Audio & Visual Immersion: SteelSeries Arena 7 Gaming Speakers Review

Whether it is for work or play, I spend countless hours on any given day wearing over-ear headphones. However, not every gamer enjoys even wearing headphones when they play. This can be especially true for your solo players, enjoying either a single-player game or simply playing without chatting with their team. Sure, headphones can give gamers even more immersion into their gaming experiences. However, there are solutions out there for gamers that want to keep their ears free while still getting that immersive experience. That is where the SteelSeries Arena 3, Arena 7, and Arena 9 series of desktop speakers come in.

The SteelSeries Arena line of speakers come from the makers of Arctis, SteelSeries’ ever-growing headset line. These speakers are designed with premium organic fiber and silk drivers. The goal is to deliver accurate in-game sound from your immersive and exploratory game titles. Here, we will focus on the middle tier of the bunch, the SteelSeries Arena 7 Speaker System. Armed with a 6.5” down-firing subwoofer, multi-platform support, and reactive RGB lighting, this speaker system endeavors to bring both your audio and visual immersion to the next level.

Let’s dive into the $299 SteelSeries Arena 7 Speaker System to see what it brings to the table.

Build and Physical Features

The Arena 7 Speaker System features a pair of two-way speakers, accompanied by a 6.5” down-firing subwoofer. Within the two-way speakers, the organic fiber woofer handles the mid-range sounds while the silk dome tweeter focuses on delivering clean highs. That leaves the down-firing subwoofer to focus on the lows, aiming to deliver powerful and booming bass. The delivery of the three main frequencies is divvied up to dedicated speaker components to ensure that the overall sound presentation is presented with the best possible quality.

Arena 7 Speaker System supports USB connectivity with PC, Mac and PlayStation consoles. However, it also supports 3.5mm input and Bluetooth connectivity, which also opens up support for mobile and Nintendo Switch platforms. The Arena 7 sports four customizable RGB lighting zones, which sit on the back and around the base of the two-way speakers.

The left and right two-way speakers connect into the subwoofer, which then connects to your PC through its USB-C port. The bulk of the sound system’s ports and interfaces are in the back of the subwoofer. Here, you have ports for each of the speakers, the USB-C port for connecting a PC or console, a main power switch, in and out optical ports, a 3.5mm aux jack, a power cable port, and a dial for controlling the intensity of the subwoofer’s bass delivery.

On the right speaker, you have a master volume dial, a multi-purpose button, and a 3.5mm port on the back for connecting a wired headset.

Both the sound and lighting presentation of the Arena 7 can be customized through the SteelSeries Engine, Prism and Sonar functions, found in the free SteelSeries GG app. Here, you can toggle through pre-installed EQ presets, create your own custom EQ presets, edit lighting behaviors, and save all these settings to profiles that load up automatically based on the application or game that is running. The SteelSeries GG customization suite puts all of the control in your hands.

The SteelSeries Arena 7 Speaker System sports a clean design that plays nicely with any multimedia setup. Cable management is simple, with the speakers and power connecting to the subwoofer, and only a single USB wire going to your PC. Even though the Arena 7 Speaker System is designed for gamers, the system’s sleek design fits aesthetically with any desktop, gaming or multimedia setup.

Connectivity-wise, the Arena 7 is prepared to be your all-in-one solution for all of your audio media. Thanks to its 3.5mm aux input and Bluetooth connectivity, the Arena 7 extends its support to both mobile, Nintendo Switch, and various other sound sources.

Non-PC audio sources cannot the use RBG reactive lighting feature, which we will dive into later.  However, you still get to enjoy the base sound presentation that the speakers have to offer. Having wired headset support is also a nice addition, allowing you to quickly swap to a quieter gaming setting, whenever the need arises.

I personally thought that the inclusion of a subwoofer dial was a nice touch. Living in an apartment building, the last thing I want is for the down-firing subwoofer to disturb the neighbors downstairs. The dial allowed me to find that bass sweet spot, where I got the booming bass that I wanted without having my gaming sessions being a nuisance to others. It was handy having a physical control that I can reach for as quickly as I change between sound sources. This saves me having to minimize my games or media every time to open up SteelSeries GG. It is also useful when using a sound source that is not PC, where you would not have access to SteelSeries GG. This simple add-on is a feature that is oddly missing from competing products from other notable game peripheral companies.

Finally, before diving into the reactive lighting features, the RGB lighting do a great job at lighting your entertainment space. Whether I am gaming or simply doing long-form writing, I always appreciate the level of comfort I get from my ambient lighting. On this front, the Arena 7 does shines brightly, pun intended. Build and feature-wise, the SteelSeries Arena 7 Speaker System is a solid sound system with a good range of connectivity and compatibility. 

Performance and More Features

The sound of the SteelSeries Arena 7 Speaker System impresses from the moment you turn them on. Starting the two-way speakers, the highs are clean and crisp. Gunshots and footsteps are easy to hear while percussion sounds in music are nice and sharp. You get a solid representation of the mids, where spoken word comes across quite clearly. The level of volume you get is also impressive, where the speakers can get very loud at their highest setting. If you live in an apartment building and you want your neighbors to hear your gaming, these speakers will absolutely deliver on the volume front.

The bass from the subwoofer more than met my expectations. The lows that this system can produce are vibrant and booming. When I brought the dial to about the halfway point, anyone who sat in the living room when I played could feel the bass in their seats. The bass that this system can deal out is quite powerful. Even at its highest setting, the lows blast out of the subwoofer cleanly, without a pinch of muddiness or distortion.

The sound from SteelSeries Arena 7 Speaker System is nothing short of impressive, delivering all forms of audio media strongly and clearly.

The RGB lighting on the Arena 7 is a bonus feature that I did not realize I wanted from my gaming speakers until now. If you wanted to light up your gaming space without having to commit to sticking light strips or panels to your walls, the Arena 7 has you covered. As a perfect visual complement to an immersive sound system, the Arena 7’s RGB lighting shines brightly. You set the lighting to match your own personal ambiance tastes with several lighting options through SteelSeries Engine or Prism. However, you can complete your immersive gaming experience by turning on reactive lighting. Turning on this React switch within the SteelSeries GG app allows the four lighting zones of the two-way speakers to match the colors on their side of the screen.

This was a feature I would always turn on whenever I was gaming. The React feature was designed to emphasize the immersion in gaming titles where you would play in first or third person perspectives. As such, the lighting sensation is particularly effective in games where you are exploring colorful scenarios. As a Destiny 2 gamer, I got to enjoy the effects as I explored planets and space in both PVE and PVP content.

However, that is not to say that other gaming genres felt any less immersive through the Arena 7’s lighting. Street Fighter 6 is a very visually dynamic game with a 2D perspective. Here, the reactive lighting made my level 3 super connections against other players feel even more impactful. (Click the image to see the lighting in action…)

Being a SteelSeries product, the full feature set of the SteelSeries Arena 7 Speaker System can be fully explored through the free SteelSeries GG peripheral customization software. There, you can access packaged EQ presets, create your own presets, and customize LED lighting behaviors.

You can have the option to manage your sound and lighting settings from the SteelSeries Engine module. After which you can save your settings to custom profiles that you can either load manually or set to load automatically when specific games are running.

However, SteelSeries GG houses other modules where you can further customize your experiences with your SteelSeries peripherals. If you have several SteelSeries accessories, SteelSeries Prism allows you to customize the lighting of all your supported components on one screen. Using a customizable layout, you can design how your desktop illuminates through your various pieces.

When it comes to sound peripherals like the Arena 7, SteelSeries Sonar gives you a deeper level of control of your sound experiences. Not only can you fine tune your EQs of inbound and outbound sound, but you can also test and tweak the Surround Sound experiences of compatible SteelSeries audio products.

Overall, the SteelSeries GG suite gives you a detailed level of control over your Arena 7 speakers. Through the software, you are bound to find the perfect sound and lighting setup for you. The only gripe I had software-wise is that I could not find a way to link settings from SteelSeries Prism or Sonar to custom profiles. Creating and setting custom profiles through SteelSeries Engine was straightforward and easy. However, settings you make in Prism or Sonar seem to override SteelSeries Engine profiles when either are in play.

A similar thing can be said about the Arena 7’s reactive lighting feature, which I could not seem to tie to profiles either. I loved using the React feature whenever I was gaming, meanwhile I liked having a static lighting effect when I was not. Since I could not find a way to tell React to turn on when specific apps ran, like within SteelSeries Engine profiles, I had to manually switch it on and off each time. Hopefully, this is something that can be ironed out in a SteelSeries GG update, as I know SteelSeries updates their app quite often.

Final Thoughts

At $299, the SteelSeries Arena 7 Speaker System is an investment that more than validates its price point. You get very powerful and detailed sound, a solid level of compatibility across several gaming platforms, and bright immersive lighting for your gaming or entertainment space. Even the simple addition of a dial on the subwoofer gives it an edge over competing gaming speakers when the sound source is connected via aux or Bluetooth. While this is the middle tier of SteelSeries’ Arena line of speaker systems, the Arena 7 gives you a top tier level of performance and features.

You can check out the SteelSeries Arena 7 Speaker System for yourself by clicking here.

If a three-piece sound system at $299 is not what you had in mind for your speaker setup, you can check out the other two SteelSeries Arena speaker tiers as well.

SteelSeries Arena 3

The Arena 3 is the first tier of the line, offering you a simple and space-saving two-speaker stereo setup, with both wired and Bluetooth connectivity. The SteelSeries Arena 3 goes for $129.99 and can be seen here.

SteelSeries Arena 9

The Arena 9 takes what the Arena 7 gives you and brings it to the next level with 5.1 Surround Sound. This five-speaker setup now implements a dedicated center channel speaker and wireless two rear speakers to quite literally surround you with sound. The Arena 7 also comes with a control pod, complete with an OLED screen for controlling the sound system’s various functions. The SteelSeries Arena 9 goes for $549.99 and can be seen here.

† There are no affiliate links contained within this post. We were provided a SteelSeries Arena 7 Speaker System and some stock images for review purposes and were not compensated for this review.