I noticed the other day that the prices of hardware get shoved right at the bottom of reviews, in tiny print, sometimes in white text that you only see if you highlight the article. Okay maybe not the last part, but it comes close. So let’s try something else. Look at what
R1300 R800 gets you:
There are three things that matter the most when I buy new hardware. Is it good quality? Will it last longer than I take to pay off my credit card? And that horrible destroyer of dreams: can I afford it? So now that you know how much it costs, it has a lot to live up to. Or did I just destroy the suspense of this feeling like some marketing pitch that tells you that you have to have this product, making you fall deeply in love with it, only for you to have your dreams dashed?
Meet the Siberia v2, a full-size headset for pro gamers. FULL-SIZE. I have had many products promise oversized earcups, only for my ears to painfully silence their claims. Thankfully, this headset isn’t lying. The earcups are huge compared to the others, smothering my ears in soft, thick leather padded cushions. The padding is where the real difference becomes apparent. Instead of using a large hard shape that is supposed to border your ears, the soft foam instead smothers your ear, rather than trying to restrict your ear into whatever shape designers seem to think ears are supposed to be. The foam is also sound dampening foam, making these little pockets around your ear devoid of noises from the outside world, allowing you to pay attention to the noises that count, without having as much noise leak out to those around you. Besides sounding great and making it possible to play in noisier environments without turning the volume up to brain melting levels, this headset is so comfortable. In fact, I find my missus often using these for gaming of her own volition, a rather rare sight considering how much she moans about headsets in general.
The next thing you will notice is the fact that this headset is not a powered unit, getting by with the juice it steals from 3.5mm jacks. Geoff and I groaned when we first saw this, him bemoaning the lack of volume and quality that normally arises from this. Until I plugged them into my iPhone and I couldn’t hear anything else he said. I’m guessing the dumb grin on my face caught his attention though, because he stole the headset to listen as well. Any worries about this unit being unpowered can be completely ignored. The 50mm drivers deliver SPL@ 1kHz, 1 Vrms: 112 dB and frequencies from 10 Hz to 28kHZ, which is pretty darn impressive. In fact, I never once turned this headset up to maximum volume, because it is just that loud. The audio cable is only one metre long, but the headset is bundled with a two metre extension if you sit further away from your PC.
In-line volume control and mute is simplistic and small, meaning it won’t weigh down the cable too much. The extension cord does add an awkward weight to the tough cables due to the extra female connectors (something that Steelseries has an answer for, but more about that in a future review).
The microphone is a tiny retractable device which can be bent to suit the shape of your face and to move it just out of view. Being able to stow it away when not using it is a nice feature, especially for storage and transportation of the headset.
The headset is lightweight, but looks and feels like it can take a beating (yes I tried), while looking pretty damn cool too. The headband is a trademarked suspension contraption, meaning you never have to adjust the headset to fit your head. Simply slide it on and the headband with move to fit your head, so it won’t suddenly fall off during a gaming session thanks to a reassuring snug fit. It also means that having someone use your headset won’t ruin that perfect setting you had found, like when a short mechanic changes your seat position.
So far my only issue with them is that your ears will sweat after prolonged usage, but a quick wipe sorts out the ear cups, which haven’t become ruined or stained in any way. The price may seem steep, but so far, it is worth every penny, and I heartily recommend this product to anyone who stops long enough to listen to me. While there may be a better, possibly more expensive stereo headset out there, I have yet to find it. After many years of battered, sore ears and crackling microphones, I give the Siberia v2 the Wookiee stamp of approval.
Here are the specs for the more technically minded:
- Frequency response: 18 – 28.000 Hz
- Impedance: 32 Ohm
- SPL@ 1kHz, 1 Vrms: 112 dB
- Cable length: 1 + 2 = 3 m (9,8 ft.)
- Jacks: 3.5 mm
- Frequency response: 50 – 16.000 Hz
- Pick up pattern: Uni-directional
- Sensitivity: -38 dB
Steelseries Siberia v2 headset was reviewed by Garth Holden