Yeah, Razer Surround can be an acquired taste, but for its price I think it’s great. The EQ and extra settings that come with the pro version help to tone it down a little but it still has a slightly artificial quality. I’ve always had the best luck using it with Razer’s headsets…no surprise that it works better when Razer is controlling the sound signature of the headset you’re using to make it sound best with their software.
And yeah, sometimes Windows Sonic doesn’t properly receive the 7.1 data from games. I think Microsoft is constantly working on this with each new Windows Update, so hopefully they get that figured out soon. I’m in the beta channel for OS updates, and things have gotten better but they still have some additional work ahead.
As far as other newer headsets in that price range, that’s a good question!
Most of the newer wireless products that have launched in that range are a little bit more flashy and “gamer-like.” So, knowing what you’re looking for, I think you’re on the right track with the Arctis 7. Since reviewing it, I have checked out and enjoyed the RIG 800, Corsair Void Pro, and Astro A20.
But they all have non-removable mics and look a bit sillier than the Steelseries model.
The Void Pro has the best virtual surround implementation aside from the Arctis 7, and it’s cheaper…but it doesn’t offer as wide a range of compatibility thanks to its lack of a wired connection. It uses a custom version of Dolby Headphone. The other two I mentioned have to rely on Windows Sonic/Dolby Atmos.