SteelSeries Siberia v2 Frost Blue Edition USB Gaming Headset Review - Performance



Of course the lack of 3.5mm output limites these headphones to USB 2.0 devices, but the integrated USB sound card makes this loss in flexibility more than worth it if you don't plan on using these with your phone or music player.


The retractable microphone is a joy to use between chatting, gaming, and casual listening sessions. It's low profile and high flexibility makes it easy to correctly position it in front of the user's face while the combination of plastic and metal sleeving adds another design element.  Despite it being low-profile, the microphone still has noise-cancelling, and transmits very clearly, be it Skype or you favorite gaming voice client. 


SteelSeries Engine


Before we get into the sound performance, we should give a quick briefing on the SteelSeries Engine which may be used with the integrated sound processor to provide equalizer settings and save-able profiles.  The 3.5mm versions of the Siberia v2 can be tuned with your sound card drivers, sure, but the ability to have 8 profiles onboard is certainly a nice feature to have.  Addtionally, the SteelSeries Engine gives users the ability to also control the lighting and profile "triggers" which activate the given profiles.  This added bit of flexibility is something we thought would have been nice to have before, and lo and behold, here we have it!


In terms of sound performance, we've given the Siberia v2 props for being very well-balanced.  We've used plenty of gaming headsets that are for gaming alone, and sound very poor in anything but games.  The Siberia v2 delivers great sound for music, with the ability to deliver punchy low bass with little distortion.  This then translates to satisfying explosions in-game and while watching movies.  Additionally, the mids are well-produced and are very smooth, which makes voice chats sound great.  The highs are maybe the weakest part, partly due to the large drivers, but the EQ may be used to compensate for that if you've got some floaty classical tunes on your mind.  Overall, these are some of the better-sounding headsets we've tested, not only in-game, but with music and movies as well, which does help set these apart.


What they are lacking, however, is any virtualization, so you don't get some of the advantages of pin-point sound for FPS games.  It's still quite good, because they produce pretty good sound "resolution," and footsteps can be differentiated from other sounds, but the same directionality isn't there when compared to the true 5.1 and the virtual 7.1 sets we've used.  After having used these for many, many hours of FPS gaming, I can't say I'd knock them too hard for it though, and I haven't felt I'm losing out on an "acoustic advantage."


It wouldn't be called the Frost Blue Edition without some ice cool lighting, and SteelSeries implementation doesn't disappoint. Both earcups give off an impressive blue aura that really makes the headset stand out under low light. Whether or not the stong lighting makes these headphones more fashionable to wear is up to personal opinion, but the ability to change their pulsation, illumination intensity, and the ability to turn it off completely gives you options to wear them how you want.  Many times in the past, I've been annoyed at the intense, bright, un-diffused blue LEDs on gaming products.  However, the lights on the Siberia v2 Frost are almost fully-diffused and the light which is cast is very soft, even when it's bright.  To state it more plainly, they can be bright, but they don't hurt the eyes.


One of my favorite cool features (no pun intended) is the sound reactive lighting mode.  I took a little clip of it below and it should give you a good idea of how sensitive the lights are to sound variations.

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# Kristine 2012-09-10 21:18
$120?!?!? :cry: