Date: January 8th, 2007
Article by: Karl Van der Walt (Hardware Reviewer)
Edited by: Nathan Glentworth (Owner / Head Editor)
Product was submitted by: Steel Series
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PRODUCT PICTORIAL AND WALKTHROUGH
Here you can see the retractable microphone and its functionality. This neat system helps a lot in keeping the microphone out of the way when not in use. The design is simple but effective and the metal sheathing protects the cable from breakage and stress.
Here you can see the Xbox adapter. Not having owned an Xbox I can't say much about it.
The volume control on the extension cable is somewhat larger than the one on the 4H I reviewed previously and looks a good deal sturdier. There is no microphone switch this time around and frankly I am glad they didn't add one. The one on my 4H unit became loose over time and now the switch rattles about a bit. It's much better to keep it simple.
PRODUCT INSTALLATION AND TESTING
Testing was conducted over a period of a week playing various online games, listening to music, talking on skype and watching movies.
The padding on the neckband ensures a comfortable fit on the neck. However, like all neckband headsets I have used, most of the weight of the headset is on the tops of your ears. During extended use this leads to sore ears. I have never liked this design and likely never will. It's not something I would ever buy. But, if you like the look and have tough ears then go right ahead. Let me just stress that this is not an issue with SteelSeries' design; it's a flaw in ALL neckband headsets. Oddly enough my wife particularly liked the design claiming that it was less damaging to her hairdo. She also did not experience as much discomfort as I did, so perhaps it's just my overlarge head and ears that are the problem.
Other than that the padding on the driver units is very comfortable and even after 6 hours of constant use (yes my ears were killing me) I had virtually no sweat around my ears. The unit's breathe even better than the already good 4H.
To test the microphone I talked to a few friends on skype and it proved more than up to the task, clarity was good and the retractable mechanism functioned better than the one on the 4h.
In the sound department, the really important bit of this review, well, yet again I was blown away. The bass response was almost as good as 3h and the midrange and treble response easily matches the 4H. I said in the 4H review that if I could have the 3H bass and the 4H high end in one unit I would be a happy man, well SteelSeries seems to have noted that and given me exactly what I asked for. From a pure listening pleasure standpoint these are the cherry on the SteelSound cake. Whilst on paper the Siberia headset is a little under the 4H and 5H specs it certainly doesn't sound like it.
All my old favorite tracks came to life again for me testing the Siberia Neckband headset. I honestly can't think of a bad thing to say about the sound this headset puts out.