SteelSeries Siberia V2
Good value for price; comfortable; great quality mic; great audio quality for gaming
A little large to wear out and about
€94.99 + shipping
SteelSeries is best known for its innovative and all-round great gaming peripherals, but this brand is often an afterthought when it comes to headsets. Not anymore.
The Siberia V2 Headset for iPod, iPhone and iPad – which has inline volume control and compatibility with iOS devices – is something to be reckoned with in the sub-$100 gaming market.
On first glance the Siberia V2 simply looks like a downright gorgeous headset. The over-ear pieces are quite sleek for a gaming headset, while the microphone is cleverly hidden yet can be pulled out if a better soundstage is needed for conversations.
The mic arm is made from thin wire rather than from cheap plastic, which makes it extremely flexible. When you don’t need the microphone (say during travel) the arm retracts into the left ear cup and only leaves the tip sticking out.
The Siberia V2′s head strap is self tensioning and will snugly fit against your head to help stabilise the ear cups. This mechanism will automatically adjust the headphones to fit a wide variety of head sizes.
Even though I sometimes wear glasses, the amount of tension the ear cups put on my ears was not enough to cause discomfort, but was still more than enough to keep the V2s firmly in place. This is something you want in
a headset when you are gaming or listening for extended periods of time.
Most headphones come with one standard-length cord. SteelSeries has taken a different approach by making the Siberia V2’s cord 1m long and also including a 2m extension cord. This is certainly a nice little feature.
Another noteworthy feature worth pointing out is the inline volume and microphone mute controller. I really like this feature on gaming peripherals as it allows you to tweak the sound level without having to go to the desktop and adjust the master volume levels.
I was moderately impressed when listening to music, but found the Siberia was able to flex some serious muscle for gaming audio.
The soundstage may be a bit small for music (or at least some music genres), but the headphones do an absolutely wonderful job at reproducing in-game sounds. Footsteps, voices and even expended ammo hitting the floor come through crisp and clear.
The vast majority of games out there don’t have the detailed and multi-layered audio that’s found in higher-bit-rate audio tracks. However, the first requirement in a good gaming headset is the ability to reproduce accurate directionality.
It is imperative that a gamer hears where bullets are coming from in a first-person shooter or the distant explosions of your units coming under fire in a real-time strategy game. In this respect, the Siberia V2s perform above and beyond the call of duty.
Macworld Australia’s buying advice
When great audio is added to the Siberia V2’s high level of comfort, the end result is one potent gaming peripheral that’s comfortable enough to use for long periods of time. With the ability to now connect with an iPhone or iPad, what more is there to ask for?