There are plenty of factors in play when it comes to finding a good gaming headset. There are countless options for gamers to choose from today across every platform. Instead of having simple options from a couple of third parties, it seems that most every gaming company has some type of headset available for purchase. What used to be an easy choice is now harder to break down than your standard college examinations. This is why we're here, and today we tackle one of the more curious options on the market in the form of the SteelSeries Siberia 350.
Specifications and Features
As always, here's a list of what will be found with the Siberia 350:
|Drivers||50mm Neodymium Drivers|
|Frequency Response||10-28000 Hz|
|Microphone Frequency Response||50-16000 Hz|
|Microphone Sensitivity||-42 dB|
The specification list is about as standard as it gets. 50mm drivers are the gold standard with most surround headsets. Neodymium is a good selection for durability with the drivers themselves, meaning turning up the volume isn't going to kill the quality quickly. The Frequency response of 28000 Hz is also a good choice, though one can find greater range in the similar price range. What is a bit surprising is getting as good of 7.1 surround sound as the Siberia 350 pumps out with a simple USB connection.
Upon opening up the box, the first thing that stuck out to me was not just the design of the headset with it's odd loops and head band, but the overall weight of the headset. I've tested many headsets across all the major gaming platforms, yet here is this 7.1 surround sound headset that weighs next to nothing. SteelSeries apparently wanted to put a major onus on comfort and design, and they didn't fail their fanbase in that aspect. Putting on this headset felt like wearing nothing. The memory foam cups also provided outstanding comfort, only adding to the appeal of the overall design for the Siberia 350.
While comfort will get you in the door, audio quality has to keep you in the room. The 7.1 surround sound is great, which was quite surprising given the price point of the headset itself. Normally to get 7.1 surround that doesn't outright suck, a gamer is hitting the $200+ price range. Multiple games and music types were used to test this, but the Siberia 350 truly shined when I was enjoying a simple choice such as Civilization V with it's wonderfully orchestrated OST. Hearing a version of Gustav Holst's "Jupiter" while positioning approximately 600 naval units from Elizabeth (slight embellishment may be in play here), I found myself just stopping and enjoying the quality of the music and how clear it was. The surround quality shined when enjoying VR, though Oculus users are going to get better use out of this headset given that the Vive needs a 3.5mm connection, which means that Siberia 350 users would need an expensive adapter. Either way, I enjoyed playing Audioshield with a USB extension cable.
The microphone design truly impressed me the most, though. The extension and slide design that allows players to simply put the mic away when they're enjoying a single player game is a nice touch. The microphone is easily pulled out and adjusted to where it's in a comfortable position for a user, but even then it's easy to forget that it's even there.
While there is a lot to like about the Siberia 350, I need to bring the headset back to Earth. Yes, the price point in the $120 range is solid, but remember that if you're looking for the best sound quality, those higher end headsets are going to be better. The 7.1 surround is good, but the actual fidelity in some cases suffers a bit. Higher end headsets are going to have a wider range to deal with where the quality doesn't suffer, whereas the Siberia 350, while the range is good, it could be a lot better.
I enjoyed how lightweight the headset is, and while the design is unique, I was not a fan of the headband. I want my headband to be solid and sturdy, allowing me to get a good feel as to where the cups have to sit and get the proper adjustment. The Siberia 350 is a "one size fits all" stretch band that I found to be annoying at best. Once I found a comfortable position, it worked for a bit, but I found myself constantly adjusting it during long gaming sessions where I'm not getting it with the Turtle Beach Elite Pro or the Roccat Kave 5.1. I hate to use the cliche of "you get what you pay for" but this is really the case here. The band seemed to be a cost cutting measure that only requires putting the headset on and pulling it down. There were more than a few occasions where I felt that pulling down was going to snap that band, even though it was strong.
For the price point, the Siberia 350 is a solid choice. There are some design issues that are going to turn off a lot of people that don't want the stretch band and want to be able to "click adjust" the headband of a headset, and while getting a decent 7.1 surround sound is a big selling point, there are better options out there for better clarity and fidelity. That being said, around that $100-$125 price range, I'm hard pressed to find an option that doesn't work as well as the Siberia 350. It's worth the shout if you're in need of a budget option and don't want to spend $200-$250 for options such as Sennheisers or Turtle Beach.
* The product in this article was sent to us by the developer/company.
I've been writing about games and entertainment since 2006 after starting out at Xbox Ohio. Since then, I have made the jump to Gaming Nexus and have enjoyed my time here. I am an avid gamer that has a solid old school game collection that includes the likes of Final Fantasy games, Earthbound, Gitaroo-Man, MvC2, and a whole slew of others. I have a primary focus on Xbox/PC games and PC peripherals and accessories. If you ever want to game against me, you can look me up on XBL with the gamertag GN Punk. View Profile