Some things on this often-impractical mudball rarely make sense. The oxymoron that is reality TV is among these. Hats for dogs come to mind. Oh and the complete dearth of acclaim the gaming peripheral company SteelSeries receives here in the U.S. We’ve looked at a few SteelSeries jewels in the past. Their line of various Sensei gaming mice and stereo headphone offerings are among the best in the world in terms of performance and affordability. The company and their warez are no stranger to the Pro gaming circuits. Still, it’s my job to bless the uninformed gaming civilians and keep you all updated on the latest greatness from the lesser known giant.
Today we’re keeping our ears warm with the company’s new, enormous over-ear Siberia Elite gaming headset. This is a multilingual set of cans that plays nice with Windows PC, iOS devices, Android and Mac computers. It boasts of many attractive features and ships with plenty goodies to get things going-like a USB virtual sound card. The downloadable software accentuates the package by granting users with several ways to fine tune their listening experience. The Siberia Elite are worth their namesake, yet don’t come cheap.
The Siberia Elite ships with the aforementioned USB sound card, quick start install guide and 3 swappable cables. These fit on the ends of the existing cable extending from the Siberia Elite. The swappable cables are a nice touch. One works as an extension cable, adding another 2 meters of length to the rather short 1.2 meter cable tethered to the Elite’s left earpiece. The 3.5mm 4-pole connector is for iOS, Android or other mobile devices and another 3-pole cable adapter with stereo headphone and mic tips connects to Windows computers.
The main Siberia Elite headset is great looking headset. We received the snowy white colored pair. But they also come in a cool looking black. The color scheme is replete throughout the entire unit from the extra large marshmallow-like ear pieces to the head padding to the tangle-free cables…though the frame supporting it all is metal. It appears to be a type of brushed aluminum–adequately flexible. The Siberia Elite make a return to the suspension fit for a 1-size-fits-all design. The ever-efficient retractable mic also makes a welcomed return below the left ear piece. There is also a mic mute on/off switch on the outside ring of the same ear piece. The opposite ear piece holds the volume dial. There is an 3.5 mm port toward the bottom of the right ear piece. This is used for sharing your music and audio with other headsets.
SteelSeries has changed things up a bit by offering their slick little USB sound card as part of the bundle It was formerly sold separately. This is your conduit to Dolby ProLogic IIx surround sound. The unit is plug and play. Yet it you want the full experience, you will need the this Engine 3 software suite. Upon downloading the software, the sound card plugs into any available USB slot. Then plug the Siberia Elite into USB port on the sound card.
The software itself opens up a host of features. You can set an unlimited number of audio profiles. Each one can be specific to any game title and kick in when said title is launched. You get a 10-band equalizer to play with. It’s a nice addition for fine tuning audio and media applications versus game titles. It worked great to bring out the ambient sounds of Far Cry 3. Conversely I tweaked the highs to accentuate footsteps and more in DayZ and BF3. The virtual surround is well-balanced with sharp clarity and definition in music and games.
The SteelSeries Siberia Elite sound amazing. It’s hard to find a over-achieving headset that actually supports all platforms with a plethora of useful features and still perform in all areas. The Siberia Elite are a handsome and striking pair of cans. The one-size-fits-all gamble is a good one and doesn’t hurt the attractive aesthetics. The massive ear pads are just that with lasting comfort using memory foam cushions. Hold on to your seat, once you install the USB sound card. The Dolby ProLogic IIx virtual surround is some of the best we’ve heard. Volume levels were not an issue and the SteelSeries Engine 3 adds functionality with a 10-band equalizer and unlimited game or application-specific profiles.
Now is it all worth $200? That’s a hard sell while wearing a wire. If you don’t need wireless, then these are some of the best multi-platform cans you can find.
Great sounds. Extensive feature set. Suspension 1-size-fits-all design. Retractable mic. On-ear controls. Mic mute. Share audio port. Adjustable colors illumination. SteelSeries Engine 3 software add functionality. Virtual surround is some of best in class.
Pricey. Tethered (not wireless). No adjustable fit. White color scheme reveals dirt build-up.
Shawn loves gadgets, literature, history and games. For 10yrs+ he's straddled both the comic book & video game industries, as a writer, editor, marketing officer & producer. Shawn got his start in tech & games as an editor & Hardware Director for GameRevolution.com. More notable accomplishments include Executive Producer on mobile games Geometry Wars: Retro Evolved & The Shroud.