well balanced and crisp as delivered through the Steelseries Arena 7 speakers, with the subwoofer adding strong bassy tones that make music and in-game actions feel punchier and more dynamic. In the case of kittens, their soft cries are very well illuminated and well-placed directionally. It also helps that the speaker system allows for a high-level of volume, and maintains clarity at even louder tones.

On PC, there’s also the software option to play around with bass, volume, tone and clarity by adjusting sound levels – and while I didn’t need this to enhance my gameplay, I can imagine it would be very useful for getting the most out of the speaker system, and for listening to music of all genres.

Overall verdict

steelseries arena 7 gaming speakers review
Image: GamesHub

The most winning brand. It’s a phrase that felt justified in my experiences with the SteelSeries Arena 7 speakers. Minor setup troubles aside, I was mightily impressed with the clarity and bass of this sound system, as well as how it improved my game playing experience. All the little things add up, too.

Both speakers have lovely RGB lights attached, which have a strong brightness and can be customised via SteelSeries PC software. Sitting at a desk, bathed in purple glow, listening to my Sims go about their adventures, I felt very “gamer.” While the aesthetic glow won’t be for everyone, I personally enjoyed the touch, and what it added to my gaming setup.

There’s also the convenience to consider. On the right speaker, there’s an easy dial to control volume. You can also loop in music with dual audio output, or just bask in the atmosphere of your favourite games. And with plug-and-use functionality, it’s got a quick and simple setup for everyone.

In design and quality, the SteelSeries Arena 7 speakers are exceptional – and they’ve become a very welcome, near-essential addition to my gaming setup. As far as price goes, it’s also fairly well justified, as the speaker system has plenty of robust features and a high quality build that matches the price of entry.

Five stars: ★★★★★

SteelSeries Arena 7 Speakers
Release Year: 2023
Price: USD $299.99 | AUD $599 RRP

SteelSeries Arena 7 RGB Illuminated 2.1 Gaming Speakers
$299.99 $219.99
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03/06/2024 02:11 am GMT

The SteelSeries Arena 7 speakers were provided to GamesHub for the purposes of this review. GamesHub reviews are rated on a five-point scale.

Leah J. Williams is a gaming and entertainment journalist who's spent years writing about the games industry, her love for The Sims 2 on Nintendo DS and every piece of weird history she knows. You can find her tweeting @legenette most days.