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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 its warez are no strangers 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. While we are on the subject of keeping you updated, check out our take on the best gaming headset.
Today we’re keeping our ears warm with the company’s new, enormous over-ear Siberia Elite gaming headset. This multilingual set of cans plays nicely with Windows PCs, iOS devices, Android, and Mac computers. It boasts many attractive features and ships with plenty of 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 is worth its namesake, yet don’t come cheap.
Related: Also, check out our Steelseries Siberia 800 review.
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 a 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 makes 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 earpiece. There is also a mic mute on/off switch on the outside ring of the same earpiece. The opposite earpiece holds the volume dial. There is a 3.5 mm port toward the bottom of the right earpiece. This is used for sharing your music and audio with other headsets.
Related: Need a headset for your iPhone or iPad? Check out our Steelseries Siberia Neckband review.
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 if you want the full experience, you will need the Engine 3 software suite. The sound card plugs into any available USB slot upon downloading the software. Then plug the Siberia Elite into a USB port on the sound card.
The software itself opens up a host of features. You can set up an unlimited number of audio profiles. Each one can be specific to any game title and kick in when the 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. If you are having issues with your surround sound, check out our guide on configuring a 7.1 headset for gaming.
The SteelSeries Siberia Elite sound amazing. It’s hard to find an over-achieving headset that supports all platforms with many useful features and still performs in all areas. The Siberia Elite is a handsome and striking pair of cans. The one-size-fits-all gamble is good 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. For more from SteelSeries, check out our reviews of the Siberia V2 as well as the Siberia 350. Or if you would like to see what another brand has to offer, check out our Sennheiser PC 330 G4ME headset review.
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.