The future is bright. The future is purple.
When it comes to quality gaming peripherals, a few companies spring to mind. Perhaps leading the pack is a company called SteelSeries who have, in recent years, become well known for their high performance gaming gear designed with the professional gamer in mind. Their extensive range of headsets, mice, keyboards and other peripherals are all well regarded amongst the gaming community, a community which SteelSeries themselves often support through sponsorship of tournaments and events.
One of the most popular products within their range of peripherals is the Siberia V2 Full-Size Headset range. Following on from the original Siberia range of headsets, the V2 has improved the sound quality, an inline volume control and a retractable microphone. As gamers, we all know the need to stand out from the crowd and SteelSeries have you covered there with a huge range of different colour options ensuring that whether you use the headset with an MP3 player whilst walking around town, or use it at the latest LAN party, you can have a colour that suits your style. There is even a rather fetching baby pink version currently available, of which 10% of the purchase price will be going to support the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Looking good whilst giving your karma a boost. However, for this review we have been provided with the Special Edition Purple headset which, believe me, looks even better in reality than any of the pictures I have seen.
But we will get around to the looks and whether the colour will fit in with your wardrobe in a minute. First, let’s talk about how they perform and what you actually get for your money.
Well, the Siberia V2 Full-Size headsets come in at a mid-range price of £64.99, or there abouts. There are some very good mid-range headsets available on the market, and quality headphones without the microphone can be picked up at an even lower price for those only interested in listening to their music. But this headset is designed with the gamer in mind, and in that respect it performs very, very well.
The ear cups are of the closed variety and, when combined with the thick leather clad padding, surrounding noise is dampened to a comfortable, non-intrusive level. The Siberia V2 packs in 50mm driver units which give a perfectly reasonable sound reproduction when it comes to music from MP3 players and such. But when it comes to playing games on your PC or Mac, the quality is simply unsurpassed at this price range. Not only can everything be heard clearly, but positional noises such as footsteps or gunfire can easily be picked up as well, essential for any gamer.
The uni-directional microphone is all but hidden within the left ear cup. A quick tug will reveal the microphone in all of its bendy glory, allowing the gamer to achieve a position that is perfect for them. It is perfectly functional, keeping any voice chat nice and clear, whilst being small and unobtrusive. The headset comes with one metre of cable, ideal for those using an MP3 player, with a further two metre extension included in the box. On the main cable is an inline box which allows for control of the volume and the microphone. If I had to be picky, I would say that the volume control feels a little loose and I would have preferred something a bit more solid. That being said, it is a minor hiccup in what is otherwise solid build quality throughout.
And speaking of build quality, as gamers we need a headset that is both solid, for traveling, and comfortable, for those extended gaming sessions (admit it, how many of you take a break every 45 minutes?). One of the amazing things about the Siberia V2 headset is how light they are, making them very easy to wear for a long time. This is partly due to the “floating headband” which uses suspension construction, meaning the headband is suspended by a couple of incredibly thin, retracting wires, allowing the headband to adjust to any head size. I will admit at first look I was concerned about the strength of these wires. However, after spending some time with the headset I can’t see anything short of a close encounter with wire cutters causing problems.
The floating headband feels good on the head and can stay there without irritation for hours. The ear cups and headband are held in place by a pair of solid support wires which never come into contact with the users head. Again, they look delicate but in actual fact are very strong and provide the headset with enough “spring back” to hold the ear cups comfortably on the ear without too much force. With the well-padded, leather-clad ear cups, the headset really can be used for a long time without any discomfort, and the build quality is solid enough that they can travel in a bag or whatever without risk of damage.
But then, why would you want to put them in a bag. Let’s talk about the benefits of purple. As I said earlier, the pictures really do not do this colour justice. The Special Edition Purple Siberia V2 headset sports a very appealing matt purple colouring across everything but the leather padding of the ear cups and the floating headband, which are black. This makes them stand out from the other offerings in the Siberia V2 range, of which only the pink sports the full colour wash and matt finish, and let’s face it, pink doesn’t suit everyone. The matt finish also gives the headset a higher quality look, in my mind at least.
With other colour options within the Siberia V2 range, and other headsets within a similar price range, choosing the Special Edition Purple Siberia V2 Full-Sized Headset from SteelSeries really does come down to a matter of personal taste. As a headset, they do everything that you could want, and they do it all very well. If you want a headset at a mid-range price, the Siberia V2 should be near the top of your list. If you want purple, well, this is the headset for you.
The Special Edition Purple Siberia V2 Full-Sized Headset from SteelSeries is currently exclusive to PC World in the UK, priced at £69.99.