Xmas Gear: SteelSeries Siberia Elite
Sound is fast becoming one of the defining aspects to immersive gaming. But with so many companies releasing headsets, one fairly asks what this set will offer that others don’t. Well, the SteelSeries Siberia Elite has a few tricks up its sleeve. Let’s explore!
The first thing that stands out when you get the Elite out if the box is the large ear pads. Continuing the Siberia’s tradition in user comfort, the Elite has directed its attention into creating the most comfortable headset possible and it has definitely accomplished this.
The giant cushioned pads sit snugly on the ears supported by a simple one piece metal band and a an elastic support to keep the headset in place, This system means there is no readjusting for different users, just put it on and it will adjust by itself. The ear pieces are made from leather which gives it durability and works well at blocking out surrounding sounds, however it does creating issues in hot weather due to a lack of breathing room. Apart from this small issue the design is impeccable. The microphone slides nicely inside one of the ear pieces with a heavy duty bendable cable to allow gamers to set it up wherever they find works for them. Even the controls have been relocated for comfort, both the microphone on/off switch and the volume control are now in the form of dials on the ear pieces which is by far the best placing for quick adjustments.
Huge on features the SteelSeries Siberia Elite is more than just a PC device. The set gives you an extension cable, standard computer inputs and a smartphone/ tablet connector to connect the headset to anything you may need, but the highlight is in the USB sound card provided. This little box connects through the SteelSeries Engine system, a program designed specifically for new Steel Series products. It offers rich Dolby simulated surround sound and allows gamers to set individual profiles for each game right down to LED colour schemes and microphone noise cancelling levels. The SteelSeries Engine pairs the PC to the headset automatically. Once connected your settings will automatically kick in and if you are lucky enough to own the SteelSeries Rival, the software can sync settings between both devices to allow you to full control your gaming experiences.
As a cool bonus feature, the right earpad also has a 3.5mm headphone input so you can share your experience with a friend or loved one without having to blaring the volume or being too antisocial.
The sound output of the Elite is amazing. No matter what the game you are playing the headset supplies a well rounded sound output. The bass is strong and powerful but not overwhelming, the mid range and high end sounds are clear and accurate making it the most versatile headset I have used to date. The comfortable setup makes the Elite perfect for long gaming sessions or movie marathons and once they are on you will often forget your wearing them. From First Person Shooters to story driven RPG games the immersive Dolby digital encoding provides rich and engrossing sound complete with 7.1 support where available.
As far as an overall headset for use at home, the SteelSeries Siberia Elite is by far the best pair of headphones I have used this year. Between the uber comfortable design, great sound output and its versatile nature, the Elite makes it is the perfect gaming headset no matter what your device. This is my favourite headset by far and if you have any Christmas presents left to ask for this year, the SteelSeries Siberia Elite is the best set on the market right now.