GEAR REVIEW
SteelSeries Siberia V2 Full-Size Headset

By Shaun Hatton - December 3rd, 2009

SteelSeries Siberia V2 Full-Size Headset

If you game online with friends at all, you know how important it is to have a good, comfortable headset to voice chat with. Unfortunately being frugal when it comes to headsets doesn’t pay off, as they need to be durable, dependable, and most importantly comfortable.

My Xbox 360 came with a wired headset, as did my first Xbox LIVE subscription, as does the Xbox chat pad. Microsoft is willing to give these away with so many other peripherals that I ended up with three of these. I’ve used them from time to time but truthfully the set isn’t that comfortable. Maybe it’s because I have a lot of hair, but the headset just never sits right. It’s always sliding around, the microphone needs constant adjusting, and the sponge earpiece, covering only one ear, feels strange.

Of course, this is a headset that’s included with systems and other peripherals, so I forgive that it’s not of the greatest quality. It certainly gets the job done. Its special plug means I can’t use it with my PC, so for that platform I have yet another headset. It’s a cheap Logitech one that shares many of the same shortcomings as its Xbox counterpart, with the upside that it covers both my ears – when it’s not falling off. Still, for seven bucks, I’m not too worried about it.

It wasn’t until PAX 08 that I realized there are much nicer gaming headsets to be had. I can only blame this ignorance on the fact that I was never on the market looking for them. But there, on the showroom floor, several companies were showing off their wares. Big headsets with retro designs that reminded me of sitting around a record player in kindergarten with giant head clamps on seemed to be the norm. I tried a few on but ultimately shied away because of their price tags (the one pair I fancied was going to cost over $300 with all the necessary “accessories”).

Recently SteelSeries gaming gear became available in Canada, via Best Buy. Among their product offering are several gaming headsets. Better still is that with proper adapters, they’re useable on different platforms. So with this in mind I checked out the SteelSeries Siberia V2 Full-Size Headset (henceforth referred to as “the V2″).

SteelSeries Siberia V2 Full-Size Headset

At first glance, with the microphone retracted into the left earpiece, and without looking at the cord’s forked end, the V2 looks more like a pair of high-quality audiophile- or DJ-worthy headphones. The cord includes a small built-in volume and microphone mute control box, standard for most headsets. What’s neat, though, is that unlike every DJ headphone set I’ve owned, the cord is only about a metre in length. But it comes with two-metre extension cord should the headset need to be used farther away from the audio source.

The audio quality of the headphones is superb, with the speakers being able to produce some very clean, head-pounding low-end tones. I used the headset to listen to a few CDs and it definitely contends as the nicest pair of headphones I’ve ever used. They’re comfortable, too. After hours of sitting with them firmly in place on my head (the headband is auto-adjusting with tension) I still haven’t had to take a break from them. They’re light, unobtrusive, and they don’t keep sliding off the back of my head.

Since the headset’s cord has a split in it that leads to both microphone and headphone 3.5 mm jacks, it can be used with other audio equipment, too. Just let the microphone plug dangle and you’re all set to rock out to your mp3 player, Kaossilator, or what have you. The microphone, when extended, is on a thick but flexible extension and it stays in place. I find its pick up range to be quite good, and even with it extended it’s barely noticeable while wearing the headset.

To use the headset over Xbox LIVE, a separate adapter is needed. It’s comprised of a small box that plugs into the base of the controller and a long wire with a 3.5 mm plug at the end of it. To use the V2 with the Xbox adapter, both the headphone and microphone plugs need to be plugged into it. The long lead extending from the adapter box can then plug into your sound system’s headphones jack, thus re-routing game and voice chat audio to the headset. This is particularly useful if you share an apartment with someone who might not be that into hearing squealing tires every time you take a corner too fast in Forza Motorsport 3.

If you game online and are looking for a decent headset, or even if you’re looking for a great pair of headphones, check out the V2. Other options considered, they’re a good choice if you’re looking for something that will last, feel great, and be affordable.

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    3 responses so far:
  2. By Huy
    Posted on Dec 4, 2009

    Looks like this will be a purchase for me. Plus it’s on sale for $20 at Best buy.

  3. Posted on Dec 6, 2009

    I don’t think you’re looking up the same headset. If these are $20, I’m going to go out and buy five of them.

  4. By Huy
    Posted on Dec 7, 2009

    haha, sorry about that. I meant to write they are on sale for $20 less…

    I totally borked my initial comment.

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