SteelSeries Flux Luxury Edition Headset Review
Disclaimer: SteelSeries has provided JTM Games with one Luxury Edition Flux gaming headset for review.
For the last month I’ve been testing the SteelSeries Flux Luxury Edition headset, using it for gaming and audio on the PC and my on-the-go gaming. I’m pretty rough on my gear; in this case throwing the headset in bookbags, tossing it on tables and (occasionally) across the room. So far I’ve been pretty impressed with the design, durability and sound.
Read on for our full SteelSeries Flux Luxury Edition Headset Review.
For the pricepoint, you’d expect phenomenal sound, and yes the Flux Luxury Edition delivers. After testing on a number of devices, I’ve found the Flux headset to consistently have crisp, clean sound, flawlessly capturing Skyrim’s shouty orchestra, Doctor Who’s crazy dialogue and the bio-mechanical noises of Mass Effect 3’s reapers.
Although not noise cancelling, the padding does an excellent job of separating real world annoyances from the (arguably) more important virtual one you’re concentrating on. Things like bus noises, crying children and chatty teens disappear once you’ve increased the volume slightly. And trust me, unlike some headsets, these can get loud.
While the sound quality on these isn’t quite as good as my DJ-style Sony headphones (that cost twice as much), the difference isn’t really enough to be commented on unless you’re a real audiophile.
The mic is onmi-directional and built into the headset wire. As I’m not a huge online gamer, all I ask is that the mic pick up what I’m saying well enough that communication is possible. That said, it does an excellent job of picking up even the most mumbled sentences. Fair warning, if this is your headset any communication issues will have to be chaulked up to user error.
Coming from a fairly sizable set of DJ-style headphones to the smaller SteelSeries Flux headset initialy felt a little strange. Where was the weight? The encompasing earmuff feel of the headphones? Any misgivings had were quickly dismissed after sitting down for some extended use.
The headset itself feels solid. When folded, it’s reasonably compact – small enough to fit in the side pouch of a backpack or sling bag. The hinges don’t feel loose, requring a comforting bit of pressure to click into place. I especially liked the leather padded headphones. They’re comfortable, muffle outside sound well and don’t seem to retain heat like larger pads in the same style.
The wires for Flux headsets are removeable and interchangeable, offering easy storage and a customized look for those who are interested in that sort of thing. The cables themselves are flexible and durable, implying a long lifespan. Since the cables are interchangeable that makes replacing a dog, cat or kid chewed wire a relatively cheap matter rather than having to buy a whole new headset.
The only dislike I had regarding the fit of this headset has to do with the way the frame rests on the top of your head if not adjusted properly. This is easily corrected by adjusting the length of the frame and the headset rests nicely if this is done.
Cool but random features:
The Flux line is all about creating your own look. Headset plates can be swapped out and customized. These plates click in and out, held in by shape and a small magnet. Thankfully these plates don’t seem to be knocked out easily.
Different colour cables with built in mics are available through SteelSeries. In a pinch they can also be replaced with knock off brands that have similar 3.5 mm sized jacks, but there’s no saying if there is any change in sound quality.
Strangely enough the feature that I like most about this headset is the ability to let friends “listen in”, which is fancy marketing talk for a built in Y-splitter. Since I travel fairly often using public transport, it’s nice to be be able to share movies, music and the latest funny YouTube video with my wife on the go without carrying an extra accessory.
+ Great sound
+ Replaceable parts
– Needs an adaptor to connect to Xbox or PS3
– A little pricy
– Orange on black clashes with my summer colours
Frequency response: 18 – 28000 Hz
Impedance: 29 Ohm
SPL@ 1kHz, 1 Vrms: 118 dB
Cable length: 1.2 m + 2 m = 3.2m
Jacks: 3.5 mm
Frequency response: 50 – 16000 Hz
Pick up pattern: Omni-directional
Sensitivity: -38 dB
If you’ve looking to drop a little extra on a quality headset that can pull double duty for your on-the-go gaming headphones and at-home rig, the Flux Luxury Edition headset should be at or near the top of your list.
The Flux Luxury Edition usually retails for around $130, about $30 higher than the regular price of a normal Flux headset. Picking the Luxury Edition nets you (in order of importance) a pair of very comfortable leather ear cushions, one set each of silver and black sideplates, the orange line-in cable and line-in + mic cable, and a fancy cloth carrying case. For thirty bucks I’d say the upgrade is worth it for the leather pads alone.