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Jun 07 2013

SteelSeries’ Siberia V2 Frost Blue Edition Review

[rating=4]

Well it’s a bit of a slow week for game releases, so we’re doing something new here at HalfBeard’s HUD. It’s a hardware review! I was able to get my hands on a set of the SteelSeries’ Siberia V2 Frost Blue Edition headset. A few things to keep in mind as you progress through the review:

  • I have never reviewed hardware or accessories before.
  • This is my first official review for HalfBeard’s HUD. Never thought it would be a headset.
  • This is my first really fancy headset ever.
  • I’m not really sure what I’m doing.
  • Whatever, let’s go!

Sound quality

steelseries-siberia-v2-frost-blue-headset_retail-box-image1So obviously an important factor to consider is how top notch the sound quality is, and how good the headset is at cancelling out noise. For cancelling out noise, I like to use a scale. The more annoyed my housemates get when trying to get my attention means better sound dampening. With a pair of basic Panasonic earbuds, it’s nothing more than a mild irritant. When I’ve got the Siberia V2’s on, it’s full on aggravating, and results in yelling and frantic arm movements in order to break my concentration. And yes, this scale is supported by scientific research. Apart from the ability to block out sound, the headset’s actual quality of sound is quite high. As a frequent player of NBA 2K13, the roars of the crowd are much more powerful, and the thundering of a slam dunk actually gives me goosebumps. When I’m listening to commentary or podcasts, it’s actually easier to distinguish voices, and pick up remarks that might have slipped past me with just earbuds on.

Aesthetics

siberia ledHoly shit do these things look nice. The SteelSeries logo is actually somewhat reminiscent of Code Lyoko, which makes the t-shirt I got along with the headset now a staple of my wardrobe. But the biggest aesthetic draw of the Siberia V2 Frost Blue Edition is, of course, the frost blue LED’s that light up the hardware. The lights on the side of the headphones come with settings and modes that you can change from the software you install. You can have them permanently on, or have them pulsate at a steady rate, or even be triggered by sound. When going for a lights out, cinematic theme when playing a shooter of some sort, the way your headphones lights up with each gunshot is such an entrancing effect on gameplay, and is a huge plus for when everyone in this house has gone to bed, and I’ve got another Borderlands itch. …Oh God, it’s back.

Comfort

Okay, the itch is scratched. Butt Stallion says hello. And speaking of itch, a problem I had with a previous headset was that the plastic piece that connected the two earpieces sat right behind your ears in an uncomfortable spot, meaning I would have to take breaks at an increasingly more frequent rate just to scratch at the sore spot behind my ears. Thankfully, the Siberia V2 doesn’t have the problem. The leather padded cushions sit comfortably on your ears, and the suspension between the two earpieces never irritates you. Great for long gaming sessions.

Software engine/drive

siberia defaultThe only bone I have to pick with the headset, and the reason I don’t give it the perfect 5/5, unfortunately has nothing to do with the actual headset. It’s the software issues. While the USB cord makes it usable for PC’s and Mac’s, there is no software for Mac. You don’t get the cool LED light options you get with the PC, and you can’t turn down the brightness of the lights if you need to. Mac’s also don’t recognize the headset immediately when you plug it in. You have to open up Sound preferences and select the headset. But don’t think because you have a PC you’re free from issues. Many times I’ve turned on my laptop, plugged in the headphones, and the software engine, which should load automatically when it detects the device, won’t load. Then when I try to open it manually and it claims one is already running and therefore can’t be opened again. The engine also freezes frequently, and occasionally will ignore your default settings, which may have a certain brightness level or pulsating frequency, and go with its own default settings.

Despite the issues with software which I can assume will be fixed over time, the Siberia V2 Frost Blue Edition headset its the best thing for my video game needs since my much needed graphics card update. Is it a tad pricy? Perhaps, but SteelSeries prides itself on making the best of the best, and there’s a reason they sponsor so many professional gaming teams. They do good work over there. With superior comfort and sound quality, as well as captivating aesthetics featuring beautiful LED’s, the Siberia V2 Frost Blue Edition headset earns a 4 out of 5 stars.

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