Over the years I’ve always toyed with the idea of getting a really high end headset for my PC gaming. In the end, I’ve always talked myself out of it because I already had speakers, or I just never quite saw the full benefit of them when I could get a cheap headset for voice communication instead. Over the last few days I’ve been spending some time with the Siberia V2 Pro Gaming Headset from SteelSeries, and I can honestly say that I was wrong about high end headsets.
The first thing that struck me when I was unboxing the headset was the overall look. SteelSeries has given this line a wide array of color options, from the plain black to blue and orange. The orange is particularly striking, and pretty amazing looking. Visuals aside, the product itself is very well designed. Instead of the standard adjustable earpieces that you would find on headphones, the Siberia V2 has an automatically adjusting band linking the two ear cups. I found this to be very convenient, as I have a large head and was able to find a comfortable fit very quickly. Despite the headset’s large size, I didn’t find it to be very heavy at all, and it was much more comfortable to wear for long periods of time than my previous headset or headphones. The microphone itself is built into the left ear cup and is retractable, so it can be pulled out when needed or stowed for single player experiences. The Siberia V2 also feels rather sturdy. I wouldn’t want to go ahead and test them with a drop, because who would willingly do such a thing, but I feel pretty safe to say that they would survive the fall from a standard desk height. The only gripe I have with the design is that the default cable is a touch too short for my desk arrangement, but the product comes with an extension cable which solves that problem.
The V2 is a stereo headset but there is an option for a virtual 7.1 usb adapter. Much as I think that a virtual 7.1 setup would be fun, I’m old fashioned, and like my headphones to be stereo. The first thing I did when I plugged them in was test them with music, and I was very happy with what I discovered. For music, I would say that the audio quality was on par with significantly more expensive headphones. That same quality transfers over to video games. The sounds of combat in Modern Warfare 3 were crisp and immediate, the ambient sounds of the forest in Skyrim were alive, and other games came to life in a way that speakers just can’t match. Part of this may have been because of the passive noise reduction foam built into the ear cups. While not as good as a battery powered active system, the noise reduction foam is extremely effective at cancelling out most exterior sound, much to my wife’s dismay.
All this is great but a big part of the headset is the ability to communicate with others through the use of programs like Skype and Ventrilo. No one I game with has one of these, yet, so I couldn’t vouch for the quality of the microphone but it was reported by my friends to be clear but slightly muffled. After tinkering with the settings of my voice chat client I was able to fix the issue. Voices come in very clear even through music and game sound effects, making team communication just as easy as if other sounds were turned down completely.
Now the big question…is the Siberia V2 Pro Gaming Headset worth the $89.99 price tag? I think so. The sound quality is significantly better than the $60 headphones I had previously been using as a speaker alternative, as well as being light years ahead of the bargain headset I had been using before. $89.99 may seem like a lot of money for a peripheral, but the Siberia V2 feels like the type of peripheral that will outlast the innards of the computer it’s plugged into while maintaining a striking and unique appearance.
|Great sound quality|
Passive noise reduction
|Cord is a little too long|