SteelSeries 7H Headset Review

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“What’s that?” My fiancé asked, his eyes wide, as I pulled the attractively packaged headset out of my bag and onto my desk.

“It’s the SteelSeries 7H headset I was given to review.” I responded. “You can have it when I’m done.”

I didn’t think there was an issue with what I’d just promised. At the time, it even sounded logical: I tend to stick to single player games where a microphone isn’t necessary, whereas my fiancé never leaves the land of multiplayer. Common sense dictated that he would put it to better use. The problem was, I hadn’t even taken the headset out the box yet.

The first pang of regret came when I put it on. It was really comfortable. Strong but flexible, the headset fit itself perfectly to my narrow, child-sized head without any sign of slippage. The ear cushions hugged pleasantly around my ears to minimise background noise.

“Dammit.” I thought.

With 50mm dynamic drivers, and interchangeable open-foam and closed-pleather ear cushions, I decided to break in the headset with a little jungle ambience in the new Tomb Raider, followed by the soothing sounds of neon-cyber explosions in Far Cry 3: Blood Dragon.

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My chagrin grew as I realised how good the sound quality of the 7H is. The atmosphere of Tomb Raider became much more immersive, as I grew innately aware of the, clear, detailed 3D soundscape of the forest.  A small rustle beside me, the sounds of padding feet through brush – I could orient my arrow towards wolves before I ever saw them.

For Blood Dragon, I clipped in the noise-dampening closed-cushion attachments. While less breathable than the foam attachments, they were surprisingly comfortable, creating a private chamber of 80’s resonance around my ears that really kicked the soundtrack up a notch. While not strictly noise-canceling, they did a great job of melting away the external background environment.

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Ironically, my favourite part of the SteelSeries 7H headset has to be the flexible mic, for the simple fact that it retracts from the left ear-cup, and I get to feel like a bit of a bad-ass helicopter pilot every time I pull it out. Clear, and providing minimal background noise, its sound quality got a positive review from my Skype partner. My only complaint is the voice mute switch on the cord, which displays a very dark, translucent orange strip when not set to mute that’s difficult to see against its black background.

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There are a lot of useful features included in the SteelSeries 7H headset. The non-tangle braided cord is light and unobtrusive. It includes a volume/voice-mute control, which, unfortunately, is placed awkwardly, hanging below the desktop near my legs where it’s difficult to grab hold of. An additional 2m extension cord is also provided. The headset can be easily dismantled into 4 pieces for storage, and as someone who used to commute by bus regularly with a giant laptop and headphones in my backpack, I can attest to how useful this would have been to have.

Pros

+ Great sound quality

+ Comfortable fit for heads big and small

+ Retractable, easy to position mic

+ No tangle, light-weight cord

+ Easy to dismantle for packing

Cons

– Difficult to see if mic is switched on

– Volume/mute control is inconveniently placed

The Numbers

Headphones

  • Frequency response: 18 – 28.000 Hz
  • Impedance: 32 Ohm
  • SPL@ 1kHz, 1 Vrms: 112 dB
  • Cable length: 1 + 2 = 3 m (9,8 ft.)
  • Jacks: 3,5 mm

Microphone

  • Frequency response: 50 – 16.000 Hz
  • Pick up pattern: Uni-directional
  • Sensitivity: -38 dB

The SteelSeries 7H is a great headset with a good price ($129.00 US) for its sound quality. And I am absolutely loathe to give it up.

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About Brooke Fargo

Brooke is a game designer and writer based out of Victoria, BC. She talks entirely too much about her dog.

Posted on May 27, 2013, in Game Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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