The close type ear cups on the Siberia v2 feature cushions made from sound dampening foam, which offer passive noise reduction from loud surroundings. Indeed, the Siberia v2 did a good job of passively tuning out our surroundings without too much volume to help it along. The 50mm drivers did an admirable job of delivering punchy, low bass and very well-rounded sound overall. Cranking Skrillex's "First of the Year" to the highest levels that we could handle did not reveal a hint of distortion. On a more mellow note, "Bass I Love You" by Basstronics showed off the headset's ability to pick out the low tones. Explosions and gunfire in Battlefield 3 were punchy and gave us plenty of motivation to get behind cover. This performance can largely be attributed to a frequency response of 18-28,000Hz and 112dB sound pressure level at 1kHz. For reference, this is just slightly outside the 20-20,000Hz envelope of most popular gaming headsets such as the Logitech G35 and Razer Carcharias.
One of the best performance attributes of the Siberia v2 series, in our opion, is how verstile it is with different uses. The sound when listening to music is every bit as good as the hectic environment in shooters, MMO's, and RTS'. We've used a few headsets that, with our first listen, we are starkly disapointed by music performance. Then, when we jump into a game, the headset comes alive and we're surprised. There is none of that here, we appreciate the gaming performance, offering good fidelity and a good sound range, and we especially love that it can turn around and be a great music earphone. Especially when paired with the retractable mic, these are great anytime, anywhere earphones that you could even find yourself wearing in public.
The unidirectional mic mad sure were heard loud and clear on the other end of a Skype call, albeit with the call sounding more like a phone conversation than a chat in the same room. Ambient noise was picked up by the microphone, but our voice still carried its weight in the conversation, and we were heard fine. Used when gaming, we didn't receive any complaints and got pretty good feedback from our easily-annoyed buddies on the other end of the line.