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Steel Series Sibera Neckband Headset

Reviewing: Steel Series Siberia Neckband Headset  |  Rating:
Alexander Eddy By Alexander Eddy on
Badge: Author | Level: 1 | Gaming Expertise:
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I ordered my headset directly from SteelSeries, in Copenhagen, Denmark. The shipping was handled by DHL, and not only did they offer a speedy 5 business day service, they also allowed me to track my order the whole way. The package was sturdy and protected the box inside, and everything looked pristine and in order. The box was also solid, and the headset was stored safely inside. After some fiddling, I freed the headset, and lifting the packaging, found a nicely printed manual, product catalogue, the extension and volume control dongle, and the Xbox 360 adapter. All the listed contents on the side of the box were inside, so I proceeded to plug the headset in and begin some simple tests. I listened through songs of various genres, from rock to jazz to electronica, noting panning, bass, mid and treble response and clarity, and audio placement.

Panning was seamless. The phones provided clear alternation without any loss in continuity. Bass was heavy and thrumming - clear and sharp when intended as such, muffled and distant when required. Mid range was suitable - not as powerful as the bass, but certainly clear and by no means of poor quality. The treble range shone, clear, clean, exactly as one should hope for. For audio placement, I turned to several games. Counter-Strike 1.6, Call of Duty 4, Half-Life 2, Team Fortress 2 - all games in which audio location is important. The results were stunning. In Counter-Strike especially, I was able to detect the location of a source of sound perfectly. The resulting advantage is one you will notice immediately, especially if you've been using speakers or poor headphones prior. The large expansion area and encompassing ear cup design effectively block most ambient noise, and provide artificial surround sound. No loss of performance experienced on Xbox.

The microphone was the next area to examine. It pulls freely from the left earcup, but can also be hidden within, where it will remain without difficulty. I spoke with a friend on Ventrilo, while recording with WavePad at highest quality. For such a small mic, the results are quite impressive. The mic picks up very little ambient noise due to its design, and provides all the accuracy and power needed. Also, no loss in performance experienced on Xbox, with the exception of the audio compression within some gameplay.

Lastly, comfort, especially over about a month of use. I've noticed discomfort when using the headset for hours on end, but most of the time I'm completely at ease with them on my head. They do tend to bounce around a bit while walking, as I use them for my iPod, but I have a small head, and they're always on the smallest possible diameter when I wear them. The cushioning on each ear cup is soft, comfy and durable, but warm when worn for extended periods.

To summarize, the headset provides excellent performance at a bit of an elevated price, but looks damn attractive and can pass for an ordinary pair of headphones. The headset is also durable - I've dropped it a few times, plus worn it every day to and around school, and have found no problems physically or in terms of performance.