SteelSeries Siberia V2 Headset Review
One of the most important peripherals a gamer can buy is a good set of headphones. It’s the difference between being on the battlefield surrounded by gunfire and explosions or just stood in a field while noises happen around you. Premium headphones have seen a huge rise in popularity over the last few years; they’ve grown up with us gamers to cater to that desire we all have for something that little bit better – be it the bigger screen, the faster processor or the quicker mouse. It can be hard to know where to put your money though, most of these headsets are sold online so trying before you buy can be difficult… but fear not, for today I’ve given the SteelSeries Siberia V2 headset a good going over to find out if they are worth the money.
The first thing you’ll say to yourself as you slide the Siberias out of the box is “Ohhh these are nice” and upon closer inspection your first impression will only be cemented further, this really is a well built and solid headset. They’re light too, which at first seems a bit strange because they look like they should be heavier. That’s not to say they are made of that cheap feeling plastic that tries to look expensive either. It’s a bit of a tough one to explain – they just feel exactly how you would want them too.
Thanks to their lightweight, soft ear pads and self adjusting headband the Siberia V2’s are extremely comfortable to wear, even for long periods of time. I’m not just talking your odd two hour sesh on Battlefield 3 either, wearing these for one of those Sundays spent in Azeroth isn’t a problem either.
The other half of what makes them so wearable is the audio quality; just striping away the fact that they are a gaming headset for a moment – these are a good pair of headphones, better than the pair of Skullcandys I paid £60 for and they make me feel stupid for spending over a hundred quid on a pair of Bose headphones. At low and mid level volumes they retain detail and depth, while when whacked up to the absolute maximum they never sound piercing, harsh or distort like you expect all headphones to be like. They maintain their integrity at all times which I’ll be honest surprised me.
It’s the versatility of the Siberia V2 headset that is another big plus in my books. I’m not restricted to using these on just my PC, with the aid of a separate audio mixer they could be used as a headset for the console, which thanks to the generous extension cable included is a possibility. I found myself using these for everything since they arrived, I even been creating excuses to use them over this last week like walking to my mums listening to music rather than taking the car. I’ve used them to edit the podcast with, I’ve used them to record my voice for a video I’ve used on the site and I got into playing Swords & Sworcery again on my iPad which I’m finding a completely different experience now I’m using headphones.
They are more the uses that apply to me though, and not something everybody does, I just wanted to prove a point that these really can be used for anything. So I’m going to go into a little more depth for three things that you would want any set of headphones to perform well in; movies, music and gaming.
Movie wise I opted for my digital copy of Iron Man 2 running on my iPad. I actually only wanted to test the first part where Tony drops into the Stark Expo because I know how awesome that bit sounds on my home theatre system that I’ve spent over two and a half grand on (that’s not me showing off, I just wanted you to understand that I’m fussy when it comes to my audio on movies and games).
I found myself watching the whole film with the Siberias on before realising that scene 28 (the bit where Whiplash takes over the expo) is the scene I should really have used as my bench mark; the clarity, depth and separation between the left and right channels is perfect. Then, out of curiosity I tried the same scene off the blu-ray which obviously sounded better than the iPad but… hang on this isn’t a negative, they sounded better. It was awesome.
For my music test I opted for Girl Talks All Day, which if you haven’t heard is quite a busy album and a brilliantly well produced mash up of rap, rock, R&B and pop music… all at the same time. The vocals remained clear as the high notes from the first track’s electric guitars sound off, while the deep beats thumped away in the background.
The same could be said of when I swapped album for something a little more acoustic in the form of Arcade Fire’s Funeral; it was only on here where I found the headphones sound a little harsh at times but I think thats more at the fault of the file being a five year old download and just 128kbs. Their latest album, The Suburbs, sounded perfect as did all the podcasts I listen to regularly including the Rooster Teeth podcast and our own (which I can tell you for a fact is only made in GarageBand with no expensive audio mixing equipment or fancy tricks).
For my gaming test I wanted to try something a little hectic, noisy and online so I opted for Battlefield 3’s Caspian Border. It’s intense, the distant clacks of gunfire combined with the sheer volume of a tank letting off a round as you stand next to it makes you really feel it, all of that coupled with their ability to pick out tiny details over the top of everything going on makes the Sibera headset really shine.
Time for a change of pace and a game I love to hate playing, Dead Space 2. The first section of this game scares the crap out of me every single time but this would be my first time ever spent playing it with headphones on. I couldn’t hack it, as soon as that steam valve hisses when you walk past it near the start I had to turn it off, the audio is such a key part of this game it’s what makes it as tense as it is so it’s important that what your listening to it through is up to scratch. These are, and it was the first time in my review process I couldn’t wait to take them off. That game still scares the crap out of me.
So despite all of the other things you could use these headphones for, it’s their performance when used for gaming that SteelSeries have clearly kept at the top of the list when designing them. Highly recommended.
The model we tested were the "normal" ones. If you like with the two jack connectors for mic and headphones; there are some subtle differences between the different models, with some being better suited for connecting to a console, PC or an iPod/iPhone, just be sure to choose your model of Sibera's wisely. The Siberia V2 is a good set of headphones, a really good set of headphones - the fact that they are are gaming headset too only sweetens the deal. Bonus points for the discrete retractable mic and break in the cable after one metre allowing you to use them when your out and about, and the flexibility to use them with your console via an additional audiomixer. They're lightweight, well built and excellent value for money, I don’t think I could recommend the The SteelSeries Siberia V2 headset enough.
- Light weight.
- Well made.
- Extremely versatile.
- Brilliant sound quality.
- At full volume, other people in your vicinity will hear everything.
- 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