STEELSERIES SIBERIA ELITE
The “Siberia” moniker has always been used by SteelSeries for some of their top line, gaming audio offerings. Over the years the design has been refined, and the improvements are now embodied in the Siberia Elite gaming headset.
Amidst the slew of blackthemed gaming headsets in this shootout, the Siberia Elite stands out in white. The headband arc consists of a barebones skeleton finished in dull aluminum. From the side view, the ear-cups of the headset resemble the wheels of a car. Visible on the ear-cups is the SteelSeries signage and a ring-shaped light display. Like the Razer Kraken 7.1, this display lights up when the headset is plugged in. Unlike Razer though, SteelSeries lets users choose any shade from the 16 million colors available from the RGB spectrum.
Matching the Razer Kraken 7.1 even further, the SteelSeries Siberia Elite also has circular earpads. However the diameter of the ear-pads for the SteelSeries headset is much larger. From a side-on view it also seems that the cushions are much thicker, but this is an illusion caused by the fact that the synthetic covering also wraps around the headphone body. Nevertheless, the cushioning is sufficiently thick and soft. For adjusting fit, the Siberia Elite has stretchable wires which work like a charm. Over-heating of ears after prolonged usage however is a problem.
Up till this point we’ve only seen braided cables on the gaming headsets compared here. The Siberia Elite bucks the trend and comes with flat cables instead. A proprietary connector, smaller than a micro-USB connector, is used by SteelSeries. Users can plug it into a USB sound card and then connect to their PC or notebook via USB. Cable extensions for connection to an aux-in and microphone port as well as a 3.5mm port are also supplied. A retractable microphone is provided for communication purposes.
Competing with the Razer Synapse 2.0 software is SteelSeries’ Engine 3. Engine 3 is a simple configuration menu for controlling the microphone and audio with the help of a full EQ. It is also the only way to engage the Siberia Elite’s Dolby technologies, Dolby Headphone control and Dolby Pro Logic IIx features, as the gaming headset
“THE SIBERIA ELITE BUCKS THE TREND AND COMES WITH FLAT CABLES.”
has no actual physical button(s) to accomplish this task.
The Siberia Elite’s warm tone colors its music performance. This characteristic helps it excel with music genres such as jazz and RnB. But when clarity is required, especially when listening to orchestral compositions, the SteelSeries headset fails to capture the correct mood and timbre. Once the Dolby features are switched on, the 7.1 virtual surround sound kicks in. If anything, gaming performance is this headphone’s forte. The directionality of the audio is excellent and deserves to be classified in the same league as the Sennheiser PC 363D and Razer Kraken 7.1. If we were to nitpick, the warm tone of the Siberia Elite means that details are not heard as clearly.