Steelseries has become a gaming accessory powerhouse within recent years (check out their Rival Optical Gaming Mouse), mostly due to their high-end gaming headsets. The Steelseries Siberia Elite V2 leads the pack of gaming headsets and is well deserving of our editor’s choice award. This is one of the most comfortable, customize able, and flat out awesome options I have ever had the pleasure of testing. Coming in at just under $199, it’s a great solution if you’re looking for the last headset you’ll ever buy.
Audio & Microphone Quality
Audio quality is top-notch as far as gaming headsets go. Right out of the box it sounds great, but the Sibera Elite V2 truly shines when you first boot up the SteelSeries Engine Software. Here’s a list of all available customization.
1. Dolby Headphone – Turns on surround sound (multi-channel) for games or devices that support it. This makes for an immersive gaming experience with rich and natural sound. Once you try it out you won’t go back.
2. 10 Band Equalizer – An audio enthusiast’s must-have, you can personalize the frequency response of your playback with easy. If you aren’t sure how to adjust this to your liking, it comes with 5 presets you can test out. I highly recommend taking a few minutes to find your own custom output as it will really enhance your gaming experience!
3. Mic Noise Reduction – Put simply, this cleans up background noise to make your own voice more clear & audible. It’s an essential for anyone running a loud tower or fans in the background. If you have ever chatted with someone not using noise-cancellation you’ll quickly realize it’s a must for convenience.
4. Auto Mic Compression – Perhaps one of the most impressive features of the driver, compression is a complex process that normalizes your output volume. Anything too loud will automatically be compressed down to a normal level, and any output too quiet will be boosted so you can be heard. This means you’ll never blow out your friends eardrums by screaming into the mic, and you will always be clearly heard during nighttime gaming sessions where you have to keep quiet.
5. Mic Sidetone – Another beautiful addition to the SteelSeries Engine, mic sidetone allows you to adjust how much of your voice is audible through your speakers. Most gamers like to hear themselves when they speak so you can quickly verify if you’re outputting. It comes with 4 stages, so you can turn it off if you wish.
6. Mic Volume – Self explanatory, the mic volume is easy to adjust here without having to open any system settings.
7. LED color – Perfect for team use, it’s awesome to choose which color your headphones LED indicator glows. It’s fully customize able through an RGB scale, and even present effect options for illumination such as steady, breathe, audio volume triggering, and color-shift. If you’re not crazy about the LED lights you can also turn them off.
Great Comfort For Prolonged Gaming Sessions
If you’ve ever worn over the ear headphones you know that comfort is essential for prolonged gaming or listening sessions. The marshmallow-esque foam padding provides all the comfort you need for continued use without fatigue. The cushions have a leather padding which is extremely comfortable, and are designed to completely cover any sized ear.
The suspension headband is another key factor to comfort, supporting the headset’s weight evenly for a lighter feel.
The only qualm I have with the Siberia Elite V2 comfort-wise is the lack of air-flow created by it’s closed-ear design. This isn’t necessarily a mark against the headset, since it also offers benefits (prevents bleeding, better audio quality). I would like to see a similar headset with an open ear design, but this small problem shouldn’t deter you from buying.
The SteelSeries Siberia Elite V2 features a retractable microphone, which is extremely convenient for sessions where you don’t need it. It easily stows away in the left ear slot so it won’t get in the way when you don’t need it. One potential problem retractable microphones exhibit is wear and tear decreasing functionality. SteelSeries addressed this issue with a brilliant combination of spring coiled & rubber coating, ensuring long-term quality.
Control Dials – Very Convenient
Contributing to the impressive design of the Siberia Elite V2, the control dials are located on the outside of the earpads. On the left earpad is a circular notched mute toggle. When toggled on the microphone display a bright ring-lit LED. While it’s a small feature, it’s a perfect example of why this is an editor’s choice. Being able to quickly tell whether I’m muted or not (without looking around for a control switch) is extremely convenient.
The right earpad contains a circular volume control. Again, not having to exit to a system menu or look for volume control just adds to the impressive convenience.
Miscellaneous Features & Specs
One feature that I was so impressed with is the ability to “buddy” this headset to a corresponding output device. On the lower right-side ear there is an extra aux jack which allows you plug in a completely separate audio device for additional playback. While the second connected headset or device will not have vocal capacities, this extends the headset’s viability to so much more than just gaming. Letting a friend listen in on their own headset make it a great option for trips or plane rides. Very cool indeed!
The flat-design cable is 4 feet long which offers plenty of room to jump around after an awe-inspiring victory. There’s even a 6 foot extension cable available if you need it.
The Siberia Elite V2 is available is black or white to suit your unique style.
Even though the SteelSeries Siberia Elite V2 is primarily a gaming headset, it’s uses extend far beyond that. It has quickly become my primary headset for all PC driven communication (skype, gotomeeting, even watching movies on the go).
After 3 months of tesing I can’t speak enough to the quality of the Siberia Elite v2. Without question, it’s style, comfort, and quality make it an “end game” headset. I highly recommend checking this out for all your gaming needs, simple visit the SteelSeries website for more detailed information.