SteelSeries Siberia V3 Headset Review
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SteelSeries Siberia V3 Headset Review

January 14th, 2015 James Leave a comment Go to comments

Overview

 

The SteelSeries Siberia headset has been around (in many different guises) for a very long time (over 10 years in fact!) yet the only one we have seen here at pcG is the Siberia Elite.We have never taken a look at the ubiquitous Siberia headset itself! Well this is about to change, as the Siberia enters its third incarnation we get to take a look at the (aptly named) SteelSeries Siberia V3.

So what is it then? Well the Siberia V3 is a circumaural (over the ear) stereo headset (with no virtual surround sound, if you want that you may want to take a look here) with a retractable, mutable microphone.

 

SteelSeries Siberia V3 - box front SteelSeries Siberia V3 - box back

 

The front of the box gives very little away, other than the fact that the Siberia V3 is compatible with WINDOWS, MAC, PLAYSTATION 4, IOS and ANDRIOD. Also on the front SteelSeries highlights the following ‘MAXIMUM COMFORT FOR HOURS OF GAMEPLAY’.

The back of the box goes on to highlight various aspect of the new Siberia V3 (see image above right).

 

SteelSeries Siberia V3 - inner box SteelSeries Siberia V3 - box open

 

Sliding the outer sleeve from the box reveals a lovely orange (sorry I love orange!) inner box.

Opening the inner box allows us to see the SteelSeries Siberia V3 for the first time as well as the rest of the box contents. Everything seems to be well packaged and protected, but to be fair we have seen better…

 

SteelSeries Siberia V3 - box contents

 

In the box, other than the headset there’s a PC extension cable and a small SteelSeries branded wallet. Within the wallet is a basic quick start guide and a couple of SteelSeries stickers.

At the time of review the SteelSeries headset is retailing for approximately £90 on Amazon and comes with a 1 year warranty.

 

Specifications/Features

courtesy of SteelSeries

SteelSeries Siberia V3 - Specifications

* Additional details available here

 

First Impressions

 

First impressions are that not much has changed (from the outside) in the design of the SteelSeries Siberia and looking at it closely features now seem to be missing!? Of course the headset is lightweight, at 250g this is one of the major selling points of the Siberia V3. The worry is there’s not much else here, there’s not even a volume control…

 

SteelSeries Siberia V3

Looking at the left ear-cup of the Siberia V3 we can see that it appears that the headset features an open cup design, suggested by all the holes. But it’s not, which to be honest is a good thing as it often improves bass response and also doesn’t annoy the neighbours! The left ear-cup also features a microphone mute switch, that’s rather industrial looking to be honest, but of course it works well enough.

The right ear-cup is identical to the left but has no additional functionality other than the obvious…

 

SteelSeries Siberia V3 - left SteelSeries Siberia V3 - right

 

The headband is almost synonymous with the Siberia brand as is of the floating headband variety. This comprises of an elasticated (by two wires) inner band that effectively floats within the outer band that consists of two hoops. This design allows SteelSeries to keep the weight down and keep the comfort up. Although I cant help but feel it makes for a cheap looking headset…

Looking at the inner section of the ear-cup there’s not that much to see. The leatherette covered ear-cups are actually filled with memory foam meaning that they should seal nicely against the side of the head. Keeping the desired noise in and unwanted noise out! Inside we can see that the Driver within is covered with a nice soft material to prevent any ear-rub on the hard plastic beneath.

 

SteelSeries Siberia V3 - headband SteelSeries Siberia V3 - ear cup

 

As I mentioned earlier the left ear-cup features a retractable microphone that hides itself within the body of the left ear-cup.

Pulling it out reveals that the boom is nice and flexible and doesn’t seem to suffer from being coiled up too much; it’s so hard to position a microphone boom that has a mind of its own. And once positioned, this microphone stays where you put it, which is always useful! The microphone itself is uni-directional and has a frequency response of 50-1600 Hz.

 

SteelSeries Siberia V3 - microphone (retracted) SteelSeries Siberia V3 - microphone (extended)

 

Overall the SteelSeries Siberia V3 is a pretty solid effort, but very little has changed, looking from the outside. I guess SteelSeries are thinking along the lines of ‘if it isn’t broke don’t fix it’. My worry is that there may not be enough here when you consider the high retail price…

 

Hardware Installation

 

SteelSeries Siberia V3 - connections SteelSeries Siberia V3 - extension cable For connection to a PC you have to use the supplied 2m extension cable. This is due to the fact that at the end of the 1.2m cable that’s attached to the Siberia V3 is a single 3.5mm Jack plug, with both microphone and audio capability. This plug is often used in mobile phones etc. The extension cable allows this to be split into the usual x2 3.5mm Jack plugs, one for audio and one for microphone. Both cables are not braided but are covered with what appears to be a rubber coating and the cables are both thin and flexible. All plugs and sockets appear to be Gold plated.

 

Testing Methodology/Setup

 

There appears to be no software for the SteelSeries Siberia V3 therefore no new install of Windows 7 Home Premium 64Bit was performed prior to testing.

 

GAMES/BENCHMARKS USED IN TESTING:

 

Hardware Performance

 

  • Headset

 

The performance of a headset is predominately based upon what it sounds like, therefore what we have here is my opinion on what I think about the audio performance of the SteelSeries Siberia V3 headset; of course this is somewhat subjective…

Excellent that’s the best word to describe the audio performance of the new SteelSeries Siberia V3. The new resigned acoustic chamber and new Driver in the V3 produce truly impressive audio, especially when it comes to the lower end of the audible spectrum. Yes that’s right folks one of this headset’s strongest attributes is its impressive bass reproduction. The headset’s Drivers have a frequency response of 10 – 28,000 Hz (10Hz is lower than most humans can hear (feel!)), suggesting that the bass should be good and it is. When the tunnel attack approaches (in the Metro: Last Light benchmark) you can really hear it coming and it’s noticeable earlier with the Siberia V3, just rumbling away in the background. The good news is that the bass doesn’t drown out the rest of the audio spectrum either with a strong showing in the mid-range and higher end. Although considering the 28,000Hz maximum frequency response, I wasn’t as impressed with the top end as I thought I should have been. There’s plenty of volume on tap too, so those who like it loud (I guess I’m one of them!) wont be disappointed.

Overall the sound produced by the SteelSeries Siberia V3 is top notch and has been (in my mind) undeniably tweaked for Gaming and that’s no bad thing. Of course the only downside is that it’s not so good for music…

 

  • Comfort

 

To be fair the SteelSeries Siberia V3 has been designed from the ground up with high levels of comfort in mind, if it wasn’t comfortable it would be a travesty. With a weight of only 250g and some nice soft over the ear cushions that are filled with memory form, the Siberia V3 is indeed one comfortable headset. Even during long gaming sessions the Siberia V3 never became uncomfortable. I was also a little surprised at how well my ear fitted within the ear-cup as they look a little small, but I encountered no problems despite my larger than average ears! 😉

Also worth noting is the size of the headband; although the Siberia V3 fitted my (slightly larger than average head) without issue, those with larger heads may need to see if they can try before they buy as the inner headband was close to full stretch.

 

  • Microphone

 

The omni-directional microphone worked very well with our VOIP program of choice (Razer Comms) as did the microphone mute switch that’s built into the left ear-cup. After asking my on-line friends about the audio quality of my voice there was unanimous praise.

 

Final Thoughts

 

I have to admit to being impressed with what the SteelSeries Siberia V3 has to offer, especially in the way of acoustic performance, but I still have concerns over what’s not here and the current retail price…

The SteelSeries Siberia V3 came well packaged and nicely presented, although (considering the price) I have seen better. In the box other than the headset itself is an extremely basic guide, some stickers and an extension cable that’s actually required if you’re using the headset with a PC.

The headset seems to be well made from good quality plastics, but I cant help but think that the floating headband (while comfortable) cheapens the overall look of the headset. Comfort, as one would expect from a headset weighing in at just 250g, is excellent, even during those long (4+ hr) Gaming sessions.

Acoustically is where the SteelSeries Siberia V3 shines and to be fair it is probably the best sounding SteelSeries headset that I’ve tested and it also gives our favourite headset (HyperX Cloud) a run for its money too. The bass is extremely good, but it’s not too overpowering so it doest drown out the mid-range and treble, although the treble is a little weaker than I expected considering the 28,000 Hz maximum frequency response of the Drivers. There’s plenty of volume on offer too, but let’s not confuse volume with audio quality…

The onmi-directional, retractable microphone also put in a good showing with no complaints from my on-line buddies.

If you can feel a but coming, then I guess this is it: The SteelSeries Siberia is currently retailing for approximately £90. At £90 you get a excellent sounding stereo headset, with no virtual surround, no volume control, no lighting and frankly no bell ‘n whistles! The problem is that other manufacturers offer pretty much the same (or more) for less…

* Luckily (on the day of publication) the Siberia V3 is on sale at Overclockers UK for £69.95

 

Verdict

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Where possible we always use Amazon’s price for Value…
  Design/Quality pcGameware awards the SteelSeries Siberia V3 a Silver
Performance
Value
Overall

 

Many thanks to SteelSeries for providing this sample for review

 


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