The SteelSeries Siberia V2 gaming headphones have been around for a long time and for good reason, they offer a mix of features, audio quality and sturdy construction, as well as eye-catching colours. However, a day can’t go by without competitors bringing new headphones to the market, challenging the Siberia V2’s well established position. Do the still offer great audio for a decent price. The short answer is yes, and to find out why, read on.
The Siberia V2 headphones feature everything you would expect to find on a pair of mid-range gaming headphones. There is a built in retractable boom mic that slides neatly into the left ear cup when not in use, in-line audio controls with mic mute switch, and two 3.5mm audio jacks to connect the headphones and microphone to your sound card. The headphones have a 1m long cable, with a 2m extension cable for both audio and mic inputs. The cable length options mean you won’t fall short or have too much extra length hanging around and creating a mess of wires while you’re gaming.
Lightweight yet solid springs to mind when using the Siberia V2 headphones. The body is made out of a hard plastic with a soft coating that feels comfortable to the touch, without feeling cheap. The overhead straps are rubber coated metal that ensure the headphones keep their shape and grip firmly against your head. This can get slightly uncomfortable for the first day or two, but after using the headphones beyond this, they settle in nicely and are as comfortable as any other option out there.
The cable is coated in insulating rubber and feels strong enough. However in today’s market of braided nylon cables, the rubber coated cables found on the Siberia V2 appear less than ideal. The coating is thick and hard and should survive a good few jerks (wonder if the sub will pick up on this?) though, and with the right care it should last a long time.
The audio quality was tested in two ways. The first was in game tests in Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, where placement of enemies seen and unseen, as well as ambient sounds, were used as testing criteria.
The second way of testing was the headphone sound tests on Audiocheck.net. These tests are designed to put headphones through their paces in a scientific way. For a full breakdown of testing criteria, head over to Audiocheck.net.
|Test||Sennheiser HD415||Razer Carcharias||SteelSeries Siberia V2|
|Frequency response (low)||20Hz+||20Hz+||20Hz+|
|Frequency response (high)||19KHz down||17KHz down||17KHz down|
|Dynamic Range||60db below full scale||42db below full scale||48db below full scale|
|Quality||Excellent, no rattles||Excellent, no rattles||Excellent, no rattles|
|Driver matching||Perfect, no variation||Excellent, slight variation||Excellent, slight variation|
|Wiring (Centre)||Well defined, accurate||Less defined, semi accurate||Well defined, accurate|
|Wiring (Twisted)||Hard to define, accurate||Less defined, semi accurate||Less defined, semi accurate|
|Binaural test||Excellent, lifelike||Good, simulated||Very Good, simulated|
|Music test 1 (Time, Pink Floyd)||88/100||65/100||69/100|
|Music test 2 (Moonlight sonata, Beethoven)||88/100||60/100||73/100|
Two songs were also used to judge how well the headphones do when listening to music. One was a FLAC recording of Time by Pink Floyd off of “The dark side of the moon”, widely respected as one of the best recordings ever made. The other song was a FLAC recording of the first movement of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No. 14 “Moonlight” in C sharp minor, performed by Paul Lewis.
Both songs highlighted the vast difference in audio quality between audiophile headphones and gaming headphones. The Siberia V2 headphones performed far better than other gaming headphones, like the Razer Carcharias’, in the music tests, particularly during the Moonlight sonata where they revealed a deep intimacy to the music usually reserved for higher end or audiophile headphones. They may not be the perfect solution for the audio connoisseur, but for the regular gamer, they are excellent for gaming and for music.
Readers need to bear in mind that hearing ability differs from one human to the next, so these tests are only comparable when done by the same reviewer. Additionally, readers may have better/worse hearing, and may not be able to reproduce the test results listed here. Thus the results are informative, but not definitive.
The SteelSeries Siberia V2 headphones are an excellent choice for the gamer who enjoys an accurate gaming audio experience along with music in their day to day lives. The build quality is on the good side, and despite one of two oversights such as the cable, which could have been braided nylon, the headphones will last as long as you take care of them. Great headphones for gaming, the SteelSeries Siberia V2 headphones are still a great choice for gamers and come highly recommended.