SteelSeries Siberia V2
Published: 23rd March 2010 | Source: SteelSeries | Price: £63.22 |
Headset testing is one of the more enjoyable facets of this as they don't require days of overclock testing or detailed repetitive benchmarking, rather you just plug them in and watch a few films, stick on some music while browsing the net or play a few games.
Of course with something that can't be benchmarked the results are subjective.
Firstly we wanted to check the microphone. The quality of a microphone is, after all, the reason this is a headset and not just a standard pair of headphones. Utilising Skype and MSN for conversations, and Audacity for personal testing, the microphone proved excellent. She can sell all the sea-shells she likes without distortion or a loss in clarity.
Music and Films
With their open back and large drivers I'd expect great music reproduction and sure enough they easily handled everything I could throw at them. From NRG with its pumping rhythms and deep bass, through all the genres until we ended up at what my dad used to describe as "guitar noise".
With any music reproductions it's important to not only test the extremes of the aural spectrum by utilising a combination of bass tests and the Bee Gees, but to also see how well they handle full sonicscapes and the transition from loud to soft. No matter what I tested it gave very clear sounds throughout the testing and in some cases enabled me to hear things that I hadn't before. Sgt Pepper, OK Computer and the Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking in particular revealed new depth that had previously gone unheard.
Films naturally gave an equally impressive result as the two are not dissimilar. Despite being a stereo headset even films that use a lot of surround effects gave a wonderful listening experience.
It's always tempting to do the gaming first, after all not many people buy a headset purely for audio. However it's always worth taking a good look, or in this case listen, at the general performance first. Games have so much variance with EAX effects and similar that it's always handy to have a base-line to work from. Unlike our performance tests that have a solid list of games to play, the testing of audio devices is much more fluid as we discover new aural pleasures.
The results from the music and film testing were such I couldn't resist starting with one of the greatest sonic experiences currently available, Need for Speed Shift. As someone who has played racing game and simulations since Turbo and Monaco GP in the arcades I can say without hesitation that Shift has the best racecar noises yet heard. The Siberia V2 does full justice to these with everything from the rumble of the GT500 to the whine of a fully specced Carrera GT being replicated excellently.
Having tested something very loud, it's time to test something quieter. The Silent Hunter series is the premium replication of submarine warfare during World War 2 and the recently released Silent Hunter 5 takes place back out in the Atlantic as part of the U-Boat Wolfpack. Much less a test of volume or the ability to handle multiple sounds at once, this is a fabulous test of how the Siberia V2 deal with exceptionally precise effects, sometimes at barely audible levels.Despite the increased size of the speakers within the upgraded SteelSeries headset they are capable of being driven by the smallest hull creak. Again a very impressive result.
Finally to the more likely use of a headset such as this it was time to test first-person shooters. For this Far Cry 2 and Modern Warfare 2 were tested as both provide good gun noises and a nice combination between uneasy silence and hellacious battles. In what is proving a common occurrence the Siberia V2 never flinched in its ability to not only give us the audio we desire but also allowing us to hear hitherto unheard sounds.
I feel a conclusion coming on.