Steelseries Siberia Elite review: more creature less comfort
THE Siberia Elite headphones from Steelseries are hands down the most attractive headset you're going to find for gamers.
The Elites are a 7.1 surround-capable headset that will convert native 5.1 to its 7.1 speaker format internally using Dolby's Prologic IIx setup, meaning you'll be getting full mileage with Battlefield 4 or Outlast.
The directional fidelity here is right up there with similarly-priced headsets, with a run-through of Outlast putting the Elites second only to the A50s for outputting even the quietest bumps and shudders properly.
After you've shown your friends, loved ones and nearby strangers just how staggeringly beautiful your new headset looks with its clean white surfaces and warm-glowing stoveplate sections, it's the build quality that'll have you grinning that you forked out the cash for such a nice headset.
The sandblasted steel top arc feels stronger than anything from Razer or Turtle Beach and the reflexive strap that keeps it firm on your skullcase is as comfortable as you're likely to find anywhere.
Unfortunately, the memory foam on the ear cushions is punishing until it's had a chance to adjust to your head's unique topography. Once it's had its chance to wrap around your hearing gear though, you'll get around three or four hours of comfortable gaming out of them before you'll have to take them off for a while.
The retractable microphone, which lights up when on and stays dark when muted, has suitably clean pick-up, even if its position is a little awkward at first.
For a gaming headset their audio quality is superb with a bias towards the warmer end of the aural scale.
The Elites come with USB, Stereo and Mobile connecters and will work with both iOS and Android phones. The addition of a cord extender is appreciated, but somewhat mandatory at this price. You'll either love or loathe the flat white cable cord that they use, but the custom connectors might be a problem for custom sound setups.
This game is terrifying enough without the Elite's ability to breathe down your neck making it that much more realistic. Positioning the next jump scare becomes slightly easier if you've got the balance tuned right in the Steelseries engine, but the downside is that there won't be any mistaking exactly how horrifying the noises you can hear are.
If you're set up for proper 7.1 you've got a real winner here.
This one didn't pan out as well as it did with Outlast in terms of directional audio, though that's been consistent across all headsets so far. You're still going to get a lot more out of BF4's engine with the Elites than you would with normal headphones or something you picked up at Kmart.
The directional fidelity isn't so much of an issue here, but the sound quality really enhances the music and the expertly recorded narration.
Welcome to the level of headset where mere mortals aren't going to notice significant distortion at ear-ruining volumes. The solid build makes these a bit rough at first, but eventually they'll be the kind of firm, comfortable fit that Doc Martins used to be known for, which is great for a $299 headset. They're also pretty enough to impress the kind of people who enjoy sorbet.