SteelSeries Diablo III Mouse and Headset Review
Published: 23rd December 2011 | Source: SteelSeries | Price: |
Branded products generally fall in to two categories. There are those items that are clearly using the logo solely to boost sales of an otherwise average to poor product simply on recognition value. On the flip side we have things that are so specialised they cost a fortune and aren't much use in anything else. The Sega Bass Fishing rod isn't much good in other games and we don't know any people who've tried to complete Mario using a dance mat. SteelSeries have hit the perfect sweet spot though with the Diablo headset and mouse that we have on test today.
The headset is very obviously based upon the excellent Siberia V2. It's a testament to how good the original design was that we've seen it in various guises and every time it never fails to impress. Big 50mm drivers have a wide range and allow for clear audio reproduction regardless of what you're using them for at the time. Whether it's music, pinpointing a sniper, some casual Youtube viewing, or going PvP in the depths of Diablo III the SteelSeries is capable of handling it with aplomb. It isn't just a case of slapping a Diablo III decal on either. The earpieces have been redesigned to echo our stylistic expectations of evil with gothic swirls and pointed bits. The red on the grills even looks great with the lights off. Turning the demonic red lighting on though really brings it all to life. With brightness being controllable, and a breathing effect should you desire it, the Diablo III headset stands out and gets you in the mood to fight your way to the depths of hell.
As for the mouse, it's everything you could want. With a very short lift-off distance, a sensor that is capable of tracking even the fastest movements and being as fast or slow as you are happy using, without resorting to software interpolation, it's a joy to use. The Kai/Sensei style body is very comfortable, all the buttons are in easy reach and the coating helps keep it exactly where you desire under even the most testing conditions. Thankfully the decision to utilise the Kai design template means that it's equally comfortable for left or right hand use, so the southpaws in the audience aren't stuck with yet another product they can't use. Coming in at the £45 mark it is very good value indeed.
Across both products the cabling is worthy of particular mention. It is double-braided, very smooth and robust and will withstand any amount of abuse you can give it. A vital addition given that Diablo III is almost built for LAN gaming conventions. The Diablo III skin on the SteelSeries Engine software is more than just a pretty coat, and the software itself is as good as ever, having a small footprint, regular updates, and it is very easy to use. Even better it's entirely optional so you can be up and running in moments.
Bad points are incredibly few and far between. The most obvious is that this is clearly Diablo III branded, so if you're not keen on dark red, satanic looking hardware, why are you here? The mouse is near flawless. The scroll-wheel feels a little too cheap and plastic and the notchiness that is a boon in gaming can be a little loud when just using the mouse normally. The headset is outstanding and the only real issue with it is the pricing. Standard Siberia V2s are about £50. USB ones around £70. This is pushing the £90 mark, which is expensive and equal to the SteelSeries 7H, which we prefer.
So all in all we have the rare combination of a branded item that has excellent hardware beneath it. The Diablo Mouse is the pick of the two and worthy of the OC3D Silver Award, with just the scroll-wheel letting things down. The Diablo Headset is up to the usual Siberia V2 standards with some excellent design touches too, but that price is a little hard to swallow and so it too receives the OC3D Silver Award.
Now we've got the hardware, bring on the game!
Diablo III Mouse
Diablo III Headset