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SteelSeries Siberia V2 Review

By on April 2, 2011
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Clean, crisp style and sound.

Good: it's gorgeous, excellent sound performance, break away cable, mic stash, spring-based head adjustment
Bad: a bit too tight, not light, sound positioning may not be the best
Price: AED 360 (appox)
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

Having been a huge fan of its SP range of hard gaming surfaces, SteelSeries has always been on my radar to try out some of its other products, such as its pretty large range of mices and head gear. Luckily, we have finally established connection with the brand and have received a few of its latest products for review. We reviewed the WoW franchised MMO mouse recently, and today we have a sequel, the Sibera V2 Pro Gaming headphones for a look.

The packaging boldly claims that the headphones have been a part of the Grammy gift bag, which is kind of weird – why would they gift gaming headphones to Grammy winners? Anyway, Siberia V2 is an updated model of one of the most popular gaming headphones, which garnered liking from gamers and critics alike. SteelSeries have made sure that the new pair of cans are not just a bump in specs, but rather also addresses issues with the original Siberia – and to some extent than most, they have successfully achieved that.

Design

Gorgeous is the first adjective that pops in the mind. The glossy white body just shines through with sheer style and inspiring good looks.

Nothing much has changed from the original, however, but why tinker around when the overall product looks that good. Despite its layered and encased form, the Siberia V2 maintains a very purposeful, clean sense of style that is not too pompous like most gaming headphones are, and is neither too ‘classy’ that other higher-end for-the-audiophiles headphones try to be.

Unlike other headphones, the Siberia V2 doesn’t have a ‘level-based’ head adjustment, but rather a ‘spring’ based one that adjusts itself according to the head type. While I was apprehensive of how this would work out, its actual purpose became clear when my brothers insisted to try them on. Usually, after I have found my correct adjustment level, I keep all hands away from the headphones alas I have to spend another 15mins trying to find the correct height again. However, with the Siberia V2, I didn’t have to bother – the spring auto-adjusted to my brother’s head size and sprung perfectly fit when I put them on mine again. The sharpness in its ease of use reminded me of another company that produces glossy white products as well, you know?

Another bit of clever design is the mic. The microphone is stashed away, entirely, in the left ear can and can be summoned by simply pulling it out. The advantage of such a design is that it is unobtrusive and is hardly noticeable. So if you do not require the mic, instead of breaking it away from the headphone, or hovering it over the can, you can just simply hide it. You can also adjust how far you want the mic to be from your mouth, without having to fiddle around with the actual mic itself. It’s brilliant.

The headphone also features a simple inline controller that can switch the mic on and off and adjust volume. The cable is break away, so if you do not require extended cable length to the source, you can just snap the cable apart and use the shorter length instead. Perfect for use with music players.

Comfort
This is where the Siberia V2 falls short, at least for me. The headphones tightly wrap around my head and the force is slightly too much to not notice it. It also clamps down on the side of my glasses, making them press harder on my ears and nose. This is not extremely uncomfortable, but I am reminded of it from time to time whenever I move my head.

They aren’t really light on the head either. Comparing to the feather-like Creative Tactic3D Sigma that I used before, Siberia V2 feels like I am donning a helmet. I can feel the sides press on my ears, the arching handle over my head and the whole weight of the headphones resting on it. On prolonged gaming sessions, they weren’t highly uncomfortable to be honest, but upon removing them, I would feel the ‘lightness’ back and the cool air touching the moisture it created behind the ear.

Performance

Phenomenal. Out of all the headphones that I have tried and reviewed over the years, nothing has sounded so perfectly calibrated, balanced and crisp to my ears just so out-of-the-box. The headphones sound…pure, clean, and fresh – the sound surrounds you, clear and precise in its execution. What a brilliant set of drivers!

My test bed consisted of Crysis 2 (PC), Avatar on Blu-ray and a couple of Hindi movie songs that I regularly listen to. In music, the 50mm drivers handled everything I threw at it with disarming ease. From guitar to rhythmic beats to deep bass’ed musical set pieces and to traditional Indian sounds like dhol, tanpura and tabla, the Siberia V2 adapted to each one of them with aplomb. The audio remained loud and clear even in high volume without any noticeable drop in quality or distortion.

The only bit where the Siberia V2 wasn’t quite there was with its directional output. Crysis 2 has some pretty darn good sound positioning and while Siberia V2 didn’t exactly struggle, the positioning wasn’t quite obvious as some of the other headphones in the bracket. However, that’s a given considering they are ultimately a stereo headphone.

With Avatar, I was mainly looking for voice clarity and how the headphones handled between it and other back-and-foreground sounds. Needless to say, I was bobbing my head in appreciation as the headphone delivered its born-with penchant for clarity and aural immersion. It made me want to watch Avatar again.

Conclusion

At $90, the SteelSeries Siberia V2 stands slightly cheaper than others in its category. And for me, they are worth every bit of the greens. The Siberia V2 delivers on all vital aspects for a headphone: looks, built quality, and performance. Quite simply put, if I was in the market looking for a serious pair of cans, the SteelSeries would definitely reach my final list of probable.


About

Mufaddal Fakhruddin is the Editor for IGN ME and thinks writing in third person about himself in an about me section is weird.

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