The Siberia 800 has an odd story for a gaming headset: It started out life as the H Wireless. Then it got an upgrade as well as a name change, becoming the Siberia 800 and essentially turning an older headset into a competitive model for the modern market. The similarity between the older/newer model may be a little confusing to customers, but the result is a powerful headset that works with pretty much everything and has some serious sound chops. It ranks up there with the Sennheiser Momentum 2.0 – Best Fidelity.
Find out why, no matter what you play, that the Siberia 800 is probably right for you in our SteelSeries Siberia 800 review!
Price: $264 on Amazon
Available: October 21, 2015
Model: Siberia 800/61302
WHY IT’S A TOP PICK: Incredibly versatile while still keeping sound quality extra high.
What We Liked
- Works on most consoles, PC and mobile devices
- Dolby surround sound with sound drivers that can deliver it
- Effective controls once set up
- Extra battery pack so you’re never without a charge
What We Didn’t
- A little too heavy
- On-set controls could be better
SteelSeries Siberia 800 Specs
|7.1 Surround Sound|
|Battery Life||20 Hours (per pack)|
|Price||$264 (MRSP $300)|
Hardware and Design
SteelSeries can make a truly impressive pair of drivers. The two in the Siberia 800 are 40mm neodymium drivers, though I was sure they were 50mm until I looked up the specs. Why? One reason is the sound quality, the other is the weight: These are a weighty pair of headphones, and you can sure feel them around your ears. Those big round earcups aren’t uncomfortable – SteelSeries made sure to include plenty of extra-cushy padding and they are large enough to accommodate all ears – but they do sit heavy after wearing them for 20 minutes or so (the headphones weight slightly over one pound in all, but much of the weight is on the sides). I wouldn’t want to wear them with glasses on, I know that. It’s one dark spot in an otherwise excellent pair of headphones, but I wanted to get it out of the way early so we could talk about the cool stuff.
Onto other details: The Siberia 800 comes with a slew of cables and attachments, all the better to fit the headset into any arrangement for Xbox 360 or One, PS3, PS4, computers both PC and Mac, mobile devices, and even Apple TV. That makes opening up the headset for the first time a little overwhelming, but it’s also a point in favor: SteelSeries has done a good job of updating this headset for the latest platforms, and there’s no drop in sound quality moving from, say Xbox 360 to Xbox One – quite the contrary.
The package also comes with a far more important component – the hub that communicates with the wireless headset. This is powered by a USB port (don’t be alarmed at the confusing setup pictures – SteelSeries doesn’t do explanations well), so you’ll have to have one free. Tell the hub what platform you are using via the knobs and little LED screen, and it will do the rest for you.
When it comes to headset controls, this model is innovative but a little problematic. There’s a spin-and-click wheel for changing volume, a power/mic button, and a covering that opens to reveal jacks for Xbox controllers and more. They are positioned well, but making each button do multiple jobs is a little confusing at first. Try to mute your mic, and you may end up turning the headset off. It’s another slight problem on an otherwise stellar gaming headset.
The mic, meanwhile, is small and fully retractable, perched on a flexible neck that can retract back into the ear cup when you don’t need it. While the design feels a little weak compared to the rest of the headset, the mic function was good, the mute light on the tip was handy, and I personally prefer these retractable options to the flip-up mics – they are less prone to damage when hidden inside the gamin headset.
The sound quality from the drivers on the Siberia 800 is impressive throughout a variety of platforms. The Dolby Surround Sound is very atmospheric and is excellent at planting you in the middle of the action no matter what game you are playing. Sound clarity and directional sound are a little off in some cases – here those 40mm drivers show their limits – but this is only in comparison to high-end headphones that have really blown me away. If you are upgrading from stereo headphones, this surround sound will no doubt be everything you hoped for.
Mic sound quality was also good, especially after tweaking the sound mix a little. The super-flexible design allows you a bit more control than usual over the mic positioning, which is handy for more hands-on sound adjustments. The headset also uses “frequency hopping” to reduce interference. At this level of quality, sound interference is rarely a problem anyway, but for what it’s worth I noticed no problems on this front.
The Siberia 800 houses most of its sound customization options in the hub, where the LED-lit screen gives you a few basic mix options for changing how sound comes through. This is a very simple setup: You won’t be tweaking the nuances of surround sound, but you can at least get the bass where you want it and balance out mic sound, so it’s far from useless.
This is also a good place to talk about the Sound Share port located by the Xbox jack on the gaming headset. This allows you to link up headsets and share your sound experience with a friend. Split screen games are growing less common, but if you have the opportunity this feature is a handy one.
Here the Siberia 800 gets extra credit for including not one but two battery packs that you can pop in and out of the headset by unscrewing of the earcup components. The extra battery pack that you aren’t using slides into the control hub, where it charges. If your battery starts failing (warning sign: sound skipping) switch out the battery packs, and you can stay wireless. It’s a very, very welcome feature and once again increases the versatility of this headset.
Battery life is also impressive, rated at 20 hours per pack. In my experience the battery didn’t quite live up to that rating, but it was close enough to largely overlook, especially since that’s several hours longer than the average wireless headset offers.
SteelSeries Siberia 800 Review: Wrap-Up
If you know that you want a great gaming headset but just aren’t quite sure what platform you would use it with, the Siberia 800 makes an excellent catch-all choice. This updated model has high-quality surround sound, features that are easy to understand, compatibility with nearly all consoles and devices, and several great additional perks like an extra battery pack, wireless and sound sharing.
While the sound may not be quite as good as other wireless headsets with larger drivers, and the audio customization options aren’t on par with PC-focused headsets, it’s still impressive that the Siberia 800 can do a little bit of everything, and do it so well. This is an easy gaming headset to recommend, especially if it’s your first jump to wireless. Just keep a USB port open, and remember to not use them with glasses.
- SteelSeries Siberia 800 Review
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