SteelSeries Siberia V2 PS3 Headset Review
As an audiophile, I refuse to play blockbuster games without having it connected to my Philips home theater system. However since I live in a condo, blasting my subwoofer tends to annoy my neighbors. They’re a nice old couple, and I don’t really want to cause them any headaches because of my penchant for high fidelity audio experiences.
So it was a nice change of pace when I managed to get ahold of the SteelSeries Siberia V2 full-size headset. Compatible with the PS3, Xbox 360, and PC, the Siberia V2 headset offers exceptional quality audio experience and acts as one of the best headset communicators for the PS3 for a very affordable price at $89.99.
Hit the jump for the full review.
After unpacking the headset and reading the instructions, it took me about five to ten minutes to set up the headset to work with my TV and my PS3 as a headset/communicator accessory. As I slipped it on, I was surprised to feel that it was very sturdy yet comfortable and fit my head really well without hugging it tightly like most other headsets tend to do. (It can also be adjusted to fit even melon-sized heads thank God!) It had a lightweight suspension that kept the Siberia V2‘s weight down making it easier for the neck to support the fairly large headset during long play sessions. As well, it comes with sound dampening foam that surround the padded headset that helps lessen outside noise from penetrating your audio experience.
I did have an issue with the amount of wires that I had to deal with whilst setting up the headset. I had one wire going to the TV’s audio out jack, one wire going and taking up one of my PS3’s USB ports, (which I’d rather reserve for charging controllers, the PS EYE, or charging my iPod Touch whenever the needs calls for it) and another wire that connected the headset to the audio mixer. It really went against my preferred wireless PS3 and home theater setup. And then there’s the fact that the wires are thin and (at first look) looked flimsy, especially the one that connects to the TV audio out jack. But you know what, at least I didn’t have to deal with those massive transmitters that many wireless headsets come bundled with.
Like I mentioned earlier, the Sibera V2 also functions as a communicator headset for the PS3. It features a retractable microphone so it didn’t get in the way when I was playing single-player campaigns. On the other hand, when I played multiplayer with my friends on PlayStation Network, I was able to pull out the microphone easily for use. The microphone is movable so it’s easy to customize it’s placement without having to readjust the entire headset. It was also nice to have the headset work both as my master sound speakers as well as my voice chat headset.
You’re probably asking yourself “wouldn’t the loud explosions and gunfire cancel out the voice chat audio?”
That’s where SteelSeries’ LiveMix feature really sets it apart from other headsets. Basically you click the LiveMix button found on the audio mixer and it automatically balances the game’s audio with voice chat so one doesn’t cancel the other out. But if you’re one of those players that prefer hearing your team’s conversations over the in-game audio, SteelSeries also offers separate voice and in-game audio controls that allows you to customize to your audio preference.
I tested the Siberia V2 with Battlefield 3 playing on the “Thunder Run” level. I gotta tell you I was blown away by the vastly different audio experience the headset offered me compared to my home theater system. The high quality and positional surround sound allowed me to hear audio details that I otherwise would have missed if I was just playing the game using my Philips home theater system, my Sony MDR-XB300, or my TV’s speakers.
For example: on “Thunder Run” I could hear many of the tanks working parts as I turned the turret, reloaded , and drove across the Iranian desert. Explosions and gunfire sounded a lot more powerful this time around without having to deal with annoyed neighbors. Again, I can’t say enough good things about the Siberia V2‘s 3D positional surround sound, as the air support’s straffing run went from left to right and then back again, and I could hear every second of it from the direction it was coming from. This really helps add to the immersion factor and brings players into the games they’re playing.
+ Lightweight and comfortable
+ 50mm drivers offer 3D positional high-fidelity audio
+ Livemix offers players a choice between voicechat audio and in-game master sound (or a balance between both)
+ Retractable and adjustable microphone
+ Outside noise cancellation via sound dampening foam
+ Compatible with Xbox 360 communication.
– Flimsy looking wires
– Too much wires that go against wireless console setups
– Easy to mistake audio volume and mic volume on audiomixer
– Takes up another USB port
Because of the larger (50mm) driver units, the Siberia V2‘s accoustic performance is of higher quality than my other headset, the Sony MDR-XB300. It’s offer of providing balanced yet high-fidelity master sound, background music, and 3D positional surround sound as well acting as a reliable communicator makes the SteelSeries Siberia V2 headset worth it’s weight (which is pretty damn light considering it’s size) in gold.